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Washington County’s Daily Newspaper
WWW.GMTODAY.COM
August 17, 2010
Volume 155, Number 14
TUESDAY
DAILY NEWS
50¢
River Bluffs project on the rocks
By DAVE RANK
Daily News Staff
The West Bend Common Coun-
cil will consider rescinding its
previous vote approving the River
Bluffs Townhomes developer’s
agreement at its next meeting,
scheduled for Sept. 13.
Monday night, Alderman Ed
Duquaine asked for that after lis-
tening to city staff reports on the
status of the controversial pro-
ject.
He said the developer, Real
Estate Equities Development of
St. Paul, Minn., was not meeting
the construction costs it promised
when it first pitched the project to
the city.
“That’s a huge concern of
mine,” he said.
Aldermen who voted for the
developer’s agreement in June are
now openly wondering if Real
Estate Equities hadn’t oversold its
project to them.
“We were promised a high
quality facility,” said Alderman
Tony Turner. “If it turns out to be
a mediocre facility with a $40,000
(tax) increment, no way I would
have voted on it.”
Turner is a member of the
city’s Redevelopment Authority,
which already agreed to sell the
property on Wisconsin Street to
Real Estate Equities. The land is
in the city’s Tax Incremental
Financing District 5.
A representative for Real
Estate Equities said the project
would be a quality housing devel-
opment and would achieve the
construction costs promised.
Mayor Kristine Deiss, who cast
the deciding vote in June to accept
that agreement, said she will put
the rescind vote on the next agen-
da. She said she may have been
naive when she listened to Real
HARTFORD — Rain-
bow-hued hot air balloons
filled the Washington
County sky this weekend
for the 12th annual Balloon
Rally.
The first flight was early
Saturday morning and I
was among the fortunate
few to see Hartford in a
new way, from the basket of
one of the hot air balloons.
Hot air balloons always
seemed to me somehow
magical, the way they
danced gracefully in the
sky over the world below.
That’s far from the truth.
Flying a balloon is far
more physics than magic.
The balloon in which I
was a passenger belonged
to pilot Dale Dommer and
his wife, Holly, of Ottum-
wa, Iowa. Theirs was one of
18 balloons at the rally.
Dommer is a 19-year bal-
loonist with 550 flight
hours. His balloon system
is standard sized. The fab-
ric part of the system that
fills with air, known as the
“envelope,” is about 60 feet
tall and holds 7,700 cubic
feet of air. The wicker bas-
ket is about 5 feet by 4 feet
and weighs 100 pounds.
A successful flight
depends on several things:
the first and most impor-
tant is weather conditions.
Balloons rely on air cur-
rents for speed and direc-
tion and require “calm”
winds to maintain safe
operations.
Although hot air balloon
pilots can seek lower or
higher altitudes to find
wind currents of different
directions, generally they
go where the wind blows.
“We are really at the
mercy of mother nature,”
Dommer said.
During my flight with
Dommer, the highest
recorded wind speed was 12
mph; the ideal is 8. Dom-
mer said he’s been in flight
when the wind was blowing
a whopping 41 mph.
“I was really clipping
along then,” he said.
Most hot air balloons
can go as high as 3,000 feet,
Dommer said, but then you
can’t see everything as
well, which is really the
point. We traveled at about
500 feet, a distance from the
ground that enabled me to
see a few people in their
yards down below waving,
and return the greeting.
The flight, although the
highlight of the experience,
only accounted for a frac-
tion of the ballooning pro-
cess. Finding a suitable
launch site, carefully
unpacking the envelope,
filling it with air and heat,
and repacking the enve-
lope, are some of the less
exciting but necessary
aspects of the ride. If you
thought folding a fitted
sheet was a challenge, you
should try a hot air bal-
loon.
Whether you enjoyed the
Hartford Hot Air Balloon
Rally from the ground or
the sky, it served as another
example of the types of
activities that make Wash-
ington County a special
place.
KRISTEN J.
KUBISIAK
Join the Daily News as we
experience, and write about,
aspects of life in Washington
County.
Have an idea for some-
thing you’d like us to experi-
ence? Call Managing Editor
Jill Badzinski at 306-5040 or
e-mail her at jbadzinski@
conleynet.com.
At Work and Play will run
occasionally in the Daily
News.
The 12th annual Hartford
Area Chamber of Commerce
Balloon Rally was another
high-flying success.
From children’s events dur-
ing the day to a balloon
launch and glow at dusk, the
event exceeded expectations,
said Barb Laabs, chamber
executive director.
“The crowds were great,”
she said. “It was phenome-
nal.”
Jeff Skiles, co-pilot of the
“Miracle on the Hudson” flight,
made a surprise appearance
to introduce children to flight
through the EAA Young
Eagles program and 18 color-
ful balloons dotted the sky for
several launches throughout
the weekend. Although threat-
ening weather grounded a
promotional balloon launch
on Friday night, by Saturday
afternoon and evening, it was
smooth sailing.
“You hope for the best with
events like this, but by the
time the crowds arrived, it was
pretty incredible,” Laabs said.
– Daily News Staff
Andrew Link/Daily News Staff
Balloons light up for the nighttime glow during the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce’s 12th annual Hot Air Balloon Rally at the Hartford
Municipal Airport on Saturday.
SMOOTH SAILING At a glance
More photos
Check out more photos at:
www.gmtoday.com/slideshows
and page B8 of today’s edition
It takes more math than
magic to punctuate skyline
with hot air balloons
By GAY GRIESBACH
For the Daily News
Taking the mosquitoes and high dew points in
stride, geocachers combed the city this weekend at the
$1,000 West Bend Cache Ba$h.
More than 1,400 geocachers participated in the
event, said Craig Farrell, executive director of the
West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce, which spon-
sors the event. This year the event was expanded from
two to three days.
“Starting on Friday allowed people time to enjoy the
community,” said Farrell.
Classified as a “mega-event” because more than 500
geocachers attended, the bash filled hotel rooms in
West Bend and the surrounding area – something that
Caching in: Ba$h enjoys another successful run
At a glance
The 2011 CacheBa$h will be
held Aug. 12 to Aug. 14.
To join a committee or find
out more about the West Bend
CacheBa$h, contact the West
Bend Area Chamber of Com-
merce at 338-2666 or check the
chamber Web site,
www.wbachamber.org.
Want to try your luck at find-
ing hidden caches? Check the
Wisconsin Geocaching Associa-
tion Web site at www.wi-geo-
caching.com. Andrew Link/Daily News Staff
Lisa Daniels
finds a cache
at the old
train depot
with her son,
Cody, 10, left,
and daughter,
Anna, 8, all of
Greenville,
Saturday.
Please see BASH/A7
Amusements . . . . . . . . . . .A5
Classified . . . . . . . . . . . .B5-7
Health/Fitness . . . . . . . . . .B4
Local News . . . . . . . . . . .A2-3
Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . .A7
Opinions . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A6
Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B1-3
State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A8
TV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B5
Weather . . . . . . . . . . . . .A8
I N S I D E
By DAN MUCKELBAUER
Daily News Staff
The four county Rotary
clubs are looking for an
even brighter second
Enchantment in the Park at
Washington County Fair
Park.
The inaugural five-week-
long holiday lights display
designed to raise food for
the hungry was celebrated
last week at the Museum of
Wisconsin Art.
The Rotarians are eye-
ing to expand on the 340,000
LED lights.
“At a minimum we’re
going up by 100,000 lights,
so it’ll be close to a half a
million lights,” said Mike
Phillips, joint chairman of
the Marketing Committee.
The light displays that
went over well, such as the
motion lights, will return,
he said.
“The driving route is
longer this year, so we’re
creating more displays and
that’s where the vast
majority of the lights go.”
There also will be addi-
tions to the Light Castle
and Santa’s Village.
This year, music will
accompany the light tour.
People will be able to
hear it on their vehicles’
radios, Phillips said. There
will be some audio speak-
ers in the courtyard for
those on foot, he said.
There will be a new way
to explore the winter won-
derland: By horse-drawn
carriage.
Also getting pumped up
will be the number of per-
formances by school,
church and other commu-
nity groups.
“We’re trying to get
something lined up every
single night,” Phillips said.
The plan is to especially
get more entertainment the
week after Christmas Day
through Dec. 31.
“Our objective is to get
more people through to get
more food,” Phillips said.
On the Web
The Enchantment in the
Park Web site is up and run-
ning, but in the process of
being updated. For information
throughout the season, go to:
www.enchantmentpark.org.
Building
on past
success
Enchantment
in the Park
promises to
be even better
Please see LIGHTS/A7
West coach narrows focus
Bill Albrecht decides to step away from high school basketball
program to focus on baseball, family Page B1
Aldermen will consider rescinding townhouse developer’s agreement
Please see HOUSING/A7

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Hot Air Balloon Rally - WDN

  • 1. Washington County’s Daily Newspaper WWW.GMTODAY.COM August 17, 2010 Volume 155, Number 14 TUESDAY DAILY NEWS 50¢ River Bluffs project on the rocks By DAVE RANK Daily News Staff The West Bend Common Coun- cil will consider rescinding its previous vote approving the River Bluffs Townhomes developer’s agreement at its next meeting, scheduled for Sept. 13. Monday night, Alderman Ed Duquaine asked for that after lis- tening to city staff reports on the status of the controversial pro- ject. He said the developer, Real Estate Equities Development of St. Paul, Minn., was not meeting the construction costs it promised when it first pitched the project to the city. “That’s a huge concern of mine,” he said. Aldermen who voted for the developer’s agreement in June are now openly wondering if Real Estate Equities hadn’t oversold its project to them. “We were promised a high quality facility,” said Alderman Tony Turner. “If it turns out to be a mediocre facility with a $40,000 (tax) increment, no way I would have voted on it.” Turner is a member of the city’s Redevelopment Authority, which already agreed to sell the property on Wisconsin Street to Real Estate Equities. The land is in the city’s Tax Incremental Financing District 5. A representative for Real Estate Equities said the project would be a quality housing devel- opment and would achieve the construction costs promised. Mayor Kristine Deiss, who cast the deciding vote in June to accept that agreement, said she will put the rescind vote on the next agen- da. She said she may have been naive when she listened to Real HARTFORD — Rain- bow-hued hot air balloons filled the Washington County sky this weekend for the 12th annual Balloon Rally. The first flight was early Saturday morning and I was among the fortunate few to see Hartford in a new way, from the basket of one of the hot air balloons. Hot air balloons always seemed to me somehow magical, the way they danced gracefully in the sky over the world below. That’s far from the truth. Flying a balloon is far more physics than magic. The balloon in which I was a passenger belonged to pilot Dale Dommer and his wife, Holly, of Ottum- wa, Iowa. Theirs was one of 18 balloons at the rally. Dommer is a 19-year bal- loonist with 550 flight hours. His balloon system is standard sized. The fab- ric part of the system that fills with air, known as the “envelope,” is about 60 feet tall and holds 7,700 cubic feet of air. The wicker bas- ket is about 5 feet by 4 feet and weighs 100 pounds. A successful flight depends on several things: the first and most impor- tant is weather conditions. Balloons rely on air cur- rents for speed and direc- tion and require “calm” winds to maintain safe operations. Although hot air balloon pilots can seek lower or higher altitudes to find wind currents of different directions, generally they go where the wind blows. “We are really at the mercy of mother nature,” Dommer said. During my flight with Dommer, the highest recorded wind speed was 12 mph; the ideal is 8. Dom- mer said he’s been in flight when the wind was blowing a whopping 41 mph. “I was really clipping along then,” he said. Most hot air balloons can go as high as 3,000 feet, Dommer said, but then you can’t see everything as well, which is really the point. We traveled at about 500 feet, a distance from the ground that enabled me to see a few people in their yards down below waving, and return the greeting. The flight, although the highlight of the experience, only accounted for a frac- tion of the ballooning pro- cess. Finding a suitable launch site, carefully unpacking the envelope, filling it with air and heat, and repacking the enve- lope, are some of the less exciting but necessary aspects of the ride. If you thought folding a fitted sheet was a challenge, you should try a hot air bal- loon. Whether you enjoyed the Hartford Hot Air Balloon Rally from the ground or the sky, it served as another example of the types of activities that make Wash- ington County a special place. KRISTEN J. KUBISIAK Join the Daily News as we experience, and write about, aspects of life in Washington County. Have an idea for some- thing you’d like us to experi- ence? Call Managing Editor Jill Badzinski at 306-5040 or e-mail her at jbadzinski@ conleynet.com. At Work and Play will run occasionally in the Daily News. The 12th annual Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce Balloon Rally was another high-flying success. From children’s events dur- ing the day to a balloon launch and glow at dusk, the event exceeded expectations, said Barb Laabs, chamber executive director. “The crowds were great,” she said. “It was phenome- nal.” Jeff Skiles, co-pilot of the “Miracle on the Hudson” flight, made a surprise appearance to introduce children to flight through the EAA Young Eagles program and 18 color- ful balloons dotted the sky for several launches throughout the weekend. Although threat- ening weather grounded a promotional balloon launch on Friday night, by Saturday afternoon and evening, it was smooth sailing. “You hope for the best with events like this, but by the time the crowds arrived, it was pretty incredible,” Laabs said. – Daily News Staff Andrew Link/Daily News Staff Balloons light up for the nighttime glow during the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce’s 12th annual Hot Air Balloon Rally at the Hartford Municipal Airport on Saturday. SMOOTH SAILING At a glance More photos Check out more photos at: www.gmtoday.com/slideshows and page B8 of today’s edition It takes more math than magic to punctuate skyline with hot air balloons By GAY GRIESBACH For the Daily News Taking the mosquitoes and high dew points in stride, geocachers combed the city this weekend at the $1,000 West Bend Cache Ba$h. More than 1,400 geocachers participated in the event, said Craig Farrell, executive director of the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce, which spon- sors the event. This year the event was expanded from two to three days. “Starting on Friday allowed people time to enjoy the community,” said Farrell. Classified as a “mega-event” because more than 500 geocachers attended, the bash filled hotel rooms in West Bend and the surrounding area – something that Caching in: Ba$h enjoys another successful run At a glance The 2011 CacheBa$h will be held Aug. 12 to Aug. 14. To join a committee or find out more about the West Bend CacheBa$h, contact the West Bend Area Chamber of Com- merce at 338-2666 or check the chamber Web site, www.wbachamber.org. Want to try your luck at find- ing hidden caches? Check the Wisconsin Geocaching Associa- tion Web site at www.wi-geo- caching.com. Andrew Link/Daily News Staff Lisa Daniels finds a cache at the old train depot with her son, Cody, 10, left, and daughter, Anna, 8, all of Greenville, Saturday. Please see BASH/A7 Amusements . . . . . . . . . . .A5 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . .B5-7 Health/Fitness . . . . . . . . . .B4 Local News . . . . . . . . . . .A2-3 Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . .A7 Opinions . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A6 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B1-3 State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A8 TV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B5 Weather . . . . . . . . . . . . .A8 I N S I D E By DAN MUCKELBAUER Daily News Staff The four county Rotary clubs are looking for an even brighter second Enchantment in the Park at Washington County Fair Park. The inaugural five-week- long holiday lights display designed to raise food for the hungry was celebrated last week at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. The Rotarians are eye- ing to expand on the 340,000 LED lights. “At a minimum we’re going up by 100,000 lights, so it’ll be close to a half a million lights,” said Mike Phillips, joint chairman of the Marketing Committee. The light displays that went over well, such as the motion lights, will return, he said. “The driving route is longer this year, so we’re creating more displays and that’s where the vast majority of the lights go.” There also will be addi- tions to the Light Castle and Santa’s Village. This year, music will accompany the light tour. People will be able to hear it on their vehicles’ radios, Phillips said. There will be some audio speak- ers in the courtyard for those on foot, he said. There will be a new way to explore the winter won- derland: By horse-drawn carriage. Also getting pumped up will be the number of per- formances by school, church and other commu- nity groups. “We’re trying to get something lined up every single night,” Phillips said. The plan is to especially get more entertainment the week after Christmas Day through Dec. 31. “Our objective is to get more people through to get more food,” Phillips said. On the Web The Enchantment in the Park Web site is up and run- ning, but in the process of being updated. For information throughout the season, go to: www.enchantmentpark.org. Building on past success Enchantment in the Park promises to be even better Please see LIGHTS/A7 West coach narrows focus Bill Albrecht decides to step away from high school basketball program to focus on baseball, family Page B1 Aldermen will consider rescinding townhouse developer’s agreement Please see HOUSING/A7