Articles in this Issue


FEATURE: Tube Town

The Chippewa Valley has a massive inner-tube floating scene, and this guide breaks down the local origin of the activity, what the big annual events are all about, the economic impact of it, plus what you need, where to go, and how to do it right.

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Editor's Notes
The Rear End


recent studies show modern playgrounds have hidden dangers

Most complaints I hear about today’s playgrounds can be boiled down as such: They’re boring. However, as a small town newspaper called The New York Times pointed out just last month, a much bigger problem has surfaced for today’s kids.

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Cover Art

On the Cover | Aug. 4, 2011

learn about this issue's cover art by Sarah Denis

"The image 'Spitfire' combines my love of vintage transportation and my enduring dream to fly off in old fashioned style. Over the ages, we have come up some fantastical modes of motion and the pedal plane and the bicycle are easily two of my ..."

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Opening Shots
Reader Letters

Reader Letters | Aug. 4, 2011

on urban chickens and local traffic

They tried downplaying cars on State Street in Chicago and North Avenue in Oak Park, Illinois. Huge disaster in both cases. Destroyed small businesses ...

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Borders Be Gone

as one story ends, perhaps a new chapter can begin ... turn the page

It’s the economic circle of life. Now we all hate to see Borders go, but that opens the door for something even better. Maybe some enterprising local can open an amazing store downtown.

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A Streetlife Juxtaposition

recent trip to small-town Cuba begs comparison to Eau Claire

What’s the difference between the streets of Eau Claire and those of small-town Cuba? I found out as part of a Quaker folk dance peace ministry to Cuba for two weeks last fall.

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Time To Wail

EC’s new recording studio, pedal workshop, record label, and show venue

Sandwiched between a heating a cooling shop and some storage units in Altoona is Wail House. You might not think much of it as you drive past, but within lies a music haven space that houses Dwarfcraft Devices’ pedal workshop

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Son Of A Gun

veteran cover banders break out with original tunes

Similar to many of the Chippewa Valley’s artists, you may have seen musicians Rich Trunkel and Lance Gregorich in many different bands since both have made Eau Claire their home. The two met in 1997 playing in a cover band in Greenwood, WI.

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Pine Hollow

Evan Middlesworth’s Eau Claire recording studio

“One of the great things about music and audio is that it always evolves, which means new artists are testing the limits and coming up with new ideas all the time,” said Evan Middlesworth, owner of Pine Hollow Audio Production and Composition.

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Sounds of a Fallen Echo

long-time metal musician goes solo

Sounds of a Fallen Echo is Eau Claire native Eric Giardina’s solo effort (out August 9), following stints in No Loving Place, Black Flood Diesel, Nameless Feeling, and Senza.

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Load the Cannon

local jammers Yam Cannon releases sophomore album

Ka-BLYAMMO!! You just got shot with a Yam Cannon! You are now fully injected with tuber rock from a three-piece outfit that place themselves among the kin of Crazy Horse and Talking Heads.

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Yazmín On Keys

singer/songwriter to tickle ivories at Acoustic Café

I’ve got a buck in my pocket that says you probably can’t guess what these world-class musicians have in common: Willy Porter, Robin Zander, Justin Vernon, and Liberace?

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Visual Art

Shooting Art in a Barrel

group of artists join forces for tavern show

Art enthusiasts, prepare yourselves. For one day only, the Bottle and Barrel is playing host to an eclectic and diverse collection of local art. The show will feature all types of artwork, from photography and sculpture to drawings and hand-crafted

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The Art Market

monthly venture in Banbury Place to feature local artworks

Brightly colored flags lead visitors through Banbury Place to the buildings’ newest addition, The Monthly Market.

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A World Of Shirt

student-designed Eau Claire shirt helps fund art scholarship

Live in Eau Claire? Visit Eau Claire? Well, you’ll soon have the opportunity to wear Eau Claire.

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Sugar High

a local short film called Sugar Mountain

Over the years, Eau Claire has attracted the attention of quite a few filmmakers. Some local amateurs, others out-of-town professionals, and now an Eau Claire native who got professional training and has returned to create a short film inspired by

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Local Look

Kallenbach Unplugged

after 25 years on the job, WPR honcho talks politics, art, and the future of radio

Dean Kallenbach has hosted a lot of discussions during his lifelong career in public radio. Beginning as a part-time disc jockey in Rice Lake during college, he’s worked for various radio stations across the Midwest, eventually getting hired at WPR.

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Thanks for Asking | Aug. 4, 2011

our local jack-of-all trades tells you how it is

A friend of mine at work (a big sports fan) was telling me about Hobbsy’s Bar in Hallie. In the 1950s or 60s two Hobbs brothers (related to the family that owns the bar) were outstanding football players first at Regis and then at the UW as Badgers.

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Shortcuts | Aug. 4, 2011

condensed local news about civic and cultural goings-on

Remember that cougar that came through the Chippewa Valley two winters ago? Well, it was found all the way in Connecticut. What’s even more, it travelled about 1,600 miles, from the South Dakota Black Hills, through the Twin Cities area ...

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Pass The Pepper (Magazine)

So what happens when two bored UW-Stout students get together during the summer? Well they recruit other talented students, stay up late, and create an entirely new magazine from scratch.

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Wider Scope

The 400 Block

an ambitious downtown project in Wausau funded mostly by the community

Wausau’s “400 Block” town square-ish area just received a long-awaited makeover that includes a kidsy water feature, bandshell, alfresco tables, and more. It also allows for outdoor concerts, art fairs, farmers markets, and Chalkfest.

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Food / Drink

The Green Cow

a summertime destination for drive-in treats like homemade ice cream

Small town America is alive and well, as is evidenced by The Green Cow, an ice cream shop and eatery located in the town of Colfax.

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Kid Culture
Other Stuff

The Business of Boudoir

Eau Claire studio captures the local sensuality on film

Wedding décor giant The Knot defines boudoir photography as “a sexy new trend that’s especially popular as a wedding day gift from a bride to her groom ... usually taken wearing either just a little, or well, nothing at all.”

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Eau Claire Big Rig Truck Show

annual big rig fest brings back famous Ice Road Trucker

Our fair city will soon play host to the Eau Claire Big Rig Truck Show, and this year’s special guest Alex Debogorski. Debogorski gained notoriety through the Discovery Channel show Ice Road Truckers and is currently on tour across the U.S. promoting

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