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Shop Bay View for the Holidays! pages 10-11 Meet this Karaoke Cowboy, page 9

Nanoparticles in Golf Clubs? page 8

Volume 4 • Issue 11

November 2007

Local Solar House By Mary Vuk Sussman


ith “Pray for Peace” and “Work for Peace” signs in the windows, the 88-year-old cream and light blue bungalow at 3134 S. Vermont Ave. is unassuming from the front. But craning one’s neck to view the southern exposure of its roof reveals that 24 solar panels sit atop the house and another 20 atop the garage. Those 44 solar panels produce more electricity than homeowners Paul and Candy Krepel actually use in a year. Recently, the Krepels received their first check for $375 from We Energies as payment for the electricity they produced, which was in excess of their consumption. They anticipate producing about 9,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, for which they will be paid around $2,140. They estimate the cost of their actual annual electrical usage at around $1,020. The Krepels anticipate producing around 2,000 kilowatt-hours more than they will use in a year. If four homes, for example, were solar powered and were net producers similar to the Krepels’, their excess production would be enough to power a fifth home. “In the total scheme of things, we’re small potatoes producers. We’re also small potatoes users,” Candy said. That’s because the Krepels have done a few things to economize their electrical usage, including installing compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and putting a setback on their hot water heater to turn it off during hours when they are away. It is off for about 12 hours per day. Producers, like the Krepels, in We Energies’ Energy for Tomorrow Power Partner Program are paid 22.5 cents per kilowatthour. This energy is purchased by the power utility using the 1.37 cent per kilowatt-hour premiums paid by electrical customers opting to participate in Energy for Tomorrow to support renewable energy. The Krepels are also Energy for Tomorrow customers, so they pay the premium too, but in essence, it comes back to them. Under this “buyback” program, We Energies purchases 100 percent of the solar electric photovoltaic (PV) output for at least 10 years. The program is “capped” at the first 1,000 kilowatts enrolled. We Energies currently has only 80 producing customers with contracts for a total of 552 kilowatts, said Carl

INSIDE Pg 3 Move FBO to 440th Pg 5 Holiday Wishes for Orgs Pg 6 Chasers’ License Suspended Pg 7 Care Packages for Troops Pg 8 Nanotech WATER Research Pg 9 More Than 80,000 Songs Pgs 10-11: Shop Bay View for the Holidays Pg 12 Fair Trade Right Here Pg 13 Fancy Shoes Stolen Pg 14 Falk: MPS Should Sue State Pg 14 Where is H20 Compact in WI? Pg 16 Sky High Skateboard Shop Pg 18 Peggy Brown Makes Toys Pg 20 Who Killed Tony Zielinski?

Siegrist, We Energies solar programs manager. A majority of these participants are residential customers; 26 of the 80 are located in Milwaukee County. The Krepels anticipate But the producing around 2,000 “overwhelmkilowatt-hours more than ing majority” they will use in a year. If of the 80 are four homes, for example, not net prowere solar powered ducers like and were net producers the Krepels, similar to the Krepels’, said Siegrist. their excess production Cost is would be enough to currently a power a fifth home. prohibitive factor. “Solar power is environmentally respon- Paul and Candy Krepel proudly pose on their garage roof. With their 44-panel system capable of producing a maximum of 7.7 kilowatts per hour, SEE PAGE 16 they have thus far been net producers of electricity.

~photo Michael Timm

MUSIC AND HOPE Nick Johnson and his Bay View High School band By Anna Rose Sweet


ick Johnson stands before his band students in Bay View High School asking for full attention so that they can squeeze in one more song before the bell rings. After the band members put away their instruments for the day, the second floor continues to vibrate with rhythm as the students drum on sinks and lockers as they exit. “It’s intro to chaos in here,” Johnson jokes. Johnson is in his second year at Bay View High School as a full-time band director. He instructs two bands and a general music class, and also teaches lessons to round out his schedule. “They’re great kids,” he said of his students. Johnson grew up in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis and moved to Wisconsin to attend UW-Eau Claire. He graduated in May 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education. His primary instrument is the euphonium. Through Eau Claire, he learned about a program to student teach in Milwaukee Public Schools. Johnson seized this opportunity, bringing his pregnant wife to Milwaukee. He began working at Rufus King High School and Lincoln Center of the Arts. “Student teaching in MPS was the hardest thing in my life,” he said. The band programs he encountered had been completely turned around by the directors he worked with. “I would mirror them, help them out, and then at the end of the semester they would let me take over,” Johnson said. But he learned firsthand how a high-stress job felt. When Johnson was recruited by Bay View High School, there were about 25 students in the band. “I was told to turn that number around or be fired,” Johnson said. This year Bay View High School has 40 students in advanced band and 60 students in beginning band. They join together for

marching band and also play at pep rallies, basketball, and football games. “I’m the fifth or sixth band director in six years,” he said. The turnover rate led many to wonder how long Johnson would stay. “I’ll be here till I die,” he said. When Johnson was recruited by Bay View High School, there were about 25 students in the band. “I was told to turn that number around or be fired,” Johnson said. This year 40 students are in advanced band and 60 students in beginning band.

Turning the Beat Around Bay View High School was a high school of the arts until the mid-1980s and they had a great band program, Johnson said. But changes in administration led to a band that was far from the leaders they had been.

“Any other administration would have cut the band,” he said. “When I started, the room itself was in shambles. We had to organize all the instruments and the sheet music. Our music library is one of the best in the state. It’s worth hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Johnson said. Despite the inherited legacy, translating resources into results proved a challenge. When Johnson was first faced with the students, he found that sometimes they tested him. “The hardest thing was to see the kids who just don’t care,” he said. “I had to weed out the kids who couldn’t handle it.” In the past it had been common for students to not show up for performances. Johnson had to be strict and create a more reliable system. “Basically in band you get SEE PAGE 4

Johnson, in blue, conducts his advanced band class practicing “The Great American Frontier.” Seven Bay View High School band students will march in the downtown Christmas parade, Nov. 17. Others will compete in the Battle of the Drumlines competition, Dec. 1. ~photo Michael Timm

November 2007  

November 2007 Issue