Margie Gentner

KYF meeting report

KYF 006_optYesterday, Alderperson Chris Schwartz, from the 2nd district, hosted a meeting at the Kenosha Public Museum, for the developer and architect of a proposed apartment project in the former Kenosha Youth Foundation (KYF) building, 720 – 59th Place.  David Nankin, developer and owner, and architect, Tom O’Connell, made their presentation and answered questions from the group of roughly 50 people.

Nankin and O’Connell brought renderings of their concept plan:

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Change in demerit points gets deferred

Licensing & Permit Committee PictureAt yesterday’s Licensing & Permit Committee meeting, Alderperson David Bogdala spoke on his proposed ordinance change regarding demerit points.  He wants to change the amount of demerit points assessed to license holders of Class B and Class C establishments, and bartenders.  His proposed changes included:

  1. Changing the amount of demerit points for second offense Driving Under the Influence (DUI) convictions from 40 to 80 points; and
  2. Changing the amount of demerit points for selling to underage persons from 20 points to 40 points.

Once an establishment has accumulated 100 points, they are called to appear in front of the Licensing & Permit Committee.  Bogdala said, “This is a serious issue.  We have alcohol issues in the city of Kenosha.  One strike and you’re out if it were up to me.”

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KUSD adopts employee handbook

chalk-board-KUSDAt a very long meeting of the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD)  board, the employee handbook was approved by a vote of 4 to 3.  This was after extensive debate by the board.

There was first a motion to defer called by board member Rebecca Stevens.  The roll call vote was 3 to 4.  Those voting against the deferral were board members David Gallo, Bob Nuzzo, Tamarra Coleman, and Mary Snyder.  Then, the roll call vote on the main motion was to adopt, as presented.  The roll call vote was 4 to 3 in favor.  Those voting against were Rebecca Stevens, Jo Ann Taube, and Carl Bryan.  Those voting against said that the reason for their dissenting votes was that they didn’t get all of their questions answered.

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“Chalk Talk Kenosha” makes its way to Madison

Do you remember the community art project that was on display in various business in downtown Kenosha last summer?  Well, it has made its way to the state capitol art gallery in Madison.  See below for some pictures:

What are you

In a photograph a young woman holds up a sign that reads, “A man robbed me and put a knife to my kid’s neck.” With her hair pulled back in a practical ponytail and chips evident in her brightly colored fingernail polish, the young woman poses purposely for the camera. But is her message a plea for help, some kind of message the viewer is supposed to act upon?  Written in chalk on black construction paper, this chilling statement is a response to seemingly simple request:  Describe an incident that changed you. The request, stark response, and subsequent photograph are all part of a “chalk talk” workshop conducted at the Kenosha Literacy Council.

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Dog and cat ordinance denied by public safety & welfare committee

Dog and CatA proposed ordinance regarding dogs and cats was not approved at the Public Safety & Welfare Committee meeting earlier this evening.  This ordinance change called for a three-foot high fence to be erected in the yard when the dog or cat was being kept, or for the owner to be present.  The vote was unanimous.  This ordinance proposal was also pulled from the Common Council’s agenda last Wednesday by the sponsor, Alderperson Scott Gordon.

Kenosha police chief John Morrissey spoke as a citizen and in his official capacity as police chief as well.  As a citizen, he said that he didn’t understand what problem the ordinance was trying to fix.  The ordinance basically says that a person’s dog or cat can’t be tied up in the front yard unless the dog or cat is with the owner.  He stated that his own home abuts an alley.  He sees problems with this ordinance as a citizen and a taxpayer, and he urged the committee to deny it.

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City Council approves application for Wisconsin Main Street Program

Downtown Near LakeAt Wednesday night’s Common Council meeting, the Council approved a resolution to support the city of Kenosha’s application to the State of Wisconsin Main Street Program, which is a state program that will provide help with ongoing efforts to improve the downtown area.  The resolution to submit the application was approved by a roll call vote of 13 to 0.  (Four alderpersons were not in attendance on Wednesday night:  Alderpersons Patrick Juliana, Tod Ohnstad, Rocco LaMacchia, and Jesse Downing.)

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Resolution approved regarding same-day voter registration

A resolution sponsored by Alderperson Curt Wilson and co-sponsored by Alderpersons Tod Ohnstad, Rocco LaMacchia, Daniel Prozanski, Keith Rosenberg, Scott Gordon, Jan Michalski, and Patrick Juliana was approved by a roll call vote of 11 to 2 on Wednesday night at the Common Council Meeting.  Those alderpersons voting against were Alderpersons Steve Bostrom and David Bogdala.  The resolution urged the governor to veto any legislation that would eliminate registration at the polls.

Bostrom wanted the resolution to be referred to the Legislative Commission.  He stated that he was not aware of any pending legislation to limit any registration at the polls.  He also said that the Council has a body that should meet regularly, and that this is one of the issues that should be reviewed by that committee.

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Licensing and permit decisions

Licensing & Permit Committee PictureOn Wednesday night, the Common Council met and ruled on several licensing and permit issues.  These are summarized below:

  • Seven new operator’s (bartender) licenses were approved, subject to various amounts of demerit points.
  • One new taxi driver’s license was approved, subject to 90 demerit points.  Two others were denied.

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Simmons Field gets approved for conditional use permit

Simmons Field 1_optAt last night’s City Plan Commission meeting, two agenda items were acted upon.  The first had to do with a conditional use permit for a renovation to the stadium at Simmons Field at 7817 Sheridan Road, requested by The Northwoods League.  The field is located in the 12th district.

Vern Stenman of the Northwoods League, said that they’ve developed their plans further since the last time he appeared before the commission.  They’ve been fine-tuning the plan, and they are ready to bid the work.

Stenman said that Alderperson Steve Bostrom pointed out an inaccuracy in the plan to him.  The elevation of the front entry gate was inaccurate.  The back entry gate along the right field line should be an attractive entrance.  Stedman said that they will make the adjustment, and the rendering will then show accurately.

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Meeting on old KYF building

KYF_opt(1)Alderperson Chris Schwartz, 2nd district, will be hosting a community meeting regarding the old KYF building project, located at 720 – 59th Place.  The meeting will take place at 6 pm on Tuesday, January 29th, at the Kenosha Public Museum, 5500 First Avenue, in Room 119.

David Nankin, the property owner/developer of the housing project, as well as former mayor John Antaramian, a consultant for this project, will be available to discuss this development.

Discussions will include the following:

  • Refreshing Kenosha residents with the development plan for the building;
  • Educating people what Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) tax credits are, what type of WHEDA program the developer is applying for, and why this is not being developed as a full market rate building; and
  • Discussing the property management plan for this building and the developer’s current management skills in other local properties.

All interested parties are invited to attend.

Peanuts . . . naturally

Traveling-exhibits-PNThe Kenosha Public Museum will host a new exhibit starting on Saturday, January 26th.  It’s called “Peanuts . . . Naturally.”  Featuring the comic cartoon artwork of Charles M. Schulz, it’s a light-hearted look at Schulz’s exploration of the natural world through Peanuts comic strips, videos, objects, and interactive stations.  The exhibit will be on display in the Touhey Gallery until April 28th.  There are also Peanuts items for sale in the gift shop.

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Police chief says crime stats up

Kenosha-Police-Dept-Badge-Logo-webAt this morning’s Police and Fire Commission meeting, Police Chief John Morrissey talked about the 2o12 crime statistics.  He provided some unaudited numbers.  There were 111,177 calls for service last year, compared to 107,114 in 2011.  Arrests were up slightly, from 10,592 in 2011, to 10,662 in 2012.  Traffic citations went from 15,873 in 2011, to 17,387 in 2012.

The Community Service Officer (CSO) program, a new program in 2012, had no 2011 statistics for comparison.  The CSO calls for service totaled 6,706.  CSO court citations were 309, and CSO trap calls totaled 809.

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Keys to the municipal building a big issue

Keyless SystemThe resolution by Alderperson Kevin Mathewson (8th district) to direct that all alderpersons be given a key to the municipal office building was a major topic of discussion at three meetings earlier tonight.  The item appeared on the Public Works Committee, Finance Committee, and Common Council meeting agendas.

At the Public Works Committee meeting, Alderperson Jan Michalski said that, as long as he’s been an alderperson, he has not had a key.  He said that he realizes it might be financially burdensome for some alderpersons to go to a coffee shop with their constituents, but there are other public places to meet, like the library.  Plus, he mentioned other issues regarding liability, logistics, etc.  He also said that the issue would be moot anyway since the mayor said that a keyless system was being looked into.

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“Reviving the dream through education”

Arthel Howell, chief of police of the city of Racine Police Department, keynote speaker

Arthel Howell, chief of police of the city of Racine Police Department, keynote speaker

“Reviving the Dream Through Education” was the theme of the 19th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration which was held earlier this afternoon at the Madrigrano Auditorium at Gateway Technical College.  The room was packed with supporters, award winners, and their families.

The celebration started out with a video entitled, “Martin, Can You Hear Us?,” sung by Elaine Biggs, courtesy of YouTube.  The words repeated, “Martin, can you hear us crying?  Can you hear us now?”

Jacqueline Morris, chair of this year’s committee, then made the introductory remark that they were happy to honor Dr. King on President Obama’s second inauguration day.  Today is the observance of Dr. King’s birthday, and this is Gateway’s 19th annual celebration.

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Other Kindness Week activities

Kindness WeekIn addition to the Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration being held today at the Marigrano Auditorium at Gateway Technical College, 3520 – 30th Avenue, at 12 noon, there are other Kindness Week activities planned throughout the upcoming week:

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

The Kenosha Unified School District Theatre presents “Dessa Rose,” a musical drama about a white woman and a black woman in 1847, at 6 pm, at Bradford High School, 3700 Washington Road.  A discussion on race relations in the community will follow.  There is a $5 admission fee.

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“Around the Corner with John McGivern”

McGivernThe City of Kenosha will be featured in an upcoming episode of “Around the Corner with John McGivern” on Milwaukee Public Television. The public is invited to attend a preview of the program, hosted by McGivern, at 7 pm on Monday, January 21st, at the Rhode Center for the Arts, 514 – 56th Street.

The program will be presented at 7 pm on Thursday, January 24th, on Channel 10. The show will be repeated at 8 pm on Friday, January 25th, on Channel 36.

McGivern, an Emmy-winning actor and broadcast personality, explores communities and neighborhoods in the area during a series of 13 half-hour shows this season. An interview with Mayor Keith Bosman is included in his
presentation on Kenosha. Other highlights include the area museums and businesses, the downtown district, charter fishing, and Velodrome bike racing.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., observance


There will be a19th annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration on Monday, January 21st, at 12 noon.  The celebration is called, “Reviving the Dream through Education.”  It will take place at the Gateway Technical College Kenosha Campus Madrigrano Auditorium, 3520 – 30th Avenue, in Kenosha.  Doors open at 11:15 am, and a reception will follow the program.  The keynote speaker will be Arthel Howell, chief of police of the city of Racine Police Department.

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Briese’s Brew and Grill demolished

Briese’s Brew and Grill, at the corner of Highway E and 22nd Avenue, in Kenosha, is being town down.  Built in 1976, the restaurant and banquet hall was originally known as the Pub and Grub.  It also has been the home of other businesses, including Pepper’s and Brewmaster’s North, as well as Briese’s.

Below are some pictures and a video taken of the demolition in progress earlier this morning:

Briese 001_opt

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Northwoods League meeting

One of the team owners, Vern Stenman, addressing the crowd.

One of the team owners, Vern Stenman, addressing the crowd.

There were about 150 people present at the Northwoods League Baseball meeting, which was held tonight at the Civil War Museum.  Mayor Keith Bosman and members of the league signed the lease agreement.  Refreshments, including brats, popcorn, peanuts, soda, water, cotton candy, and bacon glazed doughnut cheeseburgers, were served.

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CVS Pharmacy license vote deferred to fix sales numbers

Licensing & Permit Committee PictureOn Monday night, the Licensing & Permit Committee met.  One of the agenda items was the application of Wisconsin CVS Pharmacy, LLC, for a beer/liquor license located at 3710 – 57th Avenue, in the 5th district.   The application requested that the license be effective on January 24, 2013.  Michael Martin, agent, was present, as well as the CVS district manager.

Alderperson Rocco LaMacchia, alderperson for the district, said that he was supportive of the application.  “They’ve installed card readers, gates, cameras.  The expensive liquor will be locked up,” he said.  Alderperson Anthony Kennedy pointed out the second page of the application.  The sales figures on the application stated that the stores does $140,000 in beer sales per month, as well as $251,000 in beer sales for the year.  The committee voted unanimously to defer the application to the next meeting to give the applicants a chance to amend these figures.  (If sales figures are not met, the committee has the authority to pull the license.)

Below is a summary of other agenda item votes:

  • Seven new operator’s (bartender) licenses were approved, some with demerit points attached; one was deferred.

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Play ball!

Northwoods_League_LogoThe Northwoods Baseball League is hosting a “Kenosha Baseball First Pitch” event this evening at the Civil War Museum, 5400 First Avenue, in downtown Kenosha.  The public is invited to see the league’s plans for its Kenosha team, including renovations of Simmons Field.  The free program starts at 6:30 pm.

The event will feature music by our own K-Town Dixie Ramblers (for the first hour), children’s games and ballpark food — including something they call a “Bacon Glazer Doughnut Cheeseburger.”  There will also be popcorn, brats, peanuts, and cotton candy.

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Parking restrictions change

No Parking SignAt Monday night’s Public Safety & Welfare Committee meeting, a proposed ordinance to repeal and recreate a subsection of the code of general ordinances was discussed to allow for exceptions to certain parking restrictions.  This had to do with public utility vehicles.

The ordinance change has to do with the parking of certain motor vehicles and equipment prohibited on the exterior of any residential property and on any public street, highway, alley, thoroughfare or right-of-way in any residential zoning district of the city.

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Disciplinary hearings ordinance change gets shot down

Disciplinary HearingsAt Monday’s Licensing & Permit Committee meeting, the proposed ordinance change sponsored by the committee was unanimously approved without the change that Alderperson David Bogdala, 17th district, first presented at the Common Council meeting last week.  To read what was discussed at that meeting, click here:  “Liquor License Quota Ends.”

Bogdala again brought up the language that had been discussed with Chairman Jesse Downing two weeks ago.  The amendment was to add the language, “or any other person where there is a contractual client relationship of trust or reliance.”  He cited the rationale as being the Supreme court decision.  The language comes from it.  He felt that was in the spirit of the ordinance.  He wanted to make sure someone had an actual relationship with the licensee being heard at the hearing.  He wanted it to coincide with the Supreme Court decision.  He felt that it would avoid undue litigation moving forward.

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Louisiana travelogue on Friday


Another travelogue in the Kenosha Public Museum’s 76th annual season will be shown on Friday, January 18th, at the Reuther High School Auditorium, 58th Street and Sheridan Road, in Kenosha.  It’s entitled, “Hello Louisiana/Bonjour Louisiane, presented by Monty and Marsha Brown.  They will be narrating the digital presentation.  It starts at 7 pm, and it’s free and open to the public.

Other upcoming travelogues include:

  • February 8, 2013 – The Heart of San Francisco, by Sandy Mortimer
  • March 8, 2013 – Afghanistan and Pakistan, by Marlin Darrah
  • March 22, 2013 – The Great Trans-American Train Ride, by Doug Jones

A travelogue is a professional 90-minute presentation shown on a big screen with one intermission.  It documents interesting places around the world, describing art, music, architecture, culture, and history from a first-person perspective.  Travelogues are produced in an enhanced digital format and narrated live by the filmmaker.

Travelogues open the world for people of all ages, enhancing student classroom experiences and enabling adults to relive (or plan for) vacations and business trips around the world.

For more information, call (262) 653-4140, or visit:

Yield signs to go up on 70th Street

Yield signsEven though the alderperson of the district (8th district, Kevin Mathewson) requested stop signs be placed at three intersections, the Public Safety & Welfare Committee approved yield signs.  This was approved unanimously at the meeting yesterday.

The intersections in question are:

  • 35th Avenue and 70th Street;
  • 36th Avenue and 70th Street; and
  • 38th Avenue and 70th Street.

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Kennedy Park picked for handicapped accessible playground

DREAM PLAYGROUNDAt tonight’s Board of Park Commissioners meeting, Jeff Warnock, parks superintendent, stated that his recommendation for the location of Kenosha’s handicapped accessible playground is Kennedy Park.  Warnock said that he has worked with Tammy Conforti, the spearhead of the project, and they reveiwed three locations.  He and Shelly Billingsley, director of engineering, and Conforti took a ride to Port Washington to view the model for Kenosha’s playground in person.  That site is in a nice setting, on a bluff.  They wanted to try to duplicate it as much as possible and pick a lakefront location, one that would fit the footings of the playground.

South of the dead end of Washington Road was chosen so as not to block the sight of the lake, rather than the north side.  Homes are at street level there.    Other locations reviewed were Tot Park and Simmon’s Island.  “Of course,” said Warnock, the Park Commissioners would choose where it goes.  But, we felt that it was a centralized location, close to the museums, Scoops, Trolley Dogs, within walking distance,” said Warnock.

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Neighborhood Watch programs bring safety to communities

This is the latest in a series of articles that will regularly appear on from Kenosha Police Department crime prevention unit officers Jeff Wamboldt and Ron Francis:

“It works!” was the most common answer given by Neighborhood Watch (NW)  participants when asked why people of Kenosha should start an NW program in their neighborhoods.

“It’s also fun,” said Angie Howard, NW block captain.  “When our group gets together, it’s like having a party.  We have become such great friends.  Not only have we learned how to keep ourselves safe, but I now have another group of friends.”

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Kenosha Engine Plant II

More pictures were taken yesterday at the former Chrysler Kenosha Engine Plant, 5555 – 30th Avenue.  Most of the newest building is down now.  These pictures were taken off 60th Street:

KEP 2 002_opt

KEP 2 001_opt

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Mayor’s Youth Commission clothing drive

The City of Kenosha Mayor’s Youth Commission is sponsoring their third annual winter clothing and food drive from January 8th through the 15th, 2013. The group is seeking donations of new and gently used winter clothing for all ages, along with hygiene supplies, non-perishable food items and new undergarments.

Donation boxes are located at the following locations:

  • Piggly Wiggly, 7600 Pershing Blvd.
  • Kenosha Public Museum, 5500 First Avenue
  • First Assembly Church, 10700 – 75th Street
  • Kenosha Public Library, 1500 – 27th Avenue

If you have questions or need assistance with donations, please contact Kimberly Voss at (262) 818-7077.

KPD communications equipment

At Monday’s Board of Water Commissioners meeting, authorization was given to allow Kenosha County to install 4.9 GHz communications equipment on two Kenosha Water Utility elevated tanks that currently have city of Kenosha Police Department (KPD) communications equipment for a trial period not to exceed six months.

Ed St. Peter, general manager of Kenosha’s Water Utility, showed the piece of equipment that would hang in the tanks.  One of thentanks is the 60th Street tower, the 300-foot tower.  “Right now,” he said, “we are in negotiations.  We’re re-looking at the agreement being modified.”

One of the 4.9 GHz units would be used by the Sheriff’s Department, the KPD and the Kenosha Fire Department, and for other county public safety uses.  The other is a 2.8 GHz unit which is owed by the county and leased to a company called Higher Communication, offering broadband access.  This is a commercial venture.  The county is leasing the equipment to them.

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