Articles in this Issue


Volume One's 2013 Year in Review

2013 WAS A ONE HECK OF A YEAR. The Confluence Project pushed forward, our downtown experienced development ups and downs, and we got to know a host of new community leaders. Now, as the year wraps up, we take a look back at the last year in the ...

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Editor's Notes

Note from the Editor | Jan. 9, 2014

From where I’m sitting it’s looking like 2014 is going to be a very interesting year in the Chippewa Valley. This is the year we’ll likely find out if the Confluence Project is really coming to life or not, and it could get kinda messy between ...

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Opening Letters

Weary of Winter

enduring Wisconsin weather requires an attitude adjustment

I think winter may finally be getting to me. That’s a striking statement for several reasons. First, the Wisconsin winter has barely begun. When I started complaining about winter, it was early December and – according to the calendar ...

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The Rear End

Year of the Needle

holiday adventures in personal injury, or why my wife is a badass

Four days before Christmas I burned my fingers. It was a dumb thing to do. I grabbed an iron by the part designed to produce 10 different levels of trouser-smoothing heat. As a result, four of the fingers on my left hand sprouted burn blisters ...

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Cover Art

On the Cover | Jan. 9, 2014

learn about this issue's cover art by Kevin Szymanski

“My illustrations reflect a growing tendency for art (of all mediums) to be ‘over-produced’ in order to ‘appeal’ to as many people as possible. I want to explore the reasons and the results of this act. In order to do this, I diluted my subject ..."

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Opening Shots

Punch to the Gut

diverse local musicians take hardcore swing

Andy Plank has gotten around in the Eau Claire music scene, playing with indie rockers and folksters and coordinating projects that bring genres together, but he got his start at Nate’s Dungeon.

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In the Whale House

grunge/alt rockers release first in series of EPs

Whale House produces its signature melodic yet dissonant sound again with its newest two-song EP, Stand Out. It follows the band’s first release in 2010, From the Traps ...

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New Adventures in Lo-Fi

Wisconsin Built focuses on storytelling

Eric Charles Christenson has been a man in transition. After graduating from UW-Eau Claire in the winter of 2012, he worked a stint for the Green Bay Press-Gazette before moving on to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His brief Midwestern odyssey ...

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Elephant Noises

chamber orchestra gig features Babar, instrument petting zoo

Looking for a cure for cabin fever? The Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra’s annual free one-hour family concert followed by an “instrument petting zoo” on Saturday, Jan. 25, will be just the ticket. Now in its 16th year ...

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Ready for Ragtime

tap your toes to turn-of-the-century tunes at annual fest

Considering Eau Claire has put itself on the map in the jazz world with outstanding programs and performers, it’s fitting the city also has carved out a niche as a showcase for one of jazz’s progenitors: ragtime. For the past 15 years ...

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Beyond Sticks and Stones

professor’s book trains teens to combat cyberbullying

Sitting at her computer, a young girl feels safe. But that may not always be the case. It turns out the people she thought were her friends are not. They message her on Facebook saying they wish she would die. They post on her Instagram photos ...

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Tasting Tears

UWEC grad’s debut novel explores eerie premise

Which is a darker secret: a home where a mother forces her children to cry into a machine to create salt to pay for her drinking problem, or a mysterious forest that is forbidden to all children? Jeff Smieding, a UW-Eau Claire alum who grew up ...

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Visual Art

Examining Identities

Heyde exhibit melds two artists’ portraits, photos

Whether you welcome the view or not, turning that sharp corner from December to January brings you to a dizzying annual scenic overlook. You may stop for a slow picnic, you may grab a few snaps and move on, but changing calendars is a cue to ...

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Festival Eau Cinema

campus filmmaking contest turns to documentaries

Over the past decade Eau Claire has been noted for having a booming arts scene. UW-Eau Claire (as well as other people and entities) has dedicated itself to making the Confluence Project happen, promoting the arts even more in the community ...

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Local Lit

The Teacher

i am an old tractor / when i steam ahead / my cleats bruise earth / making the way ready / for seeds to meet sun

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War Bride, 1944

When the phone rang that night / my heart skipped a beat. / It was the voice of my beloved— / I can hear it yet. / “I’m being shipped out. / Are you going to marry me or not?”

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Local Look

Voting for a Vote

referendum on Confluence may be headed for ballot

A citizens group pushing for a referendum on city spending for a proposed downtown arts center says it has enough signatures to qualify the measure for the April 1 ballot, but that doesn’t necessarily mean city voters will get to weigh ...

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Green Tree Blooms Anew

plan would turn downtown property into boutique hotel

In a move that will add a unique element to the Chippewa Valley travel market, downtown Eau Claire will be home to a newly remodeled, creative “boutique” hotel by early 2015, a group of local investors has announced. As we originally reported ...

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Kid Culture

Elephant Noises

chamber orchestra gig features Babar, instrument petting zoo

Looking for a cure for cabin fever? The Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra’s annual free one-hour family concert followed by an “instrument petting zoo” on Saturday, Jan. 25, will be just the ticket. Now in its 16th year ...

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Into the Sky

annual ski jump fest returns

Everyone lauds the various events that make Eau Claire’s summers so active: Country Jam, Country Fest, and Rock Fest; the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series; the U.S. Chainsaw Carving Championship; Festival in the Pines (to name just a few) ...

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Special Sections

How to Keep It Green

To keep with the ever-growing trend of being green and saving the environment (oh yeah, and just being a good citizen of the world), here’s some extreme tips for keeping your wedding environmentally-friendly, and some alternatives if you’re ...

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Other Stuff

Tresure Under Your Nose?

LEPMPL presents Antiques Roadshow-style event

The words “historian,” “antiques” and “PBS” generally don’t conjure up suspense and excitement, but if you’ve ever spent much time watching Antiques Roadshow you know exactly what I’m talking about. The long-running program brings in average ...

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