Shortcuts | Aug. 28, 2008

V1 Staff |

     We have a sneaking suspicion that Google Maps’ surveillance-cam/photo-mapping tool Street View is coming to Eau Claire. Volume One ad rep and self-described “avid Google Maps user” Janelle Walker said she spotted a little Honda with a California license plate and a tripod camera taped to the top, driving slowly along Barstow Street on Aug. 15. Then she saw it again, on Gateway Drive.  There’s word of sightings in the East Hill neighborhood as well Street View allows users to take a 360-degree panoramic look around photographed cities – superbly useful for figuring out what an unfamiliar destination looks like, exactly – and it’s also raised privacy concerns for displaying photos of men leaving strip clubs, abortion-clinic protesters, and the like. So if you’ve been cavorting in the street naked lately, well, don’t say we didn’t warn ya. Google communications rep Elaine Filadelfo said she couldn’t confirm that Google was gathering Eau Claire imagery, but when new imagery goes online, it’s typically between a few months and a year old. 

Eau Claire County’s much-debated plans for a $59.1 million jail and courthouse addition between the current building and the Chippewa River has gone back to the planning stage. Property owners near the courthouse filed a protest petition that would have required three-quarters of the City Council to approve the rezoning for it to pass. Three council members – Brandon Buchanan, Thomas Kemp, and Berlye Middleton – have publicly voiced opposition to the projects, so when it became clear that the project wouldn’t make it past the City Council, the County Board voted on Aug. 19 to withdraw its rezoning request. The county also created a committee of local officials and citizens to re-evaluate the courthouse plan and potential jail sites, and report back to the board in January.

Luther Midelfort has now opened its first Express Care site, a walk-in clinic that provides treatment for patients ages 18 months and older, treating such conditions as strep throat, sinus infections, skin conditions, and minor medical issues. Located at South Point Shopping Center on Mall Drive with Midelfort Pharmacy and Home Medical, Express Care is meant to support other Luther Midelfort and Mayo Clinic facilities with more convenience for patients. The Express Care does accept insurance and helps the uninsured by charging a flat fee of about $50 per service. Other Express Care clinic sites are also being planned. Express Care is open daily, Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm. To contact Express Care, call 838-6070.