Issue #344, Nov. 1, 2017

FEATURE: Getting to Know Eau Claire One Sketch at a Time

after living all over the world, Nishant Jain uses a sketchpad to familiarize himself with the people and places in his new home

Eric Christenson

Nishant Jain could’ve been a mechanical engineer or a neuroscientist, but his true passion lies in his artwork. He’s been all over the world: Born, raised, and educated in India, he moved to Europe and got his master’s degree in the Netherlands ...

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Issue #334 June 14, 2017

FEATURE: Diverse Perspectives

Circles of Change initiative seeks to move from dialogue to action

Patti See, photos by Patti See, Bill Hoepner

I’m at the front of the pack in this bonding exercise, “Move Forward, Move Back.” To start, all of us lined up along the hallway, shoulder to shoulder as equals. I predicted I might end up in the middle, since I was a working-class kid and a first-generation college student. Another white woman is at the front with me ...

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Issue #326 February 8, 2017

FEATURE: Sisters on Separate Trails

as her twin sister – a first-time skier – tackles the American Birkebeiner, writer Katie Venit ponders the very different paths their lives have taken

Katie Venit

Breathless from half-jogging, half-skating from the parking lot, I squeezed between two people ringing cowbells to peer over a rope line. Skiers rounded a bend a few hundred yards away, leaving thick woods behind as the trail straightened into the finish gates ...

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Issue #319 November 2, 2016

Slow Time & Sudden Space

a meditation on hunting in wisconsin

Jason Splichal, photos by Jason Splichal

The wind chill was -25 degrees when I left my friend’s cabin. It was the second week of December. As if they were powered by the howling wind itself, the stars of Orion’s belt had just begun pulling a dim smudge of dawn above the jagged, inky serration of pines that formed the horizon ...

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Issue #319 November 2, 2016

ELECTION FEATURE: Red, Blue, or Purple?

despite shifting voting patterns, the Chippewa Valley remains a sought-after swing area on Election Day

Luc Anthony, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Wisconsin likes to vote. The Badger State’s turnout rates are regularly among the highest in the United States, particularly in presidential election years. Western Wisconsin is the same, anchored by the population center of the Eau Claire metropolitan area ...

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Issue #316 September 21, 2016

Feature: Wisconsin's Big Idea

More than a century ago, Wisconsin’s education leaders decided the boundaries of the university should reach the boundaries of the state – and beyond. Today, the Wisconsin Idea is still making Badger State life better.

Katie Venit

At the beginning of the last century, the Wisconsin Idea was brought up alongside its older brother, progressivism. This philosophy calls for government to exist for the benefit of its citizens. While that may seem ...

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Issue #314 August 24, 2016

Where FM Means Fine Music

a look inside humble, independent Chippewa Falls radio station WCFW, its eclectic programming, and the spirit behind it all

by Katie Vagnino, photos by Andrea Paulseth

I’ll never forget the moment I first stumbled upon the oddball frequency – I had just moved to Eau Claire and was in my car scanning through local stations when I landed on a Rosemary Clooney ballad ...

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Issue #311 July 13, 2016

Public Library 2.0

Forget stereotypes about dusty piles of books. Today’s tech-savvy libraries are staying relevant in the digital age.

by Amanda Foxcroft, photos by Andrea Paulseth

We tipped into the Digital Age around the year 2000, when the Internet changed from a static information platform into the interactive, Google-dominated Web 2.0 we know today. The Digital Age (aka the Information Age) has put a staggering amount of information at our fingertips, literally ...

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Issue #310 June 29, 2016

Dairy Diary

one woman's self-guided tour through some of the region's best dairy breakfasts in all their cheesy glory

by Katie Vagnino, photos by Andrea Paulseth, Dunn County Extension

Let me begin with a confession: I’m kind of obsessed with breakfast food. When McDonald’s announced plans to offer its breakfast menu all day, I was delighted. Breakfast, with its perfect balance ...

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Issue #306 May 18, 2016

Extra Innings

with a history dating back to 1908, the Chippewa River Baseball League has been central to summer for generations of amateur ballplayers and fans

Joe Niese

It is hard to fathom that something that has been around for over a century and has had more than 12,000 participants can remain unknown to so many people in the Chippewa Valley. Thus is the story of ...

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Issue #303 April 6, 2016

Can’t Stop the Music

for 50 years, the Eau Claire Jazz Festival has attracted and inspired top musical talent

Garrett Denney

Teaching at what was then known as the Wisconsin State College-Eau Claire, professor Joe Casey hosted the first Eau Claire Jazz Festival. Five decades and hundreds of performances later, it is still going strong ...

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Issue #297 January 13, 2016

Looking Ahead 2016

2016 will be huge for the Chippewa Valley – here’s some stuff we’re looking forward to covering

Eric Christenson, Mike Paulus, Tom Giffey, photos by Andrea Paulseth

There’s a lot in store for the Chippewa Valley in 2016. It’s certainly an exciting time to be here in the middle of all of it, and we’re just as psyched as you are for all the cool things happening around us. So let’s take a quick breather, shake out 2015’s cobwebs, and press in on what ...

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Issue #295 December 9, 2015

The Year of the Entrepreneur

an increasing focus on startup businesses in the Chippewa Valley is paying dividends, observers say, with more people taking the risky but thrilling leap into entrepreneurship

Tom Giffey, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Pivotal years and critical events are often only recognizable in retrospect. Trends are usually hard to spot when we are in the midst of them. And yet, even keeping such cautious Midwestern wisdom in mind, it’s clear that something has shifted in the Chippewa Valley. From new corner stores to globally recognized innovators ...

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Issue #292 October 28, 2015

The Value of Wilderness: A Hunter’s Perspective

Jason Splichal, photos by Jason Splichal

My son and I sit motionless in our tree – two shallow-breathing shadows – shoulder to shoulder above an invisible world. Bright stars move, as if pushed by a gentle breeze, across the inky black. Andromeda and Cassiopeia slip in gentle arcs; there are times when we can almost hear the earth rolling on its belly ...

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Issue #291 October 14, 2015

The Land Towards Which They Were Going

the story of James Zwerg, a Wisconsin freedom rider

BJ Hollars

In late February 1961, 21-year-old James Zwerg – a native of Appleton – took his place in a Nashville, Tennessee, movie theater line alongside all the rest. The tall, white Midwesterner was quiet but anxious, confident though a little afraid. To the ticket seller at the front of the line, his exterior surely pegged him as the perfect patron ...

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Issue #272 January 21, 2015

Making History

over the past 30 years, retiring Chippewa Valley Museum Director Susan McLeod has done more than anyone to shape how we remember our own history

Tom Giffey, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Historical exhibits – and not those who create them – are the reason people go to museums. That doesn’t make curators, archivists, and others unimportant: In fact, their behind-the-scenes efforts are critical to how we understand the past ...

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