Thursday, December 01, 2022

Third Party Solar

Today, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) voted to allow "third party solar" in our state. This is a super important decision that will make a big difference in who can install solar panels which will move our state off expensive, dirty, Earth-killing fossil fuels.

This article from Clean Wisconsin explains why allowing a third party to (help) finance solar installations is such a major step in the right direction. "Third-party financing allows people to lease or finance solar panels over time, usually from a company that installs and maintains them. It’s a popular choice for families, schools, houses of worship, local governments and non-profits across the country. In Wisconsin, third-party financing is not explicitly addressed in state law.Power utilities are using a lack of clarity in state law to block Wisconsinites from turning to private financing for solar panels. Our state needs clear statutes that support solar energy for all."

The Solar Energy Industries Association notes that, "Third-party financing allows more Americans to “go solar” by lowering the cost of solar installation and maintenance of a system. Companies continue to develop new products and services to meet growing demand for solar.

Third-party financing is included as a strategy for "Unlocking Solar for Low- and Moderate-Income Residents: A Matrix of Financing Options by Resident, Provider, and Housing Type" published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This could be a game-changer for tenants who want to participate in the clean power revolution but have not had a good avenue toward that goal. "Third-party financing is helpful because it reduces the up-front cost for the system and the effort required by the housing provider to install and maintain a PV system. Third-party leasing through power purchase agreements and ESAs are widely used in the multifamily housing sector and require little state support because private partners are willing to work with landlords."

We will soon learn more about how this, along with the incredible solar incentives in the recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act, can help all of us take personal and meaningful climate action.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Jail Ministry

First, kudos to the La Crosse County Board and all those who worked on the change to the program for inmate phone calls. As described in the La Crosse Tribune, the county will now provide 30 minutes of free phone call time per day for those in the county jail. The parasitic system of contractors profiting from the unfortunate seems never ending. This change is one small step to helping people which will help us all.

We got this note from the local jail ministry:

If you are looking for a way to make a difference this holiday season, please consider giving to the La Crosse Jail Ministry.  Our ministry works to connect current and former inmates to one of the faith communities that serve in the La Crosse County Jail.  When released, we also provide a group of volunteer mentors (Circles of Support) to help the inmates with the transition to normal life. We also work to provide supplies to them while in the jail or warm clothes upon release. 

My role as a chaplain is to manage and facilitate all these community connections. We also want to be there for them when they are feeling hopeless and grieving, either for their loved ones and/or for their actions.  When I can help someone find their faith, or when I can offer compassion and a listening ear, I feel blessed to be in this role.

Our ministry could use your support:

First, we and the inmates we serve need your prayers and your good thoughts.

Second, we could use your financial help, as we are currently behind in our donations this year.  You can make a tax-deductible donation at

Third, our inmates need supplies. You can find a list on our website, or you can contact me for additional ideas.

I wish you peace and blessings this holiday season!


Chaplain Ann Wales

Mailing Address for Communication: P.O. Box 2675, La Crosse WI 54602
Mailing Address for Packages: 333 Vine Street, La Crosse WI 54601

Monday, November 28, 2022

Radical Generosity at The Center

GivingTuesday is a Movement that Unleashes the Power of Radical Generosity Around the World.

How can you participate?

Join The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection as we spend Tuesday 11/29 sharing our stories of giving and participate in our online fundraiser! You can bid on amazing items! 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Habitat Fundraiser

If you can't participate, just donate, volunteer, or shop at the ReStore.

Eat at Milwaukee Burger and Support Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area

Milwaukee Burger Company is hosting a fundraiser for Habitat La Crosse Area on Monday, November 28th from 3-9 pm. 10% of all sales will be donated to Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area supporting our mission of providing families with a place to call home.

Don't worry about cooking dinner Monday night! Take the family out for dinner or get a group of friends or co-workers together and enjoy dinner at Milwaukee Burger Company!

3039 Medco Court
La Crosse, WI 54601
Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area is a tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Online-iverse

There are some great online opportunities coming up to learn and connect.

A free MOOC is just starting on Coursera. The Age of Sustainable Development offers a timely look at the drivers of the climate crisis. Taught by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University, the course covers inequality, economic development, poverty and wealth, health care, human rights and gender equity, food systems and more. Sign up for free and work at your own pace while interacting with more than 100,000 classmates from around the world.

On Sunday, November 20, at 4 p.m., the Howard University School of Law will host a read-along of the “1619 Project” with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Howard University Knight Chair in Race and Journalism, Nikole Hannah-Jones. Jones will be joined by Lisa Crooms-Robinson, Howard University constitutional law professor for a conversation moderated by Sydne Clark, Howard University student and spoken word artist. Register to attend online and submit questions or watch the program on YouTube

On December 7, Third Act, a national movement for 
climate activist elders, will celebrate its first year with an online program. In addition to a review of first year accomplishments, they'll talk about plans to ramp up the Banking on our Future initiative in 2023. Register here.

On January 7, attend Transportation for America's day-long Transportation Camp. Transportation Camp DC is an annual unconference. Each year, the participants create the program by proposing and leading sessions on the topics that matter most to them. This year’s event will include a virtual option, allowing attendees to view the keynote, select hybrid sessions, and virtual-only sessions from the comfort of their own homes. Space is limited. Learn more and register here.