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News & Notes: July 18

July 18, 2012

Free State Fair tickets offered to blood donors

Brown Deer - The BloodCenter of Wisconsin is offering Wisconsin State Fair tickets to blood donors through Aug. 11 in an effort to drive summer donations.

The nearest BloodCenter donor center is at 5960 W. Brown Deer Road.

Potential donors should mention "summer" while scheduling appointments or by entering "summer" into the comment box on the confirmation page during online registration to take advantage of the promotion.

The BloodCenter can be contacted at (877) BE-A-HERO (877) 232-4376 or (414) 937-6199 or online at bcw.edu.

Mequon-Thiensville to offer healthier lunches

The Mequon-Thiensville School District will begin offering healthier lunches in the upcoming school year, in order to comply with new federal guidelines.

Per the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which has just reached its implementation stage, schools now must offer lunches with more servings of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains and no trans fats, within certain minimum and maximum calorie limits.

As part of approving a contract extension with food services provider Aramark on Monday, the School Board heard an update on the legislation and its impact on lunches.

For the most part, it will not significantly impact menu options being offered, Toni DeStefano of Aramark said.

However, as a result of the changes, lunch prices will increase slightly, by 10 cents per lunch, and students must select a fruit or vegetable with each meal in order to receive the meal at the reimbursable rate - $1.90 at the elementary level and $2.15 for grades six through 12.

The district plans to focus on educational efforts at the beginning of the school year in order to transition students to the changes and combat any initial waste that might occur.

Shorewood OKs community grants

Shorewood - The Village Board approved on Monday approximately $34,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Senior Resource Center will receive $10,000, the Shoreline Interfaith Outreach Program $2,500, and approximately $21,000 will fund the replacement of a water main.

Fireworks may fly in September

Shorewood - The fireworks show postponed at Shorewood's Fourth of July celebration may highlight a community picnic at Atwater Park on Sept. 1.

The Shorewood Foundation - which originally funded the show - along with other local organizations like the Shorewood Men's Club, Friends of Atwater Beach, and Shorewood SEED Foundation have expressed interest in co-hosting the community picnic to accompany the rescheduled fireworks.

Village Manager Chris Swartz told the Village Board on Monday that between overtime for police and firefighters and the cost of a band, the event could run somewhere between $800 and $1,500. Canceling the fireworks outright would incur a $4,100 cancellation fee, though Swartz said it hasn't been worked out who would pay that yet.

Trustees were wary that the village might need to postpone the fireworks again on Sept. 1 if the dry conditions don't let up.

"I would hate to schedule it and unscheduled it," Trustee Michael Maher said.

Swartz was given the go ahead to gauge interest from the various groups, gather feedback from police and the fire department, and ultimately make a determination as to whether the community picnic has the potential for the show before the Village Board's next meeting on Aug. 13.

District holding community listening sessions in fall

Fox Point - School officials in the Maple Dale-Indian Hill district are holding community listening sessions in the fall. The announcement was made last week at a School Board meeting.

A number of logistics - including host sites, dates and times - are still in the works. Board President Mark Goldstein said the sessions will likely be held at homes throughout the district.

"We're interested in keeping the lines of communication open," Goldstein said. "This is something we've set up to be a free-flow conversation. There won't be any set agenda."

District holds off on plan to hire communications pro

Fox Point - The Maple Dale-Indian Hill School Board last week voted to table a proposal to hire a communications coordinator under a shared services arrangement with neighboring districts.

Nicolet officials have, in recent months, proposed hiring a professional who would relay information to the public about the high school. Overtures also have been sent to each of the three K-8 feeder districts.

The Glendale-River Hills School Board was scheduled to act on the proposal Wednesday, after press deadline, and the Fox Point-Bayside School Board is scheduled to vote Monday.

All four districts are scheduled to meet Aug. 10 to discuss the proposal further. Maple Dale-Indian Hill officials could vote after that meeting.

Board members questioned the proposal, citing budgetary constraints and the logistics of having one person answer to four boards.

"We're four different districts, and we're in four different places," Board President Mark Goldstein said. "It's hard to craft a unifying message."

Shorewood Village Board approves $9.5 million in bonds

Shorewood - About $9.5 million worth of general obligation bonds for 2012 and 2013 projects were approved for issue by the Village Board on Monday.

Trustees were pleased to learn that the interest rate on the bonds came in at 2.19 percent instead of the estimated 3.22 percent, saving the village an estimated $962,000 in interest costs over time, said Michael Harrigan of Ehlers and Associates. He congratulated village leaders on the low interest rate, which came about as a result of the village's credit rating and the contemporary investment landscape.

"If you have to borrow money for your projects," noted Harrigan, "now is about as good a time as it gets."

Massage Envy given go ahead

Whitefish Bay - Following a lengthy discussion regarding parking in the area, the Whitefish Bay Plan Commission approved a conditional use permit on Tuesday for Massage Envy at 109 E. Silver Spring Drive.

Massage Envy will have a capacity for 12 massage tables, which would necessitate a significant amount of parking in the area between employees and customers. Commissioners said they are concerned the parking for the business could spill over into nearby residential areas, though they weren't comfortable imposing restrictions on Massage Envy.

Instead, commissioners directed the franchise owner to work with the Businesses Improvement District to find a way to mitigate any potential parking issues.

Administrators examining testing data

Fox Point - Administrators in the Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District are spending a portion of the quiet summer months pouring over data from last year's Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations in grades three to eight.

Director of Instruction Tim Reymer provided board members with some data at a meeting last week.

Reymer is examining the district's testing data alongside seven neighboring school districts: Cedarburg, Fox Point-Bayside, Germantown, Glendale-River Hills, Grafton, Mequon-Thiensville and Whitefish Bay.

One area of particular scrutiny is testing results for special education students.

Further discussion is expected between administrators and board members at the next meeting in August.

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