Reader Letters | Aug. 28, 2008
COMPETING THURSDAY CONCERTS DIVIDE CULTURAL EFFORTS
Every Thursday evening this summer, I make my way down the First Avenue bike path... away from Phoenix Park. Why? Could it be I simply don’t know about the summer concert series sponsored by Volume One? Or perhaps I don’t enjoy music or support community entertainment? It’s none of those. In fact, as a student at UW-Eau Claire, I firmly believe in everything that the concert series stands for: music, community involvement, family entertainment. It’s just that I have discovered those qualities in another place, the Eau Claire Municipal Band concerts at Owen Park, occurring those same Thursday evenings like they have for the past 75 years. I don’t regret my decision to miss the Volume One concerts, because I know that in making music with the ECMB, I am supporting those exact same principles promoted by the Volume One concerts. This is wonderful and frustrating at the same time, because, though both are working toward achieving the same goals of community and family entertainment, it is forcing people to choose between two worthwhile events. Again, I do not regret walking away from the sounds of Phoenix Park to sit beside my fellow community band members, but I do regret the fact that I have to make a choice at all. It is a rare gift to have two organizations so devoted to bringing a community together, and we owe it to ourselves to figure out a way to coexist so that no one will have to choose which way to walk.
– Stephanie Schiefelbein
JAIL ON THE RIVER NOT PART OF THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
If you were to take out a map and pick one place not to build this jail, you couldn’t have picked a better spot. The county’s plan for jail expansion will mar our waterfront, encroach upon an historic neighborhood, and be planted squarely between the Water Street and downtown business districts. The West Grand Avenue Business District bridges these areas, and the riverfront bike trail links them all together. Many people wonder how county officials have not seen the positive turn in Eau Claire’s future: Phoenix Park, the promotion of Eau Claire teams holding their games in Carson Park, new businesses opening downtown, and the development of a real sense of community has evolved primarily due to the success of the City of Eau Claire’s award-winning 2005 Comprehensive Plan. The county’s plan to build the new jail on its proposed site is contrary to the city’s comprehensive plan which was specifically developed to create policies regarding the areas of land use, the development of our parks and waterways, its commitment to historic preservation, and its plan to revitalize downtown. County indebtedness is one of the first things that prospective businesses research when looking at starting a business in an area. Do we really want to shut our doors to potential new industry? Eau Claire is evolving into an area where people have been choosing to vacation, and I have seen a steady influx of tourists. At a time when we should be trying to persuade people northwards of Lake Delton, we are going to be placing an ever-expanding concrete monstrosity in the center of the city’s plan?
– Sarah Curtis, Eau Claire
THE SOUND OF EGO
In the good weather months in Eau Claire there is a sound which reverberates through downtown and some other parts of the city. It is the sound of adult male ego as expressed with motorcycles, pick up trucks and, sometimes too, with autos.
I’m not referring to the normal sounds of a vehicle’s engine but the enhanced sound some vehicles’ engines produce. What is it about the male ego that wants to draw attention to itself by producing loud noises? Why do some men drive around the city with pick up trucks with enhanced sounds? What does this say about the nature of their lives? These noises are made with the intention of doing so. Isn’t it quite juvenile to modify a vehicle’s sound in order to bring attention to oneself? Those of us who live in or near downtown hear this noise frequently. It can be obnoxious at times. It seems apparent that such drivers know they are free to make as much noise as their egos desire. Have you ever noticed or read about anyone stopped for making outlandish noise with a motorcycle or truck? In Eau Claire there seems to be no effective control of vehicle noise levels.
I have previously written to city officials about this issue and discussed this with them also. I’m sorry to say there seems to be indifference by city officials to the issue of noise in the city. It’s as though this is an issue the city of Eau Claire finds too challenging to confront.
– Edward Scherrer, Eau Claire
CHALK IT UP TO ... ARTISTS
V1 – You did it again! You brought a great venue to Eau Claire – free! I loved the Chalkfest. The artwork was spectacular and impressive. The talent in the area is incredible. I especially loved coming back in the evening – it felt so “metropolitan” – I felt like a real “city girl”! (I’m a former ’Cities gal.) Thanks and keep up the great events!
From a huge V1 fan,
– Terri Johnson, Eau Claire
FISH FRY: TRY CHICK-A-DEE’S
Last issue, Lauren C. asked for help finding the tastiest fish fry in town. One pescaterian writes: Chick-a-Dee’s Family Restaurant, corner of Third and Vine streets, has a great all you can eat fish fry on Fridays. Two thumbs way up! (oops, that’s copyright) Umm, pretty darn good!
– Greg C., Eau Claire