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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A matter of degrees

If I invited the citizens of La Crosse down to the Mississippi River for a festival so they could dump their paints and household contaminents into the river creating beautiful patterns under the winter moonlight, and then encouraged them to drive their cars down to watch the patterns and hit them up for a donation of food for local food pantries, I guess the La Crosse Tribune would praise me.

Ya think?

Once again, Rotary light in La Crosse has taken over the city park so they can use up tens of thousands of kilowatt hours and encourage people to spew even more crap into the globally warming atmosphere by driving their cars around the park to see 1.6 million lights. Last year's light display used 48,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. Unless they've converted their display to LEDs.

Actually, there are 20,000 LED lights. Out of 1,600,000 (about 1% of the total). Hmmm.

(Check the Electric Power Pollution Calculator for more details.)

But at least, thanks be to God, the publicly owned city park is providing, "a true Christmas experience" for visitors.

Good grief.

Anyone in the Coulee Progressive community interested in preparing a presentation for the Rotary Club to get them to cut out this wasteful and environmentally harmful event and instead find some other way to gather money and food for good causes?

Please email me.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Support local SOA protestors:

[from Guy]:

This weekend, approximately 60 students, staff, and community members are traveling to attend the protest at the School of America's in Fort Benning, Georgia. Working very hard to close down the Fort, the students and many others were successful in getting Congressman Ron Kind to support legislation to close the Fort this past spring, but much work needs yet to be done!. The Fort has been for more than 30 years a training ground for foreign military leaders in practices of "legitimate?????" torture, counterinsurgency, among many other despicable practices. Military operations decried by human rights groups across the world have recognized that some of the worst practioners of torture and abuse have graduated from this college, including officers in Columbia, all throughout Central America, Indonesia, Iraq, among a host of many nations.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!?

1) Support those who are attending the conference. Each student will pay in excess of $100, just before finals, to get on a bus, drive 20 hours, participate in a day/half of protests and organizing, drive back 20 hours to help create an international awareness of the issue. Expected crowd this year in excess of 20,000 people! The folks who attend will bring back strategies, goals, and ideas on how to close down the School of America's, all while keeping attention on the mistreatment of prisoners that our government and others are participating in globally.

2) HELP US BUY A PEACE BUS....if you can spare any donation to help this become a reality...please send us a donation. We spend more than $30,000 a year to bus people to protests, conferences, Fighting Bob, etc. How about supporting a bus that can be used as a classroom, traveling billboard, and transportation to and from so many opportunities. If the Army can drive around in a black "Darth Vader" semi...why can't we bring a bus of hope and change to schools and communities throughout the region? If you want to see what a Peace Bus can do...look at the Wheels of Justice website, and witness firsthand the incredible work that can be done by creating a mobile classroom http://wheelsofjusticetour.org/

3) The La Crosse Six are still in negotiations with Sen. Kohl. His office is working to set a time/place/ and agenda for a mtg to discuss Sen. Kohl's direction on the War in Iraq. Let's all thank June Kjome for keeping and prodding the Senator's Office. Just so you know...we are not sure Sen. Kohl has ever actually been to his office in La Crosse in years! He comes for press conferences, but doesn't find time to visit with constituents HERE IN LA CROSSE PERSONALLY. We know he is a busy man, but I am sure he has found time to visit with lobbyists from all over the country. Please Sen. Kohl, don't forget about people right here in your (our) State!

4) A Big thank you to Liz Rynertson [and Ray Starrett - ed.] and others who planned and hosted the wonderful UN Film Series at UWL this past week!

So PLEASE CONSIDER SENDING US A DONATION BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS!!

SEND TO:

La Crosse Coalition for Peace and Justice
c/o Guy Wolf
N3421 Mohawk Valley Road
Stoddard, WI. 54658

Sunday, November 12, 2006

New Calendar!

We're trying a new web-based calendar which won't take up space on my personal limited pages and will allow you to post your own events! Try it out (or click on Progressives' Calendar icon - top right of this page.) Click for more.

Be sure to include LOCATION OF EVENT in the detail (click on one already posted for example. Please email me if you have problems.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

VOTE - then saddle up for the next ride

Due to severe SLEEPINESS there will be no live blogging of election night. But we will hope to update in the next few days.

And we need to start thinking about next year. I propose that GLOBAL WARMING - and specifically what the Coulee Region can actually DO (not talk about, study, discuss, wish on or dream about) to make major steps toward reducing our "energy footprint" - be our top priority.

Click for more.

Former Mayor, John Medinger, signed on to the US Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement. And what has been done?

That's the question.

Under the Agreement, participating cities commit to take following three actions:

* Strive to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets in their own communities, through actions ranging from anti-sprawl land-use policies to urban forest restoration projects to public information campaigns;

* Urge their state governments, and the federal government, to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the greenhouse gas emission reduction target suggested for the United States in the Kyoto Protocol -- 7% reduction from 1990 levels by 2012; and

* Urge the U.S. Congress to pass the bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction legislation, which would establish a national emission trading system.

I suggest that Coulee Progressives make living up to this agreement one of its top priorities in 2007.

For an interesting report about how Germany is taking major and livable changes, listen to November 7th's Here On Earth broadcast with Craig Morris, a journalist and translator specializing in renewable energy, author of Energy Switch: Proven Solutions for a Renewable Future"

We are now planning for the 2007 Coulee Region Progressives State of the Union on Friday, January 26. More details soon - I'm feeling an energy conservation theme coming on.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Vote vote vote vote!

Tuesday is Election Day, and it's important that we each do what we can to Get Out The Vote for progressive candidates and issues. Your NO vote could help Wisconsin become the first state in the union to defeat a ban on a marriage ban!

Click on 'Read more!' below to find a couple of useful links with information about the issues, the candidates, and registering to vote. And, by all means, get thee to a polling place on Tuesday!

La Crosse City Clerk - find a sample ballot, polling place locations, and registration info. ( I know not everyone who reads this site is from La Crosse; check here for more information about registering to vote in other parts of the state.

Fair Wisconsin -- find out why a NO vote on the marriage ban is essential for our state's economy and people.

League of Women Voters - Check out their Fall 2006 Voter Guide; it's chock-full of great information.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
- See who's giving to your candidates, and how much.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Local movie on hate crime and gay students - Premiere 11/4 and 5

The Details: A movie premiere of "The Shadow of the Fire" on Saturday November 4th and Sunday November 5th at 3:00pm each day at the Rivoli Theater in downtown La Crosse.

My name is Scott Thompson and I'm a filmmaker from western Wisconsin. We'd like to extend an invitation to you to attend the premiere of a movie we produced in the area last winter called "The Shadow of the Fire", which is on the subject of hatred. In 1999, I wrote and co-produced "Greta's Song" with the Theatre du Mississippi, a film about domestic abuse.

Our current film, "The Shadow of the Fire," was shot mostly in Winona, with other scenes shot in Wisconsin and New York. In the film, three high school students are suspended for hate speech against an openly gay student who has just been found beaten into a coma. But it is a fourth student, from a very "normal" home, who seems to harbor the most hate of all.

The film is not violent. The goal of the film is to initiate discussion among people afterwards. We didn't set out to make an Oscar-winner, but I think it will cause people to talk with one another after its over.


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Pass the word. See more about Thompsons' film at his website.