These adorable creations come to The Local Store from Hower Toys of Wisconsin and are handmade up north of long-lasting Wisconsin hardwoods. They are made with superior craftsmanship, the utmost quality, and local values. Their specific attention to detail and hometown artistry make these little vehicles and machines something truly unique while the impeccable execution of their building makes them durable enough to last through generations. That makes these planes, trucks, tractors, and cars excellent as both heirloom gifts and rough-n-tumble toys. See the whole set here.
Eau Claire residents may get a chance to vote in a referendum about the proposed Confluence Project. Or maybe they won’t. A petition drive will soon begin to put a public referendum on the ballot, but legal questions remain, and even if that referendum passes, it would require another referendum in which city voters would weigh in on financial support for the proposed arts center-mixed use facility in downtown Eau Claire.
Businessman (and former school board member) Mike Bollinger announced Wednesday that his group would begin to collect signatures on a petition to force a referendum vote. Under state law, they must collect John Hancocks from 3,619 eligible city voters to get the referendum on the ballot. Bollinger and his committee said in October that they weren’t necessarily opposed to the Confluence Project, but that they believed citizens – not just City Council members – should decide on public funding for the project. However, the City Council subsequently declined to hold a referendum and conditionally pledged $5 million toward the project. The majority of council members agreed that the citizens already had provided extensive input on the issue and that the financial complexity of the issue made it too complicated to address in a simple “yes or no” referendum question.
“Given the current City Council’s reluctance to place any sort of referendum in front of the people of this city, the petition insures that projects of this type of construction will require a binding vote of the citizenry in the future,” Bollinger said in an email announcing the petition effort. Once it begins, organizers have 60 days to collect signatures.
However, City Attorney Stephen Nick told the Leader-Telegram that the proposed binding referendum wouldn’t be legally eligible for the ballot ...
Designed in-house for The Local Store and hand painted, these three-dimensional wooden typeface signs are great for hanging on the wall, or they can stand on their own on shelves. Whether you choose the script style of the "eau claire" and "wisconsin" signs or the block style of "ec wi", any local enthusiast would be proud to display these in his or her home, office, or rumpus room. Hip and playful, they come in a variety of colors to fit any decor.
The charming historic building at 205 N. Dewey Street (home to the Volume One World Headquarters) was originally built as a candy factory in the late 1800s. For several decades, the R.L. Meader Company created delectable treats right here in downtown Eau Claire. Today, our revival in-house brand, The Dewey Street Candy Company, commemorates this tasty history by offering an exquisite array of confections like flavored caramels, chocolates, caramel corns, and chocolate covered coffee beans to the fine residents of our community. Perfect for any candy connoisseur, they are all available at The Local Store today!
It looks like the hotel currently known as "the hotel formerly known as the Ramada in downtown Eau Claire that keeps changing hands as deals to buy it fall through" (now called the Eau Claire Hotel) will actually close its doors on Sunday (Nov. 24) until someone can legitimately buy it. The last night in business will be Saturday, which is a lucky break for the organizers of the annual Holidaze Arts Festival, which is scheduled for the convention center attached to the hotel on Friday and Saturday.
Eric Lund of Verona-based S&L Hospitality, the court-appointed receiver that’s been running the troubled hotel since May, confirmed Wednesday that the lender who foreclosed on the hotel last year, Dougherty Funding of Minneapolis, has finally decided to pull the plug. “We just do what is asked of us to do,” Lund said.
S&L has been operating the hotel amid two failed foreclosure auctions, but after the hotel continued to lose tens of thousands of dollars over the past few months, an Eau Claire County Court ruled recently that Dougherty Funding could shut the place down. All hope is not lost, however: There will be a third sheriff's auction for the hotel Dec. 3. Until then, it'll stand empty – leaving numerous full- and part-time employees without jobs and downtown Eau Claire without a full-service hotel and convention center.
The hotel was sold twice at sheriff’s auctions – once in July to the foreclosed-upon owner, SB Hotel Management Inc., and once in September to another firm, SBM Holdings – but in both cases the winning bidders failed to cough up anything beyond their initial deposits and thus lost the hotel (and tens of thousands of dollars in deposits to boot). Let’s hope third time’s a charm.
The people behind the recent placemaking workshops on the Haymarket Plaza concept have compiled the ideas put forth by participants and want to know what you think. (The "Haymarket Plaza" is a concept for the parking lot at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers.) Check it out:
On November 6 and 9, over 70 local residents, business owners, and public officials participated in interactive placemaking workshops to help determine the future uses, activities, and vision for a future public plaza in downtown Eau Claire. The initial results from the workshops are in. Now all community members have an opportunity to provide additional input through a brief online survey.
… At the workshops, over 260 hours of combined participant time was spent considering and discussing the future of Haymarket Plaza. Participants learned placemaking techniques, toured the site, learned of the location’s history, and spent many hours of group time discussing their ideas and future visions. At the workshop conclusion, every participant was challenged to capture their vision for Haymarket Plaza in a single word. The following “word cloud” reflects their efforts. [See word cloud above.]
The online survey is now available at the WCWRPC website (www.wcwrpc.org) and will be open until December 10. The brief survey is a compilation of the ideas and recommendations on the future uses, general character, and key linkages for Haymarket Plaza as prioritized by the workshop groups. A final report identifying common themes and goals, as well as an action plan with recommendations and potential resources, will be provided to the City later in the year.
Wisconsin native/Menomonie resident Adam Dorn is lucky enough to have a photo (above) in the running for National Geographic's big annual photo contest – the winning photographs will be published in National Geographic magazine. National Geographic allowed an editor from The Atlantic to choose a bunch of the submissions for a photo set about the contest, and Dorn's photo was among his selections (#8). So that's awesome! The photo ("Living the Dream") is of Lake Menomin, and here's what Dorn has to say about it …
Living the Dream: On my way home from work I saw that there was going to be an incredible sunset. I set out with my new gear and quickly made it to Menomin Park. I knew I had just moments to set up before the scene would completely pass me by. With the wind roaring in my face, I set up for my shot. While framing the composition the waves crashed at my feet as the sun faded below the horizon, painting a fire of red and orange underneath the cloud cover. With the clouds painted it cast a magical glow over the lake. I had been chasing a sunset like this for two years. It was incredible to finally capture it! Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin. © Adam Dorn
Learn more about Dorn on his photography's Facebook page.
Gimme a “C”! Gimme an “O”! Gimme an “N”! Gimme a “FLUENCE”! What does that spell? OK, so there might not be rhythmic chanting or cheerleaders with pompoms, but the supporters of the proposed Confluence Project are planning a pep rally to pump up supporters of the new arts center in downtown Eau Claire. The Community for the Confluence Pep Rally is slated for 5-6pm Tuesday, Nov. 26, at the State Theatre, 316 Eau Claire St. The pep rally will feature special guests, live music, and a group photo of supporters of the project, organizers said in a press release. Plans for the nearly $80 million public-private Confluence Project include a multi-stage performing arts center to be shared by the community and UW-Eau Claire, as well as a student dormitory and commercial space to be built by a private developer, all to be built at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers on Barstow Street. The Confluence received a big boost in October when the Eau Claire City Council made a conditional pledge of $5 million toward the arts center, but many hurdles remain, including securing county and state funding (not to mention a push for a referendum that could derail the project). “Opponents of the Confluence Project have stated there isn’t broad, diverse community support for the project,” the press release states. “We need everyone to come to the State Theatre to prove the naysayers are wrong. Come to the Community for the Confluence Rally, and show your support for the future of the arts in the Chippewa Valley.” To learn more about the booster group, Community for the Confluence, or about the project itself, visit communityfortheconfluence.org.