Articles in this Issue

Editor's Notes

Note from the Editor | June 10, 2015

Everybody likes to talk about parking downtown. They’re either adamant that it’s totally fine, or that it’s a disaster and must be completely avoided. Neither opinion is probably true, but I tend to fall into the former camp, where I feel it’s really not that big of a deal to park downtown most times and that people are mostly lazy when it comes to walking ...

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The Rear End

I Am The Bat Man

a tale of courageous heroic bravery in the face of easily surmountable odds

My wife Shannon and I used to live in a big old house on Lake Street in Eau Claire. That whole neighborhood – with all of its great old houses and rickety rooftops – is pretty much infested with bats. If you’re walking around down there at dusk, just look up. Those aren’t birds.

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Cover Art

On the Cover | June 10, 2015

learn more about this issue's cover art by Asahi Nagata

Born in Sapporo, Japan, Asahi developed her passion for art from her artistic mother, comic books she loved to read, and doodling she always loved to do. Having experience in Japanese calligraphy and oil painting, she decided to go into the graphic design field when she was a sophomore in college ...

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Opening Shots

Opening Shot | June 10, 2015

100 CONCERTS OLD. Volume One kicked off the 10th season of the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series on June 4 with the series’s 100th concert, featuring EasyChair, The Jaggernauts, and Brian Bethke.

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Thinkpieces

The Dark Side of Unconscious Bias

a Star Wars cake fiasco leads a father and teacher to ponder different biases in our community

In writing about unconscious bias in the Eau Claire community for a nonfiction enrichment project, my Enriched English 9 students have struggled to recognize examples that do not directly affect them because unconscious bias goes both ways; it is unconscious ...

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Athletic Aesthetic

Expressing Success

ten years later, it’s hard to remember a time before the Express came to town

The winter and spring of 2005 was a time of slightly nervous anticipation in the Eau Claire area. The previous year, the city had been awarded its first notable organized-league sports franchise in decades, and now came the moment when we would know if our city could ...

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Music

Easy Release

Todd Barneson re-enters Eau Claire’s music scene with old friends and folk

There’s a long, eventful 15-year stretch separating Todd Barneson’s first solo record and his upcoming sophomore joint Lay Low. Not long after the prior’s release, the singin’-songwritin’ Eau Claire veteran married and found himself skipping town for Philadelphia – leaving ...

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The Millenium Video to Make Waves on MTVU

There’s a hilarious outtake from The Millenium’s video shoot for their song “Take Me” off their debut album, It’s So Much Friendlier With Two, in which singer Matt Hasenmeuller is in the middle of a passionate verse, surrounded by bright gold confetti, when he chokes a little on an errant ...

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Blue Ox to Roll with Bluegrass Legends

fest's inaugural year already has some un-toppable names

With no shortages of large-scale music festivals in the Chippewa Valley this summer – being that there’s Country Jam, Rock Fest, Country Fest, Eaux Claires, and more all happening right on our doorstep – maybe Blue Ox can kick off what should be an amazing summer of music ...

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Music Returns to Menomin

Menomonie outdoor concert series brings cool lineup

Music Over Menomin is back for another summer of musical nights on the shores of Lake Menomin. Menomonie Public Library’s annual musical concert series showcases one local band each week between June 18 to Aug. 6. The lineup includes concerts spanning everything from rock to blues ...

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Words

City Council Not A-Verse to Literary Job Change

Eau Claire no longer has a poet laureate. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean incumbent municipal scribe Bruce Taylor is out of a (totally voluntary) job. A few weeks ago, the Eau Claire City Council voted to change the name of the poet laureate position to “writer in residence,” a step that City Council President Kerry Kincaid ...

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Visual Art

An Imminent Face Lift for Chippewa Falls Murals

The murals that run along River Street and the Wagner Street hill on Chippewa Falls’ west side – a landmark to some – could get a new paint job this summer or early next fall. The existing paint on the walls is chipping and peeling – it’s in pretty rough shape. “It looks like it has a disease,” Mayor Greg Hoffman told the Leader-Telegram recently ...

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A Gift of Art for the Formerly Homeless

The Sojourner House, a homeless shelter owned and operated by Catholic Charities, and the Eau Claire Regional Art Center (ECRAC), have formed a unique partnership that is bringing art from ECRAC’s “Wine & Whimsy” and “Coffee & Canvas” workshops to newly housed individuals ...

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Physics in Paint

UWEC student portrays science through art

Michelle Gervais has always loved to solve problems, but she also has had a lifelong passion for art. “In math classes, I loved that moment where it suddenly clicked and I was able to figure out the problem,” says Gervais, a UW-Eau Claire senior. “But I also love art." ...

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Cinema

Student Directed

Montessori Charter School students launch film fest

The first ever Chippewa Valley Montessori Film Festival features an already stunning roster of ideas and characters at play: Big cats, roaring engines, princesses, temples, birds, friends, Target, magic, love, banana slugs, and ideas so completely out-of-this-world they could only come from the über-creative minds of kids ...

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Local Look

A Bigger Bunyan

logging camp will get new statue of fabled lumberjack

Eau Claire’s legendary ax-toting, ox-loving lumberjack will stand even taller starting later this summer. The statue of Paul Bunyan that has greeted Carson Park visitors for decades soon will be replaced with a bigger, more durable sculpture of the fabled tree-cutter ...

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Confluence Funding Restored

state budget committee changes course, pledges $15M to performing arts center

Reports of the death of the Confluence Project seem to have been exaggerated: On May 27, the state Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee approved $15 million in funding for the public-private performing arts center, which is slated to be built in downtown Eau Claire ...

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Best in the Midwest

EC reaches Final Four in ‘Best Town’ tourney

After blowing past towns like Evanston, Ill.; Rapid City, S.D.; Rochester, Minn.; and Spearfish, S.D., Eau Claire was finally bested by the farm-to-table restaurants and Class V rapids of Chattanooga, Tenn., in Outside Magazine’s Best Town Tournament 2015. Chattanooga went on to win the whole tournament, beating Port Angeles, Wash., in the final match-up ...

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Celebrating Freedom

Eau Claire’s Juneteenth event marks end of slavery

On June 19, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout and other local sponsors will host the 15th annual Eau Claire Juneteenth Celebration. On a national level, this year marks the 150th anniversary of the holiday. Last year, I asked the same question you might have right now: What the heck is Juneteenth, and why have I never heard of it? ...

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Chippewa Falls District Has a New Leader

hippewa Falls Middle School Principal Heidi Taylor-Eliopoulos has a new title: superintendent. The Chippewa Falls school board voted to hire Taylor-Eliopoulos, a Chippewa Falls native, to fill the district’s top spot, which was left vacant by the April resignation of Superintendent Brad Saron. “I decided in second grade that I wanted to be a teacher,” Taylor-Eliopoulos told the Chippewa Herald. “I couldn’t ask for a better next step in my career.” She’s been middle school principal for ...

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New Altoona School Underway

With the help of four shovel-wielding children, the Altoona school district broke ground for a new elementary school June 2. The school will be built at 157 Bartlett Ave. on the northeast side of Altoona, about two miles east of the current schools. Voters approved construction of the school as part of a $23 million referendum last fall. The 82,000-square-foot building will serve kindergarten through third-graders and should be complete by the fall of 2016, WEAU-TV reported.

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City Council Not A-Verse to Literary Job Change

Eau Claire no longer has a poet laureate. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean incumbent municipal scribe Bruce Taylor is out of a (totally voluntary) job. A few weeks ago, the Eau Claire City Council voted to change the name of the poet laureate position to “writer in residence,” a step that City Council President Kerry Kincaid ...

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EC Parks Department a Gold-Medal Finalist

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That adage applies to making it all the way across the monkey bars as well as to the quest by the agency in charge of those monkey bars to be honored as the best of its kind. For the second year in a row, The Eau Claire Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department is a ...

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Food / Drink

A Growing Lake View

The View on Lake Wissota to enrich its namesake with rooftop renovation

The View will be sporting a new and even more impressive view over Lake Wissota when it reopens (tentatively sometime this month). Ower Rob Brown said his original plan was to redo just the roof of the rural Chippewa Falls bar and grill when he closed temporarily in March ...

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Clink Your Drinks: 4 Tasty Summertime Cocktails

Around the Farm Table Host Inga Witscher shares her favorite recipes

Dairy farming, cocktails and parties – the three great loves of my life. I caught the bug for entertaining early on and haven't stopped yet. Here at the farm, we mark the changing of the seasons by switching our cocktails. No need to look at a calendar, I know it's spring when I feel ...

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Kid Culture

Student Directed

Montessori Charter School students launch film fest

The first ever Chippewa Valley Montessori Film Festival features an already stunning roster of ideas and characters at play: Big cats, roaring engines, princesses, temples, birds, friends, Target, magic, love, banana slugs, and ideas so completely out-of-this-world they could only come from the über-creative minds of kids ...

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Recreation

World Class Lifters

Eau Claire has some impressive female powerlifters, including a 17-year-old junior at North High

When you watch Sam Kroll – a petite, five-foot, 17-year-old junior at North High School in Eau Claire – deadlift 325 pounds, you’d never know that she was born early, a preemie coming into the world, after six-and-a-half months, weighing one pound, 11 ounces ...

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Feel the Burn: Weird Ways to Burn Calories

the calories burned* by doing things not normally associated with exercise

Skipping: 379 calories - If you skip someplace instead of walk, you burn almost four times the amount of calories! No wonder elementary schoolers are so dang skinny.

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Cabin Ridge Rides

Want a rustic rendezvous or a woodsy wedding? Check out this rural Chippewa County gem.

Cabin Ridge Rides became one of the Chippewa Valley’s most unique event venues almost by accident. What started 30 years ago with a few horse-drawn wagon rides on a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm has grown into a multifaceted recreation facility that hosts everything from corporate parties to bus tours to … well, just about anything you can think to do on 400 wooded acres featuring a meandering creek, two sizable log cabins, a wedding chapel, picnic areas, and other amenities ...

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