Thursday, Jun. 4th, 2009

Governor Doyle Talks Trains with Vice President Biden

Citing goals such as traffic reduction, cutbacks in greenhouse gas emissions, and independence from foreign oil, Governor Jim Doyle met with Vice President Joe Biden this week to push the whole high-speed rail project (which is part of this). The meeting was with eight other governors with similar agendas.

Specifically, Doyle’s push is for the use of national stimulus funds on the first phase of the high-speed project. It would join Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago in a network of high tech hover monorails passenger trains traveling at speeds exceeding the speed of thought up to 110 mph.

According to the AP, Vice Pres. Biden told the governors before him to “think boldly” when making their train plans. Presumably, with language like that, Biden’s a big dork-faced trekkie.

No word on when (or if) that passenger rail will be making up into these here parts.

Comments 8

Show Us Your V1: Kant Kyrgyzstan

Volume One bud Corey James Hilber is currently residing in Kyrgyzstan, where he’s been hanging out with an issue of V1. He says …

“Both of [these pictures] were in Kant, Kyrgyzstan. They were actually in smaller towns around Kant, but Kant will actually find its way onto maps. The Yurt one [above] is of me and my language teacher Temirlan Batyrkanov. His first name is that of a famous warrior and his last name means hero-king in Kyrgyz. He is badass, or at least his name is. In that pic, I am not wearing the kalpak hat properly. I did not fold the bottom part up. Don’t tell anyone. The Lenin pic [right, click for a biggie] needs no explanation.”

Thanks, Corey!

Comments 1

Turtle In Stomach
June 5, 1901

Turtle In Stomach
Eau Claire Man Complained of Pains With Good Cause
Milwaukee Journal | June 5, 1901

Eau Claire- A snapping turtle three inches long from the tip of the tail to the tip of the nose, was vomited by a man who came to Dr. J. H. Noble complaining of pains. He supposed the patient swallowed the turtle when it was very small.

Chad’s Take- I am not surprised

This is simply a case of bad luck. Not only did this guy have a turtle playing around in his stomach, it also happened to be a snapping turtle. As strange and bizarre as this story seems to the modern reader, the Eau Claire man was not alone in his suffering. I also found a story from 1902 that told of a 96 year-old woman in La Crosse who vomited up a small live lizard. In order to fully appreciate how so many creatures were living in the people’s stomachs we have to consider the time period in which these stories occurred.

Keep in mind that in 1901 people were not dinking treated bottled water. In fact their water was not even purified by the city. The water they were drinking was water straight out of their own well, and that meant that sometimes tiny living creatures would get into their system. Also remember that in the past people used the lakes and rivers for more of their daily needs and recreation. Clothes would often be washed in the river, and kids would spend much more time swimming and frolicking in the natural waters since chlorinated pools were not an option. Of course while swimming and playing they would also ingest quite a bit of water into their stomachs, and that water could easily contain all sorts of strange living creatures. Actually looking back at just how long people have been using Half Moon Lake in Eau Claire, I am amazed that I did not find hundreds of stories of mysterious animals, fish, and other freaky unknown species living inside Chippewa Valley residents.

Keep an eye out.

Comments 1

CF City Council Shoots Down Farmers Market Proposal

We just caught this little teaser story over on the Chippewa Herald’s website. Basically, the proposal to close down a chunk of Bridge Street in Chippewa Falls on Thursday afternoons/evenings – so their farmers market can be in the street during weekly concerts – got shot down by the City Council last night. From the story

  • Several people spoke against the plan, voicing concerns about traffic and whether people would want to come to downtown if a part of Bridge Street was closed.
  • Voting to deny a street permit for the proposal were council members Susan Zukowski, Brian Flynn and Mike Dahlby. Voting in favor of the plan was C.W. King, and council member Don Baker abstained because he operates a downtown business.

The teaser doesn’t say if anyone showed up to speak in favor of the plan. This really sucks for downtown Chippewa Falls. Not sure if the original proposal was perfect, but the idea is terrific and it works great in other cities. Closing a stretch of street for something like a farmers market (especially during a concert) creates and "event" atmosphere that draws people in and gives a town something to be proud of. Opposition to this is baffling at best and damaging at worst.

UPDATE: The full article is now available right here. Interesting bit:

  • The proposal failed on a 3-1-1 vote, with council members Susan Zukowski and Mike Dahlby joining Flynn in shooting down the Bridge Street plan. C.W. King voted for it, while Don Baker abstained because he operates a business downtown.
  • Two council members, Dennis Doughty and Jason Anderson, did not attend the meeting.

So, there could have been a tie if everyone had showed up. Some great comments from the Chippewa Falls citizenry over on the Herald – I hope the CF City Council is reading them. Let them know what you think.

Comments 14

Wednesday, Jun. 3rd, 2009

Yes, We Hosted a Tweetup

Last night’s Chippewa Valley Tweetup went really well – a healthy crop of local Twitter users showed up to hang out and see each other face-to-face. We kind of expected a lot of people awkwardly standing around, but everyone got on just fine. It was cool to meet these people – people we only know through Twitter and probably would never have met otherwise. We kept a big screen TV going updating who was there and following V1's live tweets throughout the night. Yeah, people talked about Twitter, but they mostly just talked and hung out at The Livery.

Say what you will about Twitter (especially you, Conan O’Brien), but once you strip out the inane celebrity babble, the inane non-celebrity babble, and the million-Tweet-a-day people trying to promote their at-home scrapbooking business, it’s just a way for people to talk and connect and learn.

Check out some photos from the Tweetup.

Add a Comment »

Tuesday, Jun. 2nd, 2009

Holy Moth!

Some random lady just burst into the office to say WE HAD TO GO TAKE A PICTURE of this crazy butterfly right outside. So our photog Andrea grabbed her gear and took some shots of what turned out to be an alien-looking moth clinging onto the tire of a shiny, red ford Mustang. We were leaving a note for the car's owner when he came outside, and we all watched as our brave ad guy Shawn took it off the tire. Then the thing sat on the sidewalk for a while before taking flight and catching some downtown wind to parts unknown.

What the heck kind of moth is that?

Comments 8

Facebook + Shotgun = Jail

As of last week, Cody J. Redenius of Dane County can proudly step into the long line of people who accidentally got themselves arrested through Facebook. Nice work, Cody – not sure if you’ll have web access from prison.

Last week, someone posted a picture to Redenius’s Facebook page which showed him brandishing a shotgun. No big deal, right? Everyone on Facebook has posted the perquisite “shotgun pic,” right? Well unfortunately, according to an annoying little domestic abuse restraining order against Redenius, he is not allowed to possess a firearm. His ex-girlfriend noticed the picture and called the cops, who then arrested Redenius at home and found the (loaded) shotgun. Oops. He’s been formally charged. (Full story.)

Redenius claims he didn’t know about the whole “no guns or you get arrested” clause to his restraining order. And we all know what ignorance of the law gets you: a cellmate named "Slice."

Add a Comment »

Monday, Jun. 1st, 2009

New Contest Unleashed

You can now vote in our Picture Perfect Pet Contest. We’ve had a blast watching these submissions roll in – pictures ranging from the "super-cute kitty" variety to the "What the hell is that dog doing?" variety to the "Um, what is that thing?" variety. You have four categories to vote in, which basically amount to:

We had over a 120 entries in the contest, so there’s plenty of musky, animal awesomeness to check out, vote on, and adore (or snicker at). Go now!

Comments 3

Feeling Porky, Democrats?

Last Friday, our great state’s Joint Finance Committee approved a two-year budget plan that was completed in a marathon budgeting cram session the night before. The Committee worked until 5:30am Friday morning, and mostly behind closed doors. The plan includes tax increases, cuts in state aid, and much to the riled-up chagrin of Republican lawmakers, millions of dollars in pork-barrel spending for Democratic districts. All of this during Wisconsin’s Holy Crap Deficit Crisis.

In addition to measures like taxing oil companies, a higher cigarette tax, and the early release of prisoners, the plan details 29 pet projects for things like renovations to the Oshkosh Opera House ($500,000), an environmental park center by Madison ($500,000), Manitowoc Road repairs in Bellevue ($1.25 million), renovations to a stone barn in Oconto County ($100,000), and a handful of items in the $5 million+ range.

The largest item is close to home: a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire “education building” for $44.5 million, mostly in bonds. Other local projects include a shooting range near Eau Claire ($50,000), highway repair in Chippewa County ($430,000), and a $125,000 grant towards the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library remodeling project.

The state Assembly will check out the budget around June 9, and then it’s on to the Senate and Governor Doyle. Check out JSOnline for some detailed coverage and a sweet little Google map showing the specific destinations of all that porky goodness.

Comments 28

Local Guides

Lists of places & resources