WAUKESHA COUNTY
E
NVIRONMENTAL
ACTION LEAGUE
Protecting Waukesha County's Natural Resourses since 1978

WEAL

Representing the Waukesha County community for the protection of Waukesha County's natural resources through dedicated grass-roots participation and action.

Comments and opinions by WEAL members

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Retzer Nature Center Spring Workshop and Pre-Sale

Posted by WEAL on February 8, 2018 at 9:05 AM

GOING ON NOW: RETZER NATURE CENTER'S ANNUAL SPRING SALES!

(Waukesha, WI) Retzer Nature Center's annual Spring Workshop and Pre-Sale of compost bins, rain barrels and native plants is going on now through March 30. Order on line and view items at www.waukeshacounty.gov/SpringSale. Orders will be available for pick up at Retzer Nature Center on May 12 from 9 am to noon only.


Important West Waukesha Bypass Development and Update

Posted by WEAL on December 17, 2017 at 7:50 PM

Our Bypass fight continues.


We wanted to send a quick update on the West Waukesha Bypass project. One of the important messages we need to send, is that even as the DOT and Waukesha County continue to build the north end of the West Waukesha Bypass our fight continues to save the Pebble Creek Environmental Corridor on the south end of the project. In addition, we are still waiting for a final decision on our Federal Lawsuit to stop the Bypass all together! The arrogant DOT continues to build because they know that it will be impossible to reverse what has already been done! The DOT claims that the Bypass will improve safety yet they are now fighting against making the Bypass route even safer by separating trains and cars on the route! This support our continuous argument that the Bypass was really never really about safety but was about politics and gamesmanship from the very beginning! We will not stop fighting!


Here's is a very recent important development!


There has been controversy over the DOT's decision to build the Bypass at grade on the south end of the Bypass where the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad crosses The Bypass route. In order to move forward Bypass planners needed permission from the Railroad Commissioner. Well, that didn't happen. In a stunning decision the Railroad Commissioner has ruled in favor of a "grade-separated" crossing! Of course Bypass Planners are asking for a re-hearing. Because of this decision the DOT must submit plans for this new bridge. This will not only greatly inflate the cost of the Bypass but it will also delay the project for between 3-5 years! Read the actual ruling by clicking on the link below. It is a very sound decision!


We continue to ask for a complete redo of the Bypass projects Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The original EIS was written for an entirely different project than is actually being built due to the many changes that have been made in this project due to environmental and now safety problems. The Bypass was a bad idea from the beginning.


We are continuing to fight the project in court. We have submitted comments to the Railroad Commissioner and are in contact with the Army Corp of Engineers who must approve wetland fills associated with building of the Bypass. And, there is still the problem of funding this $55 to $65 million dollar road project


If you would like to help, please visit www.weal and donate! Any amount you can afford will help us pay legal fees and continue the fight!


http://apps.psc.wi.gov/vs2015/ERF_view/viewdoc.aspx?docid=333754


Thank you for your support


Allen Stasiewski, transportation action representative

Waukesha Environmental Action League (WEAL)

October 2017 Newsletter and Invitation to Meeting

Posted by WEAL on October 22, 2017 at 2:10 PM

WEAL's October 2017 newsletter and an invitation to the November 9th presentation on Foxconn and other important issues.

View newsletter HERE.


 

Fall Highway Cleanup October 21 2017

Posted by WEAL on October 11, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Our fall cleanup is coming up. The temperature should be just right. This year's cleanup promises to be a great day to get outside and enjoy our SE Wisconsin weather before the cold of winter arrives!


WEAL's Fall Highway Cleanup


Saturday October 21st at 9:00 am to 11:00 am

Rain or Shine

Where: Highway N, between Hwy 59 and Hwy ZZ


Wear old clothes, comfortable shoes, and work gloves.


Directions: Take Hwy 59 SW from Waukesha through Eagle to Hwy N.

Meet at the parking area in the middle of our segment on Hwy N across from the "Scuppernong Prairie State natural Area" sign.

Here's an easy way to get involved, help the environment and get some light exercise!

September HIking Opportunities

Posted by WEAL on August 29, 2017 at 10:40 AM

September is a great time to take hike! See the attached flyers. Note that Dianne is asking that your RSVP for specific locations. Her phone number and email are below.



 

 

West Waukesha Bypass Hearing Synopsis

Posted by WEAL on July 17, 2017 at 11:20 PM

On Tuesday, July 11th, Judge Pepper heard from our lawyers and the lawyers of our adversaries in federal court in downtown Milwaukee. Our lawyer presented legal aspects of our case first and then the lawyers for the other side had a chance to speak. The entire hearing took about 1 1/2 hours. Our lawyers focused on areas where we believe the bypass builders broke the law. Among other things our lawyer addressed the finding of toxic waste along the route, the lack of a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) since big changes were made in the project, overall project impact, and the illegal design of public hearings.


Our intent was to convince the judge that there are enough problems with the way the Bypass approval process was managed and enough new information, that the DOT and the County should be required to go back and write a new Environmental Impact Statement. Judge Pepper asked questions of both side's attorneys. Judge Pepper is now required to make her decision on our arguments. There is no definite time for this decision. It could be days or weeks or it could be months. As soon as we hear something we will be sure to let everyone know. In the mean time we will be consulting with our lawyers to discuss possible scenarios and next steps related to these scenarios.


Thank you for all your support and help over the years. We are still fundraising to pay legal fees to fight the Bypass. Even through construction has begun, there is much more harm that will be done if we don't keep fighting. Regardless of the decision we will have alternatives to consider. Will you please help by donating any amount you can afford? We've come this far, we can't give up! Donate at www.weal.org.


Please email ( [email protected] ) back with any questions.


Thank You,


Coalition Opposed to the West Waukesha Bypass and Waukesha County Environmental Action League (WEAL)

Hearing on Motion 31

Posted by WEAL on July 10, 2017 at 11:10 PM

Bypass Opponent, we're so sorry about the late notice. As you recall we recently notified the court that the DOT has started construction on the West Waukesha Bypass. Presumably in response to our notification and request for an expeditious ruling, Judge Pepper has set our case for a hearing on the motions for summary judgment for July 11, 2017 9 am (the Court’s notice is reproduced below).

NOTICE of Hearing on Motion 31 (https://ecf.wied.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/DktRpt.pl?70589 )    MOTION for Summary Judgment: Motion Hearing set for 7/11/2017 at 9:00 AM in Courtroom 225, 517 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202 before Judge Pamela Pepper. (cc: all counsel)(pwm)

If you can attend please do! Otherwise watch your e-mail for additional information after the hearing tomorrow.

Sincerely,

Coalition Opposed to the West Waukesha Bypass

Wildflower Hike at Theresa Marsh Wildlife Area

Posted by WEAL on June 23, 2017 at 7:35 AM

There are many wonderful wildlife areas in Wisconsin! We thought you might be interested in hiking this one with Diane Robinson!


Wildflower hike at Theresa Marsh Wildlife Area on June 24th 9:30 am to 11 am. Please RSVP, and I hope to see you there!

We are committed to service excellence.

Visit our survey at http://dnr.wi.gov/customersurvey to evaluate how I did.

Dianne Robinson

Milwaukee County Wildlife Biologist

Bureau of Wildlife Management, Division of Lands

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

141 NW Barstow St. Room 180

Waukesha, WI 53188

Cell Phone: (262) 424-9827

Fax: (262) 574-2117

[email protected]

Update: West Waukesha Bypass Legal Fight Continues

Posted by WEAL on June 10, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Bypass Opponent,


I'm sorry that it's been a while since we've sent out a Bypass update. Why? To be honest we've been waiting for our lawsuit to get a hearing date. Now there are developments! First of all I want to assure you that our lawsuit is still very much alive! Second, I know that most of you know by now that the DOT has begin actual construction of the north section of the Bypass. Its really a mess. The whole area is all torn up, greenspace has been plowed under, and many many trees have been cut down! I'm so sorry for all those of you who live in this area. Your quality of life will never be the same!


As soon as we learned that construction had begun we contacted our legal team in Washington and discussed our options. A decision was made to ask the judge, who has been assigned our case, to expedite our hearing. This letter was sent in late May. I've pasted a final version of our letter below. We hope that this will help speed up our ruling! We have a good case against the Bypass and have worked hard to fight it for years. And now it's time for a judge to review the County and DOT's actions and the project's legal standing. Remember that so far, the whole bypass approval process has been a huge case of the fox guarding the hen house - The Federal Highway Commission approves the building of highways and decides whether all laws have been compiled with...not much of a surprise there. So it's time our case is finally decided by an impartial judge!


Our fight will continue. And our legal fees continue to grow. Can you please help us fight this project through all 3 phases. Please donate at weal.org. Anything you can give will help. Whether it's $5 or $500 your donation is 100% applied to our fight. We have no overhead because we are all volunteers who care about our families and our environment and are committed to this fight! Please donate today. Be a part of something big! Help make our life here in Waukesha County better!


Sincerely

Allen Stasiewski

on behalf of the Coalition Opposed to the West Waukesha Bypass


 NOTICE OF PROJECT CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITES

AND REQUEST FOR AN EXPEDITIOUS RULING


Plaintiffs Waukesha County Environmental Action League and the Coalition Opposed to the West Waukesha Bypass, UA respectfully request that this Court expeditiously render a judgment on the pending cross-motions for summary judgment in light of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (“WisDOT”) initiation of construction activities on the highway project at issue.

The briefing on the parties’ requests for summary judgment regarding Defendants’ compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) was completed on February 20, 2017. See ECF No. 38 (Plaintiffs’ Reply Brief). Without awaiting the Court’s ruling on the pending motions, however, WisDOT has initiated bulldozing and construction of new lanes on the north side of the Bypass route, as well as tree removal at various other locations along the proposed project route. Consequently, Plaintiffs respectfully urge the Court to issue a ruling on the merits of Plaintiffs’ NEPA claim as expeditiously as practicable.


DATED: May , 2017 Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Eric R. Glitzenstein


Eric R. Glitzenstein

MEYER GLITZENSTEIN & EUBANKS, LLP

4115 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 210

Washington, DC 20016

Counsel for Plaintiffs

Friends of Vernon Marsh Golf Outing Dinner & Auction with LeRoy Butler

Posted by WEAL on May 18, 2017 at 7:05 AM

Friends, we'd like to invite you to the Friends of Vernon Marsh 2017 Golf Outing Dinner & Auction on June 2nd. Put together a foursome and golf at beautiful Broadlands Golf Club. Come meet LeRoy Butler, inventor of the Lambeau Leap! There will be prize holes, chances to win big prizes, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, and a live auction! Lots of fun for everyone! If you don't golf, join the festivities for dinner and fun!

If you can't golf on June 2nd why not join us for the Dinner and Auction. The cost of $50 per person gets you a delicious dinner, silent auction and live auction, fun, friends, and meet LeRoy Butler. What a great Friday evening! You'd spend $50 just going to eat at a restaurant! Come join us at Broadlands Golf Club on June 2nd and get so much more and support the protection of the Vernon Marsh as well!

Sign up information: https://www.picatic.com/event14713651536702


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