David Paulsen


TETNA budgets $500 for new neighborhood event, seeks ideas and organizer

Tosa East Towne Neighborhood Association is all about highlighting the best that our East Tosa neighborhood has to offer, so it’s no surprise that some of the association’s most fulfilling work is the events we host, from the Egg Hunt, Run Tosa Run and Rummage Sale in the spring to Trick or Treat and Taste of East Tosa in the fall.

This year, your TETNA board has been sizing up our calendar of events and identifying successes to emphasize, as well as events that may no longer be worth bringing back. And we’ve been discussing ideas for new events to offer to the neighborhood.

The annual Egg Hunt, for example, has grown steadily in recent years, and we’re looking for a new coordinator to take that event over in 2018. (Email info@tosaeasttowne.org if you or someone you know is interested.) Our Neighborhood Block Party/Movie Night, on the other hand, has seen turnout diminish. We’ve decided to end that event while supporting the several other great events being hosted at the park by Friends of Center Street Park.

But we don’t want to reduce our lineup without trying to replace old events with new ideas that have potential to become annual favorites. That’s where you come in.

The TETNA board approved up to $500 in this year’s budget as seed money to create a new event, and we want your ideas and – just as important – your time and enthusiasm. Have you ever thought, “What this neighborhood really needs is an event like _________”? Let us hear about it. Pitch your idea to the board by emailing a concise paragraph or two to info@tosaeasttowne.org. Events preferably have a revenue stream to help offset the cost, but certain worthy events without revenue streams still may be considered if TETNA deems them beneficial to our members.

And if you have a great idea to pitch, we hope you are willing to help make your idea a reality. All of TETNA’s events are made possible by volunteers, meaning great neighbors like you.

At our February meeting, we conducted a brainstorming session to generate some potential ideas. If any of these interest you, let us know, or pitch your own idea:

  • Snow sculpture or snowman contest
  • A “Winterfest”-style event
  • TETNA roller-skating at Pius
  • TETNA movie night at Rosebud Cinema
  • Basketball tournament at Roosevelt
  • Kickball at Center Street Park
  • Outdoor live music
  • Cribbage nights and a neighborhood cribbage team
  • Casino night
  • Theater in the park
  • North Avenue bar crawl
  • Events to welcome new neighbors

David Paulsen is president of the Tosa East Towne Neighborhood Association board. He can be reached at dmpaulsen@gmail.com.

 


Wisconsin Lutheran’s operator eyes St. Pius X for new boys’ high school

St. Piux XAfter a developer’s plans to create a 66-unit apartment building on the unused parking lot east of St. Pius X ran into a wall of opposition from some residents of our neighborhood, a separate proposal is moving forward to create a new high school for boys in the former Pius school.

The Lutheran synod that operates the existing Wisconsin Lutheran High School contacted Tosa East Towne Neighborhood Association this month to invite our residents to an open house meeting about the proposal from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, at St. Pius.

“Our high school has been studying expansion efforts for a couple years now, as we are experiencing a higher demand for seats than we have available at our current location on 84th Street and Bluemound Avenue,” Kevin Festerling, Wisconsin Lutheran’s school developer, told TETNA.

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod’s plan is to sign a five-year lease for use of the former Pius school, and start with a founding class of 60 students in fall 2018. An additional 60 students would be added each year until the facility becomes a “fully operating high school” of up to 240 students that will be called Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School.

The school will draw students from 30 feeder schools around the Milwaukee area, Festerling said, “with a focus upon growing strong Christian male leaders for the community and the Church.”

The lease depends on Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod obtaining a conditional use permit for the property. A permit application has been submitted, but the timeline for approval wasn’t clear.

Festerling said the plans would include “some healthy improvements to the facility.” That may include the parking lot, though he had no specific details to announce.

The future of that parking lot, across the street from Roosevelt Elementary School, was a point of contention in the neighborhood last fall, when a group of residents formed to block plans for a apartment building, which was to be called The Gridley at East Towne.

The parking lot is mostly unused and deteriorating, and St. Piux X had been looking at redevelopment options. The Gridley was proposed by Cardinal Capital Management, and its design was similar to Cardinal’s earlier apartment development at North Avenue and 85th Street.

But Cardinal faced an uphill battle in receiving a zoning amendment from the city for the 1 1/2 acre-site. The property is in an R2 District, which means it is zoned for low-density residential use. The zoning limits homes on the property to single-family and two-family dwellings.

Opponents packed the developer’s open house in October at Pius, and they mobilized a campaign against the project that included yard signs, a petition drive and door-to-door appeals. The proposal was never brought before the Wauwatosa Plan Commission for consideration.


TETNA annual meeting set for April 26 at Cranky Al’s

Christina Piel

Then-President Christina Piel speaks at the 2016 annual meeting at Cranky Al’s.

Tosa East Towne Neighborhood Association will hold its annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, at Cranky Al’s, and everyone who lives in the neighborhood is invited to meet fellow residents, learn about what’s happening locally and enjoy some of of Cranky’s famous pizza.

Aldermen Joel Tilleson, left, and Bobby Pantuso spoke at our 2016 annual meeting and are schedule to be back on April 26.

Aldermen Bobby Pantuso and Joel Tilleson are scheduled to attend to give an update on developments at the city level and answer constituent questions. Wauwatosa Police Officer Tracy Burbach, the school resource officer assigned to Longfellow Middle School and our local elementary schools, also will speak at this year’s annual meeting. And we’ll introduce the Tosa East High School senior who is recipient of this year’s TETNA scholarship.

The annual meeting also is a time for the TETNA board to present our annual budget, and we will electing a new slate of officers and board members. Any TETNA member is welcome to join the board, which requires attending our monthly meeting and helping with our neighborhood events as you are able. Email board president David Paulsen at dmpaulsen@gmail.com for info or find out more at the annual meeting.

And if you are new to the neighborhood, attending the annual meeting is a great way to get up to speed on everything that is happening locally. We hope to see you at Cranky Al’s on April 26.


Join us April 8 for our Spring Egg Hunt, sponsored by Indulgence Chocolatiers

Egg Hunt 2016One of TETNA’s most popular events of the year is a great way for families to get outdoors as winter turns to spring. The annual Spring Egg Hunt draws dozens of young egg seekers to Center Street Park a week before Easter, and this year’s hunt is set for April 8 at 10 a.m.

Indulgence Chocolatiers logoWe were fortunate to have Indulgence Chocolatiers as sponsor of the event in 2016, providing chocolates to participants and a gift card to one lucky drawing winner. We’re happy to have Indulgence back again as sponsor of the 2017 event.

Facebook eventTo participate, just bring a basket and your smiling faces! All families with current memberships participate for free. If you are not a member, you may pay your $10 dues at the event.

And if you are available to volunteer to help with the activities on April 8, please email Kathleen Flanders at katflanders@yahoo.com.

Check tosaeasttowne.org and TETNA’s Facebook page for more details as we get closer to the event date.


Help TETNA identify events for 2017 neighborhood calendar

Do you have an idea for a new public event in the Tosa East Towne neighborhood? Do you have suggestions for making existing neighborhood events better? If so, we want your input at our next meeting, at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13.

Tosa East Towne Neighborhood Association is dedicated to improving the quality of life in our neighborhood, and one of the most visible ways we carry out that mission – with the help of your annual dues – is by organizing events that all our residents can enjoy.

Hundreds of children participate each year in our neighborhood’s Trick or Treat, held on the Saturday evening before Halloween. Hundreds of residents come out to run and walk in our Run Tosa Run, held each May. TETNA also organizes an egg hunt before Easter, a neighborhood-wide rummage sale, the Taste of East Tosa dinner party, an outdoor movie night and occasional social gatherings at North Avenue hotspots. And we gladly support great events in our neighborhood that are organized by other groups, such as Que & Brew in July and Fall Fest in October.

As we get started with planning our 2017 events, we’re looking for residents’ feedback on which events we should emphasis, which ones we should downplay (or even phase out) and whether there is something new we should try this year.

Facebook eventIf you’d like to contribute your ideas – whether or not you have time to help plan our events – join us at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 in the Center Street Park pavilion for our monthly meeting. We have scheduled an hour-long work session to help focus our efforts as we finalize TETNA’s calendar of events for the year.

Come be a part of what makes our neighborhood a great place to live!

For more information or to submit your ideas by email, contact us at info@tosaeasttowne.org.