Monday, March 29, 2010

From Swaziland to Monroe

An interesting multi-cultural, mixed media exhibit is opening at the Monroe Arts Center Frehner Gallery this Thursday.

"Message from Swaziland" was inspired by local artist Jennifer Rikkers' walk through parts of Africa when she participated in the 2008 Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation AIDS Walk Africa. Rikkers combined her photography with acrylic painting to create this exhibit highlighting the people of Swaziland who touched her so deeply during her walk through the country. Rikkers wanted to share the message of Swaziland's people, a people in a country that has been deeply affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis.

33% of the population of that country has the virus, and AIDS work there is critically important to that nation. Rikkers will be donating 33% of the proceeds from the sale of artwork in this exhibit to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation to help with their work.

This exhibit opens on Thursday, April 1 and runs through April 30. The opening reception is from 5 until 7 pm on Thursday, and the artist will giving a gallery talk at 5:30. This event is free, and families are welcome. We give kudos to the underwriters of this exhibit: The Swiss Colony, Monroe Publishing, Big Radio, Michael and Shelley Muranyi, Deb Thompson, Lee and Chris Knuteson, Barb Woodriff, and Pete Guenther.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Things to Do Around Monroe

Looking for a little something to do?

~ Tonight, there is a political forum at the Monroe High School's Performing Arts Center. Candidates for the local contested races will be there to talk about their positions on various issues. The event starts at 7 pm.

~ The 40th Annual Rock, Gem and Mineral Show will be held this weekend at the Monroe High School. Sponsored by Badger Lapidary and Geological Society, this event is open to the public Saturday and Sunday from 9 until 5 pm.

~ whooOOOOoooo Come to the Owl Night at New Glarus Woods. The annual Owl Talk and Night Hike is a popular event sponsored by the Friends on the New Glarus Woods. The interactive and interpretive program will begin with a bonfire and end with a night hike through the woods to try to spot some of the feathered friends. Free, but parking requires either an annual or daily state park sticker. Dress appropriately for the weather and hiking.

~ The local Democratic Committee is hosting “ORGANIZING FOR AMERICA” strategy meeting at First National Bank Community Room across from the historic Courthouse Square in Monroe from on Saturday from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Refreshments will be available.

~ The Monroe City Band is presenting "Music of Miller" this Saturday at Turner Hall. This variety show and dance starts at 8 pm, and the band will play two sets. Tickets are available at Ruf's, from band members and at the door for $6 each.

~ Enjoy a little music with your dinner at Vince's this Sunday. CalvagnaHarris is playing jazz for your pleasure between 5 and 8 pm.

~ Green County Development Corporation has their annual meeting and dinner next week on Tuesday evening. A celebration of what makes Green County extraordinary, this meeting will feature speaker Robert Ady. A buffet dinner will be served. Reservations required, $35 per person. Contact Susan at GCDC for more information.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Finally, a CSA with a local drop off point!

Oh yes, another local food post. You know me - love to buy local and buy direct! Good food is one of the joys of life.
It has been years since a CSA (community supported agriculture) has had a drop off point in or around Monroe. For those of you unfamiliar with what a CSA is, you purchase a share of the harvest from a local produce grower. These farmers grow vegetables on their area farm, and every week during the growing season, you receive a box of freshly picked, perfectly in season produce as your share of the harvest. These boxes are usually brought to a few central drop off points a specific times, and you must go there to pick up your produce. Locals who wanted to be members of a CSA have often had to go to Verona, Janesville, Beloit or elsewhere to pick up their food.

Wiser Farms Produce in Evansville will be doing a Monroe drop off point this year. Josh and Bekah are in their first year with their CSA, and they are only take 20 shares for this year's harvest. They are offering a 16 week season, getting their clients more of the summer harvest and less of the extended periods of greens that some CSAs with 20 week season seem to have. I spoke with Josh, and he said that so many people seem tired of greens by the time the summer produce comes around that he wanted to keep his season a little shorter.

A share for their 16 week season is $400, only $25 per week for a box filled with local, fresh produce. If you are looking for an easy way to eat more local foods or just want to make sure that you are eating more vegetables this summer, you can't get much easier than this. Pick up your box once a week and enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor.

They already have plants going in their hoophouses, and they will have bedding plants available (both vegetables and flowers).

Are you getting exciting about spring?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Things to Do Around Monroe

Even though the weather is not looking good for the weekend, there are still things to do in the area.

~ River Valley Trading Company has their monthly documentary showing on Thursday evening. This month, the movie is "Blue Gold: World Water Wars." The screening starts at 7 pm.

~ Monroe Theatre Guild has a children's theatre workshop this weekend. Help your children prepare for the upcoming try outs for Music Man with the audition workshop on Saturday. Visit the MTG website for registration information.

~ Pick your favorite type of live music!
  • The benefit concert for the children of Haiti is on Friday at the Monroe Arts Center,
  • There is a Green County Barbershop Concert at the Monroe High School Performing Arts Center on Saturday,
  • Beth Kille (known locally at the lead of Clear Blue Betty) performs at Baumgartner's on Saturday evening,
  • Tofflers has The Midwesterners on Saturday night,
  • The Monroe Theatre Guild Youth Choir performs their spring concert on Sunday evening at MAC.
~ How about a traditional German-Swiss dinner? Enjoy Kabelwurst at a fundraiser for the New Glarus Fire Department on Saturday. Advance tickets are available for $10 at the Bank of New Glarus, Hoesly's Meats, Ott Haus Pub and Grill, Chalet Landhaus or from any NG firefighter. $11 at the door, kids $5. First come, first served, but carryouts are also available.

~ Don your Pink Ladies jacket and head to Freeport for the Aquin Theater Department (of St Thomas Aquinas Church) production of Grease on Friday or Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. $7 per person at the Aquin Auditorium on Galena Ave.

~ If musicals aren't your thing, how about "The Cheddar Curtain" at the Winneshiek Playhouse? Four local theatre groups work together to bring four short plays. Tickets are $15.

~ Looking to improve your cooking skills? Kookaburra's in Monroe has a Knife Skills class on Tuesday evening. $20 per person. I'm is already enrolled, so come and join me!

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a building site just outside of Monroe.

Build your dream home on this spacious 2.91 acre lot on Alphorn Road, just south of Monroe.

You will have the best of both worlds in this rural subdivision - room for your family to spread out and enjoy views of the rolling countryside, but a drive of less than a mile to Monroe.

This gently sloping lot allows for construction a home with exposed basement. Enjoy sunrises from your back windows as you look out over acres of farmland.

This lot would be perfect for a home with passive solar orientation, and photovoltaic panels could be a possibility here as well.

Priced at only $26,000, this is a lot that has many possibilities.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Help Luis help the MDA

Every year, Luis is a happy volunteer for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's "Lockup" fundraiser. This promotion puts Luis "in jail" for a day until he raises enough money to post bail. His goal this year, his bail, is to raise enough to send two children to summer camp this year.

Can you help? Visit his MDA page to make a secure pledge online or give us a call at 608-214-5797 and we can arrange to pick up your pledge.

Thank you so much!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

April 2010 Green County Market Report

Another month has ended, so it is time for monthly report on the Green County, Wisconsin real estate market.

Regarding the number of single family homes that sold in Green County in February of 2010:
  • Only 5 homes sold in February of 2010,
  • The homes were on the market for an average of 119 days,
  • The average sale price was $157,180,
  • The median sale price was $131,900,
  • The highest priced property sold was $275,000,
  • The lowest priced property sold was $57,500.
Let's compare with February of 2009:
  • 12 homes sold in February of 2009,
  • The homes were on the market for an average of 100 days,
  • The average sale price was $,191,858
  • The median sale price was $128,036,
  • The highest priced property sold was $525,000,
  • The lowest priced property sold was $47,000.
There was obviously a difference here, and I think that the weather can account for a good deal of it. No one likes to look at homes when the weather is cold, when there are multiple feet of snow on the ground. The only people who look for homes in these conditions are those who absolutely need to purchase something. Buyers like to be able to see something of the yard and get a look at the foundations of homes. In previous years, we had a late January snow melt, and the phone starts to ring when the snow melts. This year, it was cold and snowy all the way through February.

I took a minute to check pending home sales for Green County. Sure enough, there are already 15 homes pending sale. This means that the home has an accepted offer on it, all contingencies have been met, and the buyer and seller are just waiting for the closing date. 25 homes sold in March of 2009. We are only on the 10th day of the month, yet 2 homes have already sold and another 15 are pending sale.

I do believe that we will be back on track in March.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Things to Do Around Monroe

~ Enjoy your corned beef and cabbage a little early this year at a fundraiser sponosred by the Orangeville Masonic Lodge. Come to Tammy Jo's Restaurant in Orangeville on Saturday for a seating at either 4:30, 5:30 or 6:30 pm. The $8.50 dinner benefits the Freeport Dyslexia Center. Take-outs available, and reservations requested for seating time.

~ Browntown has a St Patrick's Day Dance on Saturday evening at the Fire Station. This event is an annual fund raiser for the department, so put on your dancing shoes and come have fun while helping a good cause.

~ If you were planning on joining the annual Celtic Pub Crawl in Monroe this Saturday, we hope you registered early! This event is no longer taking reservations as over 700 people have now signed up to take part in this event. Plan ahead for next year!

~ Calling all brides! The regional bridal show is Sunday at Ludlow Mansion in Monroe. This event, sponsored by the Monroe Chamber, will take place 11 until 3. Tickets are $4 in advance or $6 at the door.

~ If wedding planning isn't on your agenda, why not head over the Monroe High School on Sunday instead for the annual Farm Toy Show, sponsored by the FFA? There will be lots to look at: old and new farm toys, toy trucks, Nascar and miniature farm displays. Admission is $3, children 10 and under are free.

~ UW Extension is sponsoring a gardening symposium just in time for all of us who dream of digging in to the earth again once things dry out. This event will be on Saturday at Ludlow, $30 includes lunch, refreshments and materials. There will be speakers on everything from bee keeping to composting. Contact Mark Mayer at 608-328-9440 to register.

~ The Jane Addams Community Center in Cedarville will be host to a model car contest and swap meet this Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm. There will be 60 to 75 tables with models and toys for sale, along with a model car contest which consists of approximately 18 different classes. Judging starts at Noon. $2 admission.

~ Join area members of the Democratic Party at World Buffet in Monroe this Sunday for dinner followed by a meeting. There will be a guest speaker, Steven Montoya, from the Feingold Senate Committee. Dining at 5 pm, meeting at 6.

~ Come out to the St Patrick's Day parade around Monroe's Downtown Square on St Patrick's day. The parade starts at 5:17 pm. Come early to browse around the newly updated Square if you haven't been Downtown for a while, or stay late and enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Business Spotlight - Ideate Ink

Keep it local.

That is one of our core beliefs in business and life. Supporting local businesses keeps our local economy strong and vibrant.

So, when we decided it was time for a new look for our business cards recently, we picked up the phone and called Adam Bansley over at Ideate Ink in Monroe. We gave Adam a photo and the text we wanted on the cards, and told him we wanted a classic design that was clean and readable. We had a proof within a day or two, and the cards were in our hands in next to no time.

It could not have been easier! The time we ordered cards online, we had to spend all the time flipping through templates and laying everything out ourselves. Adam saved us all of that hassle, and we know that our new business cards are not simply cookie cutter designs. Best of all, Ideate Ink was cheaper than the big company we ordered cards from previously. Small businesses can be surprisingly competitive and the service cannot be beat.

So, what do you think of our new card?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tips for selling in today's market

Today's market is a competitive one with a larger than normal inventory. The question for sellers today is how to make their home stand out from the competition?

This video has some tips on this subject:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Things to Do

Planning time. What is on your agenda for the upcoming week?

~ A new exhibit is opening in Frehner Gallery at the Monroe Arts Center on Thursday evening. "Women of Whimsy" is a show featuring five women who have all taught art locally. The opening reception is from 5 until 7 pm at MAC on Thursday evening.

~ The BoDeans are playing in Monroe, a MAC event that will take place at the high school's PAC starting at 7:30. Contact MAC for tickets. Ticket prices range from $32 through $12.

~ More live music! You can hear your choice at Baumgartners, Tofflers or the French Quarter or Turner Hall this weekend. Baumgartners will feature Glenn Davis, Tofflers has Mark Harrod on Saturday evening. Turner Hall will host the Zwiefel Brothers on Sunday afternoon.

~ "The Vagina Monologues" is playing in Freeport on Saturday evening courtesy of the Freeport Art Museum and Winneshiek Playhouse. This event is a fundraiser for VOICES DV. $12 per ticket.

~ The kids at Monroe Middle School have been working hard on this year's spring musical. "Cinderella" is ready to go. The young performers will present their work on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at the middle school. The curtain rises at 7 pm. Admission is a free will donation that will go to music clinic scholarships and curriculum enhancements.

~ Brodhead Public Library has an open house event on Saturday afternoon to celebrate one year in their new facility. There will be live music starting at 1:30 and a dedication for a new piece of art at 2 pm.

~ Speaking of students, get out there and support our student athletes! Many of our area schools have tournament play going on for basketball this weekend and in the upcoming weeks of March Madness. Wrestling is going to state this weekend too!

~ Enroll now for upcoming Monroe Theatre Guild workshops. There will be a children's musical theatre workshop this Saturday from 10 am until 2:30 to help youth ages 12-18 prepare for this summer's Music Man production. Adults, how about Scenic Painting workshops? These are FREE for members! Remember, membership is only $20 per year per family and includes lots of perk. Junk Puppets for kids is coming up, and this time around the kids will be helping their puppets lip sync to create a musical video.

~ Kookaburra's in Monroe has a Quick Casserole class on Tuesday evening. On the menu are Baked French Toast, Bacon Noodle and a Stuffed Shells casserole. Class fee is $25.00 per person. Pre-registration is required. Register online or call 608.325.3955

~ Peeking at what is coming up later in March: the Celtic Pub Crawl, New Glarus Fire Department Kabelwurst dinner, bridal show, youth choir performance, and the popular Gem and Mineral show.

See you around town!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Property of the Week

Luis Carus | Towne Square Realty | 608-214-5797
1005 16th Ave, Monroe, WI
On Monroe's Historic Downtown Square
offered at $139,900
Year Built 1874
Sq Footage 5,900
Floors 3
Parking Unspecified
Lot Size 1,980 sqft
Maint $0 per month


Great location on the west side of Monroe's busy Downtown Square. Perfect for retail space, business office, or service industry needs.

see additional photos below

- Rare available property on Monroe's Square
- 220 electrical service
- Finished lower level
- Rear entrances for all three levels
- Adjacent to city parking lot


- Located on busy west side of Square


Photo 1

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Contact info:

Luis Carus
Towne Square Realty
For sale by agent/broker

powered by postlets Equal Opportunity Housing
Posted: Mar 2, 2010, 7:09am PST

Monday, March 1, 2010

Benefit Concert

We care deeply about people here in Cheese Country. An example of this will be taking place in a couple of weeks here in Monroe.

The Monroe Arts Center will be the site for a benefit concert for the children of Haiti. The concert will feature a variety of local musicians, including Bill Rients of recent Pirate Night fame if you missed the concert.

The concert will be on March 19 at 7:30 pm. Admission will be a donation at the door, $10 per person suggested. Reservations are also suggested for this event, and you can reserve your seats by calling 608-325-5700.

All proceeds will go to Children International for distribution to children in need in Haiti.

Kudos to our friend Terry from The Piazza for organizing this great concert in conjunction with the great people at MAC.