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News & Notes: Sept. 11

Sept. 11, 2012

Proposed temple heads to Plan Commission

Greenfield - The Greenfield Plan Commission was expected to consider a conceptual review Tuesday of what is shaping up to be a controversial proposal to build a Buddhist temple at 44th Street and Edgerton Avenue.

Some neighbors have objected because they say the temple would be too large for the 1.5-acre site.

The meeting took place after press deadline. Go online atGreenfieldNOW.com for updated information.

City might allow cellphone antennas downtown

West Allis - The West Allis Common Council will hold a public hearing on whether telecommunications equipment should be allowed downtown.

The city has received a request from a cellphone carrier to put antennas and associated equipment at 7400 W. Greenfield Ave.

The hearing on that request will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at the City Hall, 7525 W. Greenfield Ave. A separate hearing will be held that night on the specific request.

Death could be from West Nile virus

Greenfield - The recent death of a Greenfield women in her 70s may have been due to the West Nile virus, the Greenfield Health Department said.

Official confirmation linking this death, and another in the area, is pending further testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

West Nile virus is spread to people by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. While 80 percent of people bitten by an infected mosquito experience no symptoms at all and most of the other 20 percent have only a mild illness, individuals older than 50 are most at risk, health officials said.

Symptoms usually are fever, headache, eye pain, muscle aches, joint pain, a rash, swollen lymph nodes, nausea and vomiting. Less than 1 percent of people infected with the West Nile virus become severely ill. Symptoms of severe illness include extreme muscle weakness, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), paralysis and coma. In rare cases the infection may be fatal, particularly in the elderly and people with other medical conditions.

The department is recommending taking extra precautions against mosquitoes: To decrease exposure to mosquitoes:

Limit the time spent outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are active (June to September) or other times mosquitoes are active;

Wear shoes, socks, long-sleeve shirts and long pants when outdoors;

Apply insect repellents containing an EPA-registered ingredient, such as DEET to exposed skin when outdoors;

Spray clothing with insect repellents;

Make sure screens are in good repair; and

Eliminate or reduce mosquito breeding sites and sources of standing water on your property.

Hearings on restaurant, martial arts school

West Allis - Public hearings will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 2 regarding a proposed coffee shop/restaurant in downtown West Allis and a martial arts academy.

The hearings on granting special-use permits will be at the City Hall, 7525 W. Greenfield Ave.

Joe's Café would have outdoor dining at 7028 W. Greenfield Ave.

The Wings Academy Taekwondo martial arts school would be inside a multi-tenant commercial building at 1520 S. 84th St.

Those who cannot attend the hearings can express their opinions in writing to the city clerk beforehand.

Resident blasts city on lack of shopping

West Allis - The city has come under fire from a resident critical of the demise of one of West Allis' commercial districts.

Carol Graham told the Common Council on Sept. 4 that the area of Burnham Avenue and 60th Street used to be a vibrant commercial district - including a bakery, a dime store, a jeweler and other retail businesses - but is now filled with empty storefronts that the city should do something about.

"Everything you needed was there, and you've let it go to waste," said Graham, who has lived in the area for 67 years.

The east end of town is badly neglected, she said.

Reacting after the meeting, Alderman Tom Lajsic said, "We've spent a tremendous amount of money on the east end."

The city has created special tax incremental financing districts there and is working on redeveloping the former Pressed Steel Tank and Teledyn sites, he said.

But those small businesses that Graham was talking about will never come back, he said.

"We had all kinds of neighborhood shopping districts," he said. "Supermarkets and big boxes put them out of business."

John Stibal agreed. "We've been very aggressive with redevelopment," he said. "There can't be what there used to be because the marketplace has changed."

Assessments to rise along with construction cost

West Allis - Business and residential property owners who have to help pay for street paving, sidewalk and alley work, as well as a whole range of other work, near their land may find some of those costs a bit higher next year.

Though the consumer price index shows only a small increase in the cost of living, construction costs appear to be on the rise, said Michael Lewis, West Allis director of public works.

The special assessments the city charges will go up 5 percent, based on actual bids the city received, Lewis said. The Common Council last week approved the 5 percent increase for next year.

That increase would mean a property owner would pay $136.35, about $6.50 more, for a 5-foot sidewalk slab next year.

Department forced to cut back on immunizations

Greenfield - Due to the elimination of federal funding effective Oct. 1, the Greenfield Health Department will no longer be able to vaccinate those who have insurance that covers vaccines.

However, the department will continue to provide vaccinations for those without insurance, those on BadgerCare or other state health insurance, and those whose insurance doesn't cover vaccines. Staff will assess insurance status at the time parents make an appointment.

The department estimates that the loss of federal funds will impact more than 26 percent of all the people the department served during the past year.

The only other exceptions to this policy will be flu vaccine for school-age children, as well as all pertussis vaccines, due to the current statewide outbreak.

Assuring the full vaccination of Greenfield children is an important department goal, a health official said. School-age population is almost 97 percent fully vaccinated.

The cut in federal funding coincides with a recent change required by the Affordable Care Act that provides coverage of preventive services - including vaccination without impacting insurance deductibles. Though the vaccine cost is not applicable to the insurance deductibles, doctors' office visit fees and administration fees may apply.

West Allis official leads consortium to national honor

West Allis - The city's Health department director, Darren Rausch, is chairman of a 13-community consortium that was recognized for exceptional emergency preparedness by the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

The organization honored the consortium for being ready to handle large-scale public health emergencies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took part in the selection process.

The consortium demonstrated that member agencies can work collaboratively to handle bioterrorism events, new epidemics, natural disasters and other public health related emergencies.

Since 2006, only 270 local public health agencies out of about 2,800 health departments across the nation have received the recognition.

Time to sign up for rec programs, classes

West Allis - The West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation and Community Services Department's fall lineup of program offerings is now in the hands of all school district residents.

Additional copies are available at the School District Administration Center, 1205 S. 70th St.; West Allis City Hall, 7525 W. Greenfield Ave.; the West Allis Public Library, 7421 W. National Ave.; and at West Milwaukee Village Hall, 4755 W. Beloit Road.

A digital copy is available at wawmrec.com.

More information is available at wawmrec@wawm.k12.wi.us and at (414) 604-4900.

Podium donated as Eagle Scout project

Greenfield - An Eagle Scout has donated an awards podium to Greenfield High School that is large enough to honor six winning athletes.

Shaun Fleischhacker built the podium with the help of other members of Scout Troop 600 for his Eagle Scout project. He and the troop officially donated the podium to the school at a recent the July 23 Greenfield School Board meeting.

He told the board that, as a member of the school's swim team, he noticed that other schools have such podiums and he wanted Greenfield to have one too, to enhance its image.

Old freight property could be worth $6 million

West Allis - A $6 million development might be coming to the former Yellow Freight Terminal property at 11528 W. Rogers St., said Patrick Schloss, community development manager.

The city is working with a development firm that has a tenant needing about 60,000 square feet. Although the firm is looking at other locations, a development agreement that would cement the project in West Allis could come in the next two or three months, Schloss said.

Meanwhile, West Allis is working on cleaning any environmental contaminants at the site.

Booster clubs still able to get parking money

West Allis - Once again, the booster clubs of the city's two high schools were able to get money from offering parking on city land across from State Fair Park during fair time.

Although a large hotel development has been announced for the redevelopment area, the parking continued to be available as a revenue source for the groups.

However, this year they have to split those revenues 50-50 with the city, which is more than they contributed last year. But the city will keep the money in the redevelopment district and use it to get the property onto the tax rolls faster.

Customers longing for Silvers' seafood

West Allis - Lovers of the Long John Silver's products, until recently part of a Taco Bell franchise on 60th Street and National Avenue, will now have to fill there taste needs elsewhere.

Like Long John Silver's in Oak Creek and Burlington, the West Allis restaurant shared a building with Taco Bell. That arrangement was fine for years, because both restaurant brands were owned by the same company, Yum! Brands Inc., based in Louisville, Ky.

But last September, Yum sold Long John Silver's, along with A&W, as part of a strategy to devote more of the company's resources to expand in Asian markets.

The Taco Bell franchisees have expanded into the space that the Long John Silvers occupied in West Allis, Oak Creek and Burlington. The nearest Long John Silver location is now in Saukville, north of Cedarburg.

Junior nationals held at Romine's High Pockets

Greenfield - Romine's High Pockets in Greenfield was host to a prestigious 24th annual Billiard Education Foundation Junior National 9-Ball Championships.

More than 130 junior billiard players, ages 8 to 18, from 28 states Billiard players competed for prizes and the chance to represent the United States at the 2012 World Pool-Billiard Association World Junior 9-Ball Championships.

Romine's High Pockets has 42 pool tables.

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