Monday, Apr. 6th, 2009
Saturday, Apr. 4th, 2009

Saturday: Jiggs + Potter = Awesome

Tonight you get a Jiggs-Potter double whammy at Memorial High School – it’s the Eau Claire Jazz Fest in full effect, yo. Tenor saxophonist Chris Potter has been described by the Detroit Free Press as, “…easily the most compelling saxophonist of his generation.” Potter performed on Steely Dan’s Grammy-nominated album and was also nominated for his own Grammy award for “Best Instrumental Jazz Solo” on Joanne Brackeen’s Pink Elephant Magic. He is the youngest recipient ever to receive the annual Danish Jazzpar Prize. At age 17, trombonist Oliver “Jiggs” Whigham was a featured soloist and first trombone in the Glenn Miller Orchestra. In 1979, he was named Professor and Head of the Jazz Department at Cologne University College of Music, the first appointment of its kind in Germany. He is currently a soloist and clinician worldwide, conductor of the BBC Big Band in Great Britain and artistic director of the Berlin Jazz Orchestra. Details!

Also on Saturday: Indianhead Kennel Club Dog Show, Community Yoga, Honey Bee's Honey-Do List, Winter Farmer's Market, Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Show, Savoring the Arts, Eau Claire Area Ring, 24-Hour Project, Oliver!, Wake Up Poland + The Cloud Hymn, WASP, Haunted Chippewa History Tour, Hot Buttered Rum + EverGreen Grass Band.

And on Sunday: Art and Music Jam, Jam on Toast + Randy Sabien with UW-Eau Claire's Jazz Ensemble I, and Ballroom, Latin and Swing Dancing.

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Washington and Farwell at Dusk

Corner of Washington and Farwell, last December, at dusk. Taken from right near the pawn shop, to be exact. I'm always darting around downtown, but rarely take the opportunity to pause for a minute or two to capture the feeling.

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Thursday, Apr. 2nd, 2009

Pillow Fought!

Lots of you fine people showed up to last night’s pillow fight, and we can’t thank you enough! Check out some great photos taken by Frank H. Robinson. And here’s a snippet from L-T editorial page editor Tom Giffey’s latest column

  • "I like hitting people," explained a teenager dressed as Batman as I inspected his pillow.
  • But doesn't a crime-fighting superhero already get to hit people?
  • "All the time, but I just don't get enough of it," answered the Caped Crusader, who revealed his secret identity as Chris Kust, 16, of Eau Claire.
  • Heavily padded violence wasn't the only draw …

Watch for some video footage on tomorrow’s Big Week!

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Sent To The Cameron Dam
April 4, 1905

Sent To The Cameron Dam
Advance Guard of Log Driving Crew Near Home of Dietz
– Eau Claire Weekly Telegram | April 4, 1905

Chippewa Falls- The advance guard of a log driving crew has been sent to the Cameron dam on the Thornapple river and is lodged in a camp where members of the sheriff’s posse are said to have been fired at by John F. Dietz last April. Dietz means to stand out for $10,000 demanded from the lumber company before he is willing to consider peace. Such a treaty is said to be out of the question and the lumber company feel it is up to the United States authorities to perform their duty and remove Dietz and thus carry out the edicts of the courts


Chad's Take: I love Wisconsin Characters

One of the best things about digging up old newspaper stories is discovering all the amazing events that occurred in the community. One such case is the story of the outlaw John F. Dietz, or as he was also known, John Deitz, John Dietz, John F. Deitz, and John H. Deitz who was one of the most colorful characters of Wisconsin.

In 1904, Mr. Dietz and his family purchased some land on the Thornapple River near Cameron. Among the trees and hills of his land Dietz also discovered that the Cameron Dam was located on his property. Dietz stated that the lumber company owed him payment for using the river to transport their logs. Dietz spent four years guarding the river, refusing to allow logs to pass through. Equipped with his gun Dietz was involved in many confrontations with the law during this time.

News of the confrontations spread and lead to Dietz becoming a national folk hero for standing up to the lumber barons. Finally in 1910, Dietz’s home was surrounded by a large posse. During the battle two of his children were wounded along with the death of a sheriff’s deputy. Dietz was arrested and convicted on the murder charges and sentenced to life in prison. However, Dietz’s status as a folk here kept building and the public support for him kept rising to the point when the public pressure forced the Governor to pardon him. In 1921, after serving ten years in prison Dietz was released and died three years later in 1924.

I just love reading stories of truly unique people and it seems like the Chippewa Valley had plenty of them. You might want to remember this story because the next time you throw a stick in the water to see it float down the river, as you may owe John Dietz a toll.

** For additional information on John Dietz check out this great site:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wisawyer/deitz/deitz1.htm

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Wednesday, Apr. 1st, 2009

Should We Really Be Conspiring with Minnesota?

They say "keep your friends close and your enemy Midwest states closer." Perhaps that’s what Jim Doyle was thinking when he got together to gab with Mr. Tim Pawlenty. They’re talking about joining forces (perhaps like Voltron). From WEAU.com

  • Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty are planning on saving the states about $10 million total in 80 different areas. Some of those savings could come from working together on border issues, comparing notes on buying software, and cross-checking records to increase collections of child support and income taxes. Both governors say the collaboration grew out of the budget crises in both states.

“80 different areas,” huh? Sounds comprehensive. But I’m glad we’re finally talking about border issues. We have to close these borders soon. Minnesotans flow willy-nilly into the state EVERY MINUTE of every day. If left unchecked, we’ll soon be a state of loon-loving Garrison Keillor fans. No one wants this.

At the very least, perhaps Pawlenty would be willing share some of his state’s more notable features. Like this. And this. And, of course, this.

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Citywide Pillow Fight: It’s On

This evening's feathery festivities are totally on. Yes, it is snowing. But the City of Eau Claire has lent us their giant magnifying glass, concentrating what little light the sky holds into a focused beam of snow-vaporizing energy, totally removing the frosty stuff from the Stella Blues parking lot. So Volume One is ready to pillow fight with you all night long. And by "all night long," we mean "for five minutes." Dress warm. Have fun. Go nuts. And if you have any questions prior to the event, simply walk up to one of Volume One's friendly, certified, and totally credible Pillow Inspectors. They are there to assist you. Details.

NEW THIS YEAR: Get there early for pre-game festivities and events. Then, after the fight, we're giving away big prizes for the following:

  • • Best-Costumed Individual
  • • Best-Costumed Team
  • • Best Pillow Case

SERIOUS DISCLAIMER: Anyone who participates in the pillow fight does so at their OWN RISK. Volume One, the property owners, or any other affiliated party are not responsible in the unlikely occurrence of personal injury or wounded pride. If you do not wish to assume your own risk, then you must leave the premises. NOT leaving signifies you accept your own responsibility and are ready for some feathery fury.

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Tuesday, Mar. 31st, 2009

It’s Not Just for Kids Anymore

Hey! We’ve decided to open up our kids’ Coloring Contest to adults! So now the contest categories are:

  • • 4-6 years
  • • 7-9 years
  • • 10-12 years
  • and
  • • 13-110 years

Sorry, but if you’re younger than 4 years old or older than 110, we don’t care about you. Go back to playing with a paper bag or talking about how your grandmother was a nurse in the Civil War. Everyone else can keep coloring.

Check out page 23 of the current issue for the coloring page or go here for a download. Entries need to be mailed in or dropped off by Thursday, except for the adults, who have until Monday. Kid winners get art supplies from Benny HaHa, adults win a free massage.

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Monday, Mar. 30th, 2009

Nudged to Destruction

The former Midelfort Pharmacy Building on Barstow Street in downtown Eau Claire done got itself pushed to the ground by a back-hoe on Sunday to make way for redevelopment plans. Video:

And pictures!

So what now? Driving downtown, it’s kind of cool to see right through where the pharmacy used to be – all the way to the buildings back on Wisconsin Street. But the idea is to clear that block for easy all-new development of all-new buildings. There are initial ideas for that block, but no solid plans from what I can find. Anything in particular you guys would like to see on that block?

I heard a rumor that the old pharmacy building was in relatively good shape, but that land is just easier to use sans historic structures.

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