Wednesday, Mar. 26th, 2014

Top 5 autocomplete search results when you type "Is Eau Claire …" into Google

The Mighty Google is great at revealing our collective fears, values, and curiosities. So in an absolutely legitimate and totally scientifically sound experiment, we typed "Is Eau Claire …" into the Google Search Bar of Truth and behold! This is what we saw before us:

1. “Is Eau Claire a good place to live?”

Well, we may be a bit biased – after all, we do live here – but we would have to say yes. So would a lot of studies and surveys: In recent years, Eau Claire has made various lists of best places for raising kids, retiring, and starting a business or career. The fact this is the No. 1 search term suggests we’re in for a Web search-driven influx of those seeking the good life.

2. “Is Eau Claire a party school?”

UW-Eau Claire certainly has that reputation – a well-deserved reputation, as anyone who has participated in (or simply observed) the bar-to-house party migratory pattern of partying Blugolds can attest. However, surveys in recent years have shown a decline in binge drinking, so it’s clear not all UWEC students conform to the stereotype.

3. “Is Eau Claire schools closed?”

During the winter, whether they “is” closed or not depends on the weather. Apparently, however, they “was” closed the day a lot of Internet users learned subject-verb agreement.

4. “Is Eau Claire a dry campus?”

Yes and no. It’s located next to the Chippewa River and is bisected by Little Niagara Creek, so it’s not all dry. However, the elevation of the campus brings it out of the flood plain, so you don’t need to bring hip waders if you enroll. Oh, but you mean “dry” as in the boozey booze? In that case, see No. 2 above.

5. “Is Eau Claire safe?”

For the most part, yes. In fact, the Eau Claire Police Department proudly notes that crime rates in the city are as low as they been in three decades. And the Eau Claire metro area typically ranks near the bottom when crime statistics are compiled nationwide.

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Tuesday, Mar. 25th, 2014

Eau Claire’s 5 most romantic street names

Venus, the Goddess of Love, surveys her Avenue located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Venus, the Goddess of Love, surveys her Avenue.

Buckle up, buttercups – it's time for a wild ride down some of the area's most romantically named streets, avenues, and roads. Because nothing says "romance" like a drive down a residential street with a lusty name.

1. Venus Avenue

The heavenly Goddess of Love reigns on this North Side street, making it a hard-to-beat address for romance. Bonus: Venus Avenue is in a neighborhood nicknamed “The Planets,” so a romance that begins here is sure to be out of this world. Amiright?

2. Twilight Lane

If nighttime is the right time, then you’ve come to the right place if you lose your heart on this short but sultry street just west of the city. Hot tip: Keep an eye out for hunky, brooding vampires.

3. Hotchkiss Avenue

You may not be familiar with this out-of-the-way street near Lake Altoona, but hunting it down will be doubly rewarding. First, the avenue’s name begins with “hot” ... need we say more? Yep. Second, it ends with “kiss,” which is appealing for obvious reasons. The “C” and “H” are there to add a little sugar. (Get it?)

4. Bittersweet Road

What would romance be worth without the fear of betrayal? Would a first love be remembered so fondly if it hadn’t been lost? Puppy love is saccharine; mature love tastes of dark chocolate. This is the lesson of Bittersweet Road.

5. Paris Place

Given Eau Claire’s French name, it’s fitting that a little bit of the City of Love has found its way here. Looking for un petit amour? You may find it on a romantic, winding ride through the west side.

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Sunday, Mar. 23rd, 2014

Sunday Event Picks (March 23)

Chick magnets! Check out the 9th Annual Lambing Time at Govin's Farm today, Details below.
Chick magnets! Check out the 9th Annual Lambing Time at Govin's Farm today, Details below.

From early in the morning and into the night – a lot of fine quality events occurring on Sunday. Wanna know what they are? Of course you do. Our picks are below. Check out the rest of Sunday here.

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Saturday, Mar. 22nd, 2014
Friday, Mar. 21st, 2014

5 most popular dog and cat names in Eau Claire

We tapped into the City of Eau Claire's pet license statistics for 2013 to determine your neighbor's favorite dog and cat names. To learn more, visit www.eauclairewi.gov and search for “pet licenses.”

1. Bella/Lilly

Eau Claire dog owners haven’t strayed far from the national standard – or Twilight mania – in picking pooch names. Bella is Eau Claire’s No. 1 dog moniker, a distinction it also had among female dog names in a nationwide survey by Rover.com, a site that connects dog owners and pet-sitters. Meanwhile, Lily was top dog (“top cat” just doesn’t sound right) for feline names.

2. Buddy/Misty

Who can resist a dog named Buddy? Apparently, many Eau Claire dog owners can’t: They made this best-friend name the second-most popular in town. Nationally, according to Rover.com, Buddy is No. 3 for male dogs. On the flip side, city cat owners are getting Misty over their feline companions. (Actually, it’s probably all the dander in the air.)

3. Molly/Smokey

We’re not sure what explains the popularity of the name Molly. Perhaps it’s the enduring popularity of ’80s icon Molly Ringwald? In any case, it’s the No. 3 canine name in Eau Claire and No. 4 nationwide. As for the third-ranked cat name, it serves as a reminder that only you can prevent forest fires.

4. Sophie/Mittens

Sophie is trendy no matter how you look at it: Sophie is the No. 9 female dog name nationwide, while the more formal-sounding “Sophia” was the No. 1 name last year for babies – baby humans, that is. As for the fourth-place cat name: It’s so cute! Yes, it is! Who’s cute? Little Mittens-Wittens, that’s who!

5. Bailey/Snickers

Perhaps it’s our collective love of Irish cream, but the androgynous Bailey cracked the top five. Unlike any of the other top names in Eau Claire, it’s popular for male and female dogs: No. 10 for females and No. 15 for males nationwide, according to Rover.com. As for cats, Snickers brings us to the sweet conclusion of the list.

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