Friday, Sep. 19th, 2008

International Fall Festival

Downtown Eau Claire’s biggest festival all year long – the International Fall Festival – is set to pop off on Saturday at 10am. (The international community has been fully alerted.) If you’ve never been, it’s pretty cool. They shut down Barstow Street and turn it into a pedestrian mall where you can peruse all sorts of international food stands and international merchants. There’s an international stage with performances all day (including some totally sweet international clog action), a petting zoo, and a big ol’ parade.

Make sure you stop down to 17 S. Barstow and say hi – Volume One will have a booth in front of the office and we’ll have lots of local books and music on sale.

Also on Saturday: Autumn Alleycat '08 for the bikers, HallieWood Pub Crawl for the drinkers, Konquer The Kage for the fighters, The Gentle Guest for the raucus moonshiners, 3rd Annual Eau Claire Hip Hop Invasion for the DJs, and Drunk Drivers for the rawkers.

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Some Notes on the Best Of Poll

We’d like to use this post as a place to discuss the poll in general – so please leave a comment here if you have something to say about it. We’re listening.

OK, last year’s Best of the Chippewa Valley reader poll was long. Very long. Many of you asked it to be shortened. But we didn’t feel we could shorten it without cutting out tons of important stuff. So we kept it long but found a polling system that would allow you to just vote on whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted, without having to complete a giant form.

We also wanted to keep things open-ended like last year, allowing you to write in your own answers. Allowing other people to vote on your responses seemed like a great addition. So fit the bill. We knew there would be a few kinks in how it works, and that some responses would battle back and forth for placement, but there are comparable kinks in all polling options.

Most of the negative feedback we’ve heard comes down, directly or indirectly, to the polling results being visible in real time, and how voters (especially businesses) react to that. Despite the obvious problems, we still stand behind the openness of the poll. We didn’t expect the level of tampering seen in certain categories, but we’ll deal with it.

Given that is our polling system this year, and that we stand behind it, here’re some specific comments:

  • Some businesses and restaurants have rallied their customers, garnering tons of votes, allowing them to top certain categories. This isn’t cheating. It’s hard to argue with an establishment that has achieved that kind of customer loyalty.
  • On the other hand, some individuals have definitely cheated. And we can tell. The people running are working with us (and have been since this all started) to identify the different ways to “game” the system and those cheats will be factored into our the final Best Of placements.

Please let us know what you think about all this by commenting on this post.

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Volume One at the Bejing Olympics

Former local man Matt Banker stopped in front of “The Bird’s Nest” at the 2008 Bejing Olympics this August while wearing his Volume One T-shirt! Matt is an artist and youth director for an international church in Bejing, where he currently lives with his wife Kara.He sent along his Olympic wishes with the photo: “Mei guo! Jia you!” (America! Step on the gas!).

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Thursday, Sep. 18th, 2008


I took this at the 4th of July event at Carson Park. They have a bunch of houses and buildings you can look through to get a glimpse of life in the "good 'ol days". Looking at the blackboard, I don't know how good a student I would have been back then. Note the kid running away from his grandma for extra irony.

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Local Man in Desperate Need of a Hobby, Jail Time

Can you think of a better way to celebrate your wedding than throwing a knife at your son’s friend who is duct taped to a chair? I can! From the Chippewa Herald:

  • A Chippewa Falls man is facing felony charges after throwing a knife and stabbing a young man who had been wrapped in duct tape.
  • Matthew J. Willi, 46, 109 Chippewa Street, was celebrating his wedding when the incident took place, which resulted in Willi being arrested the next day.He has been charged with second degree reckless endangerment and negligent handling of a weapon. Read more.

I guess Willi hasn’t heard of the Dollar Dance or, like, throwing a bouquet or something. Is this a family of FBI agents or what? Zing!

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Wednesday, Sep. 17th, 2008

State of the Pavement

Driving home from work last night, snaking around the street construction on Farwell Street, I was listening to Mary Jo Wagner (that little minx) chatting with Mike Schatz and Geoff Moeding about the new Phoenix Parkside construction in downtown Eau Claire. They were talking about downtown in general when “Bruce from Chippewa Falls” called in to comment on the state of downtown’s streets. He said the streets are horrible.

OK, what?

The streets are not pristine, not by a long shot. But “horrible?” Maybe Bruce was born in a city paved in layers of smooth, solid gold (where guys named "Bruce" are treated like rockstars). Not sure. At any rate, there seems to be a horribly large pile of people around here absolutely obsessed with street conditions. What gives? I’m no fan of potholes, but I rarely find a street I’d call “horrible.” I guess beautiful roads are a sign of a community with high self esteem, and that’s cool, but if the streets are a little bumpy, um … drive slower?

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Tuesday, Sep. 16th, 2008

V1 Says "Domo Arigatoo" to Japan

Volume One Reader/Distribution Guy Nate Dimit recently visited Japan as a part of Memorial High School's Japanese program and snapped this pagoda-laden picture on Miyajima island, near Hiroshima.

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6 World's Largest Wisconsin Landmarks

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