Shortcuts | March 19, 2009
NEW UWEC DAVIES CENTER LOCATION DECIDED
It’s out with the old, and in with the new for UW-Eau Claire’s Davies Center. Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich recently announced the location for the $48.8 million student-funded center will go directly south of the current Davies Center on lower campus. Space created by the demolished Davies Center will make a larger campus lawn, green space, and student union. The old Davies Center will be used for classes, a children’s center, and some student services until the project is finished. The project is funded solely through student fees, which will increase. Construction will begin in summer 2010, with occupancy of the building in late fall 2012.
DOWNTOWN CONTEST NEEDS HOPEFUL ENTREPRENEURS
Attention entrepreneurs looking to open a business downtown! Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. (DECI) recently announced its 2009 Jump-Start contest. Two winners will receive $5,000 in start-up capital to open a business in downtown Eau Claire, plus $500 in airtime and advertising production. DECI is also offering three business seminars: Business Plan Basics (March 26, 6 pm), Financials and Projections (April 16, 6 pm), and One-on-One Business Consulting (April 22, 5:30 pm). The first two (sponsored by Western Dairyland) cost $5, and the third (at Eau Claire City Hall) is free. Jump-Start entries are due May 31, 2009. For more information, visit www.NothingArtificial.org.
FREE CLINIC REPORTS BOOST IN PATIENTS, DIP IN DONATIONS
As national financial woes deepen, the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic is seeing attendance soar. February was the busiest month in the clinic’s history, with 83 percent more first-time patients than the clinic’s average for 2008. “The need is overwhelming,” says Brent Hafele, the clinic’s executive director. While operating at near capacity to provide the uninsured with necessary exams, medication, and lab tests, CVFC is noticing a drop in donations. Government grants, private donations, and donations from non-profits have, on average, dropped by 20.5 percent. The parallel story is Eau Claire County’s unemployment rate, which jumped to 6 percent in January, from 4.2 percent the previous January.
EAU CLAIRE TREATS COMPETE IN CHOCOLATE COMPETITION
Local chocolates were represented at the 14th Annual Taste of Chocolate Midwest Dessert Competition in Bloomington, Minn., on Sunday, March 15. Rebecca Flynn, owner of Obsession Chocolates, entered three distinctive truffles in the category of “Best Chocolate Confection.” One of them, called the “South American Volcano,” owes its name to the popping candy inside, which causes a playful “eruption.” Other categories included Best Chocolate Dessert and People’s Choice Award, for which attendees could vote. Flynn, who opened her Water Street shop in 2007, competed against over a dozen Midwestern vendors. Her confections were judged on taste, texture, use of chocolate, and artistic appearance.