Monthly Archives: July 2011

Furious French Fry Fiasco – Patch

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For story on Patch, click HERE
 

I have just read numerous blogs and comments regarding McDonald’s recent decision to put apple slices in all Happy Meals beginning this Fall. There are three things I can say for sure: My eyes hurt, I am hard core craving some sugar-soaked, lardy potatoes and taking french fries away from certain mothers could be deadly.

There seems to be a few categories of mothers who are irked at this new fast food controversy:

There are the moms who already know that McDonald’s should only be eaten in moderation – a once in a while treat which they know is not healthy. These mom’s have control over what their kids eat and realize the importance of that. These moms read and pay attention. These moms do not stick their heads in the salt and pretend childhood obesity and high cholesterol in toddlers is okay. How dare anyone tell them what is right; they already know and screw the people who don’t.

Then there are the moms who (get your tomatoes ready…or potatoes if you prefer) are simply too lazy to be bothered to make responsible choices for their children. These are moms who themselves likely eat Doritos and Mountain Dew for breakfast. These are moms who may have put soda in their baby’s bottle. These are moms who allow endless hours of Resident Evil and karate chopping of the neighbors flower bed.

There are those moms who really TRY to make the best choices…they even say no once or twice. But in this day and age many parents seem more concerned with making their kids happy and being their friends rather than being the person who is suppose to teach and guide and protect. Perhaps they worked 12 hours and simply do not have the time to cook. Maybe a happy meal is all they can afford (so they think).

If you belong to one of these groups – you might be furious at this new turn of Mickey D events. Oh I can hear it now…

How dare THEY tell me what my kid should eat?

My kids eat french fries everyday and they are still alive!

I grew up on Happy Meals and I’m just fine (now where’s that scooter, I am off to Walmart).

They are taking away french fries; what will the food police do next?

And then there are people like me – not sure how many as you always hear more complainers than praisers. I say, ‘Good for you McDonald’s!’ Honestly, how on earth can you snivel about a multi bagillion dollar industry finally doing the right thing for once? How can you groan and moan about healthier options for your child who depends on you for their dietary needs?

Yes, as parents we should be making the decisions. But fact is, many do not. That Mt. Dew mom I was talking about – this land is covered with them. These kids are stuffed with countless toxins and poisons in the shape of yummy goodness. And to top it off, they are put into enticing containers WITH TOYS. Collectable toys even!! “Collect all 12” (in the next 2 weeks). Do we leave these kids in the forest of fat because their parents didn’t know the way out?

For these moms in particular, what McDonald’s is doing should be considered a favor and worth a thank you note. If a parent really feels the need to ply her child with an abundance of fries (which WILL still be in the Happy Meal, just less of them) then she can simply purchase them ala carte, no? I am fairly certain no arrest warrants will be issued.

I feel it is only fair for me to state a disclaimer at this time. My kids eat McDonald’s. If I had to guess, I would say maybe once a month, if that. My daughter is a little OCD and she has a thing for collecting things. She adores her Happy Meal toy collection. I told her today about the french fry fiasco. Her response, “Oh I don’t care. They gave you too many fries anyway. I just want a new Smurf. Can we go tomorrow, Mom?”

At younger ages, these kids don’t care about the food in the Happy Meal, they want the toy and the fun little box. And yes, after eating this stuff – of course it can be addicting. I mean – the stuff tastes heavenly. But that is where we need to step in and make sure it isn’t getting to a point where it is affecting their health, long term or short. All these moms complaining and I wonder if their kids would care one bit.

People don’t like to be told they are making bad choices…especially when it comes to raising a child. I wrote a letter once about candy being sold by the school to my elementary school aged kids during the day. They would come home with NO appetite and filled with sugar. Shortly after my letter, it just so happened that the new school snack policy was implemented. I had nothing to do with that change…but I still get nasty looks at that school to this day. Guess what? Don’t care.

It is my job to teach, guide and protect and that is what I will do. Unfortunately, there are so many moms out there who feel differently. Subsequently, policies and rules and regulations need to be put in place to simply keep these kids from getting sick, becoming obese and dying too young. So until these moms step up and become parents instead of spineless buddies or lazy pinheads – apples will be forced upon your child by a creepy clown who smells like grease.

Note: I apologize for only speaking about mothers in this piece. But since I am a mom, I can relate and I speak from what I know. I don’t know what goes through the mind of a father. And lets face it, most of them would be satisfied stuffing their kid with just about anything if it keeps them quiet long enough. (yes, I am generalizing for effect…I do realize that boys can be smart too).

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Patch Guide: Area Tunes – Outdoor and Free

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For Guide on Patch click HERE
Music and More

Every Thursday

June 9, 2011 – August 11, 2011

12pm – 1pm

First Presbyterian Church

716 College Avenue

Racine, WI

Donations are encouraged and will benefit The Racine County Food Bank, Health Care Network and HALO.

Call 262.632.1686 for more information

Twilight Jazz

Tuesday August 2, 2011 – Brian Harris Trio

Tuesday August 30, 2011 – Larry Zarletti

Grounds open at 6pm and concerts begin at 7pm

Anderson Arts Center

121 Sixty Sixth Street

Kenosha, WI

Food vendors and restrooms available; donations and volunteers appreciated

262.653.0481 for more information

Rock the Block

Every Wednesday

5pm – 7pm

West Racine – Corner of Washington Avenue and West Boulevard

Right after Farmer’s Market; Bring own lawn chair

Racine Concert Band

Every Sunday until August 28, 2011

7pm – 8pm

Racine Zoo

200 Goold Street

Racine, WI

Performances at Kiwanis Amphitheater; Bring chairs, blankets, food/drink, bug spray and jackets depending on weather

Call 262.636.9109 for more information

Kenosha Pops Concert Band

Every Wednesday until August 3, 2011

7pm

Pennoyer Park

Seventh Avenue and 35th Street (along the lakefront)

Bench seating available, but chairs and blankets are welcome. Concessions are available.

Call 262.552.8598 for more information

Labor Day Jam at North Beach Oasis

September 3, 2011

1pm – 9pm

100 Kewaunee Street

Racine, WI

Many local musicians preform at an Open Jam – come to play or listen; Concessions available

Call 262.412.5154 for more information

(there is also an Open Jam every Wednesday and Sunday evening at North Beach Oasis)

River Rhythms

1st and 3rd Thursdays until September 1, 2011

6:30pm – 8:30pm

Waterford Village Hall Park

123 N. River Street

Waterford, WI

Plenty of parking in the immediate area; right across the river from the park, a short walk over the bridge

Music at the Market

Thursdays

5:30pm – 7pm

South Milwaukee Downtown Market

11th Avenue and Milwaukee Avenue

Call 414.768-8195 for more information

WhiskeyBelles

Wednesday July 28, 2011

6:30pm – 8pm

Franciscan Villa

3601 S. Chicago Avenue

South Milwaukee, WI

WhiskeyBelles is a Milwaukee, WAMI winning, acoustic, country-folk band.

Call 414.766.5049 for more information

Fill the Cupboards on Hubbard

Saturday July 31, 2011

12pm – 10pm

Michigan Pub and Coasters

Michigan Blvd./Hubbard St.

Racine, WI

This is an all day family event featuring many bands and DJ music. With 2 non-perishable food items you will be able to enjoy music all day as well as receive discounts on food and drinks. There will be activities for children including a bounce house and games.

All donations/proceeds go to The Racine County Food Bank.

John’s Dock

Various Dates and times

303 Dodge Street

Racine, WI

Check schedule for dates and time; food and drinks available at restaurant for purchase

Call 262.634.9999 for more information

Mean Jake at Eagle Inn on the Lake

Sunday August 1, 2011

3pm – 7pm

Eagle Inn on the Lake

3310 Eagle Road

Kansasville, WI

Food and drinks available from the restaurant for purchase.

Call 262.930.6049 for more information

Taste of Wisconsin

July 30, 2011 – August 1, 2011

Friday 3pm – 10pm

Saturday 11am – 10pm

Sunday 11am – 8pm

Kenosha’s Harbor Promenade (6th Avenue & 54th Street)

Music all day each day – over 40 live acts; Food and drink as well as many activities will be available.

Call 262.654.7307 for more information

Party on the Pavement

Saturday October 1, 2011

Noon – 7pm

Main Street and 6th Street

Downtown Racine

Bands throughout the day; food, drinks and other activities will be available. Check Patch in the near future for more information.

First Fridays

August 5, September 2, October 7, November 4 and December 2

6pm – 9pm

Main and 6th Streets

Downtown Racine

Food, drinks, shopping and other activities available.

Music on the Monument

Every Friday

11:30am – 1:30pm

Monument Square

Downtown Racine

(in the event of rain, concert will be indoors at Red Onion Cafe at 555 Main Street)

Some chairs provided, but bring your own for a guaranteed seat

Patch Guide: Outdoor Dining

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The Chancery Harborwalk

 

207 Gas Light Drive – Racine

262.635.0533

 

6:30am to 10pm Sunday – Thursday
6:30am to 11pm Friday & Saturday
Bar Open Later
Outdoor Tiki Bar open during the Summer (weather permitting)

Chancery has an indoor patio which is screen covered and overlooks the harbor. They also have a Tiki Bar outside which boasts a more casual menu and fun, beachy atmosphere.

 

 

Yardarm Bar and Grill

 

920 Erie Street – Racine
262-633-8270

 

Sunday – Thursday 11am – 10pm

Friday and Saturday 11am – Midnight

 

Yardarm has some outdoor seating, but not a lot so get there early! With their English nautical theme, you will be sure to be in the mood for some delicious fish platters and a pint of brew. Stay for some live music Wednesday and Saturday nights – never a cover charge. Do not forget to try the sand dollars!!

 

 

The Ivanhoe Pub and Eatery

 

231 Main Street – Racine

262.637.4730

 

Daily 11:30am – 2:30am

 

Ivanhoe’s has a few cafe tables in the front of the establishment so you are free to drink your Whiskey and eat your Shepards Pie while people watching in the heart of downtown.

 

 

Chartroom Charlie’s

 

209 Dodge Street – Racine

262.632.9901

 

Sunday & Tuesday – Thursday 11am – 8pm

Friday & Saturday 11am – 10pm

Closed Mondays

 

 

Spinnakers

 

2 Christopher Columbus Racine, WI 53402

262.672.4605

 

11am – 11pm Daily

 

Spinnakers has gorgeous views of the harbor on their second story patio. You can’t beat the views while enjoying seafood, steak and much more.

 

 

John’s Dock

 

303 Dodge Street – Racine
262.634-9999

 

11am to Close Everyday

Happy Hour Everyday from 4-6 and 9-10!!

 

Outdoor seating with views of the river. Dock your boat or park your car to partake in sandwiches, fish, appetizers and the like. Live music is often a plus at John’s Dock so stay for the tunes.

 

 

Honey B’s II

 

4713 Douglas Avenue – Racine

262.681.1960

 

Daily 6am – 9pm

 

Whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, you will be delighted with the food at Honey B’s II. Have a seat on their shaded raised deck while sipping a bloody mary or trying their great crab cakes. With a huge menu – the choices are endless.

 

 

Javier’s

 

Mon – Thur 11am – 9pm

Fri – Sat 11am – 10pm

Closed Sundays

 

2815 Durand Avenue – Racine

262.598.9242

 

If you are looking for a taste south of the border and a seat outdoors, this is the place for you. Margaritas and Mexican food is abundant at Javier’s which opened this summer.

 

 

Red Onion Cafe

 

555 Main Street – Racine

262.619.4110

 

Monday – Friday 7am – 2pm

Saturday 8am – 2pm

Closed Sundays

 

For fresh, high quality ingredients and first rate service, Red Onion Cafe sits right in the middle of Main Street in Downtown Racine. If you want something on the fancier side or want to try something new, this is a great place to try.

 

 

The Summit

 

6825 Washington Avenue – Racine

262.886.9866

 

Lunch Mon – Fri 11:30am – 2pm

Brunch Sundays 10am – 1:30pm

 

Dinner Mon – Thurs 5pm – 9pm, Friday 4:30 – 10pm, Friday Drive Thru 3:30pm – 8:30pm, Saturday 5pm – 10pm and Sunday 4pm – 8pm

 

While they maintain an elegant atmosphere, casual dress is acceptable. From steaks to veal to a famous fish fry – you simply can’t go wrong.

 

 

Spokes

 

14001 Washington Avenue – Yorkville

262.898.7900

 

Have a beer or try one of the many daily specials. Now serving breakfast as well!! A taste of the county so close to the city – watch the sun set as you dine.

 

 

 

If you are in a hurry, want something cheap or looking for super casual…the following quickie establishments also offer outdoor seating:

 

Panera

 

Culvers

 

McDonald’s

 

Burger King

Qudoba

 

Noodles and Co.

 

Starbucks

Dear Walmart: No Thank You – Patch

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I live in Mount Pleasant within minutes of approximatly 10 grocery stores. Many choices from which to purchase the loads of food we, as a family of four, seem to go through each week. Even though there is an abundance of these markets in my area, I was not shocked to learn of a newly proposed Walmart facility near the intersection of Hwy 20 and Hwy 31.

 

I am certain it would be of no surprise to those familiar with my politics and sensibilities that I would be against such a seemingly absurd venture. This is simply one more symptom of our failing conception of what is right, logical and responsible. Many pride themselves in being of a nation devoted to capitalism and a free market economy. But if what I am about to share with you is what it means to be a capitalist country, then I truly do not share in that pride.

 

There is no question that Walmart is nearing monopoly status. And because of this, they set the standard for the treatment of workers in this field. And the standard they are setting is embarrassingly accepted in the eyes of our communities.

 

In 2004, Capital Times reported that 3,765 Wisconsin Walmart employees received aid from Badgercare. The cost to taxpayers was said to be $4.75 million. The insurance which this multi billion dollar big box company offers its employees is often far too expensive with the wages they make. Many employees who do opt for coverage feel as though the majority of their paycheck goes right back into Walmart’s pocket in the form of premiums and products. After all, with wages such as $7 an hour, Walmart is all they can afford.

 

Employees are often kept part time so that benefits are not entitled. They have been known to doctor time sheets in order to keep anyone from accruing overtime (and lawsuits have arisen due to this). They refuse to hire an adequate number of employees and instead make the ones they have pick up the slack without compensation.

 

Walmart receives BILLIONS in subsidies. Small businesses do not. How are they to compete? We hear of this brilliant concept of competition meant to benefit everyone – customers, employers, employees. I call B.S. In a perfect world, perhaps this would ring true. But when a corporation, which is already on the brink of owning our country, gets handouts while its competitors have to scrape bottom just to make it through the next month – that is not fair business. That is, in essence, tyranny.

 

Sentry – a store across the road from Walmart’s new proposed location – employs about 60 people at an average of $13 an hour. The average hourly wage for a Walmart associate is $8.81. One woman I spoke with makes $11 an hour after 7 years. She feels nervous that her wage will soon be capped as many of her coworkers have already had that happen following many years of service.

 

I hear the argument ranting ‘how dare we oppose anything that will bring jobs to our city’. I hear our legislators promising significant increases in job creation. A job is a job and its better than nothing…perhaps that is true. But ya know what…those are NOT the jobs we need. Those are NOT the jobs which can support a family. Those are NOT the jobs which will improve our suffering economy. Serving jobs at Red Lobster and cashier jobs at Walmart are not creating anything except an alternative when there is no other choice. And what happens to those jobs at Sentry when Walmart drives them out of business? That really isn’t job creation, is it?

 

There is nothing wrong with a serving job or a customer service position. That is unless those employees are being manipulated, over worked and underpaid. We are not talking about 16 year olds who need extra money for the weekends. We are talking about people who need to feed their families and keep them off the streets. Working in one of those industries can be admirable and enjoyable employment – when employees are treated properly.

 

Billions of dollars are used to supply these stores with Chinese made products. Items made by exploited workers who live in slave-like conditions. It has been said that Walmart is basically a Chinese company with American board members. Building a Walmart on every corner in America will not rescue our financial stability. In fact, it will do quite the opposite.

 

From crucifying mom and pop businesses to violating endless EPA laws to disregarding the safety of customers – Walmart has proven itself to be nothing more than a corporate machine eating away at the fabric of what made this country prideful. It comes down to profits above all else. And everything in my consciousness tells me that is dreadfully wrong.

 

So, Walmart choosing to build a store on one of the most dangerous intersections in our state does not surprise me. It is dangerous because it is one of the busiest. And even if the store causes a few extra accidents, even if they cause job loss to those around them, even if they hire those with no other choices at indecent wages – it doesn’t matter because it is all about the almighty dollar. If that is capitalism, I say, ‘no thank you’.

 

I would really like to encourage everyone to watch a 90 minute documentary called Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices. You can watch it free HERE.

Mount Pleasant Woman Makes Our World a Better Place – Patch

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Ona staked residence in Racine for most of her 68 years. When she moved to Mount Pleasant she was grateful for the spacious yards and quiet neighborhoods. A spacious yard is the least of which Ona deserves after years of service to children and her community.

 

While raising 4 kids, she found the time to help others in need. She started volunteering for a neighborhood endeavor called Back Our Youth (BOY) which aimed to help minority children transition from inner city schools as well as improve their educational experience.

 

Later she went on to also enlist her time by chipping in for church activities such as Sunday School, Christian Education and Women’s Ministry. This past year, she worked with a program called VITA – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. This program was developed to aid those in need of assistace when preparing their tax returns.

 

Ona was named July’s Volunteer of the Month by The Volunteer Center of Racine County for her work with the RSVP Mentoring Program. Ona spends her time with students at West Ridge Elementary who truly benefit from the extra attention and care.

 

“Now that my family obligations are not so demanding, I want to make a difference in my community with positive contributions,” says Ona. And making a difference is precisely what she is doing.

 

Ona believes we as a society can improve the lives of children in many areas.

 

“Work with schools, sports programs, art programs and social service agencies. Doing as much volunteer service as possible can help offset the funding cuts in these crucial areas.”

 

I asked Ona what her ultimate goal is each day she meets with a student:

 

“To make her feel that she matters and that I care about what happens to her,” Ona shares, “A mentor can make up for some things that may be missing in a child’s life by validating their existence.”

 

Aside from many years of donating her time and energy, Ona also worked for WE Energies for nearly 30 years. She officially retired in 2008 after struggling with some medical issues.

 

Ona likes to garden and is presently attempting to rescue her veggies and flowers from the extreme heat. And she wants to keep her yard pretty as she hopes to host at least one backyard party this summer.

 

Ona also enjoys spending time with her seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

 

“I like helping my granddaughters with homework as well as teaching them to cook.”

 

It is evident that Ona Funderburg has and continues to spend her life guiding children along the path of life – from lessons in the kitchen to emotional support when it is needed the most. She is giving of herself to help ensure the success and happiness of so many others. So, I do hope that Ona is enjoying that big back yard filled with flowers as she is worthy of nothing less.

My Collegiate Regrets – Patch

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This weekend I will be attending my husband’s 20 year high school reunion. Though it is not my reunion, it may as well be because we went to the same school and he was a merely a year older. So, it will be quite similar to attending my own.

 

Emotionally preparing for such an event has me in this strange place of regret and wonder. I do not think it is all that odd to be contemplative when these milestones reach us. We can be flooded with memories of what we may fool ourselves into thinking were ‘the good ole days’. Or perhaps the past remind us of which we’d rather forget.

 

My high school life was fairly normal, I think. I had some really fun times which will remain with me until dementia sets in. I had moments which still make me cringe to this day. But there is one thing I will forever regret. And I am reminded of this regret when I see all the graduates celebrating their new found freedoms and transition into college life.

 

I did not go to college after high school. And I still do not have a college degree. This mistake sticks in my gut when I hear stories of dorm life or see the successes of my old classmates.

 

At 18, I moved near UWM with friends who were attending that school. I had a first row seat to the late nights and campus events. I spent time visiting friends in the dorms and went to many keg parties. But I feel as though I was merely witness to the memories of others instead of creating my own. And I certainly do not have anything to show for it.

 

For me, going to college wasn’t this assumed evolution. My parents lived paycheck to paycheck and there was no college fund waiting for me. During my high school years, I accomplished the very minimum if I wasn’t terribly interested in the subject matter. I didn’t go through school with college as my focus – in fact, I didn’t give it much consideration at all. So when it came time to apply and go through all the leg work for admissions and financial aid – I blew it off. I had been told that my parents made too much to receive money but they didn’t have enough to send me. It was too much work and I had other things on my mind. I was stupid.

 

Because of my laziness and unpreparedness, I didn’t get to experience a part of life which many do – a part of life I think I would have loved. I do not have that pride of being a college graduate. I do not have the academic experience and knowledge I wish I had. And while I have had more than enough ‘life’ education, it doesnt seem to compensate.

 

I do have a couple years of college credits as I attended Parkside and Gateway off and on in my twenties. But once kids came along and tuition costs sky rocketed, it never progressed into anything tangible. It is hard to feel as though all that money and time wasn’t wasted.

 

I am writing about this today because I want to urge younger kids to be more aware that their choices today will make a tremendous impact on their tomorrows. It may not be felt until a decade later, but it will be felt. Not everyone is cut out for college. And you do not have to attend a University to have a fulfilling or successful life. But for me, not going to college after high school is something I greatly regret. I almost grieve that part of life I never allowed myself to experience.

 

At 18, it is difficult to envision how you will think and feel years later. It is difficult to not simply live moment to moment. And whats funny is, I wish I could do that now. But when you are young, you have the time to mold your life in a way which will effect you foever. Make sure you really think things through. NOW is when you have the energy and freedom to go for whatever it is you want for your future. The longer you wait, the harder it is. I hope you take my advice more than I took the advice of others all those years ago.

 

If you think college is something that will benefit your life, and it probably is, then do what you can to get there. I would far rather regret something I did do rather than something I didn’t. And I doubt there are many people out there who regret an education.

Mount Pleasant Resident Beautifies Our Area – Patch

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Imagine a heavenly place with soft music, dim lights, the faint smell of lavender. Imagine walking through the door with tight shoulders, a headache and achy feet. Imagine leaving soon after with glowing skin, lower blood pressure and a toothy smile. Sounds too good to be true, I know. Wiping away the stresses of our days can be difficult to envision. Luckily, you can simply make an appointment with New Image Total Body Spa and live out that which you have imagined.

 

In 2001, Shelly Janke graduated from Rocky Mountain Laser College. Already a licensed Electrologist since 1991 – she knew that she was headed down that epidermal highway. She continues her education consistently with seminars and additional training.

 

Shelly has owned several businesses in Mount Pleasant throughout the past two decades. First was New Image Electrolysis Clinic which resided in several locations before eventually opening New Image Total Body Spa in 2007. Located at 5735 Durand Avenue, Shelly loves her location. Like many, she adores the country feel amongst the city amenities.

 

While working as an Electrologist, Shelly worked with many skin types and clients having a variety of needs such as microdermabrasion, extractions & chemical peels (hey, sign me up for all of it!!).

 

“I just thought, how perfect would it be to have a relaxing spa environment to get laser treatments, skin care, manicures and massages! I wanted to create a place of positive energy where clients could walk in and be totally relaxes and leave all their stresses at the door while still providing medical and therapeutic services,” Shelly explains her business motivation.

 

With 4 laser technicians/electrologists, 4 massage therapists, 4 nail technicians, 6 estheticians, 1 acupuncturist, 1 permanent makeup artist, 6 receptionists and a Medical Director – Shelly loves her spa family. And that line up just goes to show that this spa has left no hot stone unturned – a service for anyone and everyone!!

 

Running this business has not been all laughs and rub downs for Shelly. During the financial collapse in 2008, times were really tough. And she says that she certainly does not spend her days being pampered.

 

“It is a myth that if you own a spa you get pampered all day. I do try their services but I rarely get to really relax at the spa because it is work.” But when she does get those moments, lasers and massage is where it is at for Shelly, “I personally love laser treatments because that is what I do. We can change people’s lives by not only getting rid of something they don’t like but we change the way they feel about themselves. But getting a great massage is awesome too!!”

 

When it is all said and done, family is what matters to Shelly most. She is the very proud momma of Amber, 8, and Brandon, 2. As I write this piece, she is enjoying her very first girl’s trip with her daughter and mother-in-law in Disney World. She also remembers one of her finest moments with her father.

 

“When I was remodeling the spa, my father lived with me for 3 months to help out with the construction. We bonded on a different level that meant more to me than I can describe.”

 

From decorating the entire spa to gardening to building confidence to creating a gorgeous family, Shelly knows how to spread beauty…eliminating one weed or wrinkle at a time.

 

If you are interested in one of the many services New Image Total Body Spa has to offer, please visit their WEBSITE or call 262.886.5727

Racine County Fast Pitch Pinto Championships – Patch

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Today, Fireman’s Park in Sturtevant hosted the Racine County Girls Fast Pitch League Annual Pinto All-Star Game. 40 girls, ages 8-11, from all over Racine County (Wind Lake, Union Grove, Raymond, Yorkville, Sturtevant and Caledonia) participated in 4 contests and ended the day with a game in the warm evening sun.

 

The contest winners were as follows:

 

Hitting Competition

1st Place – Grace Henrichs 133′ 9”

2nd Place – Arianna Singer 120′ 2”

 

Throwing Competition

1st Place – Annie Rebernik 95′ 8”

2nd Place – Ashley Andersen 90′ 2”

 

Running Competition

1st Place – Bailie Weis 11.55 seconds

2nd Place – Mikayla Brim 11.9 seconds

 

Pitching Competition

1st Place – Ashley Andersen 43 mph

2nd Place – Samantha Willcomm 36 mph

 

This year’s competition pitted Lady All Stars against Lady Super Stars. The teams were made up of 4 girls from 10 different teams: Caledonia Daydreamers, Caledonia Robins, Raymond Thunder, Raymond Bandits, Union Grove Glory, Union Grove Sunbirds, Sturtevant Diamonds, Sturtevant Starz, Wind Lake Cardinals, Yorkville Blitz, . The girls were voted the best on their home teams which is how they were chosen to play in the tournament.

 

Today’s championship ended with tight score of 19-18 with the All Stars taking the win in the bottom of the sixth inning.

 

The girls said they had a lot of fun. Some even said it was their favorite game ever,” said Stephanie Waiss.

 

This was Stephanie’s 3rd year involved with the annual event. She is the President of the Sturtevant Youth Baseball Association (SYBA).

 

This is Sturtevant’s second year in a row hosting the game. And the park is really ideal for it.

 

The event was a lot of fun for all. Everyone enjoyed the extra fanfare such as the music between innings, the batter announcements and the scoreboard. Most Pinto teams do not have an opportunity to play on a field with a scoreboard, much less all the other fanfare.”

 

Stephanie’s daughter participated in today’s festivities with the Sturtevant Starz, the team she coaches.

 

At the end of the night, game balls were given to the four girls who hit home runsssss: Kearra McNeal of the Sturtevant Starz, Anna Peterson of the Raymond Bandits, Brianna Miller of the Calendonia Daydreamers, and Chase Rosenow of the Union Grove Glory.

 

SYBA will be hosting the Junior and Senior Championships next weekend.

The Ultimate in Reality TV – Patch

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Cultural Moment: "the devil is dancing&qu...

Image by MyEyeSees via Flickr

For the past month – even peppered throughout my vacation – I have been slightly addicted to the ultimate of reality television…REAL reality. Though I cannot claim to have had stood in line for hours or have run through a trampling crowd in hopes for a seat, I can say that the Casey Anthony trial has held my attention more than any other televised proceeding.

 

Casey Anthony is a young woman from Orlando, Florida who has been accused and charged of murdering her 2 year old daughter, Caylee. The country was riveted when Caylee Anthony went missing 3 years ago. Search parties were formed, as were allegations and pointed fingers. Lavish stories were conceived by Casey Anthony from day one. Though she claimed her daughter was kidnapped by a woman who was eventually found not to exist, she spent 31 days living the life of leisure instead of searching for her toddler. This is because she already knew there was no finding Caylee Marie Anthony.

 

The prosecution claims that Casey killed her young child in hopes for a life of freedom. She has been caught spinning so many elaborate lies that the state is convinced she is not to be trusted – or even considered a person with a conscience. They have proof that during those 31 days, Casey spent her time partying, drinking, socializing and sleeping over at her boyfriend’s house. During that time, she would tell her mother that she and her daughter were in different Florida locations so that she would not be confronted by her mother who was seeking contact with her granddaughter.

 

The state has proved that the Anthony family’s computer showed 84 searches regarding chloroform which has been suggested to have been used on Caylee occasionally so that Casey could go out at night. They have also proved, for the most part, that there was a decomposing human body in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car.

 

The defense argued a surprising story. Casey Anthony’s attorney claims that Caylee died accidentally after drowning in the family pool. They state that Casey and her father planned the disposal of Caylee’s body after the accident, out of fear that Casey’s mother would never forgive the neglect which subsequently led to her granddaughter’s death. But never once during the trial did they explain how, why or when this was planned or executed. It is their theory and the attorney contends they need not prove anything – that responsibility lies on the state.

 

The defense team, however, had to explain the odd behavior of Casey before, during and after Caylee’s absence. Their explanation? They decided to accuse Casey Anthony’s father of molesting her throughout her childhood. They claim it is the abuse and unstable home life that taught and encouraged Casey to become a pathological liar. Again, there was not one shred of evidence that would lead anyone to believe these accusations are true.

 

As of this very moment, I am listening to the end of closing arguments. I do not know how the jury will decide. There is no way to predict. This is a death penalty case and clearly, caution will be used at every turn. This will be an emotional decision – but hopefully one based on fact.

 

I have wavered on the topic of the death penalty my entire adult life. While I like to believe I am against it – I do realize I would likely feel very differently if someone I loved was hurt or killed.

 

I am also very careful not to jump into believing indictments simply because they have been made. I always try to keep the mindset that both sides are doing anything they can to win – regardless of truth. I stay aware in my knowledge that one accusation can easily spin out of control and ruin the lives in its path. I make great effort not to jump on those witch hunt band wagons. Because of these things, in the beginning, I tried to give Casey Anthony the benefit of the doubt. I wondered,’how would I react if my child died? Maybe I would go nutty and start doing odd things too. Who are WE to say how a scared, grief stricken mother should behave?’

 

But then I started watching the trial. Day by day it became clear that these behaviors were not acted out of grief. What I did start to see was a clear version of sociopathic pathologies. Casey Anthony cries conveniently and only when the discussion is about her. Her face is made of stone and emotionless most other times. She has no reactions to the gut wrenching breakdowns of her family members as they take the stand.

I do not know if it was premeditated or intentional. But Casey Anthony killed that little girl. And she allowed her attorney to throw her family – the only people who stood by her – under the bus, over and over and over again. This woman has no conscience. She lives in Casey world and the only things that matter is that which effects HER. She may have loved her daughter; when she was fun, cute and convenient. When it benefited Casey to love her. But when she got over that novelty of motherhood, she decided to rid herself of the burden. And her ego was so inflated that she just assumed she could lie her way out and get away with it. Well, she didn’t. Not yet anyway. And I will be waiting for the jury to come back with a guilty verdict – death penalty or not.

Sturtevant Family Business Feels Blessed – Patch

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Growing up in Kenosha, Jay Wright, found his inspiration in the lot of a dealership on his way to work at American Motors. A Dodge van with an airbrushed mural flicked a switch within him. That single day in the mid 70s changed Jay’s path forever.

 

After the vision of that muraled van, he decided to sell his bike for an airbrush and was quickly snatched up by Braggin Wagon in Rhode Island. He was crusin’ down the road towards lifetime of art, vehicles and family.

 

Since 1994, Jay has run CPV in Sturtevant with his wife, Donna and son, Steve. CPV has seen many successes and has received national recognition. After some praying and requests for spiritual blessings, Jay was contacted by Cris Angel’s Mind Freak team to design a theme based vehicle.

 

“We asked God to bless our endeavors so that we could have the means to raise our family to honor him. Part of what I personally prayed about was for the company to gain a “name” in our chosen field,” describes Jay, “Soon after that I was contacted by a marketing consultant who offered us the Mind Freak job.”

 

Not long after, they were also employed to do a project for Cheaptrick and are now being hired by Corey Hart of the Brewers to do Christian based work for him.

 

“They’ve painted everything from motorcycles to custom cars to boats and even helicopters! They are one of the only shops in the Midwest qualified to repair certain colors that Harley Davidson uses. They are known for being able to match almost any color. This is very important because of all the insurance repair work they do for the motorcycle industry,” praises customer, Jhan Dolphin.

 

When Jay is not working, he finds time for writing and rocketry. He also enjoys time with his family: Daughter, Stephany, her husband, Jason, daughter in law Dana and mentioned before, son Steve. Between his two children, he has become a grandfather seven times. And we mustn’t forget Diesel, the family lab. They are looking forward to spending time in Dells and fishing this summer.

 

Jay believes that one can overcome negative thoughts with a positive attitude.

 

“We need to listen to that inner voice which says, “Yes, you can”, instead of the negative one that says, “Are you kidding, that will never happen.” People always told me that airbrushing on vehicles was a trend which wouldn’t last. They said it was no way to make a living and support a family.”

 

Clearly, Jay proved them wrong with a little prayer, hard work, strong family and an artistic soul.

 

If you are interested in the work CPV could do for you, please visit their WEBSITE or call 262.835.0035