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Blues Factory proposal rolls on despite objections from residents PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Friday, 21 August 2015 16:10

Port Plan Commission endorses plan for harborfront land as protests over sale of land, factory-inspired design continue

    A crowd of about 35 people, many of them opponents of the proposed sale of a city-owned lakefront parking lot for a Paramount blues-themed complex, reiterated their objections to the concept Thursday when it was presented to the Port Washington Plan Commission.

    “I just feel it’s out of place. It’s out of character with the harbor,” said Mary Lou Wagner, 910 Hales Trail. “Here you have this great, grand view of the whole harbor area. You’re going to plunk this big ugly building right in the middle and spoil the view.”

    The Plan Commission unanimously endorsed the Blues Factory proposal, which now goes before the Common Council on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

    The council, which meets at 7:30 p.m., will decide whether to begin negotiating a developer’s agreement for the sale of the parking lot with Christopher Long, president and CEO of the Blues Factory Inc.

    That agreement would cover a wide variety of topics, including a sale price for the land and potentially the $1 million in tax incremental financing development incentives sought by Long.

    The Blues Factory proposal calls for a 15,000-square-foot building to be constructed on the parking lot at the end of the north slip marina along Washington Street.

    The two-story building would include a cultural and education space dedicated to the history of the Wisconsin Chair Co., which once stood on the lot, and its subsidiary Paramount Records, a performance hall that could seat 185 people, a restaurant and a banquet facility that could accommodate 350 people.blues

    Parking was the big issue of the night, with residents and some commission members questioning where the many people expected to attend banquets and performances would park.

    Commission member Bud Sova questioned whether Blues Factory patrons would compete with marina tenants for nearby parking spaces. The marina parking lots, he said, are for tenants and their guests.

    “I’m concerned about parking clashes. That marina’s been here for a long time. We don’t want to hurt that,” he said. “If they (marina tenants) get there and don’t have a place to park, they’re going to be very unhappy.

    “We need to find a way to make that work.”

    Director of Public Works Rob Vanden Noven said use of the parking lot could be shared, noting the highest traffic for the Blues Factory would likely be later in the day, when traffic at the marina is less.

    The problem isn’t the number of spaces in downtown, City Planner Randy Tetzlaff said.

    “It’s a management problem that needs to be addressed,” he said.

    A recent parking study showed that the city has an abundance of parking, Tetzlaff said, even if it isn’t directly adjacent to the building.

    Tetzlaff noted that city officials asked Long if he was concerned about parking when he initially proposed the Blues Factory, and he is not.

    Ald. Dan Becker, a member of the commission, said when the parking study was unveiled he was “shocked” by the results. But, he added, the biggest parking complaint he’s heard is not that there aren’t enough spaces but that parking isn’t available directly in front of places people want to visit.

    He would rather see visitors park a few blocks away because they would then see what else the city has to offer, Becker said.

    “I don’t see that issue (parking) at all,” he said.



 
Man gets nine years in prison for possession of child porn PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 20:25

Grafton resident sentenced after lawyer, prosecutor, judge agree he should be behind bars

    A 29-year-old Grafton man who was caught with a collection of child pornography deserves to go to prison, his lawyer, the prosecutor and a judge agreed.

    The point of contention was for how long, and it was settled Monday by Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Sandy Williams, who sentenced Brian M. Miswald to nine years in prison followed by six years of extended supervision.

    “There probably isn’t anyone in this courtroom whose stomach isn’t turning because of the crimes you committed,” Williams told Miswald. “This court cannot ignore the impact of these crimes. Every time someone watches child pornography, another child is abused.”

    Williams and Assistant District Attorney Patti Wabitsch noted that watching child pornography is not a victimless crime. Nothing, they said, makes that more clear than the statement of a woman whose father raped her when she was a child, videotaped the assault and distributed it on the Internet. The video was one of those found on Miswald’s computers.

    “I live every day with the horrible knowledge that many people somewhere are watching the most terrifying moments of my life and taking grotesque pleasure in them,” the woman wrote.

    “I am a victim of the worst kind of exploitation — child porn. Unlike other forms of exploitation, this one is never ending. Everyday, people are trading and sharing videos of me as a little girl being raped in the most sadistic ways. They don’t know me, but they have seen every part of me. They are being entertained by my shame and pain.”

    Miswald’s lawyer, Mark Langholz, did not downplay the seriousness of his client’s crimes and noted that the criminal justice system plays an important role in stemming child pornography by dealing sternly with offenders.

    “The public needs to understand, and I think they do, that if anyone views those images, regardless of whether you created them or shared them, you will be a sex offender and you will go to prison for years,” he said.

    But, Langholz argued, Miswald can be rehabilitated and become a productive member of society. He recommended a five-year prison sentence followed by a lengthy period of extended supervision, which would allow Miswald to receive the treatment he needs.

    “I don’t believe Mr. Miswald is a lost cause,” said Langholz, who noted that his client did not have a criminal record prior to the child porn case.

    Charles Lodl, a psychologist who spoke during the sentencing hearing at the request of Langholz, said Miswald suffers from “very serious mental illness” that needs to be treated prior to dealing with his sexual deviancy.

    He said Miswald should be incarcerated at the Wisconsin Resource Center, a prison and mental health facility, so he can receive treatment.

    Williams agreed, but said that determination must be made by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

    Miswald was arrested in November 2014 after a special agent with the Department of Justice traced a computer being used to distribute child pornography to Miswald’s home.

    Authorities seized two hard drives that contained child pornography from his bedroom and Miswald admitted to downloading the material, according to the criminal complaint.

    Miswald was charged with 11 counts of possession of child pornography, a felony punishable by a maximum 15 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision. He pleaded no contest to three of those charges in April.

    He has been held in jail in lieu of $50,000 bail since his arrest.Daily Press

    In addition to sentencing Miswald to prison, Williams fined him $5,500 and ordered him to pay $5,000 in restitution.

    As conditions of Miswald’s extended supervision, Williams ordered him to maintain absolute sobriety, continue recommended treatment and not to use an Internet-capable device or have contact with people younger than 18 without the approval of his supervising agent.

    By virtue of his crimes, Miswald must register as a sex offender.



 
Man gets nine years in prison for possession of child porn PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 20:25

Grafton resident sentenced after lawyer, prosecutor, judge agree he should be behind bars

    A 29-year-old Grafton man who was caught with a collection of child pornography deserves to go to prison, his lawyer, the prosecutor and a judge agreed.

    The point of contention was for how long, and it was settled Monday by Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Sandy Williams, who sentenced Brian M. Miswald to nine years in prison followed by six years of extended supervision.

    “There probably isn’t anyone in this courtroom whose stomach isn’t turning because of the crimes you committed,” Williams told Miswald. “This court cannot ignore the impact of these crimes. Every time someone watches child pornography, another child is abused.”

    Williams and Assistant District Attorney Patti Wabitsch noted that watching child pornography is not a victimless crime. Nothing, they said, makes that more clear than the statement of a woman whose father raped her when she was a child, videotaped the assault and distributed it on the Internet. The video was one of those found on Miswald’s computers.

    “I live every day with the horrible knowledge that many people somewhere are watching the most terrifying moments of my life and taking grotesque pleasure in them,” the woman wrote.

    “I am a victim of the worst kind of exploitation — child porn. Unlike other forms of exploitation, this one is never ending. Everyday, people are trading and sharing videos of me as a little girl being raped in the most sadistic ways. They don’t know me, but they have seen every part of me. They are being entertained by my shame and pain.”

    Miswald’s lawyer, Mark Langholz, did not downplay the seriousness of his client’s crimes and noted that the criminal justice system plays an important role in stemming child pornography by dealing sternly with offenders.

    “The public needs to understand, and I think they do, that if anyone views those images, regardless of whether you created them or shared them, you will be a sex offender and you will go to prison for years,” he said.

    But, Langholz argued, Miswald can be rehabilitated and become a productive member of society. He recommended a five-year prison sentence followed by a lengthy period of extended supervision, which would allow Miswald to receive the treatment he needs.

    “I don’t believe Mr. Miswald is a lost cause,” said Langholz, who noted that his client did not have a criminal record prior to the child porn case.

    Charles Lodl, a psychologist who spoke during the sentencing hearing at the request of Langholz, said Miswald suffers from “very serious mental illness” that needs to be treated prior to dealing with his sexual deviancy.

    He said Miswald should be incarcerated at the Wisconsin Resource Center, a prison and mental health facility, so he can receive treatment.

    Williams agreed, but said that determination must be made by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

    Miswald was arrested in November 2014 after a special agent with the Department of Justice traced a computer being used to distribute child pornography to Miswald’s home.

    Authorities seized two hard drives that contained child pornography from his bedroom and Miswald admitted to downloading the material, according to the criminal complaint.

    Miswald was charged with 11 counts of possession of child pornography, a felony punishable by a maximum 15 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision. He pleaded no contest to three of those charges in April.

    He has been held in jail in lieu of $50,000 bail since his arrest.Daily Press

    In addition to sentencing Miswald to prison, Williams fined him $5,500 and ordered him to pay $5,000 in restitution.

    As conditions of Miswald’s extended supervision, Williams ordered him to maintain absolute sobriety, continue recommended treatment and not to use an Internet-capable device or have contact with people younger than 18 without the approval of his supervising agent.

    By virtue of his crimes, Miswald must register as a sex offender.



 
Golf course burglary under investigation PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 20:24

    The Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department continues to search for the burglars who broke into the county-owned Hawthorne Hills Golf Course clubhouse in the Town of Saukville last week and stole a cash machine.

    Authorities believe that either late Wednesday, Aug. 12, or early the next day, a truck drove around a barricade at the entrance to the golf course at 4720 Hwy. I and over part of the course to the clubhouse, where burglars broke in through a door, Lt. Rodney Galbraith said.

    He said he did not know how much money was in the ATM.

    “We don’t have any suspects yet,” Galbraith said. “We do have some info from Milwaukee police, but we don’t know if that’s related yet.”

    Galbraith said it’s likely the burglars were familiar with the clubhouse.

    “When you and I drive past a golf course, we don’t think, ‘There is probably a cash machine in there to steal,’” he said. “So it’s very possible whoever committed this burglary had been in the clubhouse before.

    “And because the clubhouse is fairly remote and it was dark out, it was probably a fairly easy target.”Daily Press

    Galbraith said he hopes someone saw the truck the night of the burglary or noticed something suspicious at the clubhouse before the break-in.

    Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s department at 284-7172 and ask for the detective bureau or send a text message with the key word OZSO to tip411.

 
Rain barrel art initiative offered in Port PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 20:51

A rain barrel art initiative is being sponsored by the City of Port Washington and Kleen Test Products.

    For the event, which is intended to promote water conservation and showcase local artists, Kleen Test will provide barrels for local artists, volunteers, students and families to paint.

    The goal is to have people paint the barrels in Coal Dock Park and throughout the downtown Saturday, Aug. 22, but they may be painted earlier and brought to the park.

    The painting event is intended to coincide with the visit of the tall ship Denis Sullivan and the city’s farmers market.

    Completed barrels will be displayed on Main Street  from Aug. 23 through Sept. 13. During that time, an online auction for the barrels will be conducted

    Bidding will be at www.biddingowl.com/cityofportwashington.

    Proceeds from the auction will go toward initiatives funded by the city’s Environmental Planning Committee.

    For more information or to reserve a barrel, contact Lisa Zeleske at 284-5585 extension 1009, or visit cityofportwashington.com/rainBarrelArtAuction.

 
Trucks begin moving fly ash in Town of Grafton PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 20:43

Signing of agreement paves way for We Energies to start transferring 3,500 truckloads to Hwy. 32 landfill

    Trucks carrying fly ash from a former dumping ground on Stonecroft Drive in the Town of Grafton to a regulated landfill off Highway 32 were expected to start rolling on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

    An agreement paving the way for the controversial transfer was signed by officials from We Energies and town officials Monday.

    The utility on Monday also put into escrow $185,000 to cover the cost of rebuilding Stonecroft Drive after the transfer is completed, as well as funds to cover the town’s legal and inspection costs.

    “Now, we’ll see how it goes,” Town Chairman Lester Bartel said. “The sooner it gets done, the better.”

    Preparation work at the site began on Tuesday, We Energies spokesman Cathy Schulze said, with ash removal slated to begin on Wednesday.

    The utility plans to move 53,000 cubic yards of fly ash  — an estimated 3,500 truckloads — over the next four to six weeks, she said.

    “The timeline is to have it done, certainly, by the end of October,” Schulze said.

    According to the agreement, work on the site can be done from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, although Bartel said preparatory work can be done as early as 6 a.m.

    Erosion control barriers will be used to ensure fly ash is restricted to the site, and the trucks transporting the material will be covered to ensure it doesn’t fly off the vehicles, officials said.

    With the exception of Stonecroft Drive, the trucks will use county roads — Highways C, CC and 32 — while moving the fly ash.   

    The agreement signed Monday is virtually identical to that approved in a Town Board meeting last month, when officials spent several hours hammering out the final details, Bartel said.

    That agreement outlined everything from the hours work would be allowed on the old fly ash site to the route trucks will take on their way to the landfill on Highway 32 near the I-43 interchange.

    Bartel said town officials have received a few calls about the transfer from concerned residents.Daily Press

    “Most of them just want to be aware of what the process is,” he said, and how to alert officials if there is a problem.

    A complaint line has been set up for anyone to call if there are issues with the transfer. That number is 1-800-242-9137.

    The transfer process will allow the utility to clean up an old dumping ground that town officials didn’t know existed until a month ago and fill the two active cells at the Highway 32 landfill and allow the utility to seal those, Schulze said. The utility owns about 175 acres there, and 70 acres are licensed as a landfill, she said, adding about three-quarters of the landfill has been used.

    The fly ash, a product of the Port Washington power plant when it was fueled by coal, was deposited on the Stonecroft Drive property decades ago, before strict environmental controls were enacted.

    The fact that the site existed was news to town officials, who only learned about it last month when the utility sought permission to move it.

    When the work is completed, the dumping ground on Stonecroft Drive will be restored and zoned conservancy, ensuring it will not be built on in the future, the utility and town agreed.


 
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