Monday, Aug. 10th, 2009

Water Street Neglected
August 10, 1906

Water Street Neglected
City Authorities Have Not Seen Fit to Clean Streets for Over Two Months.
Eau Claire Leader | August 10, 1906

Eau Claire- Some measures on the part of the city authorities should be taken to see that Water street is not entirely wiped off the city map. Citizens in this part of the municipality are loyal and pat regularly their stipulated taxes into the city treasury for which consideration they should receive benefits in proportion to those of other citizens of their parts of the city.

The streets are supposed to be kept in a sanitary condition by sweeping and cleaning them within reasonable intervals. It is reported by residents along Water street that no efforts have been made to clean the streets for nearly three months. The accumulation of rubbish and filth that has gathered within that time, during the hot summer months, makes it essential they think that something should be done toward removing said refuse from the street that sanitary conditions may again be restored. Citizens are conscious of neglect and feel that some effort at reparation should at once be made, that the matter may not become a more serious grievance.

Chad’s Take: Filth and rubbish on Water Street!

I admit that this case is not overly bizarre, but it does give us a unique glimpse of the history of what was (is) one of the most important streets in Eau Claire. In previous articles I have written that during the early 1900s Water Street was a main business thoroughfare that contained many important community businesses, which makes it difficult to believe that the city would allow it to overflow with filth and rubbish to the extent described in this article. Today the street is kept relatively clean and even after a rambunctious Saturday night the place is somewhat presentable by noon the following day. I wonder if any of the outraged residents happened to take a photograph of garbage lined street.

The next time you happen to be wandering along on Water Street let your mind drift back a hundred years and imagine the street covered in rotting trash. However, if you really want to re-create the good ol’ feeling of Water Street being a dirty place stop in and have a beer at the Joynt. Here they will allow you to relive history as you get to throw your empty peanut shells on the floor thereby, in a small but fun way, ensuring that Water Street will always be a filthy place.

Keep an eye out.

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Sunday, Aug. 9th, 2009

Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll 2009

Our big, giant, massive, Valley-wide Best of the Chippewa Valley reader poll is now up and firing on all cylinders. It covers everything from local restaurants to local media to news issues to arts & entertainment and eveything inbetween. Basically, it gives you way to tell the rest of the Valley what you like.

This year, once again, the Best Of poll is powered by It allows you to simply vote "Yay" for the responses that you or your fellow citizens have provided, moving them up in rank. (Due to popular demand, we've removed last year's controversial "boo" option.) And remember! You get to add your own responses that can, in turn, be voted on by everyone else. We hope you like it.

And just like last year, you don't need to complete the poll start to finish – you can just skip around, "yaying" and "booing" all willy-nilly in whatever order you want. You can keep voting over the next few weeks, and the only limitation is that you can only yay something once per 24-hour period.

So have fun, and shoot us an email if you have any questions.

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Saturday, Aug. 8th, 2009

TODAY: Chalk-a, Chalk-a, Chalk-a

We don’t know anyone who doesn’t like chalk art except for Mr. Rainy Weather. But as of Friday night the weather forecast looks pretty good for Chalkfest ’09, a companion piece to Summerfest. There's just a slight 20% chance of isolated rain showers and mostly sun through the middle of the day. Saturday 11am to 11pm in Wilson Park, artists will be chalking up their sidewalk panels into works of art. Also, there'll be a Pictionary tournament, Chalk-off competitions, food, music, and much more – brought to you by all of us here at V1. At 8:30 in the evening, prizes will be awarded at the Nightlight Reception.  Stop back on Sunday from 9am to 3pm for an "open gallery" showing. Seriously, you have no idea what can be done with the medium. Learn more about Chalkfest here.

Also on Saturday: Eau Claire Summerfest, the Kubb Championship, Hipps Car Show, Chipp Falls' Heritage Fun Fest, Ryan freakin' Cabrera, and Conrad Plymouth + Laarks + The Gentle Guest + Jay Flash.

And on Sunday: the Special Olympics, Allan Julson & Larry Past, Davey J and the Jones Tones, and The Deedles.

Art Showing: Art & the Blues, Roger Adams, August Artists (Suzanne Schroeder + Peg Breitzman), Dinosaur Dig! (kids' fun), Greta Otto, Jack Barquist, Story Lines: Narrative and Sequential Images, "Color Statements" by Tracy Landis, and Watercolors Plus by Tere Hering.

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Friday, Aug. 7th, 2009

Coconut & the Duke's new club

Anything Beck can do, we can do better.

One half of the local duo Coconut & the Duke has a cool new club called Cover of the Month. Good news: it’s not one of those ‘come in a suit or with women’ exclusives. Anybody with an internet connection can hear a cover on the first Tuesday every month. August’s is an Eddie Money tune called “Two Tickets to Paradise.” It’s like an endless mowed lawn version, smelling nice and easy to get caught in.

For the sake of solid editorial content, this is for the record: It’s a great cover. Coconut takes the mandolin and the bass for a walk with the Duke, whom syncopates a guitar jazzy as the video. In the usual, fitting Coconut & the Duke fashion, the vid is a nutty collection of coffee-making and other nonsense with bizarre editing. Pay no attention to the transitions or vacuum cleaning, but definitely take one of those tickets.

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Thursday, Aug. 6th, 2009

Hold on to your goats!

Breaking news here, folks! Around $32,000 in goats have been stolen from two Wisconsin counties, and the police are stumped. $32,000 equates to about 120 goats, or 40,000 gyros. The animals just up and disappeared over the past month of so. Obviously, this ring of high-class goat thieves know what they’re doing. In one of the cases, goats were stolen while the guy watching them was taking a nap. Yeah – creepy.

You’d think something as ridiculous as mass goat-stealing would be hilarious, but it’s actually left some Wisconsin farmers in a really tough situation – those goats represented a large portion of their annual income. From out of Madison …

  • Sheriff Todd Nehls and the Dodge County Sheriff's Department are handling the investigation. He says he's heard of maybe a single goat being stolen.
  • "Some time we'd relate that to someone stealing a goat for a type of religious ritual, " says Sheriff Nehls. But nothing like this. "Something of this magnitude is very new to us."

The cops are taking it seriously, saying it’s like stealing a tractor or a car, or the burglary of somebody's house. They’re keeping an eye on local markets, hoping to notice anything suspicious … like a giant friggin’ influx of goat meat. Man, times are tough if Wisconsin’s criminals are resorting to goat thievery.

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Wednesday, Aug. 5th, 2009

Sounding Off Summerfest

We at the Volume One world headquarters are awfully excited to hear that lots of local bands are scheduled to play their original music for Summerfest this weekend.

Since thousands of people are expected to come and go throughout the day, the type of exposure an event like Summerfest can bring is unlike that of a show at a club, bar or coffee house. The constant stream of listeners within an earshot of a band throughout the day are people of all ages and interests. If acquiring fans at a regular gig is like fishing in a familiar pond, playing Summerfest suggests a much larger body of water.

Now I'm not here to bash cover bands, and note that there will be at least one cover band playing Summerfest. The energy that is the difference between a song's recording and a handful of people hammering out the same song in front of you is a really exciting thing. And where else am I going to hear a hot cover of "Message in a Bottle" around here?

Anyways, it's that same energy I'm looking forward to hearing Saturday from musicians with original music as well. Groovitational Pull, The Thundermen, 40 Fingers, Meridene, and The Daredevil Christopher Wright will be playing throughout the day. And Summerfest really gets you going, go to the Rockin' the 4 Corners concert the night before for a pre-Summerfest celebration, where you'll hear QuinnElizabeth, Innerburst, The Brutal Truth, Smokin' Pony, A Semester at Sea, Survive the Drive and 3 Pill Morning.

Considering that some of these bands are of a high school age (a time where exposure is especially hard acquire), the boost Summerfest gives them is even more gracious. We want to commend DECI for thinking of some of the other bands in the area when selecting their lineup. This year's Summerfest will rock in a way it has never rocked before.

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How Do Galleries Survive Recession?

Even in New York and London, art galleries are struggling to stay afloat these days. The economic crisis really does affect all, even the industry known for its starving, whom are unconcerned with the tenants of capitalism. There are ways to do it rest assured, albeit drastic ones – such as clear-cutting. Karsten Schubert, a London dealer suggests galleries “let very qualified staff go very quickly and very brutally.” Sounds Warholian. Others recommend holding onto loyal artists, sticking to guns and consistency, weathering the economic tornado along with everyone else.

It all gets me wondering about where Eau Claire sits in all this. So how are we doing, Chippewa Valley? Our galleries don't exactly operate on the economic level of big-city galleries, so has much changed? It seems like most galleries around here are usually a part of a larger art-related buisness, which is probably doing poorly, as well.

Read the full article in The Art Newspaper.

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Tuesday, Aug. 4th, 2009

TONIGHT: Hot Budget Talk

Hey, if you’re looking for an amazing way to spend your evening, how do the words “Local Budget Alert Session” strike you? Pretty tempting, right? Yep, nothing screams “classic Wisconsin Summertime fun” like a good budget crisis brainstorming session. Luckily, the Citizen Alliance for Strong Communities is hosting just such a session – tonight. From the press release:

  • The Citizen Alliance for Strong Communities (CASC) would like to invite you to an important informational meeting titled, ‘Local Budget Alert Session’. This will be a review of the difficult times that lay ahead, and an honest discussion about the impact of state budget cuts on Eau Claire area services at the city, school and county level. The meeting will be on August 4th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Chippewa Valley Technical College Health Center, Conference Room 117.
  • As you know, CASC is made up of many public sector and private sector organizations committed to protecting the quality of life in our area.  

In addition to presenting the budget cut info, CASC will also be hosting discussions. Sounds like a pretty interesting event if you,you know, care about the quality of life around these parts.


  • July 30, 2009
  • Dear  Community Member,   
  • The Citizen Alliance for Strong Communities (CASC) would like to invite you to an important informational meeting titled, ‘Local Budget Alert Session’. This will be a review of the difficult times that lay ahead, and an honest discussion about the impact of state budget cuts on Eau Claire area services at the city, school and county level.  The meeting will be on August 4th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Chippewa Valley Technical College Health Center, Conference Room 117.
  • As you know, CASC is made up of many public sector and private sector organizations committed to protecting the quality of life in our area.  
  • This will be the first time leaders from all these sectors are working together to provide our citizen groups with information on how the loss of public funding will affect services in the greater Eau Claire area.  School administrators and teacher union representatives will summarize how area students will be impacted. City and county officials with public sector union leaders will describe possible outcomes for local families and businesses, depending on budget decisions later this summer. We will finish with small group discussions based on questions and ideas from the audience.
  • We are asking community groups to attend this meeting for two reasons. First, it is crucial that citizens be aware of the financial pressure affecting our communities.  Second, it is critical that citizens be involved in decisions about how we should respond to the loss of services.
  • We realize that there are more pleasurable ways to spend a summer evening, so we will start and end on time to make sure you can still enjoy other activities. We will also provide a light supper to save you time and energy.  But, city and county budget planning must be done by September so if we don’t hold this meeting now, it will not be possible to incorporate your ideas into the planning process.
  • This “Local Budget Alert Session” is extremely important and we hope that you will make time to participate. We all care deeply about our community and want to protect the quality of our life here. Cities, counties and school districts across this state are facing similar financial shortages.  All of us are struggling to find ways to maintain strong communities and strong public structures.  Our best chance is to work together.
  • Thank you
  • Gregg Moore – Chairman of the Eau Claire County Board
  • Tom McCarty – Eau Claire County Administrator
  • Mike Huggins – Eau Claire City Manager
  • Matt Staudenmaier – Vice Chair of the Eau Claire Labor Council
  • Carol Craig – Eau Claire School Board President
  • Jo Ellen Burke – Retired Educators Association
  • Mike Golat – Altoona City Administrator
  • Greg Fahrman – Altoona School Superintendent
  • Bruce Barker – President, Chippewa Valley Technical College

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Monday, Aug. 3rd, 2009

Film Finalé

OK, free film fans! Tonight's your last chance this year to catch a Back-Alley Summer Cinema Series flick as the 2009 season winds to a close. The 1987 cult classic The Princess Bride will be on up on that big white screen tonight for your viewing pleasure. Supported this year by Deborah Becker of State Farm Insurance, the alley saw enthusastic crowds each week for a variety of films. A big thanks goes out to our film series partners, Kadinger Event Production, WHYS Community Radio 96.3fm, and Benny HaHa Art Supply and Gallery. Without their efforts the series quite simply would not exist.

There's a very minor chance of rain late tonight, but we're pretty confident things will stay dry downtown through the film. So get your but down there. Early.

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