Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 17:42
Utility will use procedure to determine where clear water is entering sanitary sewer system
Residents of Port Washington’s west side may notice smoke wafting through their neighborhood in the coming weeks as the city tests its sanitary sewer system.
The testing will allow the city to determine where clear water enters the sanitary sewer system, Wastewater Supt. Dan Buehler said.
Many of the city’s older sewer pipes are clay, some of which are crumbling, allowing water to flow into the system, Buehler said.
This water is then pumped through the system and treated before being released, costing the city money and taking up capacity at the wastewater treatment plant, he said.
If the city can take measures to correct this inflow and infiltration of the sewer system, it can increase the life of its treatment plant, Buehler added.
Among the corrective measures the city can take is lining the existing sewer pipes, which essentially creates a new pipe inside the lines, he said.
During the testing by Strand Associates, smoke will be blown through manholes into the sewer system. In places where clearwater enters the sanitary sewers, the smoke will be able to escape.
Crew members walking along the route will see where the smoke appears, Buehler said.
Among the places where smoke may appear are roof drains, catch basins, foundation drains that are hooked into the sanitary system, cracks in the pavement above the sewers and even lawns, he said.
To prevent smoke from getting into houses, homeowners are asked to pour a bucket of water into floor drains, sinks and other plumbing fixtures that are not used regularly, Buehler said. This will fill the plumbing traps and prevent smoke from getting into homes.
If smoke does appear inside a house, residents are asked to contact the survey team in the area. The smoke will dissipate quickly if a window is opened.
The smoke used is not toxic, Buehler said. It is colorless, odorless and non-staining.
“It’s pretty much harmless,” he said.
The testing was expected to start Wednesday, continue through this week and conclude next Wednesday and Thursday on the city’s northwest side.
The area is bordered by Aster Street on the west side, Pine Cone and Woodland avenues on the north, Grand Avenue on the south and North Park Street on the south.
The following week, from Sept. 11 to 13, testing will be done on the southwest side of the city.
This area is bordered by Wildflower Circle on the west, Indigo Drive and Grand Avenue on the north, Fourth Avenue and Spring Street on the south and South Park Street on the east.
Anyone with questions is asked to call Buehler at 284-5051 or Phil Bzdusek of Strand Associates at (414) 305-9740.
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 18:40
Working ships will help tell story of city’s lakefront heritage at annual celebration
Working ships on Lake Michigan will be highlighted during the 13th annual Maritime Heritage Festival in Port Washington this weekend.
While past festivals have featured tall ships, this year’s event will revolve around working-class vessels such as tugboats, trawlers, Coast Guard ships and harbor-cruising boats, said Sara Grover, executive director of Port Washington Main Street, which sponsors the event.
“These were the workhorses of the Great Lakes,” Grover said. “These are very interesting vessels with stories behind them. We’re giving them time to tell their stories.
“When people come, they won’t be looking up for the tall sails but straight ahead to the horizon that provided Port Washington with its maritime history.”
The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Saturday’s activities will conclude with fireworks shot off from Coal Dock Park at 9:15 p.m.
The ships that will be open for deck tours during the festival include the Susie Q fishing trawler, a new Coast Guard ship and M/V Halten, a 75-foot-long restored Norwegian rescue service trawler.
The Susie Q, which is making a return to the festival, was part of last year’s event, Grover said.
The M/V Halten was built in 1966 and is one of only 13 such vessels in the world.
The Coast Guard’s 45-foot-long response boat features design and safety features to aid crews in various missions.
Handcrafted wooden boats will be moored at the festival, and guided harbor tours will be offered aboard the Lakeside Spirit.
“This will provide a historic maritime perspective,” Grover said. “They’ll have interactive, guided tours, citing the shipwrecks, historic occasions and the old landscape of Port Washington.”
The festival will also include the third annual cardboard boat regatta, a competition that has become one of the event’s most popular attractions.
Last year, roughly 20 vessels made of corrugated cardboard competed for prizes as well as bragging rights by navigating a 175-yard course in the marina.
The regatta will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with boats built in advance competing Saturday. On Sunday, boats built of materials provided by event organizers on the grounds that morning will race.
Awards will be presented at 4 p.m. each day.
The festival also features land-based activities, including educational speakers, interactive displays, music and children’s activities.
Activities aimed at youngsters will include the chance to build mini-sailboats and race them in gutters. Coastie, a Coast Guard robot, will be on hand to talk to children about water safety.
The Department of Natural Resources will have a 22-by-8-foot aquarium with freshwater fish.
There will be maritime crafts and physical activities for children as well.
A variety of food and beverages will be sold in the parking lot behind Duluth Trading Co. Re-enactors will stroll the festival grounds, and there will be an arts and crafts fair in Rotary Park.
Two music stages will also be set up on the festival grounds.
On Friday, Celtic and Irish music will be presented, with The Finn MacCools headlining the Main Stage behind Duluth Trading Co. at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday’s lineup is more eclectic, Grover said, with events capped off by a Main Stage performance by Naima Adedepo, who was a season-10 finalist on “American Idol.”
Adedepo, who will perform at 7:45 p.m., is currently touring with her band, singing soulful pop and rhythm-and-blues music.
Sunday’s concerts will feature a country theme, including a 4:30 p.m. headline concert by the modern country group Saddlebrook.
But the festival won’t be limited to the lakefront grounds.
Wooden model ships from the Weinrich family will be displayed at businesses throughout downtown Port Washington, as well as pictures of anchors. People can pick up a treasure hunt form at the festival’s information or ticket booth, find the 17 ships and anchors, then turn in the forms for their chance at a gift certificate to downtown businesses.
Several other drawings will also be held during the festival.
The Port Washington Historical Society will host maritime heritage displays at its Research Center on Franklin Street throughout the festival, and the Light Station on Johnson Street overlooking downtown will be open as well.
For more information on the festival, to register for the cardboard boat regatta or for cruise tickets, call Port Washington Main Street at (262) 268-1132 or visit www.portmaritimefestival.com.
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 18:38
More than 1,500 notebooks, 2,000 folders, 1,000 glue sticks and 5,000-plus pencils, as well as backpacks, scissors, gym shoes and other items needed by students as they enter school this fall will be distributed to needy families next week.
The donated supplies will be handed out from 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Saukville.
“This is going to be our best year yet,” organizer Bethel Metz said.
The school supply drive was bolstered this year by sizeable donations from Port Washington State Bank and Schmit Bros., she said.
“Last year, we weren’t able to afford gym shoes for the students. This year James Schowalter (of Port State Bank) made it his mission to make sure we would be able to offer them,” Metz said.
Volunteers, supply list in hand, accompany each child as they select the things they need for the school year, Metz said.
“The children get so excited,” she said. “These are things each child needs.
“This is a real loaves and fishes story. We encourage people to take what they need, but to leave what they don’t.”
That’s why last year some of the more than 200 backpacks on hand during the distribution were still there at the end of the day, she said.
Last year, 700 children whose families are experiencing financial difficulties received school supplies through the drive, which this year is being run under the direction of the Saukville Community Food Pantry, Metz said.
“Supplies are expensive,” she said. “If you’re already struggling to put food on the table and make the rent, where do you cut to buy school supplies?
“We’re trying to make sure every child has what they need to go to school.”
Every family attending the distribution Tuesday is invited to enjoy a hamburger and hot dog dinner.
Donations continue to come in, even on the day supplies are distributed, Metz said.
“We will be handing things out and people will walk in the other door of the church with donations,” she said.
People told the volunteers at the distribution that they drove by, saw the line of families and headed to the store or their home, where they collected supplies to drop off, Metz said.
Last year, the line of people stretched from the front door of the church at Highway 33 to Highway O, she said.
Metz, who has organized the drive since it began five years ago, said this is the last time she will be at the helm. Next year, Saukville Food Pantry volunteers will take over the job.
“After five years, it’s time for a fresh look at things and fresh blood,” she said. “Our goal was to turn over the drive to the food pantry, and that’s what we’re able to do.
Written by SARAH McCRAW
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 18:32
Wooded trails in the City of Port Washington could soon provide new terrain for bicyclists looking to go off-roading with the sport of mountain biking.
The Port Washington Parks and Recreation Board on Aug. 8 discussed creating a mountain bike trail system extending from the Ozaukee Interurban Trail onto city land off Lake Street just north of Guenther Pond.
“I think it’s really neat,” Parks and Recreation Director Charlie Imig said. “The thought is to research a little more to see if it could be a volunteer-based thing.”
Imig said enlisting volunteers to help clear brush and build boardwalks on city-owned land would help lower the project costs.
Mayor Tom Mlada said several people recently suggested the city create a mountain bike trail system.
“I think if you cleared off some of the pathways, you could get a loop that would be of interest (to bicyclists),” Mlada said. “So it could be fitting for us as a city to look into and maybe reach out to see if they’d be willing to help.”
In addition to the trails, Imig said, a series of ramps for bicyclists could be developed on city-owned land directly south of the skateboard park off Moore Road.
“It’s kind of like a skate park, but for bikes,” he said.
A bicycle course would add to an area of the city that has been redeveloped to provide a number of outdoor activities.
“When you’re over there, all of a sudden you have an entertainment space in a defined park area,” he said. “You’ve got the horseshoes, you’ve got the bocce court, the skate park and you’d have the bike ramps.
“It would actually be a phenomenal reclamation of what was kind of a dumpy area.”
A basic closed-course starts at $10,000, Mlada said, adding that the skateboard park is not designed for bicycles.
“If you can create some designated zones, it creates a safer space for play,” he said.
The ramps and off-road trails are separate projects intended to attract both youth and adult riders to the community, Mlada said.
Imig said he will research the feasibility of both options for the city.
In other business, the board:
• Voted to apply to become an official bird city. Ozaukee County was the first county in the state to receive this recognition.
• Approved including a full-time recreation coordinator position to the proposed 2014 Parks and Recreation Department budget. The coordinator would be responsible for writing grants, working with volunteers, conducting on-line program registration, promoting events and partnering with area businesses on community events.
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 18:44
Medical condition suspected in death of third inmate to die in last two months, but sheriff asks for independent investigation
Sheriff’s department officials believe a Grafton man who was found dead in his Ozaukee County jail cell Sunday — just two months after two other inmates committed suicide — died of a medical condition probably related to drug abuse, Undersheriff Jim Johnson said Monday.
Emanuel M. Washington, 53, who was found unconscious in a special holding cell at 2:48 a.m. Aug. 11, was being treated for heroin withdrawal in the jail, Johnson said.
Washington was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 7, for driving while intoxicated and had been in jail since 11:52 p.m. that day, according to the sheriff’s department.
Washington is the third Ozaukee County inmate to die or suffer fatal injuries while in the jail since June 5.
On June 9, Bridgitt A. Moorehead, 41, who authorities said was from Charleston, S.C., but listed a motel in Mequon as her address, was found dead in her single-person cell at around 7:50 a.m. Moorehead, who had been arrested by Mequon police and was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, hung herself with bedding, authorities said.
A week later, at 10:47 p.m. Sunday, June 16, 42-year-old Sonia Mojica of Port Washington was found unresponsive in her single-person cell. Mojica, who was charged with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and bail jumping, hung herself using bedding but was revived by deputies and emergency medical technicians, according to the sheriff’s department. She died June 22 at a hospital.
The sheriff’s department investigated the deaths, which authorities said were unrelated, and determined they were suicides. Johnson said both women went through standard suicide screenings and showed no indication they were likely to take their lives.
The sheriff’s department is now investigating the death of Washington and have asked the Washington County Sheriff’s Department to conduct an independent investigation.
“We believe he (Washington) died of natural causes or because of a medical condition,” said Johnson, who noted that Washington suffered from high blood pressure. “We have no evidence of any sort of external cause, but we have requested Washington County review the incident to make sure there is transparency.”
A autopsy was performed but the medical examiner will not release a report until the results of toxicology tests are available, Johnson said.
When Washington was brought to the jail after being arrested for driving while intoxicated, he was given a preliminary test that showed he had no alcohol in his system, Johnson said.
But he exhibited signs of drug use and was put on the jail’s standard heroin withdrawal protocol, Johnson said. He was being given Suboxone, a drug commonly used to treat the symptoms of withdrawal, and was being held in a special high-visibility cell within the jail’s holding area so deputies could watch him closely.
At 2:48 a.m. Sunday, a jailer conducting a regular jail inspection saw Washington presumably sleeping but decided to go into the cell and check on him, Johnson said.
“One of our deputies thought there was something unusual, so he got another deputy for security reasons and went in (the cell),” said Johnson, who added he does not know why the deputy became concerned about Washington.
Deputies worked unsuccessfully for about 40 minutes to resuscitate Washington, according to the sheriff’s department. Although he was arrested for first-offense driving while intoxicated — a traffic offense punishable by a fine and license suspension — Washington was being held in jail for allegedly violating the conditions of his probation ordered in another case.
According to court records, Washington pleaded guilty in February 2008 to a felony charge of possession with intent to deliver heroin in Milwaukee County and was sentenced to four years in prison and four years extended supervision.
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 18:25
Organizers of lakefront tributes for Port teen, man who drowned last year launch fundraising efforts
Although it will be sometime next month before Coal Dock Park will likely be opened to the public, efforts are under way to build memorials to 15-year-old Tyler Buczek there.
Buczek drown off the city’s north beach last Labor Day weekend, and there are plans to create a pavilion and a memorial bench in the park in his memory.
Coal Dock Park is an ideal place for the memorials because it’s a place Tyler would have loved, his uncle Jim Buczek, a member of the city’s Waterfront Safety Committee, said.
“He probably would have spent a lot of time in the park, fishing or playing football with his friends,” he said.
The pavilion is an effort being spearheaded by Waterfront Safety Committee, while the bench is a project headed by Port Washington Boy Scout Max Noll, a friend of Buczek.
“I was on the beach the day he passed,” Noll said. “It was a hard time.”
He originally considered putting up signs earning people about rip currents as his Eagle Scout project, but Tyler’s relatives suggested the bench instead, Noll said.
“It’s a nice way to remember him,” he said.
Noll, a Port High School student and member of Troop 855, has obtained all the city approvals he needs for the project, and is now starting to raise the needed funds.
It will take about $2,500 to create the bench, which will have a sail-like canopy over it, Noll said. He’d like to raise $3,000, though, noting that will give him a cushion in case the cost
is greater than expected.
Any excess funds will go toward the Tyler Buczek Scholarship Fund, he said.
So far, he’s raised about $900, Noll said, primarily from a change jar at Dockside Deli and from contributions from family and friends.
He recently started seeking donations from others as well, and he plans to ask civic groups as well.
In addition, Noll said, he will hold a brat fry in conjunction with a Corvette show at the former EVS auto dealership on South Spring Street on Aug. 18.
“I’d like to get it done before the end of the year,” Noll said.
Jim Buczek said the pavilion — which will also honor Peter Dougherty, who drowned off South Beach last spring — is expected to cost about $90,000, although organizers are
hoping to get donations of labor and materials that will offset the cost.
They hope to raise half the funds by the time an opening celebration for Coal Dock Park is held Sept. 28 and 29 so a groundbreaking ceremony can be held then, Buczek said.
“It would be awesome to do that,” he said, noting construction could then begin in spring.
Memorial bricks that will make up the floor of the pavilion are being sold to help raise the funds, he said, and organizers are also talking to the Grafton Blues Association about the
possibility of holding a concert and silent auction later this year.
They are also seeking donations, he said, noting these can be dropped off at City Hall.
Crews are working on the landscaping, including city workers who still have to plant more than 100 trees, said Randy Tetzlaff, the city’s director of planning and development.
Crews also working on the boulevard island at the entrance to the park, and need to install bricks for the crosswalk there, he said.
Some electrical wires need to be replaced before the lighting is operative, Tetzlaff said.
“It might be close to a month yet before we have lights there,” he said.
Mayor Tom Mlada noted that the city will hold a celebration at the park on Sept. 28 and 29, perhaps including a run and walk that would showcase the city’s lakefront. A preliminary route included roughly four miles along the lakefront, he said.
For more information on the pavilion project, e-mail
. information on the memorial bricks can be found at www.tylerbuczek.donationbricks.com.