Articles in this Issue

Opening Letters

Last Call

as the final Harry Potter train leaves the station, not everyone is on board

Harry Potter and I got off on the wrong foot. As a middle school English teacher, I should’ve devoured those books. The series began the year I started teaching middle school, and they were credited with resurging a generation’s interest in reading.

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The Rear End

A Conditioned Position

the cost we all pay for a sweat-free summer

I need to find some eco-snuggly ways of keeping cool. But everything I think of requires the Awesome Power of Electricity! And most electricity comes from burning stuff like coal and oil and wood and teddy bears, and that’s just not good.

Comments 4

Cover Art

On the Cover | July 21, 2011

learn about this issue's cover art by John Qualheim

Hashbrown Heaven is the first in a series of illustrations based on John’s admiration for 1950s - 60s roadside commercial signage. Referencing photos he has taken during his travels ...

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Opening Shots
Athletic Aesthetic

Don't Cry For Me, Minnesota

Eau Claire and Wisconsin sports are doing well, so when is Minnesota’s turn?

We have a tendency to endure athletic droughts in the Midwest. Some teams never seem to have success, and will go decades and generations without a championship. You may note examples like the Chicago Cubs ...

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Locally Made

new indie pop band Wisconsin Built

Oh to be a young band, playing a Monday night gig at an intimate community theater to an audience of the other bands on the bill, the band members' girlfriends, and at least one set of parents.

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LISTEN: Fall For Glory

a new lineup, EP, and tour for Fall For Glory

My first impression, after checking to make sure nothing was broken upon being blindsided, was can this really be the same band who gave us 2009s, occasionally brilliant but more often tepid, Pressin’ On EP?

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Blues on the Chippewa

fourth-annual blues festival to feature 18 bands in two days

With a remarkable lineup of 18 bands, Blues on the Chippewa returns this summer for its fourth year. The free festival is held in downtown Durand over the course of two days jam-packed full of blues.

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Take the Heart Pills

“skuzzy junkyard blues” quartet set to release debut LP

Say there’s a person jonesing for a skuzzy junkyard/blues/rock fix and they’ve been perpetually frustrated by other towns severe lack thereof. That person could park the RV in the Chippewa Valley and let it rust forever because Eau Claire darlings...

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The Crook'd Staff

local author completes historical Irish trilogy

Pete Roller, local author of a compelling fictional trilogy about an Irish American family, The Crook’d Staff Trilogy, is set to release his third and final volume, The Crook’d Staff Today and Tomorrow.

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Visual Art

Chalked Up To Talent

showcasing returning Chalkfest artist Fred Sklenar

Armed with tubs of brightly colored chalk, utensils, and, in some cases, kneepads, dozens of professional and amateur artists will converge on Wilson Park (between Farwell and Barstow streets in downtown Eau Claire) for the fourth time on August 6.

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Local Look

New Breed Of Health Care

local doctor’s flat-fee clinic hopes to inspire change

The steep price increase in health insurance has affected hundreds of thousands nationwide, resulting in many simply not being able to afford it anymore.

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Shortcuts | July 21, 2011

condensed local news about civic and cultural goings-on

Some of us dream of working with NASA when we got older – the same way some dream of being firemen or princesses – but eventually those dreams fade.

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UW-Stout's Meditation Guru

If you’ve got a bad case of the grumps or just need to ease some stress, I may have something you can try: meditation. According to Jane Anderson, an undergraduate from UW-Stout, meditation can greatly improve your overall mood.

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Buzz Cuttin' Contest

debut event is a four-day woodcutting chainsaw throwdown

Ever think, “There just aren’t enough events that involve chainsaws?” Well this debut event will hopefully be the first of many to come. Diana Peterson, executive director of the Logging Camp, is one of the chief organizers.

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Wider Scope

When Drivers Can't Steer Traffic

major cities around the globe downplaying cars

While the discussions on what’s best for the streets of downtown Eau Claire rage forward, an article just released by The New York Times begs – nay, practically demands – us to stop and ask if we’re going the right direction.

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Using Video Games To Enhance Community

There’s plenty of game companies that try and educate people through physical games. But the good people at the Knight Foundations and Area/Code are taking educational gaming to a very specific level; to see if local communities can solve local

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Food / Drink

Tasty Pit Stop

Dickey’s BBQ Pit opens on Clairemont

Barbecue is an art steeped in tradition, and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is no different. Started in 1941 by the Dickey family in Dallas, this franchise knows a thing or two about cooking quality meat.

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Sippin' Spot

new Eau Claire wine bar From the Vine Wine Room

From the Vine Wine Room may be a tongue twister, but it will leave your taste buds dancing. Owner Kathy Nuenke was excited about its premiere on July 15.

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Special Sections

Out-of-the Ordinary Massages

A breakdown of some unique locally practiced therapies

Massage therapy has many options to offer, from ancient styles originating in the East to more modern Western styles that incorporate body movement. Massage can be done with the hands ...

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TRX Suspension Training

Learn fancy tricks with this fitness phenomenon

Raise your hand if you dislike going to the gym. Raise your hand if you are even less likely to go to the gym during the summer because you’d rather be outside.

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Body Miseducation

How the Alexander Technique retrains you for efficiency

As I walk into Toni Poll-Sorenson’s UW-Eau Claire office, she is seated on a large, red exercise ball, perfectly poised and excited to tell me all about her passion for movement, kinesthetics, and mindfulness

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Ancient Ayurveda

Creating radiant health

Ayurveda, often called the sister science of Yoga, blends ancient wisdom with permission to trust our own intuition about our health.

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Want a Local Electric Hotrod?

EnviroTech makes Lightning Electric Cars for purchase

Picture this scenario. You’re sitting in the stands at NASCAR, crowds of people are cheering as engines roar and race cars whiz by. The noises are deafening, but the thrill of seeing those shiny hot rods zoom past your vision is intriguing.

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A Party Environment

reducing plastic and disposables for summer parties and get-togethers

It is not as difficult as it may seem to reduce a wasteful carbon footprint, especially when it comes to disposables associated with summer parties and festivals. By now all of you own reusable bags and water bottles, right? Of course you do.

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Right as Rain Gardens

what they can do and why you should do it

I’ve spent many summers working in gardens, tending to vegetable plants and my mother’s flowers. But until recently, I had never heard of a rain garden. So I decided to look them up. Turns out, these things are pretty cool.

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Clean Green

substitute noxious chemicals with homemade concoctions

Cleaning can be painful. Literally. Many common household cleaning products contain at least one of hundreds of chemicals that can damage both our earth and our bodies. If you’re seeking healthy alternatives, you’ve come to the right place.

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TIPS: Green Buying Power

tips from and

The world’s first synthetic fiber made from liquefied wood pulp. Turning wood into rayon is wasteful and dirty due to the fact that a lot of water and chemicals are needed in order to extract usable fibers from the wood.

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Energy Service Corps

new program offers free energy assessments for Eau Claire

Do you leave lights on while your gone? Take hour-long showers? Never clean the lint trap in your dryer? Yes, most of us don’t pay attention to these small details around the house, but not doing so is throwing money away through the added energy costs.

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