Articles in this Issue

Editor's Notes

Note from the Editor | March 9, 2016

A friend of mine recently gave me a cool vintage typewriter from his collection. A Smith-Corona. It’s a beautiful blue beast of a unit. Plug it in, flip the switch, and it starts humming – just waiting ...

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Opening Letters

10 National Development Trends Found in Downtown Eau Claire

an urban development expert outlined 10 downtown trends, and you can see all of them in Eau Claire

From where we sit, the redevelopment of downtown Eau Claire looks like it’s on the path toward success. Cranes crisscross the sky, new buildings are rising, old ones are being rehabilitated, and government and private leaders and the public at large are pulling toward the common goal of cementing the center of our city ...

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The Rear End

Worth Its Weight in Cold

this winter still has a lesson or two to teach

I took my kids to a playground near our house on a Saturday towards the end of February. In most seasons, the playground is a little dead on Saturday afternoons, and we’ve usually got everything ...

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Cover Art

On the Cover | March 9, 2016

learn more about our cover art from Cheyanne January

“This piece embodies the phenomenon of existence in the endless cycle of life. It started by reading the Edvard Munch quote: ‘From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity.’ From ..."

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Whale House Debuts Two Singles and Turntable CD

Eau Claire-based rockers Whale House have a couple of new tracks up their collective sleeve, and they’re gearing up to share them with the world. The band dropped a pair of singles digitally, one called “Freeway” (an acoustic strummer with a distinct ’90s-alt-rock flavor) and the other called “Think Of Me” (a full-on rock song with chugging guitars ...

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Fanoffbirdsafe Video's Murderous Spongebob

Eau Claire hard rock band FanOffBirdSafe released a new video for their song “RedMarkerBlackMarker,” where in the final closing frames of the blistering six-minute track, a Spongebob Squarepants stuffed animal “murders” the band with a gigantic knife. It’s great. And it’s intercut with other black and white footage ...

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Symphonic Double-Header

adult and youth symphonies tackle Beethoven, Mozart, and more

If you’re a devotee of classical music, it’s time to clear your calendar for a symphonic twofer. On Saturday, March 12, the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra will present its annual Youth Concert at 4:30pm at the State Theatre in downtown Eau Claire. The program, titled “A History of Music,” will feature teen violinist Julian Rhee ...

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Folk Song Catharsis

Len Voy starts healing on debut 10-track record

You’re not supposed to write sad songs if you’ve never really had anything too sad happen to you. That’s rule No. 1. It’s just as true – if not even more so – in folk music as it is in any other genre. There’s just something about real life feelings of confusion, pain, and longing that makes a person want to pick up a guitar and start writing ...

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Curing the Blues With the Blues

blues vet’s 15th album tackles Lyme disease struggle

One local musician refuses to sacrifice his passion for music – even in the face of a chronic illness. With the release of his latest album, Lyme’s Disease Warrior, Eau Claire blues artist Craig Barr ...

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Elephant and Piggie in a Play!

the beloved kids book characters come to life on stage

The Eau Claire Children’s Theatre is unleashing all the fun of Elephant & Piggie’s adventures in a musical, opening March 11 at The Oxford. Inspired by the beloved books of Mo Willems, Elephant & Piggies’s We Are In A Play is full of lively songs and colorful costumes that will hold the attention of even the youngest theatergoers ...

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Testing the Limits

from tornadoes to fatherhood, BJ Hollars’ new essay collection focuses on survival

In April 2011, B.J. Hollars, his wife, Meredith, and their dog survived an EF-4 tornado by huddling together in a bathtub. To cope with the aftermath of the storm, Hollars wrote ...

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Getting Better With Age

a beloved teacher’s poems mark a midlife milestone

Let’s start with a quick exercise. Read the following description of a local writer and educator, and then try to guess how old he is. Mr. P (let’s call him Mr. P) is one of the Valley’s most beloved English teachers. Everywhere he goes, former students approach him to share cherished memories and excited updates on what they’ve been up to since high school ...

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Visual Art

Familiar Foliage

photographer adventures to capture local trees, landscapes

After being in Los Angeles working as a graphic designer post-graduation, something about the daily grind left Christopher Bartlett feeling drained. The fast-paced blur – and probably the smog, too – made him crave the Midwest with its gushing rivers, dynamic seasons, and packs of trees. Somewhat directionless, the UW-Stout grad ...

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Ghosts & Gunpowder

artist’s new show uses explosive media

Local artist Ashley Harrington is stepping outside the cookie-cutter canvas and saying goodbye to pencil and paint. When it comes to her creations, Harrington steers wide and clear ...

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Taking Another Crack at the Vase

indie film returns to Eau Claire’s Downtown Cinema with regional scenery and humor

Every time he comes back to Eau Claire, film director (and Memorial High School grad) Chris Herriges feels a wave of nostalgia wash over him. He is excited his film The Vase is coming back ...

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Local Lit


You see her / wearing jeans / in fields of / green clover, / and she sings / from her network of wires ...

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Local Look

Skatepark Seeks Kickstarter Help

After officially opening doors and ramps on Feb. 5, Urban Roots Skatepark has been doing its best to provide a place for skaters to gather and perform radical tricks among their fellow brethren. Now that owner Christian Peterson has filled the region’s need for an indoor skatepark, he’s looking to return all profits ...

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Former Council Prez Runs for Assembly Seat

An attorney and former president of the Eau Claire City Council will challenge an incumbent state representative this fall. Howard White, who now lives in Altoona, announced recently that he will run as a Democrat against state Rep. Kathy Bernier, R-Lake Hallie, in the 68th Assembly District. White, a third-generation native of Eau Claire ...

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Free Clinic Seeks New Home

The Chippewa Valley Free Clinic is in need of a new home. The clinic, which provides free services to community members who can’t afford health care, announced March 1 that it needed to vacate its current location by June 1. The clinic had been given the opportunity to buy its current facility, 836 Richard Drive, but found that option was “cost prohibitive,” ...

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Lismore, Breweries Win Big At DECI Awards

A remodeled hotel and a pair of breweries earned honors from Downtown Eau Claire Inc. at the group’s annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 24. The Lismore, the hotel and convention center that also hosted the ceremony, was named Downtown Construction Project of the Year. The $20 million renovation of the former Ramada Inn on South Barstow Street ...

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Landing on the River

new Haymarket Landing caters to students with cool downtown digs

Looking for a change of scenery from on-campus dorm life? Make yourself at home in Haymarket Landing, the new, privately built UW-Eau Claire housing option that will be open for residents starting this fall. While this building will be similar to the on-campus Chancellors Hall – including apartment-style units ...

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Food / Drink

A Taste of the Old Country

immigrant uses family recipe to bake delicious Finnish pierogies

Let’s play two truths and a lie. The first known use of the word “pierogie” was in 1811, although 17th century cookbooks described the pierogie as a staple of the Polish diet. Finnish pierogies are sweet ...

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French Toast Fix

this year’s Beaver Creek event has a syrupy addition

Since 1947 Beaver Creek Reserve has been serving the greater Chippewa Valley area by providing individuals with the opportunity to learn about the wonders of nature, but once a year ...

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Kid Culture

Come Out to Play, Everyone!

Children’s Museum initiative designed to open doors to all kids, no matter their background or income

The Children’s Museum of Eau Claire is a unique destination for the children of the Chippewa Valley to learn and be inspired by engaging all of their senses in hands-on exhibits and interactive programming. The museum’s recently launched Play for All Initiative is intended to open up the museum’s doors (and unlock its wonders) to all children in the community ...

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The Past Is in Your Future

download a free ticket to the Chippewa Valley Museum

For the lover of all things local, what’s better than a visit to the Chippewa Valley Museum? Why, a free visit to the Chippewa Valley Museum, of course! As part of Smithsonian magazine’s annual ...

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Outdoor Enthusiasts Come Together for Big Sport Show

Wisconsin Sport Show’s dairyland outdoors celebration

Eau Claire is sporting an outdoors convention that’s back and bigger than ever. The Wisconsin Sport Show returns to the Menards Conference Center for its seventh year. This three-day convention is jam-packed with excitement for outdoor recreation enthusiasts. For the animal lovers, there will be dog hunting and tracking shows ...

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