Wednesday, Sep. 3rd, 2008

County Jail Strike Force Go!

Last month, as you should all know by now, a citizen-gathered protest petition more or less forced the Eau Claire City Council to not approve the land rezoning required by the county to expand the much-debated jail/courthouse/cop shop/fortress of justice located betwixt Lake Street and W. Grand Avenue in downtown EC. Yesterday, it was announced that County Board Chairman Gregg Moore has assembled a County Jail Strike Force and tasked them with one, simple mission: figuring out all this crap.

Chairman Moore actually used the less sexy title “Special Committee to Resolve Jail Space and Site Needs,” but hey – coming up with sweet committee names is not what these people are elected to do.

The 15-person panel has seven County Board members, two Eau Claire City Council members, and six noble citizen members. The roster includes such public servant superstars as Kerry Kincaid and Dave Duax from the City Council; and Ken Fulgione, Will Fantle, Howard Ludwigson, and Maureen Slauson from the County Board. Representing the concerned citizens are Reserve Judge Tom Barland, former councilman Hal Davis, good neighbor Jerry Foote, and three others. Read more about them over at the Leader-Telegram.

Between the costliness of delaying/doing the project over (not to mention the $1.86 million already spent on land) and the frothy swirl of heated issues surrounding it (everything from maintaining downtown’s character to the gobs of jobs the courthouse keeps there), this Special Committee has a hell of a job in front of it.

Good luck to them.

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Tuesday, Sep. 2nd, 2008

Seen That New Issue of Paste?

If you subscribe to Paste magazine, you probably got a nice surprise a few weeks ago when your September issue arrived in the mail with local boy Justin Vernon’s slightly smiling face plopped smack dab between the “t” and the “e.” Vernon (who is Bon Iver) appears on the cover with three other musicians representing “the best of what’s next.” The magazine actually profiles 26 of their favorite new artists, but Bon Iver (who is Justin Vernon) and a few others get extra special treatment – eight full paragraphs and a full-page photo are devoted to Vernon. Judging by Paste’s bigass photo (clipped above), he somehow got sucked into a computer and must now battle for his life in a bizarre digital world called Tron. Graphic over-design aside, this is a pretty bright spot in the light show of  Vernon’s recent fame. Paste is kind of the mainstream music magazine dejour as far as cred endorsements are concerned.

Paste love-love-loves Bon Iver, as so many people, magazines, and blogs do. If he releases a nice poster, they cover it. If he gets his fanny pack stolen, they cover it. This new article recaps the now-legendary tale of how Vernon (all together now) “spent a secluded winter at his dad’s hunting shack where he wrote and recorded some songs, not intending to make an album, but ended up with For Emma, Forever Ago, and now he’s relatively more famous than Jesus.” It’s mostly a recap of Vernon’s musical career (sans Mount Vernon) with a tight review of the album tacked on. The article also says that he’s wearing a “T-shirt advertising a Colorado Brewery,” which we’re willing to forgive. Check out the online version of the issue (Bon Iver is on pages 34-35).

He's on tour right now, and the next big stop on the schedule is Late Night with Conan O’Brien, supposedly on Monday, Sept. 8. Keep checking for confirmation on that.

To sum up – way to go, Justin. 

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Sunday, Aug. 31st, 2008

The Weekly Shakedown

There are plenty of tasty morsels on which to dine here at the all-you-can eat buffet that is A few highlights from the past week …

Have a great weekend – check out the online calendar of you get bored.

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Hey, if you're jonesing for some outdoor music this weekend, Menomonie's Wison Park has got you covered. On Saturday, Iowa City's Euforquestra is set to blow your mind with their intense polyrhythms and amazing energy and tightness. Noon to 4pm. All proceeds go to benefit the Bridge to Hope foundation. And if you like what you see, the band'll be at the The Waterfront Bar & Grill later that night for 3 bucks. 

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Thursday, Aug. 28th, 2008

Tonight: EC Blues All Stars To Rip Phoenix Park In Half

This is it – the final night of our Sounds Like Summer Concert Series for 2008. It’s been a great year of great bands, and we’d like to go out with bang – so we called up the Eau Claire Blues All Stars. Comprised of local music scene veterans, the All Stars contain members of the area’s finest bands, both past and present. Each member of the ensemble is a master with his instrument, as well as a martial art – everything from traditional kung-fu to Cantonese underwater knife fighting – ensuring a musical butt-kick factor of 100%.

Come on down tonight folks, it’s gonna be a party. Phoenix Park, 6:30pm.

Check out the sponsors: Deborah Becker/State Farm Insurance, RCU, Downtown Eau Claire Inc., Hillside Dental, the Wisconsin Arts Board,Chilson Subaru, the Chippewa Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Clear ChannelHeritage Assisted Living, Heritage Court Memory Care.

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Wednesday, Aug. 27th, 2008

Our Big New Website

Howdy. So ... things are looking different around here at Just go ahead – stand back and take in all the webbie goodness. It may take a while, so hold your calls, grab some coffee, grab some friends, prepare a light (nutritional) snack (almonds?), and just dig in. If you’re not such a free sprit, and you’re unable to romp around the site pell-mell, allow us to point you in a few directions …

  • Blogs and Podcasts - These are from mostly non-V1 people we’ve partnered with to create special web-only content (and there’s more on the way).
  • V1 Dashboard – Check out the super-easy sign-up for a V1 Dashboard account which lets you (and only you) track your own comments, event reminders, restaurant reviews, photo/video uploads and more.
  • Dining Guide – Now our Eat Scene dining guide is online! You can search for restaurants, leave reviews and star ratings, peruse menus, and more.
  • Submit Event – If you host or promote events, checkout the turbo-charged event form.
  • Videos - We’ve already got a ton of Chippewa Valley videos up.
  • Community Pool blog – As if comments, restaurant reviews, and event reviews weren’t enough, now you can add your own blog posts about pretty much anything.

And that's just for starters. We’re still working out some last minute kinks, and we’ll be adding more content and features everyday, so keep poking around. We designed every part of this site with you guys in mind. Let us know what you think.

P.S. Perhaps you'd like an audio tour.

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Monday, Aug. 25th, 2008
Sunday, Aug. 24th, 2008

Fortune Telling Is A Luxury

Fortune Telling Is A Luxury
– Eau Claire Leader | August 24, 1907

A palmist, who is holding forth at a hotel in Chippewa Falls, yesterday came to Eau Claire for the purpose of opening a parlor for “readings” in the city. She visited police headquarters during the early morning to enquire about the license charged for such vocations in the city. The police officers were not sure what the license was, as few palmists have considered Eau Claire a fertile field for the reading of palms. Mayor Frawley was still dreaming at that early hour and city Clerk Fennessey was just eating his morning meal. The woman was disappointed. Later in the day she obtained the desired information. When informed that the license was only $10 a day, she nearly fainted. It is not known whether she will come down from Chippewa or not.


Chad's Take: Keep Out The Strange!

You might be thinking “What is the big deal about paying $10 a day for a license?” Well you have to remember that this was 1907 and the average family income was approximately $300 a year. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, paying $10 a day in 1907 would be like paying $250 a day in 2008. By making the license an extremely expensive $10 a day, the city insured that the palm reader could not afford to set up shop in Eau Claire.

I have to admit that I agree with the city on this one. What kind of upstanding citizen would have wanted a palm reader doing business in their great city? If the woman had picked a more respectable occupation she would have had no problem obtaining a job in Eau Claire. For instance if she wanted to be “lady of the night” she would have found plenty of bordellos filled with men that were hiring. If she wanted to be a gambler she would not have to look far to find an overcrowded card game in Eau Claire. Hell, for real financial security she could have been a server at one of the literally dozens of saloons that kept the Chippewa Valley from ever getting thirsty. Currently no license is needed to operate as a paranormal investigator in Eau Claire, which is fortunate for me because the outrageous price might certainly decrease my patronage at Eau Claire’s present day saloons.

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Wednesday, Aug. 20th, 2008


Taken at Saw Dust City Days, June 2007. I played with the color saturation a bit in Photoshop because the bright colors of the ducks was pretty eye catching.

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Unkel Boob

Unkel Boob sincerely scared me as a child. Looking at this image, I can't help but wonder what is going on in that big, silly head of his. He's certaintly the second most terrifying clown I've seen this summer.

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