Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart


Rejection Letters From Santa 2019

colorful correspondence between area folks and the big, bearded guy

Eric Rasmussen

Dear Santa,

I think I got this, but I wanted to ask for a little reassurance. I’ve had my driver’s license for years now, and I even have some roundabout experience. But this particular traffic management strategy still makes me a little nervous. I’m coming up State Street hill and need to make a left on Lexington. I’ll follow the signs, wait my turn, and head into the circle. Any other tips?

Thanks Santa,
Local Motorist Approaching the New State Street Roundabout from the North


You’re doing great! You totally got this! It’s OK to feel nervous about trying new things, but what’s important is you’re giving it a shot. Now, you’ll notice you’re free to enter the roundabout after that white pickup. Accelerate … turn … signal … and you’re done! Fantastic job!

May all your roundabout experience be as merry as the holiday season,
- Santa

Dear Saint Nick,

For Christmas this year, I need deodorant, some double-A batteries, new clothes hangers, and maybe a beach towel. I realize this list is super lame, and I would normally just pick this stuff up myself. But now Shopko and Kmart are closed, and the traffic out by Target is ridiculous. So … do you mind?

Thanks man,
- Chippewa Valley Dude Who Just Needs a Few Things


OK. I’m going to tell you something that I’m not supposed to. This is just between us, right? There’s a little website out there, starts with “A,” ends with “mazon.” They would LOVE to help you out. They’re terrible for the local economy, but you’re right – getting to Target is like a full-on quest.
Until Kwik Trips start stocking commonly needed home goods, that’s what I’d recommend. And I’ll bring you something much cooler than clothes hangers.

Merry Christmas, 
- Santa

Mr. Claus,

WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO!?! I’m heading north on State Street, right above the hill, and now there’s a roundabout?!? What is this, Europe? I have no idea what to do, and there’s no way I’ll be able to figure it out. I’m considering gunning it and jumping the circle in the middle. Help me, Santa.

Please respond ASAP,
- Local Motorist Approaching the New State Street Roundabout from the South


You Chippewa Valley folks sure do love talking about roundabouts, huh? First, don’t panic. Millions upon millions of people travel through roundabouts every day. They’re really quite nice. Traffic moves better, accidents and accident severity are minimized. All you need to do is follow the sign with the arrow pointed straight. Stay in that lane, merge when there’s space, then exit. Piece of cake, right?

Would you mind telling your friends and neighbors that it really wasn’t that big of a deal? I’d like to talk about anything else, really.

Your Traffic Elf,
- Santa



That new bridge to the Pablo Center from Phoenix Park is a little wobbly for my tastes.

- Excited Pedestrian Arts Patron

Dear EPAP,

Geez Louise. I’m certain it’s safe. Bridges have to be tested. I’m almost positive.
If you don’t like it, try swimming?

Enjoy Tonic Sol Fa!

To Whichever Christmas Spirit It May Concern,

This whole city is a mess. And you want to know why? Roundabouts. Deciding where to put them, where not to put them, how to navigate them, how much they cost, how ugly they are, how much space they take up, how safe they are for drivers, and walkers, and bikers, and dogs, all these issues are what’s wrong with Eau Claire.

Could you PLEASE bring us a giant pile of stop signs and stoplights for Christmas? Then I can FINALLY go back to complaining about tearing down decrepit old buildings.

- Local Motorist and Social Media Commenter


You know what? I’ve had it. This is getting a little silly. This year, I’ll be bringing everyone who has issues with roundabouts and downtown parking and bike lanes and potholes a bright, shiny new BUS PASS.

With the influx of new riders, you’ll probably need to get going on the new bus depot. But I’m sure you’ll be able to handle that without too much controversy, right? Right?

Merry Christmas!
- Santa 

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.