Articles in this Issue

Editor's Notes

Right Now, Outside My Window

New thinking has brought new life to Eau Claire. Now let's follow through.

Right now, while standing at my office window, I can see five major construction projects underway in downtown Eau Claire – the Confluence Project, the Lismore Hotel, the North Barstow Parking Ramp, the rehab of the Green Tree Inn, and the newly started Huebsch building renovation ...

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The Rear End

Pull Your Shelf Together

these books don't have to go home, but they can't stay here

We finally just did it one day. After almost nine years of shoving books into the nice, built-in shelves flanking our living room fireplace, we pulled our entire book collection down onto the floor, stacking them up according to genre, and we started weeding through the mess ...

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Cover Art

On the Cover | September 16, 2015

learn more about this issue's cover art by Jenna Ruder

“This piece is from a series of drawings of old clothes: socks, shoes, dresses, gloves and, as of late, men’s jackets.  ‘Same As It Ever Was’ is inspired by David Byrne’s dramatic big coat in ‘Stop Making Sense’ and a jacket borrowed for far too long from Good and Sturdy Vintage ...

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A Glass of Humanity

how a small, seemingly insignificant gesture can make all the difference in the world

I am pacing on the Barstow Street sidewalk. It is 10 minutes to showtime. The room is full. The street feels hot. I always do this. I worry. How can I make this the best night possible? A hug? Handshake? Hanging back? Whatever it requires. I want to pick the right one. No. I don’t want to. I have to ...

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Athletic Aesthetic

Upward Direction

as he begins second academic year, UWEC athletic director dedicated to making Blugolds winners

My earliest memories of the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds are from my latter elementary school days. I went to my first football game purely as a fan – thus far, still the only one – in sixth grade. Meanwhile, the men’s basketball team’s games were regularly shown live on WEAU-TV, and you felt the disappointment ...

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Irie Sol Channels Gatsby

the local ‘lit-hop’ crew blends rasta with literary greats

A simple wrought-iron gate looms over the grounds of the Commodore Hotel in St. Paul. Embedded in its filigree are four numbers: 1-9-2-0. Pass through the gate and the hotel comes alive with the sounds of a roaring celebration: This is the Commodore’s basement speakeasy, and we’re here, right here ...

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Cool Aire: New UWEC Music Fest Features Top Local Acts

Post-Eaux Claires Eau Claire is a pretty cool place to be a part of. We’re intoxicated by the notion that our city has an incredible musical influence and a pretty impressive local lineup. It’s exactly that idea that inspired and drove the much-anticipated Local Aire Festival to be created ...

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Chamber Orchestra Begins Season with Beethoven

“ ‘Just’ Beethoven” will kick off the 18th season of the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra with Music Director and Conductor Ivar Lunde Jr. on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 7:30pm at Grace Lutheran Church, 202 W. Grand Ave. Gary Schwartzhoff will conduct The Master Singers on the Fantasy for Piano ...

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Fathom Bringing Big Name Rappers to House of Rock

It’s gonna be a big couple of months for hip-hop at the House of Rock. Veteran hard-hitting EC rapper Fathom is at the center of a couple of big bookings that will bring the likes of Sadistik and Cage to the House of Rock this fall. It all starts on Sept. 18 with Sadistik, a Seattle rapper ...

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To the Stars

softy, dear alum goes experimental as Astral Samara

Bands separate. People graduate, move out, travel, and start anew. It’s not easy to watch – especially if they’re local – and though the Eau Claire-based alt-rock outfit Softly, Dear is no more, former member Alex Adkinson is sailing back into the Midwest music scene with the new experimental moniker ...

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Have a Fling with Mabel

historic arts center celebrates 125 years with big events

This has been a year of celebration for the Mabel Tainter Center of the Arts, whose namesake building is marking its 125th anniversary as a beacon of culture in downtown Menomonie. When the beautiful Romanesque structure opened in 1890, it was hailed as “one of the finest ...

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They've Got It Covered

new authors’ group forms to foster literary success

A newly formed group for published authors in the Chippewa Valley is taking on a life of its own. Within two months of being formed, the Chippewa Valley Local Authors group sponsored a booth at the Festival in the Pines in Carson Park in late August and created two Facebook pages – a public bookstore and a ...

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To Eau Queer and Beyond

6th annual Eau Queer Film Festival to be its biggest yet

The Eau Queer Film Festival, currently Eau Claire’s only film festival, is heading into its sixth year with a whole slew of important films from a wide range of genres including feature-length comedies and dramas like Game Face, a documentary about the challenges that queer athletes still face ...

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Local Look

Common Ground

connecting students, permanent residents is goal of new neighborhood group

Many college towns struggle to balance the needs of students and permanent residents living in the same neighborhoods, and that’s certainly true for the Historic Randall Park Neighborhood in the heart of Eau Claire ...

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Questioning the Locals: Terry Wells

get to know your neighbors

By day Terry Wells is a lecturer and advisor in the College of Business at UW-Eau Claire; by night she’s something of a Eau Claire entertainment scene superfan. As her affectionate nickname “Ma Wells” suggests, she is old enough to be the mother of many of the performers at the music and comedy shows ...

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EC City Manager Will Resign

Less than three years after he became Eau Claire city manager, Russ Van Gompel announced his resignation at a City Council meeting Sept. 8. According to WEAU-TV, Van Gompel cited “personal reasons” in a statement he read to the council. “I would like to thank the City Council ...

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Lifters Medal at World Meet

Two Chippewa Valley powerlifters are hefting some new hardware after the recent International Powerlifting Federation Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. UW-Eau Claire student Mariah Hamm earned a gold medal in her weight class (84 kilograms) in the junior division ...

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Style on a Budget

buying used clothes can be eco-friendly, wallet-friendly, and stylish all at once

A few years ago, I took my first leap toward a more eco-friendly closet, and I’ve been leaping ever since. There is something magical about giving new life to gently used clothes that may have otherwise ended up at the landfill. Of course, it helps to live in the Chippewa Valley, which has more than 20 thrifty shops ...

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Passion for Fashion

UW-Stout apparel program weave together artistic drive, technical training

New York, Paris, Milan … Menomonie? The juxtaposition of the small western Wisconsin city with the international capitals of fashion isn’t as unusual as it first appears. Menomonie’s UW-Stout is home to a highly regarded Apparel Design and Development Program, which hones students’ technical and creative skills ...

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Formal Thinking, Casual Approach

Casual Ore Formal wants customers to wear comfortable creations

Casual Ore Formal occupies a studio as bright and cheery as the business’ punny name. In the showroom there you’ll find both daily wear jewelry and examples of top-shelf pieces, all done under the hand of Elizabeth Griggs, a highly trained, committed, and enthusiastic artist ...

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Food / Drink

New Grub on Campus

UWEC farmers market brings community veggies directly to students

More and more, the taste buds of the Valley are getting acclimated to locally-sourced food. Valley farmers bring their harvest to Phoenix Park in Eau Claire three days a week, there are weekly markets at Eau Claire’s Festival Foods as well as in Menomonie and Chippewa Falls, and people can’t get enough of them ...

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Fired Up About Pudgie Pies

Bloomer author publishes collection of campfire recipies

Darren Kirby is getting used to being called “Mr. Pudgie Pie” by friends. It’s no insult: The Bloomer author’s new book, Pie Iron Recipes, is devoted to the campfire cooking staple also known as the pudgie pie iron or the jaffle iron. Even if you didn’t know what it was called ...

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Don't Get Stuck in the Mud!

Mud Jam endurance course thrills and gives back

From the brains of the people who put on the Chippewa Valley’s summer ode to country music and pickup trucks – Country Jam – comes a brand new mud race that pits those foolish enough to register through three miles of mud and unrelenting obstacles ...

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Other Stuff

Change is Possible

civil rights trio will open UWEC’s season of Forums

As daily headlines demonstrate, the movement for civil rights and justice in the world has not been consigned for the history books. It’s a long-term struggle that requires the participation, in large and small ways, of countless human beings – starting with you. I Am the Change is the theme ...

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