Articles in this Issue

Editor's Notes
Opening Letters
The Rear End

Swat in Hell

something really bugs me about summer in Wisconsin

I have hairy forearms. You wouldn’t stare at them if you were seated next to me at a restaurant or anything, but close inspection, you’d discover I maintain a robust, masculine forest or arm follicles. The same is true for my legs. So if I’m sporting a T-shirt-n-shorts combo ...

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Cover Art

On the Cover | July 27, 2016

learn about this issue's cover art from Denise Walser-Kolar

“This work is the fourth painting in a series of 25, inspired by the work of Joris Hoefnagel. All of the subjects are meaningful to me. The blue jay feather was floating in my birdbath. I found the dead cicada at my parent’s house. The cardinal egg was from a nest that was ..."

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Opening Shots

Opening Shot | July 27, 2016

He’s really bulling his OWN weight. Rodeo style competitions were a big part of this year’s Northern Wisconsin State Fair, held on the fairgrounds in Chippewa Falls July 13-17.

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Embracing Teamwork in Music

Nobody’s good at everything. So why do we expect musicians to be?

I am thankful we are all wired differently, that we all come to the table with a variety of skills, abilities, and experiences. This makes life much richer, don’t you think? Diversity, when embraced and celebrated ...

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Frankly in Love with Music

conductor brings passion to new chamber orchestra gig

Frank A. Watkins, the new music director and conductor of the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, is a man who lives music 24/7, whether raising his baton with a choir or orchestra in tuxedo and tails or conducting in the air with his earbuds ...

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Ain't Worried 'Bout It

rap crew Big Business make a grand statement on new 19-track album

The name Big Business isn’t as capitalistic as it seems, but the sounds and effort pouring out of the Chippewa Valley-based hip hop crew is anything but small. The dedicated group of rappers ...

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A Rail of a Tale

Swampers kick of Pure Water Days with musical revue

Last year, Chippewa Falls’ favorite – and possibly only – “swampgrass” band presented an original show dedicated to the mighty, Valley-carving Chippewa River. This year, the Swampers will use their instrumental (including violin, banjo, guitar, and even kazoo) and vocal (they promise “4 ½-part harmony”) talents to explore another historic means of transportation ...

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Method Writing

area writer’s thrillers come from real life experiences

When I first dialed Alexi Venice, she sounded strong and sure of herself, much like her fictitious character Pepper McCallen. “There’s no doubt that Pepper was my alter ego in the first book,” Venice tells me.

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Friday Nights in Eagle River

football, love, and betrayal collide in local writer’s romance novel

The bright stadium lights illuminate the crisp, fall Friday night. The high school’s star quarterback launches the ball downfield, where it lands magnetically into his wide receiver’s hands ...

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Visual Art

Mural, Mural on the Wall

artist beautifies doomed Chippewa Falls building

Despite the warmth of these summer months, a house of ice was brought back to life in Chippewa Falls. Artist Alexandra Moehagen decided to conceal the spray-painted profanities on the walls of what is referred to by locals ...

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Harvesting Creativity

buy a share in this CSA and get a big box of art

The Eau Claire Regional Arts Center offers a thrilling opportunity for lovers of local art through the 2016 season of its Community Supported Art (CSA) program.

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A New River Prairie Welcome

collaborative sculpture adorns Eau Claire entrance

Travellers driving South down Highway 53 will now be welcomed into Eau Claire by a new sign. The “Enhanced Eau Claire Sign” was installed July 17 at the River Prairie exit, on the corner of River Prairie Drive and Galloway Street, not far from Woodman’s grocery store. Originally, the half ...

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Local Lit

Summer Night

The sun has gone down and with it the heat. At the other end of the farm, the moon has yet to rise, though enough light remains to see dark rows of raspberry bushes and a pale field road climbing into a darker forest ...

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Local Look

9 Great Reasons to Go Vintage

don’t be afraid to dive into the vibrant world of vintage

The world of vintage goods is colorful, quirky, cool and maybe right around the corner. If you haven’t ventured into that world yet, there are at least nine good reasons to give it a go ...

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Defining Decades

When is something an antique and when is it a collectible? The difference between vintage and retro.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary define antique as “being in the style or fashion of former times” – and that’s something the Webster folks should know about, considered their dictionary traces its origin to 1828. The general consensus is that something has to be at least 100 ...

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Go Back in Time at the Foundry Sale

Eau Claire warehouse opens its doors and fills up with vintage and antique treasures

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, hosts of the popular reality television show “American Pickers ” and owners of Antique Archeology and Frank Fritz Finds respectively, would have a field day looking ...

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Livin' La Vintage La Crosse

two California women set up shop and laid down roots for a cool traveling vintage clothes business

On August 12 and 13, the Eau Claire cultural buzz will be amplified by the second Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival. During the fest, local shop Red’s Mercantile will host a backyard, flea-market style gathering ...

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Catching Some Renewable Rays

utility providers connect with solar revolution

Five hundred years ago, the realization that the sun was at the center of our solar system revolutionized science. Today, another revolution is taking place, and once again the sun is at the center ...

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Helping the City Sustain the Effort

college interns aid city with environmental projects

UW-Eau Claire environmental studies students are working toward a greener Eau Claire community while simultaneously getting a valuable internship opportunity ...

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Red Cedar Watershed Gets the Blues

program explores social aspects of reducing blue-green algae woes

Local and regional partners in a new collaborative effort led by UW-Stout, the state Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are ready ...

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The Cats' Meow

Dunn Co. shelter completes feline-focused expansion

A local humane association is the cat’s meow as they put the finishing touches on a big construction project to provide housing for scores of homeless felines ...

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Food / Drink
Kid Culture

Foam-Tipped Fury

new Nerf gun arena hosts grand-opening battle

Ready your (harmless) weapons! The grand opening event of Eau Claire’s newest battlefront, Darts On Demand, is coming up on Aug. 6. Nerf wars will begin every half hour during the noon-to-4pm celebration, and anyone ages eight and older is welcome to battle for glory ...

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