Articles in this Issue

Features

Interview: Talking with Justin Vernon

prior to a new Bon Iver LP and tour, Justin Vernon answers locals' questions

There are many amazing writers, photographers, and critics who’ve created work to cover Justin Vernon and the Bon Iver phenomenon over the last few years. It’s especially active right now, as just this week the second full-length release ...

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Editor's Notes

Note from the Editor | June 23, 2011

Let’s talk about the weather. People love it. And they hate it. It’s probably the number one trending topic of life from now until the end of time. Most of us can just go with the flow – one day is sunny, the next is rainy. Big deal, right?

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The Rear End

Dressing the Part

from yours truly, Self-Consciousness in Wisconsin

Recently, a man named Wang Xiao Kang, a resident of Shanghai, startled his co-workers by walking into the office dressed for action. Was he wearing his very best, most expensive power suit? Oh, yes. Yes he was.

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Cover Art
Opening Shots

Opening Shot | June 23, 2011

The Chippewa River set the stage for another legendary FATFAR (Frenchtown Annual Tube Float and Regatta) on June 19, starting in Chippewa Falls and ending where ever ya hit shore.

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Thinkpieces

Harness the Impulse

the symbiotic relationship between an individual and the community

As you’ve likely noticed if you’ve been down Barstow Street in the last couple of weeks, the sidewalks are now populated with a charming variety of figurative and abstract sculptures, from a giant reclining turtle and a great dane trying to shake you

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Athletic Aesthetic

The Other Football

even though many Americans find it lame, I’m completely into pro soccer

A virus has been spreading across America in the past couple of years. This is a virus that has long infected most of the globe, especially areas like Europe and South America. A virus that showed symptoms of infection on our country in the late 1970

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Music

The Music was 'Calling'

long-time musicians move to town, start folk duo

Sitting in Phoenix Park after Al Julson and Larry Past just finished a set, I reluctantly admit to the duo that I have no idea how to describe them. “It’s hard to pinpoint your sound. I can hear a twinge of 90s pop rock in there, some 70s singer-song

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Brian Bethke Offers New 'Best of' Collection

Outrageously ambitious local musician Brian Bethke has released (what feels like) an album practically every year during his tenure in Eau Claire, plays a regional show weekly, and runs his own radio station Underdog Radio. He even won a contest and

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Eau Claire Native Excels in NYC Jazz Scene

big-time jazz guitarist Pete McCann has local roots

Eau Claire-born Pete McCann has made quite a name for himself. As part of the New York jazz scene for the past 20 years, McCann has released four albums (Extra Mile 2009, Most Folks 2007, You Remind Me of Someone 2000, The Other Side of Ellington

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Give 'Em a (Jazz) Hand!

UWEC Jazz asked to record a legend’s unreleased material

If replication is the greatest compliment that can be paid to an artist, then what do you call being asked to record a legend’s unreleased material? That’s exactly what has went down for UWEC’s Jazz ...

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Grass on the Chippewa

Durand to host second annual bluegrass festival

Calling all bluegrass fans! Music vendors from as far as Rochester and an all-new banjo contest are just a few of the major surprises in store.

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Hymn for Her

quirky couple comes to The Trap, ready to rock you

When you get a press package and see a photo like this one, it makes you curious. When you see that this duo includes a wife who plays a cigar-box guitar

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Here Comes Country Fest

huge celebration of country music, lawn chairs returns

The 25th anniversary of the Country Fest is upon us! Since 1987, this music festival has been held every year in Cadott, a small town a mere 30 minutes outside of Eau Claire. Every year over 100,000 fans enjoy outdoor music, great food, camping

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Words

Meet the Storyteller

Tracy Chipman tours the state telling stories

When Tracy Chipman was teaching preschool in Eugene, Oregon in 1995, she – as I’d imagine most preschool teachers do – told her class stories. “Obviously I read books to them, but there were some really powerful experiences that occurred when I’d be

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Bloomer Teen Publishes Young Adult Novel

Upstart local author Amelia Kimball, who just graduated from Bloomer High School and is an incoming freshman at UW-Eau Claire, used to write for herself, but now she hopes to reach others. Kimball started writing to pass the time while she waited for

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Eau Claire's New Poet Laureate: Bruce Taylor

For the next two years, Eau Claire’s literary scene will have a pair of seasoned eyes looking over it. Bruce Taylor, UW-Eau Claire professor emeritus of English, was named the new poet laureate by the city council recently. This Brigadier of Books

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Visual Art
Local Look

Gimme shelter

community groups come together to make "no questions" homeless shelter in EC

“There isn’t any ‘ground’ to break, but there’s lots of work to be done.” This statement was the theme for the “wall” breaking ceremony held on June 10 to celebrate the start of construction on Eau Claire’s first "no questions" homeless shelter...

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Questioning the Locals | Barb Piper

get to know your neighbors!

You might know Barb from seeing her walking around town or shopping for clothes, but there’s very good odds she’s known you for years – and you don’t even know it! It sounds creepy, but it’s just that Barb was a long-time nurse at Sacred Heart who

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Shortcuts | June 23, 2011

condensed local news about civic and cultural goings-on

Mable Tainter theatre gets a new executive director – Meet Amy Reise. Originally from Eagan, Minn., she graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a degree in theater. She was ...

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Menomonie Mayor Takes On Scum

Menomonie Mayor Randy Knaack is so tired of all the scum in his fair city, he’s literally built a machine to rid Lake Menomin of its stinky problem. If you’ve ever visited the lake, or even glimpsed at the surface for more than 10 seconds

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What a Bunch of Garden Enablers ...

Enabling Gardens, a recent vegetative community effort, officially opened on June 11. The garden was made a reality thanks to Phoenix Community Garden, the Best Buddies program, and the Eau Claire Area Master Gardeners. This is no ordinary garden.

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Kid Culture

Inspiration Through Art

national project taps local photographers to help families of ill children

Some of us wake every morning to the smile of a child, the heartbeat and center of our world. We take pictures, imagining a day years down the road when we can look back and remember that moment as they gazed into the camera with a look that will

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Playground Fun Awaits Your Kids This Summer

Do you want your kids outside, involved, and meeting new people this summer? Have no fear, Eau Claire Parks and Recreation is here. The annual ECPR summer playground program began June 13. Playground leaders will direct games, arts and crafts, and

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Baby's Got a Brand New Bib

the local kidsy business Kite Flying Society

When Kristen Berger’s infant son began enthusiastically dirtying his bibs during meals, an idea sparked. “I would get so disappointed when he would stain a nice bib,” she says. “ I realized how silly it was of me to be frustrated at staining

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Recreation

Keep On Rollin'

the Roller Girls gear up for second season

The Chippewa Valley Roller Girls’ first season may be over, but the team is excitedly gearing up for the next one beginning in this fall. Chances are you may have cheered on the girls flying up and down the track at the Eau Claire Indoor Sports

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Special Sections

Teaching an Old Pet New Tricks

training experts provide tips on everything from housebreaking to hunting

Your pet won’t obey “come” if they weren’t taught what it means. It will also not obey if “come” always means something negative. Build desired behaviors (commands such as “come”) by using positive reinforcement such as rewards and praise.

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Pet Pampering Places

a taste of the unique pet businesses in the valley

Most of us try to eat as healthy as we can, but what about our pets? Do we make sure that they are eating healthy food as well? Woof Naturals Dog Bakery is a store where all-natural dog treats are fresh baked for your dogs

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Bird's Eye View

introducing two local business' parrots

Having a pet in the lobby of a business is a fairly popular thing in the Chippewa Valley. These domesticated patrons serve as unofficial mascots who greet visitors (especially kids), and – let’s face it – who doesn’t like to greet an animal from time

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Cat Claws: a Head Scratcher

looking into the debate on declawing felines

As the owner of two cats, I experienced firsthand the angst that some cat owners feel when trying to decide whether declawing them is the right thing to do: How painful is it? When should you do it? And most importantly, is it really akin to

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Should you spay/neuter?

looking into the debate on pet sterilization

At some point, every pet owner will have to face a serious question: cat person or dog person? But once you’ve made your choice, there’s another essential decision: to spay or not to spay?

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Chippewa Valley cremation services

post-mortem pet care

We all look with heartache to the day our precious pet turns in its “best friend badge” and “snuggle card” and heads for that catnip patch or Beggin’ Strip oasis in the sky.

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Yankee Pride

an old name in a new place, Yankee Jack’s Public House caters to many tastes