In this episode: Ladies who love blow darts, men who love chickens, and teens who play with fire. Also, we give away a $50 gift certificate to Eclectica and 2 tickets to Micon Cinemas. (If you'd like to enter a contest, go here.) This episode is supported by Deborah Becker of State Farm Insurance.
If you’re one of the many people wondering about the new apartments and retail space that’s been a-poppin’ up in the Phoenix Park Neighborhood, there’s at least one thing you can stop wondering about – today the Leader-Telegram reports that the third and newest building (312 Wisconsin St.), set to open this weekend, is chock full of residents with a 0 vacancy. They quote developer Geoff Moeding as saying that, in over 30 years of experience, he’s never had an apartment building 100% leased before it even opened. So, that sounds awesome. People want to live downtown.
Retail space is another matter. At last count, the new building has only one of its four retail “wells” occupied, and the first building to be constructed (the one right across from the Farmers Market pavilion) still has a large empty space staring blankly out over Madison Street. That space is said to be more or less filled, though the developer is extremely tight-lipped as to what’s going in there.
As for the rest of the commercial storefronts, Moeding told the L-T he’s looking for a fitness center, and the much-talked neighborhood grocery store (an idea many people love while many other people say, “What about this place?”). And there’s one more building left to be constructed in the first phase of the Phoenix Park Neighborhood, with plans for a July groundbreaking.
I just read about Passive House in the Woods (via Jeston Green). The house, to be constructed outside of Hudson, Wis., is 1,940 square feet of single-family eco heaven overlooking the St. Croix river valley. I’d never heard the term “Passive House” before, but it basically means “so energy efficient/carbon neutral it could simultaneously blow the minds of every hippie living between now and 1969.” There are many, very tight energy standards to which a builder must adhere. This particular mind-blower has a whole team of designers and builders behind it, and while it was commissioned by a private client, it seems to be marketed as a sort of poster child home for this kind of home building. Some details:
Yeah, I don’t really understand half of that, but it sure sounds cool. If all goes according to plan, Passive House in the Woods will actually exceed space-conditioning requirements for the Passive House standard by 25%. And Hudson is the perfect locale! What better place to build a passive house than the midwest, where most people are totally passive to begin with? OH CULTURE SNAP! Anyway, completion is scheduled for late Summer 2010.
Apart from a few exceptions, we don’t see a whole lot of sign-in-hand protesting around these parts. Even on campus. Many people say true protesting is a lost art. Well, it wasn’t lost last Saturday on the group of people protesting in front of Menomonie’s McDonald’s (1515 N. Broadway). About a dozen people gathered to protest the restaurants’ (meaning all American McDonald’s’s) chicken-slaughtering methods. According to protester Katherine Johnson:
Questions of gassing chickens aside, I think it’s good to see protesting. Between the jail thing, the chicken thing, the smoking ban thing, and a few other things – it’s good to live in a community where people stand up for ... you know ... things.
Hey, the big chicken talk is tonight. If you feel strongly one way or the other about the much-discussed “Chicken Ordinance,” show up at City Hall (203 S. Farwell Street) tonight at 7pm to speak your mind. From the city:
Personally, I’ve written about chickens before, and I'm pro-chicken. Unfortunately, as the ordinance is currently written, most of my neighborhood (the Eastside Hill) would not be zoned correctly to allow them. My house would be in a no-chicken zone. So even if the ordinance has gone through multiple drafts, perhaps a closer look is still needed.