Wednesday, Jun. 10th, 2015

Eau Claire City Council Fills Open Seat

The Eau Claire City Council has a brand-new member: Tim Tewalt was chosen by his council peers-to-be Tuesday to fill a vacancy representing District 1 on the city’s north side. Tewalt, who works as program director and instructor of industrial mechanics at Chippewa Valley Technical College, will hold the seat previously occupied by Councilman David Duax, who died in April. Tewalt was appointed to the council on a 7-3 vote, and he will serve through next April’s election. He and another applicant, Heather DeLuka, had made presentations about their qualifications to the council Monday evening. “I am applying for the position because I believe in giving back to the city that has provided such a wonderful place to raise my family and support the great community we live in,” he wrote in a June 3 letter to the council. Tewalt, who has lived on the north side since 1991, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UW-Stout.

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Tuesday, Jun. 9th, 2015

This Beautiful Map Shows Wisconsin in 1932

Thanks to the David Rumsey Map Collection, this beautiful old-timey map of Wisconsin is available for your viewing pleasure. It was designed by Berta and Elma Hader in 1932 as part of a set aiming to map out the iconic parts of every state in the country.

The map depicts several things in the state that have since disappeared; the auto industry of southern Wisconsin, OshKosh luggage, and Strand Skis. But it also shows several things that have stayed the same, like the prolific and timeless dairy industries, the iron mines of northern Wisconsin, and Devil's Lake as Wisconsin's premiere summer swimmin' hole.

Phil Edwards at Vox.com put together an anotated, interactive version of the map with some fantastic rundowns of our state's depicted history. Check it out!

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Monday, Jun. 8th, 2015

State Theatre Announces 2015–16 Lineup

A show at the State Theatre from 2013.
A show at the State Theatre from 2013.

The State Theater has announced its lineup for the 2015–2016 season. The lineup features a wide array interests including acrobatics, magic, music, and comedy shows. Some highlights include Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, Stayin’ Alive - One Night of the BeeJees, popular Irish folk band Gaelic Storm, legendary improvisational comedy troupe Second City, and a live show of Michael Feldman’s “Whad’ya Know?”

Check out a full list of the shows coming this season at Eau Claire’s State Theater.

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Friday, Jun. 5th, 2015

Free Admission to Wisconsin State Parks (June 6–7)

Red Cedar State Trail
Red Cedar State Trail

Calling all nature lovers. June 6-7 has been declared Free Fun Weekend across the state. Wisconsin residents will be able to enjoy all of the state parks and trails with free admission. The Wisconsin Journal Sentinel’s Wisconsin Trails has put together a list of 15 places to enjoy Wisconsin’s natural wonders this weekend. Some highlights include the Elroy-Sparta state trail, Wisconsin’s first abandoned rail line-turned-bike trail; the Open Door Bird Sanctuary at Whitefish Dune State Park, and the Red Cedar State Trail’s sandstone formations just outside Menomonie. Grab some hiking shoes and hit the trail!

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Wisconsin's Missed Connection Hotspot Will Not Surprise You

Ah, Craigslist. A mixed bag of the Internet if there ever was one. One of my favorite college past-times was putting the missed connection part of the site on our living room projector and scrolling through it with my roommates (we didn't have a lot of money). For those not in the know, "missed connections" is a part of Craigslist where users can post about a love-at-first-sight sort of scenario in hopes their dreamboat will see it and message them back. If you've ever wondered where the most common missed connections happen in each state, then we've got you covered. Also, you've got some very peculiar wonderings.

BAR: Told you it wouldn't surprise you. <em>See a bigger version.</em>
BAR: Told you it wouldn't surprise you. See a bigger version.

Dorothy Gambrell released this map in Psychology Today, cataloging each state by the locations in which most of its missed connections occur. Unsurprisingly, Wisconsin's happen mostly in bars. The median age of a user posting about something taking place in a bar is 30, which sets the benchmark for the average posting Wisconsinite.

Some other interesting takeaways from the map include the finding that Washington has a higher proportion of female posters while Idaho has the highest of males. Most missed connections in the country seem to happen in Wal-Marts, but the most bizarre one is Georgia, where most happen in "the car." Is there one car in Georgia in which people tend to meet? Is mass, anonymous carpooling common in Georgia? Someone help me out here.

If you want some amazing examples of how funny Craigslist missed connections can be, look no further (reader discretion advised).

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Wednesday, Jun. 3rd, 2015

Eaux Claires Festival Releases Day-to-Day Lineup

This week, the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival announced which days – July 17 or 18 – the musical acts and art performances from its impressive lineup will fall. As far as time of day, there’s no exact schedule just yet, but $75 single-day general admission passes go on sale at 10am Friday June 5 at www.eauxclaires.com.

The enhanced two-day Chippewa passes sold out a while ago, but there are a small number of $135 regular two-day passes (that don’t include free beer) left – if you can’t bring yourself to pick just one day of deliciously weird art experimentation and genre-bending musical acts.

Camping passes are also sold out, but dorm lodging at UW-Eau Claire (for the full Justin Vernon experience) is still available for $10 a night.

The single-day lineup, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Friday, July 17

Allan Kingdom
Blind Boys Of Alabama
Boys Noize
Corbin
Doomtree
Field Report
Found Footage Festival
Francis and The Lights
Grandma Sparrow
Hiss Golden Messenger
Jon Mueller's INITIATION
Liturgy
Lizzo
Low
Marijuana Deathsquads
Mina Tindle
NO BS! Brass Band
Phox (film premiere)
Ragnar Kjartansson’s
    FOREVER LOVE
Sam Amidon
Spoon
The Staves
Sturgill Simpson
The Lone Bellow
The National
The Tallest Man On Earth

Saturday, July 18

Aero Flynn
Bon Iver
Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires
Chris Rosenau
Colin Stetson
Elliot Moss
Found Footage Festival
Givers
Grandma Sparrow
Haley Bonar
Indigo Girls
   performing "Swamp Ophelia"
Melt Banana
NO BS! Brass Band
Phil Cook
Phox
Polica
Ragnar Kjartansson’s
   FOREVER LOVE
Retribution Gospel Choir
S.Carey
Sufjan Stevens
Sylvan Esso
yMusic 

 Music | Art Performance

 

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Wisconsin's 13 Best Beaches

Altoona Beach.
Hot sand and cool times at Altoona Beach.

Wisconsin isn't a state known for its beaches. But deep within the state's farmland and hills you can find many hidden gems tucked away that make great summer destinations. Laura Meli at Onlyinyourstate.com compiled a list of these Wisconsin treasures – definitely worth a road trip or two this summer. Altoona Beach made the cut, as well as Pettibone Beach from La Crosse. Why go all the way to Daytona Beach to be disappointed when you can summer upon the amazing beaches at Apostle Islands, Rock Island State Park, and Whitefish Dune State Park – right here in our own backyard?

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Tuesday, Jun. 2nd, 2015

Join Us! Wisconsin Bike Week 2015

This year, the Wisconsin Bike Fed switched it up a bit in regards to their routine event schedule. Their annual Bike to Work Week, usually held in mid-May, has transformed into "Wisconsin Bike Week" taking place from June 6–13 to celebrate all things cycling statewide (Bike to Work Day still takes place on May 15 annually). Eau Claire is one of the four participating Bike Week cities in Wisconsin – others include Milwaukee, Madison, and La Crosse – with a slew of different events taking place all over town from family fun rides to commuter stations, bike-in movies & concerts, and information stations.

"Wisconsin Bike Week is not just about getting more butts on bikes, it is about building bike culture in Eau Claire."
– Wisconsin Bike Fed ambassador Jeremy Gragert

Eau Claire is a city that truly embraces and supports safe cycling and that is evident not only by the biking enthusiasts seen around town and all the great bike trails we're lucky to have in the area, but also by the number of participating local businesses and sponsors willing to volunteer their time, energy, and/or commodities to support this mission. Local participants and sponsors include Mega Co-Op, High Bridge Coffee, Anybody's Bike Shop, City of Eau Claire Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC), Chippewa Valley Transit Alliance (CVTA), Chippewa Off Road Bike Association (CORBA), Eau Claire Bike & Sport, Eau Claire Mobile Bike Repair, Riverside Bike & Skate, and Volume One.

Local ambassador for the Wisconsin Bike Fed Jeremy Gragert shares, "Wisconsin Bike Week is not just about getting more butts on bikes, it is about building bike culture in Eau Claire." As the Bike Fed itself puts it, let's have some fun and celebrate all the reasons we ride!

Download posters/images to use for public promotion. 

Bike Week Events - Eau Claire
June 8–13

Monday 6/8 • 5:45 pm
CORBA Group Ride

Meet at 5:45 pm at Lowes Creek County Park (west parking lot, off of Lowes Creek Road) – Join Chippewa Off Road Bike Association (CORBA) for their weekly Group Ride. This is a ride for all skill levels and whether you know the trails or not. You will break up into groups according to speed and leave no one behind. Helmets required.

Tuesday 6/9 • 6:30am–10am
Bike Week Kickoff Event

In the Volume One (205 N. Dewey St.) parking lot – Join Volume One, The Wisconsin Bike Federation, BPAC, CVTA, Eau Claire Mobile Bike Repair and other important friends of a bike-friendly Wisconsin who will be on hand for the Bike Week kickoff party with free coffee, free breakfast/snacks from Mega Co-Op, "local celebrities" riding in, unique bikes and a whole bunch more. Wisconsin Bike Week runs June 8th-13th. Bike party at 7:30am! (Sponsored by Mega Co-Op)

Tuesday 6/9 • 7pm
Bike Maintenance 101

In the Volume One Gallery (205 N. Dewey St.) – Sean of Eau Claire Mobile Bicycle Repair offers quick, friendly, on-the-spot professional service to Eau Clairians on a daily basis. Join him, and Dan from Bike Think, for a basic run-down of bike maintenance, tune-ups, and repairs.  

Wednesday 6/10 • 8am–11am
Bike Commuter Station

At the Haas Fine Art building, by UW-Eau Claire Footbridge off Water St. – Mechanics from Anybody’s Bike Shop will be giving safety checks for bikes, and giving out refreshments to bike commuters or cyclists just out for a morning ride. The Visit Eau Claire Fun Patrol will be on hand along with the Wisconsin Bike Fed! (Sponsored by Anybody’s Bike Shop)

Wednesday 6/10 • 7pm
Savvy City Cycling: A Bicycle-Commuting Workshop

In the Volume One Gallery (205 N. Dewey St.) – Savvy City Cycling is a bicycle commuting workshop - for beginners. Whether you've been riding for a while and want to commute to work or school, or just starting out and need to learn the basics, this workshop is for you. We'll cover safety, rules of the road, new city infrastructure projects, and share tips and tricks for making your bike part of your daily life. 

Wednesday 6/10 • 8:15pm
Bike-In Movie: Big Hero 6

Meet up and ride from Volume One and The Local Store (205 N. Dewey St.) to UWEC's Summer Cinema Series outdoors in the lawn next to Haas Fine Arts (film at 8:30pm). The kickoff of their series is the movie is "Big Hero 6" ... also enjoy free punch and popcorn at the film screening! Ride leaves The Local Store at 8:15pm!

Thursday 6/11 • 5:15 pm
Meet-up & Ride-In to Sounds Like Summer Concert

Find fellow Eau Clairians at separate meet up and meet-up points in Eau Claire to ride in to the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series in Phoenix Park. Participate in the Ride-In, arrive at the free Bike Valet service at Phoenix Park, and receive and special offer to redeem at Mega Co-Op's vendor tent at the concert. (Sponsored by Mega Co-Op)

Meet-up Points
• Hibbard Parking lot at UWEC at 5:30pm
• Flynn Elementary School on the Eastside Hill at 5:15pm, with a pickup stop at Boyd Park at 5:30pm
• 5:15pm at Marshfield Clinic Riverview Center (1000 Starr Ave.)

Saturday 6/13 • 11am –2pm
Bikes n’ Brats Bonanza at Mega Co-op

Mega Co-op East (1201 S. Hastings Way, Eau Claire) – Mega Co-op hosts its third annual Bike n’ Brats event during Wisconsin Bike Week! Free brats are given to everyone that bikes to the "Bike n' Brats Bonanza" at Mega Co-op East. There will also be beer sampling, giveaways, live music, and fun activities for the whole family.

Sponsors

Volume One
Wisconsin Bike Fed
City of Eau Claire Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC)
High Bridge Coffee
Mega Co-op
Chippewa Valley Transit Alliance (CVTA)
Chippewa Off Road Bike Association (CORBA)
Eau Claire Mobile Bike Repair
Riverside Bike & Skate
Eau Claire Bike & Sport
Anybody’s Bike Shop

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Props for the "S" Bridge

Check it out – Travel Wisconsin put together a list of "11 Unique Wisconsin Bridges You Have to See" and the very first unique Wisconsin bridges you have to see is Eau Claire's own Soo Line "S" Bridge, making for a wavy crossing of the Eau Claire River near Banbury Place. They say:

Located in the Banbury neighborhood of Eau Claire, this former railroad bridge over the Eau Claire River is appropriately named, as it curves into an "S" shape. The bridge was specifically designed as an S to connect railroad tracks running parallel on either side of the river without using the sharp turns of a linear bridge.  Now a part of Wisconsin's Rails-to-Trails program, is was converted to part of the Chippewa River State Trail in 2002. 

Check out the full list for more sweet Sconnie bridges.

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Monday, Jun. 1st, 2015

5 Road Projects You'll Be Complaining About This Year

You know the joke that there are two seasons in Wisconsin: winter and road construction. The latter season has started, and while we’ll grouse about these projects in the coming months, we’ll also be benefiting from them long after the asphalt dries.

1. State Highway 25/U.S. 12 (Menomonie)

Between now and late August, the state Department of Transportation will be upgrading both North and South Broadway Street in the heart of Menomonie. The project includes resurfacing and making crosswalk and utility upgrades on South Broadway (aka Highway 25) as well repaving part of North Broadway (Highway 25/U.S. 12).

2. Interstate 94 (Dunn and Eau Claire counties)

Work started in April on a 7.4-mile segment of interstate between the Red Cedar River and U.S. 12 in Dunn County, and starting in late June the DOT will be replacing about eight miles of I-94 between Elk Mound and Eau Claire. Lane closures will be during overnight hours.

3. U.S. 53 (Eau Claire)

As denizens of a northern climate, we know that non-road construction season can wreak havoc on our roads. That’s the case with a segment of U.S. 53 (what some of us still call the “53 Bypass”) between Tower Drive and the North Crossing, where frost heave has damaged the pavement. Starting Aug. 3, crews will be replacing a 335-foot-long southbound stretch.

4. U.S. 12 (Altoona)

Beginning in late summer, The DOT will be resurfacing U.S. 12 along the southern edge of Altoona, between Otter Creek and Industrial Drive. The project also will involve adding a couple of turn lanes and altering the median island on the bridge over Otter Creek.

5. Water St. Bridge (Eau Claire)

Get ready to say goodbye to the venerable Water Street bridge, which has spanned the Chippewa River since 1947. Starting this fall, the bridge will be demolished and replaced, a process that will take about a year. Don’t complain: The current bridge’s predecessor fell into the river in 1945, and we don’t want that to happen again.

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