Shortcuts | July 29, 2010

V1 Staff |

Throw your Menards glove-encased hands up and celebrate, Chippewa Valley! Now the whole world (or at least the business publication-reading world) knows that Eau Claire is a great place to live and work. In the August edition of CNNmoney, Eau Claire was rated the 69th best place to live in the whole country, and they cited our recreation, natural beauty, and music scene as pluses. With upwards of 30,000 incorporated cities in the U.S, I’d say that’s quite an honor, which we obviously deserve. Not to be outdone by our Minnesotan neighbors who had five ranking cities in the top 25 best places to live (including Eden Prairie at No. 1), Eau Claire was also listed among Forbes’ Best Small Places for Business and Careers coming in at 48th. Cities were judged on cost of doing business, educational attainment, and job growth (past and present). Of course, hometown giant Menards was highlighted, and National Presto Industries was named “best small company.” Take that, Big Cities.

The Chippewa Valley Cultural Association/Heyde Center for the Arts recently received a Creation and Presentation grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board to continue providing the Chippewa Valley with artsy things to do. According to the CVCA, state grants are awarded through a competitive process, and the awarding of this grant indicates that the CVCA provides the highest level of quality in its programming and community outreach. The grant matches funds to established nonprofit arts organizations whose primary mission is to create or present ongoing arts programming that makes a significant impact on the cultural life of Wisconsin.

On July 30, Main Street of Menomonie will say good-bye to its executive director. Laura Short resigned from her position as her family is relocating to Texas. “It will be hard to leave Menomonie,” Short said in a release. “It has been my pleasure to lead Main Street initiatives and I am optimistic about downtown’s future.” The initiative that Short speaks of is to improve and preserve Menomonie’s historic downtown. Through organization, beautification, and economic revitalization, Main Street of Menomonie Inc. hopes to maintain the historic “heartbeat” of the town while drawing patrons to its mix of business and retail. The board of directors has appointed Kate Hearley to serve as interim director of Main Street until a permanent replacement is found.