Friday, December 05, 2008

More CAPX2020 Open Houses

from The La Crosse Tribune:

Representatives of CapX 2020 — the $1.7 billion proposal to upgrade high-voltage power transmission lines from the Twin Cities through Rochester, Minn., and ending in the La Crosse area — will host open houses about the project.

The open houses will include maps with proposed route options.
The 11 utilities involved in the project are reviewing and collecting data about the route options, including three potential sites for crossing the Mississippi River at Alma, Wis., Winona and La Crescent, Minn.

The schedule includes:

-Winona, Minn.: 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, Riverport Inn, 900 Bruski Drive Winona.

-Alma, Wis.: 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Alma High School, S1618 Hwy. 35.

-Centerville: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Centerville Community Center/Curling Club, W24854 Hwy. 54/93.

-La Crescent, Minn.: 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, La Crescent American Legion, 509 North Chestnut St.

Do we NEED it? No. Electricity use is going down and since we haven't really even started yet on the CONSERVATION plan that should be at the top of the global warming list, we can expect it to drop even more.

New ways to locally generate electricity are springing up by the hour including this great idea from researchers at the University of Michigan:
It has been estimated that if less than 0.1% of the renewable energy available within the oceans could be converted into electricity, it would satisfy the present world demand for energy more than five times over. ...

OWC [Oscillating Water Column] is economically viable design due to it's simple geometrical construction and also strong enough to withstand against the waves with different heights and different wave periods and directions. This design consists of a rectangular chamber and a pyramidal top which is installed on top of the chamber . .A conical duct is erected on the pyramidal top to reciprocally move the air from the chamber and into the chamber during the process of wave approach and wave leaves the Chamber. A special turbine which is mounted on top of the duct is subjected to turn at one direction as the airflow moves bi-directional. A generator is coupled to the turbine that produces electricity by rotating it's armature shaft which is coupled with the turbine shaft.

Or, simpler, VIVACE (Vortex Induced Vibrations for Aquatic Clean Energy):
Researchers claim to have fashioned a fish-like hydrokinetic scheme that harnesses both fast and slow underwater currents to generate electricity. Called Vivace, for Vortex Induced Vibrations for Aquatic Clean Energy, the technique has the potential to generate electricity, even from lazy river currents, at a cost lower than other energy sources. Michael Bernitsas, a professor at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), also has launched a company, Vortex Hydro Energy, to commercialize the technology. The technique mimics the ability of fish to use underwater vortices to swim upstream.

Or, what about harnessing the foot power of all those people at the mall or in hospitals to generate electricity?

Engineers and scientists are developing tiny generators that turn the kinetic energy of everyday movements into electricity which can then power sensors or provide electricity for remote installations.
The technology, known as power harvesting, is already being tested in helicopter frames, the floors of discos and in volunteers' knee joints in order to generate electricity. In the near future, harvesters could be used to recharge iPods and mobile phones, say researchers.

But, wait, what about all those cars? Couldn't they generate electricity, too?

In short, we are at a fork in the road, similar to one faced a century ago when the horseless carriage first appeared. Should we build more barns and plan for more horse poo? Or should we consider that things are going to be very different very soon and the old necessities and solutions (CAPX2020) are just going to be wasteful relics and costly mistakes.

With conservation and LOCAL OR REGIONAL power generation, the need for huge powerlines will be a thing of the past. But only if we make it so.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Giving Good

There are many opportunities to support local and international groups this holiday season. Some help out local organizations and some help people around the world. The La Crosse Tribune had a nice spread on Sunday about Nine gifts that give back. Included in their list is Heifer International, a wonderful organization that really does "spread the wealth around."

Locally, don't miss the Fair Trade Market on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 1 and 2 in the Ward Room, Cartwright Center, UW-L.

Also, consider a gift to your local peace and justice group, women's shelter (New Horizons lost $35K in county funding and they need your help!) or educational institution.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It GOT to be REAL!

join togetherFriday, November 21, you're invited to join together for food, fun and fellowship at the first annual African-American Cultural Alliance R&B Karaoke-thon, "It Got to be Real," from 5 to 11 p.m. at the Concordia Ballroom (1129 La Crosse Street).

The purpose of the event is to establish a non-profit community based organization. This is a Free event and the public is welcome! For more information call: (608) 789-6270

Sunday, November 16, 2008

YOU can help identify high priorities for sustainability in La Crosse

I recently received an invitation to participate in a La Crosse Joint Oversight Committee on Sustainability survey and I'm passing it along to you. Note - the deadline is November 22! (emphasis added):
Our committee consists of seven members, including three City representatives, three County representatives, and one community member ... . We are writing a "Strategic Plan for Sustainability", which will be formally presented to the City Council and the County Board for their consideration and adoption. If you are interested in helping out with this endeavor, we invite you to complete a very short online survey. The results of this survey will help us identify high priority sustainability issues that the strategic plan should address.

The survey consists of two questions. The first question simply asks you to select (and rank) the 5 highest priority issues from a list of 19 sustainability issues. The second question asks you to, "Give us your best idea – a specific initiative or innovation - that would help make the La Crosse area a more sustainable place to live."

Survey responses are completely anonymous. The survey does not ask for your name, nor does it record who completes the survey. We will simply tabulate the results and use them as we complete the strategic plan.

If you would like to participate, please complete the survey by 10 p.m. Saturday, November 22.

Your help in making La Crosse a more sustainable community is greatly appreciated.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We're Baaaack!

drowningI've bobbed to the surface in the whirlpool of work, family, sleep and other stuff and just in time, too!

Saturday - meet at 12:30 p.m. on the La Crosse Street side of City Hall to show support for repeal of California's Proposition 8 and a nationwide end to discrimination against the GLBT community. You can also sign the "Repeal Prop 8" pledge now and forward this to your friends as soon as possible.

Tuesday at noon - 1Sky Day of Action - meet at Ron Kind's Office (5th and Jay) to urge his support for climate protection legislation. (Sponsored by 1Sky Initiative, League of Women Voters, Sierra Club and others.) For more info, contact John Stewart 214-707-0340.

Tuesday at 6 p.m., it's RETHINKING THANKSGIVING, a community feast and discussion at the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House, 724 Main Street. Take a look at the historical and contemporary issues facing indigenous people and celebrate the harvest. Everyone invited. FREE. Also, this year we will collect coats and jackets for those who need them.

Thursday at 7 p.m. - Clean Energy Coalition hosts a public forum at the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House, 724 Main Street. on CAPX2020 with featured speakers Tim Carlsgaard, representing CapX 2020, the consortium of eleven utilities that is planning the expansion of the transmission grid across the Midwest and Carol Overland, a Minnesota attorney who is an intervener opposing CapX2020 ( For more info on the forum, email Bill.
La Crosse is about to witness the construction of a huge 345 kv transmission line across the river near downtown La Crosse, that will then head north on the river to French Island, then north and east to a substation between Onalaska and Holmen. Homeowners affected in Minnesota were notified, but those on French Island have not. This project, along its projected trajectory through Minnesota, has been the subject of many public meetings. But its impact in Wisconsin, only now, is coming to the attention of policy makers and governmental officials. Over the past few months several hearings have been held in La Crescent and other Minnesota sites with regard to some of these issues. But now, it is a hot issue for Wisconsin and specifically for La Crosse.

Still seeking some helpers to post regularly here and help keep up the calendar of events! Email for info.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

It's been almost a month since the last post. Lots of stuff has happened, is happening and will happen, but illness, work, family, farm and other life goings on have been overwhelming lately! It would be great if a few others would volunteer to post once a week or so, but I know my busy life is nothing compared to some others'!

So, this is a brief update - what's coming up immediately - and I hope to update the whole site this weekend and get on a better update schedule (but, I'm on dial up and it takes time!)

Friday is UN Day - to celebrate, Dr. Keith Knutson, Viterbo history professor, will speak on "How Can the US Regain its Leadership Role Regarding International Human Rights?" The setting will be Viterbo University's Reinhart Center Board Room, at 12:00 noon.

Friday at 6 p.m. at Valhala, UW-L Cartwright Center is a free musical kickoff to the final days of the campaign. Don't miss ROCK FOR BARACK featuring some of the great bands of our area (sponsored by UW-L Dems)

Sunday, October 26, plan to attend the Affordable Health Care for All Rally, sponsored by AMOS from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. at the English Lutheran Church, 1509 King Street.

On Thursday, October 30, the Clean Energy Coalition will have their monthly meeting at 7 p.m. at the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House (8th and Main). This month's program will be "Harnessing Wind Energy in the Midwest," or "A T. Boone Pickens Plan for the Midwest," or "How will the Midwest Wean itself of Coal-produced Electricity?" Howard Kruger, of Ecoenergy (headquartered in Elgin, IL), will explain the projected construction of 195 to 200 wind turbines, producing 500 megawatts of energy, between Olmstead, Wabasha, and Winona Counties. Those attending will also receive a basic introduction to power lines: what currently exists and what would be needed to carry wind-produced electricity in western MN and SD to the power-hungry population centers along the Great Lakes. (Consider the October meeting a preparation for a debate about the CapX 2020 powerlines project, which will be the topic for the CEC forum on Thursday, Nov. 20.) For questions, contact

Volunteers are desperately needed in the last few days before the election. We cannot let up now. Did you know Wisconsin is listed as one of the states where real voter problems could be a major factor in the election? Check out this voter suppression guide or read the entire Pew report or read Block the Vote in Rolling Stone mag or watch Prof. Mark Crispin Miller discuss his book, Loser Take All - Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy. We need to make sure people get out to vote if they haven't done so already and we need to be alert to possible problems (yes, even in quiet little western Wisconsin!) Call (608 785-5866) or sign up on the web site. Vols especially needed from November 1 through the 4th (make election day your own personal holiday and spend it helping the right people get elected!)

By the way, with the sad demise of, I've been shopping around for a new go-to web site. While not as humorous or immediate, has great writers and important news. I highly recommend a visit there. Some of their recent postings include a great piece by Chris Hedges: The Idiots Who Rule America, A Week in Real America by Bob Boyarski and Going Poll Crazy (trying to make sense of election polls).

Updates to numbers, headlines and more coming this weekend. In the meantime, if you'd like to help keep this site up to date, please email Cathy.

[And, totally unrelated to anything above (except maybe the ELECTION) is this dire warning from the ACLU!]

Friday, September 26, 2008


MANY more volunteers are needed right now in La Crosse. Please volunteer now!

Stop by the office and donate any time you can. You will not be pushed to do something you are not comfortable with. Here are the opportunities:
We will not push you to do something you are not comfortable with.

Volunteers needed for phone banking, canvassing, database entry, front desk help,
hosting house parties, registering new voters, writing letters to the editor, housing staff and driving voters to the polls on election day.

How important is this election to you and your family?

Stop by 127 S. 6th Street or Call at 608-785-5866. Do it NOW.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More nukes?

Please join us for this important program!

IS MORE NUCLEAR ENERGY IN OUR FUTURE? on Thursday, September 25 at 7 p.m. at the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House, 724 Main Street, La Crosse.

Special guest, John LaForge, co-founder of Nukewatch and editor of Nukewatch Quarterly, will speak. John has advised the Dutch and British governments on nuclear issues, has been active in all issues nuclear, from nuclear power and nuclear waste storage to food irradiaion, depleted uranium and Project ELF. John is widely recognized as a world class expert on nuclear issues.

Joining John are panelists Dr. Al Gedicks, UW-L Sociology Department, an expert on the processing and storage of nuclear materials and its impact on American Indian communities, and Mark “Spark” Burmaster and George Nygaard, citizen leaders in the effort to shut down the nuclear power plant in Genoa, Wisconsin in the 1980s.

Will Wisconsin lift its moratorium on nuclear power plants?

Is nuclear energy safe and clean?

Will nuclear power help ease the global warming crisis?

How will a nuclear energy program affect us?

Sponsored by the Clearn Energy Coalition, citizens educating themselves and their communities about important issues of energy and environment. For more info, email

Saturday, September 13, 2008


carfree PartyFrom Purplearth:
To celebrate World Carfree Day, September 22, we
are helping to organize several events.

This coming Monday, Sept. 15 we'll present
Transportation Liberation at the
People's Food Co-op upstairs meeting
(315 Fifth Ave. S.) starting at 7 p.m.

On World Carfree Day, Monday, Sept. 22, we're having
a Carfree Equinox Party in Port O'Call in the Cartwright
Center at UW-L,
starting at 7 p.m. There will be lots of
information and exhibits about how to become

carfree, or at least carless. We'll present Transportation Liberation at 7:30. Then a
few people will talk about bike advocacy, the Bike/Ped Committee and Myrick Ecopark.
There will be DJ Muzik and snacks. Plus we'll have our recumbent tandem and trailer
for folks to check out.

This event is free and open to the public. This is a really important event for a city
that has committed to being an Eco-Municipality. Table space will be available if
you'd like to bring any relevant information or a carfree exhibit. Setup is from 6-7.
Please let me know if you want space.

Transportation Liberation is a multimedia show in which we discuss
many pragmatic ideas on how to make driving optional. Our 45-minute
show includes sights and sounds of good and bad transportation
methods, traffic calming, various kinds of biking accommodations and
why the driving infrastructure is not sustainable.

In June we were invited to give Transportation Liberation to a
international audience at the Towards Carfree Cities Conference in
Portland, Oregon. Our show was well received by over 200 people. Some
people said it's the best presentation they've ever seen.
To see a 5 minute preview go here
Find out more about World Carfree Day here

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Looking forward - Martin Luther King, Jr 2009 event

Martin Luther King, Jr.No matter what happens in November, history marches on.

Be part of the planning for the 2009 Martin Luther King, Jr. event in La Crosse.

Email the Jubilee Center to get on the list - first planning meeting will be held during the week of September 22.

(Remember to volunteer NOW to help the living history move forward.)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Somethings happening . . .

Lots of stuff is going on this fall. With students back on campus, campaigns in full swing, and important issues rolling headlong into the mix, it's going to be hard to attend everything!

A few things we can do will help. First, please email with your calendar items so I can put them on the list (right column, scroll down). Second, please check to see what else is happening before scheduling an event if at all possible. Every season we seem to end up with several days of overlapping important and great programs.

Third, if anyone would like to help me keep this calendar up to date in a timely manner (I have a busy life, too!) I would very much appreciate it! Please email me and we can discuss.

(Fourth - if you haven't yet signed up to volunteer for a campaign - DO IT NOW! Volunteers are desperately needed!)

In the meantime, just a note of a few important upcoming events.

On Sept. 10, the UW-L Obama campaign will kick off at 6 p.m. in Valhalla, Cartwright Center. Voter registration, speakers and more.

Also on Sept. 10 from 5 to 7, a reception for Cheryl Hancock will be at the Pump House with Jennifer Shilling and other elected officials.

Also on Sept. 10 (see what I mean!?), the great film, Why We Fight, will be shown at the Franciscan Spirituality Center on Market St. at 7 p.m.

One last calendar note: on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. the American Friends Service Committee "Speak for Peace: U.S. Veterans and Iraqis Creating the Way Forward" will be held in room 337 Cartwright Center, UW-L.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Time to act

Barak ObamaThere are just about two months to go until the most important election in a long time.

While Barack Obama may not be the ideal candidate (he's definitely NOT an anti-war candidate and he is friendly to nuclear power), the stakes are too high, I believe, for casting about for another.

So, it's time to act. You can sign up at the website or visit the local headquarters at 127 S. 6th St. There's a training on Sunday, August 29. Go if you can.

Closer to home, Cheryl Hancock is taking on the well funded Mike Huebsch (and definitely needs a new web site!) Huebsch has blocked many strong progressive bills as leader of the state assembly. He must go if we are to achieve health care reform at the very least. And Tara Johnson is running against Dan Kapanke.

By the way, Wisconsin Public Radio recently featured a new book by John Grisham, The Appeal. Read it. While the story takes place in Mississippi, it might has well be Wisconsin.

We are not only facing a reinvigorated (by the selection of a fundamentalist high school basketball star as Republican vice-presidential candidate) reactionary right, anti-science voting block but also a state Republican party and their cronies who will do whatever they can to keep people from voting or at least muddy the issues or call into question the vote (thankfully, relatively sane people are still in control of the state elections board).

Check out this Grassroots Toolkit page offered by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the largest spending Republican organizations in the state.

They are working for their candidates - are you?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Join the Grassroots Caravan Friday!

The GrassRoutes Caravan is a group of 38 people traveling by bike from Madison to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. They are passing through La Crosse on Friday, August 22 and will arrive at the Great River State Bike Trail head on County Highway B near the intersection with Highway 16. ANYONE WHO WANTS TO JOIN CAN MEET THE BIKERS AT THE TRAILHEAD ON COUNTY ROAD B! All human-powered vehicles and their riders are encouraged to join the Caravan for the ride along the marsh bike trails and downtown La Crosse to the Cameron Park Farmers' Market.

At 7:00 pm at Bluffland Bloom and Brew on 4th Street in Downtown La Crosse, riders will be giving performances of art, music by Madison folk singer Thistle, Nora and Gnoll from Springfield, Missouri, and a bilingual puppet show by the Neverwood Collective focused on getting beyond electoral politics. In addition, local advocates and activists, Obbie and RoZ, will present their video, Transportation Liberation

The next day riders will help at the Habitat for Humanity project at 1118 Liberty Street and the Kane Street Community Garden before heading to Winona.

The Caravan is a pedal-powered village on a mission of community service projects to help out with flood relief, community gardens, river clean-up and other needs in Wisconsin and Minnesota while transporting 38 riders to rally at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota without burning gasoline. This is not a protest; the Caravan will demonstrate in motion the power of the bicycle as a real form of transportation and a tool for the liberation of people who are willing to ride the distance together in intentional community.

For More Information about the Caravan you are encouraged to contact Kristine Pettersen or you can look online at

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Witness against war - August 14 in La Crosse

witness against warPlease welcome and join the Witness Against War folks on Thursday evening, August 14 at the La Crosse Public Library, 8th and Main Streets.

A potluck supper will start at 6:30 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. the peace walkers will talk about their mission. For more info on the Witness Against War: 2008 tour, visit the website of Voices for Creative Non-Violence.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Hiroshima Remembrance

The Interfaith Justice and Peace Group, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Lutheran Office for Justice and Peace, Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Committee, Nukewatch are sponsoring this year's remembrance of the first use of a nuclear weapon.  Details below, and for more information, call 786-2816.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

An urgent battle

345 kV power linesUPDATE from Bill: Thursday, July 31, at 7:00 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, La Crescent (on the highway-freeway going north to I 90): MN State Rep. Ken Tschumper will host a community forum to inform area residents about the risk and implications associated with the proposed high voltage transmissions line from the Twin Cities to Wisconsin. The proposed line would cut through La Crescent Township and La Crescent City, and then across French Island and into La Crosse County. All citizens of affected counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin are invited to attend to find out more about this proposal and what they can do to voice their own personal concerns.


Without so much as a "whisper" of explanation or opportunity to appear at a public hearing, the construction of a 345Kv transmission line maybe coming to La Crosse very soon. It is imperative that we ACT NOW! The dealine for any comments is in August 22nd!

What do we want? A public hearing in La Crosse.

The CapX2020 line has already notified people in south La Crescent that the line will cut through their neighborhoods (Skunk Hollow area where Jeremy Chipps and Joe Francois lives). The lines will then cross the Mississippi and head north on the RIVER to FRENCH ISLAND, going north and head East to a substation between Onalaska and Holmen. This is actually on the maps of CapX2020--the homeowners in MN were notified, people in French Island were NOT!

Here is the worst news. The only public hearing in this area on THIS ROUTE was held in Winona several weeks ago AND, the decision makers in MN can cross the RIVER w/o any Federal Hearings! We need lawmakers and businesses to write the Judge and demand a public hearing in La Crosse. At the time of the hearing the bridge was also out between Winona and impacted parties from WI.

PLEASE attend a VERY IMPORTANT EVENT this Thursday in La Crescent. AND, MOST IMPORTANT, PLEASE Write to Judge Heydinger (and send a copy of your letter to Citizens Energy Task Force). Letters can be sent until *August 22, 2008* to Administrative Law Judge Beverly J. Heydinger at

Or, send your letter to the following U.S. Mail address:
The Honorable Beverly J. Heydinger
Office of Administrative Hearings
600 North Robert Street
P.O. Box 64620
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0620

Read more background and details at the Citizens Energy Task Force web site. Read the CapX2020 "environmental information" Twin Cities-La Crosse 345kV project from the CapX2020 group.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Friday, July 18 - Iraq Moratorium

Be there: 3rd and Cass, 5 to 6 p.m. Bring your sign.

You can sign the pledge, too, if you wish.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Catholic Charities Fundraiser for Flood Relief--7/8

Catholic Charities is hosting a FLOOD RELIEF FOOD/FUND RAISER CHICKEN-Q on Tue, July 8, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. in the Quillins Foodfest Parking lot located at 3954 Mormon Coulee Rd.  Dinners will be $7 and include ½ chicken, baked beans, potato salad, and dinner roll and are prepared by Premier Catering.  However, bring a bag of groceries and we will take $2 off your meal!  

Quillins will also be selling "grocery bags of food" to be donated to these pantries for $10.  For each bag sold, Quillins will then donate an additional $2 in food to restock the shelves.  100% of all funds raised will go to help area flood victims and all food will be used to restock area flood food pantries.

[Thanks to June K for this announcement]

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No rest for the Hmong

The Hmong have had a terrible fifty years or so. Friends of the US secret war in Laos, Hmong men and boys and families rescued American pilots and provided war support and soldiers. When Laos fell, the Hmong people fled to refugee camps in Thailand. Many Hmong people have emigrated to the United States, particularly California, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Our communities are much richer for it.

But there are still thousands of Hmong family members trapped in refugee camps in Thailand and now they are being forcibly repatriated to Laos where they are sure to face persecution and death.

Here is a good backgrounder.

Paula Vang will speak on Friday, June 13, at 10 a.m. at Roncalli Newman Parish Center, 1732 State St. La Crosse (Please park on the street either on Main St. and come through the back door or park on State St. and come from the front door, to avoid getting a ticket by parking in the UW-L.) For more information contact Pastor Houa Moua at

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


AmtrakGeorge says his grandfather used to be able to travel from his farm in rural Chaseburg all around the area - Coon Valley, Viola, Viroqua, etc. - on a train. You can still see where the tracks used to be along parts of Highway 162 between Chaseburg and Stoddard.

My grandmother's house in Johnston, Iowa was across the road from a railroad track that, I believe, carried "commuters" from this rural area adjacent to Des Moines into and out of town. I think the line was originally built to carry recruits for WWI from the big city (probably another rail line) to Camp Douglas, just up the hill. (Ok, yes, now this is interesting:

Des Moines & Central Iowa - A Capsule History - This interurban operated out of Des Moines in a “V” shape, with one branch going northwest to Perry and the other branch going northeast to Colfax. It was an electric line until after WWII ...

* 1899 The Inter-Urban Railroad was incorporated. That name was used in the early era.
*1902 The line to Colfax was built. Colfax had some resort prospects and there was also coal along the line.
*1906 The line to Perry was constructed with a side-branch to Woodward.
*1918 –1920 Military traffic was provided to Camp Dodge.
*1922 The line is renamed the Des Moines & Central Iowa.

I keep saying, our motto, especially since the election of Ronald Reagan, should be BACKWARD. But apparently, you can only go back so far before you flip off the edge of the Mobius strip and start moving forward again. Or something.

So, here's a great article from Daily Kos, a little good news for a change:

A nearly $15 billion Amtrak bill passed the House Wednesday as lawmakers rallied around an alternative for travelers saddled with soaring gas prices.

The bipartisan bill, which passed by a veto-proof margin of 311-104, would authorize funding for the national passenger railroad over the next five years. Some of the money would go to a program of matching grants to help states set up or expand rail service. ...

The White House has threatened a veto, saying the bill doesn't hold Amtrak accountable for its spending. But similar legislation has passed the Senate, also with enough support to override a veto.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Handling the truth

from the Washington Post: William E. Odom, 75, a retired Army lieutenant general who was a senior military and intelligence official in the Carter and Reagan administrations and who, in recent years, became a forceful critic of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, died May 30 at his vacation home in Lincoln, Vt.

Bring Them Home La Crosse received permission from General Odom to reprint his article, "What's Wrong with Cutting and Running?" during its referendum campaign in the spring of 2006.

Some La Crosse "patriots" have complained about articles written by Gold Star mother, Cindy Sheehan. Imagine what they would say if General Odom's honest assessment of the Iraq situation were published in the Tribune?

"For those who really worry about destabilizing the region, the sensible policy is not to stay the course in Iraq. It is rapid withdrawal, re-establishing strong relations with our allies in Europe, showing confidence in the UN Security Council, and trying to knit together a large coalition including the major states of Europe, Japan, South Korea, China, and India to back a strategy for stabilizing the area from the eastern Mediterranean to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Until the United States withdraws from Iraq and admits its strategic error, no such coalition can be formed.

"Thus those who fear leaving a mess are actually helping make things worse while preventing a new strategic approach with some promise of success."
- - - - - - - -
"There is no question the insurgents and other anti-American parties will take over the government once we leave. But that will happen no matter how long we stay. Any government capable of holding power in Iraq will be anti-American, because the Iraqi people are increasingly becoming anti-American."
- - - - - - - -
"Most surprising to me is that no American political leader today has tried to unmask the absurdity of the administration's case that to question the strategic wisdom of the war is unpatriotic and a failure to support our troops. Most officers and probably most troops don't see it that way. They are angry at the deficiencies in materiel support they get from the Department of Defense, and especially about the irresponsibly long deployments they must now endure because Mr. Rumsfeld and his staff have refused to enlarge the ground forces to provide shorter tours. In the meantime, they know that the defense budget shovels money out the door to maritime forces, SDI, etc., while refusing to increase dramatically the size of the Army."
- - - - - - - -
"We face a strange situation today where few if any voices among Democrats in Congress will mention early withdrawal from Iraq, and even the one or two who do will not make a comprehensive case for withdrawal now.Why are the Democrats failing the public on this issue today? The biggest reason is because they weren’t willing to raise that issue during the campaign. Howard Dean alone took a clear and consistent stand on Iraq, and the rest of the Democratic party trashed him for it. Most of those in Congress voted for the war and let that vote shackle them later on. Now they are scared to death that the White House will smear them with lack of patriotism if they suggest pulling out.

"Journalists can ask all the questions they like but none will prompt a more serious debate as long as no political leaders create the context and force the issues into the open."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Get Yourselves Organized!

It's wonderful that there's lots of STUFF for us to go to and do, but PLEASE, people, get yourselves organized!

So, ok, tonight we can go to the Clean Energy Coalition's "Dirty Ol' Coal" program starting at 4 p.m. at Three Rivers School and including a catered meal there and then a public meeting at 7 p.m. at the Ho-Chunk House on 8th and Main


We can go to the Dem's Open House (this is tempting if only to glare at Ron Kind for being such a witless suck up and war-monger) from 5 to 7 p.m. at their new headquarters at 127 S. 6th St. Free food here.


We can go to a public forum at 7 p.m. to comment on the La Crosse Police Department’s ability to comply with accreditation standards. Per the Tribune: "The hearing at the La Crosse Community Policing Center, 713 St. James St., is part of the department's application for re-accreditation through the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group." More info here.


This just in ... we can go to the Livable Neighborhoods meeting at 6 p.m. at the Southside Community Center to discuss a proposed La Crosse Neighborhood Revitalization Commission. Read more about it here.

This is just another plea - if you are scheduling an event that the local progressive community might be interested in attending, PLEASE check to see if there's already something scheduled!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I often wish The Universal Mom would show her face once in a while. You know, when the high-test(osterone) White House boys want to get their war on, The U Mom could swoop in and grab them by their ears and drag them off for a big time out. Or, when crooks, cronies and war criminals steal public money or torture people or "rendition" them or ... well, you know, The Mom would confront them and embarrass them and make them pay for their crimes and banish them from having any interaction with others for a good long time.

Well, THAT fantasy isn't going to come true any time soon, but another fantasy many of us have - finding candidates to WORK and vote for to replace the reactionary Kapanke and, worse by 10, Mike Huebsch - IS coming true.

Last week, Tara Johnsons, a La Crosse County Board member, announced she would challange Kapanke and this Thursday, according to the LaX Dems:

Cheryl Hancock will formally announce her candidacy for the 94th Assembly seat on Thursday, May 29th at noon at the Holmen "Pit" Baseball Field (Main St. & Sunset Dr.)

Please come and show your support for Cheryl in her campaign against Mike Huebsch and to restore a Democratic majority in the Wisconsin Assembly.

(Cheryl will also have a second La Crosse County stop the same day at 4:00 P.M. at Mulder Nursing Home, 713 N. Leonard St., West Salem)

Huebsch is a powerful fundraiser - in fact, most of his campaign cash comes from out of his district. His challenger is going to need A LOT of money, help and support.

Kapanke is tied into the statewide right wing "buy the government" network (like the one that helped buy a judgeship for a crony last spring). Already "push polling" is being conducted to hone an attack campaign against Johnson. She is going to need strong support and a good source of funds.

That means YOU! Contact the Laxdems[at] to sign up.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Transmission Lines a-comin'!

From the Tribune:

Two open houses today will provide La Crosse residents with the closest opportunity to learn about a proposed electric transmission line from southeast of the Twin Cities to Rochester, Minn., and on to La Crosse.

The open houses will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Riverport Inn at 900 Bruski Drive in Winona, Minn., and from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Centerville Community Center/Curling Club at W24854 Hwy. 54/93 in Centerville, Wis. Utility representatives will be available to answer questions.

The 150-mile line between La Crosse and the southeast Twin Cities is one of three new 345-kilovolt electric transmission lines proposed by the CapX 2020 utilities alliance. Eleven regional utilities, including Xcel Energy and La Crosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative, are part of the alliance and first announced their plans in 2006.

Maps showing possible corridors envision the line crossing the Mississippi River either at Alma, Wis., Winona or La Crosse. The line would end at a substation in La Crosse or near Holmen, Wis.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just say NO!

Bring them homeFriday, May 16 is Iraq Moratorium Day. Keep this issue before the people. Meet at 5 p.m. at the corners of Third Street and Cass (by the bridge) with your sign. Last month there were four of us there (and I had to leave a little early), but we were very effective.

House Rejects War Funding Bill

Imagine what would happen if tomorrow there could be EIGHT of us!

p.s. Ron Kind STILL doesn't get it:

How they voted: House roll call on war funding bill

The 149-141 roll call Thursday by which the House defeated a bill to continue funding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

A "yes" vote is a vote for the funding and a "no" vote is a vote against the funding.

Voting yes were 85 Democrats and 56 Republicans.
Voting no were 147 Democrats and 2 Republicans.

X denotes those not voting.

"Present" denotes those who voted they were present at the time of the vote but did not vote yes or no on the issue.

Democrats - Baldwin, N; Kagen, N; Kind, Y; Moore, N; Obey, N.
Republicans - Petri, Y; Ryan, Present; Sensenbrenner, Y.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Transportation Liberation!

Thursday, May 8, 2008 at 7:30 pm Ward Room, Cartwright Center, UW-La Crosse FREE!

Go to the Transportation Liberation page to view the trailer!

Car-free living is a lifestyle choice that yields abundant rewards: freedom from the economic burdens of personal motorized transportation, improved physical and emotional well-being, reduced noise and pollution, and traffic structures that are gentler on the land and its citizens. Communities are brought closer together as people increasingly interact face-to-face, rather than from within steel shells. Liberation from private motorized transportation makes us a richer, healthier, happier people living in cleaner, quieter, friendlier neighborhoods.

In this multimedia workshop, Obbie and RoZ describe the steps on their trail toward Transportation Liberation, and discuss a multitude of pragmatic ideas on how to make driving optional. The program is punctuated by personal narratives (including sights and sounds) of good and bad transportation methods witnessed during extensive research in North America and Europe.

If your organization or educational institution would like to host the Transportation Liberation Road Show, contact purplearth.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bike to Work Week!

Coulee Bike to Work Week[Excuse late notice - extreme busy-ness and tiredness have delayed updating this blog - help would be appreciated!]

La Crosse Bike to Work Week 2008 is scheduled for Saturday, May 3 through Friday, May 9. This year, lots of great organizations and organizers have come up with a full schedule. Please check the official website for all the details. Here are some highlights:

First, BE SURE TO REGISTER!!! The Bike Federation of Wisconsin is tracking statewide participation in Bike to Work week. This will help them advocate for better facilities and resources for the biking public.

Second, be sure to attend the Transportation Liberation Roadshow - a new way to look at personal transportation including a film by local bikies, Obbie and RoZ. The program will be presented APRIL 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the La Crosse Main Library and again on MAY 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ward Room, Cartwright Ctr, UW-L.

More soon ...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day in Court

[from Anita]

The trial for those who trespassed in Ron Kind's office last fall is on April 24 at 3:00 p.m. at the La Crosse City Hall Court.

2:15 pm meet at the clock tower on UW-L campus, or just meet at the court house.

Please wear black for solidarity.

We will then go to Mr. KInd's office after the trial.

Another $120 billion will be voted on this week or next for more war and destruction.

Please let Ron Kind know that the people he represents are standing for Peace. Bring our sons and daughters home NOW...and take care of them when they return!

If you can't make the trial, PLEASE call Ron Kind's office and tell them you where you stand on the blank check for this endless war. The office staff say they have not had calls about the funding.

Mr. Kind's office:
La Crosse
205 Fifth Avenue S.
Suite 400
La Crosse, WI 54601
8:30am to 5pm
PH: (608) 782-2558
FX: (608) 782-4588
TTY: (608) 782-1173

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sami Rasouli in La Crosse April 21

Come and hear Iraqi-American Sami Rasouli speak about his home country, Iraq, and the continuing occupation - Monday, April 21 at 7 p.m. in Graff Main Hall Auditorium, UW-La Crosse. Admission is free.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Be there!

After much ado, we finally have a LOCATION for Friday, April 18's Iraq Moratorium action. Be there:

Friday, April 18 from 5 to 6 p.m. at the corner of Third and Cass (by the bridge). Bring your signs.

Next week - Earth Week.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Call today - no more for war

Once more the Bush administration is asking for a handout to continue its occupation of Iraq - this time more than $100 Billion.

Call Kind, Feingold and Kohl and tell them to JUST SAY NO!

CALL Ron Kind (phone: 202 225-5506; fax: 202 225-5739)

CALL Herb Kohl (phone: 202 224-5653; fax: 202 224-9787)

CALL Russell Feingold (phone: 202 224-5323; fax: 202 224-2725)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Natural (baby) Step

Next week we will start a discussion group to discuss what might be done to put out the fire in the house we are sitting in - special guest, Bob Elliot of the Slow Talkers of America.

I have mixed feelings about passing along this info. Of course, it's good to talk, it's REAL good. But good lord! it's time for action! Let's get with it, people!

So, if you MUST talk, then these are real good places to do it. But remember, the house is burning NOW. And right now we need a carbon tax. Now. Immediately.

Now, the part from Jai:

Two Natural Step Learning Circles will start up at the end of April. If you are interested in joining one of these groups, please email Vicki to register (required).

Because of limited space, Learning Circles will be filled on a "first-come first-served" basis. Additional circles will be offered later in 2008. Participants will purchase the book, The Natural Step for Communities (about $20) – copies may also be available for borrowing.

A joint introductory meeting for both circles is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at First Supply, Monday, April 28th.

One group will meet 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Mondays at First Supply, 106 Cameron Avenue May 5-June 16.

Another group will meet 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Wednesdays in the Community Room at the People’s Food Coop from May 7 to May 28

The Natural Step is an approach initially established in Sweden that promotes environmental sustainability. Both the City and County of La Crosse recently voted to become eco-municipalities and adopt the Natural Step framework.

Learning Circles consist of up to 12 participants and one facilitator. Circles meet weekly for several weeks to discuss readings from the book, The Natural Step for Communities: How Cities and Towns can Change to Sustainable Practices. Since the summer of 2007, six learning circles have met in La Crosse. They have been a great way to meet interesting members of our community and to have great discussions. Learning circles are being coordinated by Coulee Partners for Sustainability (more after the fold.)
The Coulee Partners for Sustainability is a grassroots movement that will support the city and county of La Crosse in their efforts. Coulee Partners for Sustainability will work with individuals, environmental organizations, educational institutions, businesses and governmental bodies to educate and create environmentally sustainable practices.

If you would like to become involved in Coulee Partners for Sustainability or find out about upcoming activities or our committees, please contact Glen Jenkins.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

It's up to YOU

Next Tuesday, April 9, you can make a difference.

Clean Wisconsin will present a training for those wishing to create Environmental Action Teams in their own families, workplaces or neighborhoods. EnAct encourages sustainable living and strengthens communities. Be there!

Tuesday, April 9 at 6 p.m. in the Ward Room, Cartwright Center, UW-L. It's free and it's important.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

LAMP dinner helps deminers in Afghanistan

Five or so years ago, Ray Starrett decided to do something good. So he started LAMP, the La Crosse Afghanistan Mine-removal Project. Affiliated with the UNA's Adopt a Minefield, LAMP raises money to help pay for demining efforts in Afghanistan.

You can help right now! LAMP's annual fundraising dinner will be on Saturday night, March 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the English Lutheran Church, 16th and King Streets. An amazing meal including recipes from Afghanistan (lovingly prepared by volunteer cooks led by Arlene Vrlec of the People's Food Co-op) will be served. John Knight, a local educator with Afghan experience, and an Afghan exchange student, Jala Ahmad Sarvary, will speak.

You want to do something good, too. Call Ray at 788-4767 or email John to make your reservation. (Do it TODAY!) The cost? Whatever you can afford, whatever you think it's worth to help the people of Afghanistan.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

3/19 - WI Global Warming Task Force

Be there! Wednesday, March 19 between 4 and 7 p.m. in room 102 Wing Hall, UW-L (17th and State Streets) YOU can weigh in on the recommendations of the Governor's Task Force on Global Warming including regulation of current and potential "dirty" energy installations and preference and strong support for clean renewable energy. Some people have had a plan for a long time now. And remember energy CONSERVATION is still the largest untapped energy source. You can also submit your comments by email.

Monday, March 17, 2008

US OUT OF IRAQ - Actions this week

TUESDAY: Feingold Listening Session at 2:45 p.m. at the Holland Town Hall, W7937 County Road MH, in the Town of Holland AND at 5:00 p.m. in the Second Floor Opera House at Independence City Hall, 23688 Adams Street, Independence. Each meeting will last up to an hour.

WEDNESDAY: Women in Black vigil to mark the 5th anniversary of the U.S. Iraq attack. Noon to 1 p.m. at 4th and Main Streets in La Crosse. Wear black. Bring your sign.

THURSDAY: Ron Kind (Not) Listening Session at 2:00 p.m. Vernon County Town Hall, Western Technical College – Viroqua Campus, Community Room, 115, 220 South Main Street, VIROQUA

Sunday, March 02, 2008

YOUR views on Iraq

Dick Mial at the La Crosse Tribune is soliciting comments from area citizens to run in the paper on March 19, the fifth anniversary of the U.S. attack on Iraq. Limit is 250 words. Email your letter NOW.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Tuesday, March 11 at 7 p.m.

Viterbo Fine Arts Center Main Auditorium

Featuring the music, poetry, or talents of Tom Thibodeau, MC; Emily Dykman; Andrea Feirer; Mary Ellen Haupert; Dan Johnson-Wilmot; Joe Kruse; “Just Desserts”; Rachel Madary; Polly Pappadopoulos; Prairie Smoke; Viterbo Concert Choir; Wissing and King

A free will offering will be taken at the concert. Proceeds to benefit the Madary Children Fund.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


[From the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice]
[UPDATE: Location has been changed at the last minute to La Crosse Chamber of Commerce, 712 Main Street]
Are you fed up with rich folks and corporations buying elections? Please take action! Join us to protest the WI Manufactures & Commerce "money collection" meetings.

ISSUE: Right now the WMC is in the process of raising millions of dollars from corporations to run attack ads against Supreme Court Justice Butler who is up for election Tues., April 1st. Last spring the WMC spent $2.2 million on attack ads to help Ms. Ziegler win a seat on the Court. We can't let that happen again.

The WMC is inviting CEO's to a round of breakfasts to ask them for money to
fund Butler attack ads. Join us in picketing at the two remaining "money collection" meetings. We have enough placards (Don't Let WMC Buy Our Supreme Court) for 100 people. So join us, dress warmly and we'll have a good time!

ACTION ALERT!: Wednesday, March 5 - Picketing 8 to 10:30 AM in La Crosse at the Gundersen Lutheran - Onalaska Clinic, 3111 Gundersen Dr., Onalaska NEW LOCATION: LA CROSSE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, 712 MAIN STREET

PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Feb. 19th the WI State Senate passed SB 171, the Impartial Justice Bill. please ask your State Assembly representative to urge the Assembly leadership to hold hearings on SB 171. Ask you representative to support public funding of Supreme Court races. The bill provide $400,00 in public financing per candidate with access to an addition amount up to $1.2 million to fight "issue or attack" ads like the WMC is raising money for now.

More on WMC from Paul Soglin:

WMC is certainly the most influential lobbying organization in our state. It claims over 4,000 member businesses-and they make the biggest contributions, indirectly, to politicians' campaigns through their issue ads they purchase at election time.

WMC, through its Issues Committee has played a prominent role in a number of state wide elections including the last campaigns for Governor, Attorney General, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

It does this by soliciting funds and then purchasing issues ads which do not support a specific candidate but which attack the candidate WMC opposes. While WMC does not have to reveal its contributors, television stations are required to make public ad purchases. Last July the Democracy Campaign estimated that WMC spent $2.2 million on television and other advertising in an effort to defeat Annette Ziegler's opponent in the Supreme Court race. (The Capital Times, July 24, 2007). Ziegler was subsequently found to have ruled in cases where she had a conflict of interest and now faces discipline from her colleagues on the Supreme Court

WMC is hosting seminars designed to enlist opposition to the candidacy of Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler. It is estimated that WMC will attempt to raise between $2.5 and $4 million in an effort to defeat the distinguished jurist, Justice Butler. Those picketing are making it clear that the people's Wisconsin Supreme Court is not for sale.

Members of labor and professional organizations are opposed to these efforts. We do not have the legal means to find out which WMC members fund these attack ads. But we do have access to the WMC board of directors and can identify the people who are responsible for the decisions to raise the money and to buy the advertising. They can enjoy their right to raise money for issue ads and we have the right to note who is legally responsible for taking out the ads.

Again, we cannot name the individuals and corporations that contribute to the WMC Issues fund; that information is not available to the public. Only WMC can tell you who contributes to their political advertising.

We wish to make it clear that this is not a picket of the hosts of these events.

For more information, contact Paul Soglin at Soglin Consulting, 608-238-4042. Or 608-770-0947 (cell)


* Here is the link to WMC's website for more information as to what they are doing: WMC Regional Meetings: Wisconsin Supreme Court Unbound (When you go to this site it says page canceled. Wait and about 30 seconds later an Adobe page will open up. See what the WMC is saying about the present Supreme Court - you'll be surprised. Buzz Davis)

* Dave Zweifel: Shining the Spotlight on WMC

Below are some other articles and editorials. (We picketed WMC in Madison, Wausau and Green Bay in the past two weeks.)

802240396/1637/WDHopinion> Our Legal System Shouldn't Be For Sale -Wausau Daily Herald editorial

.By the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign's calculations, almost $6 million was spent -- most of it by special interest groups, and $2.2 million of it by one group alone. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which represents businesses and chambers of commerce, buried television stations with that much cash.

1/802150587/1981> protests business lobby Wausau Daily Herald -news

Protesters target WMC The Capital Times - news

Associated Press: Protesters
Picket WMC Over Funding Of Political Ads

For more info:,

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Debate Iraq

[UPDATE: Senate Dems Yank Pull-out bill. So much for backbone.]

As you may have heard, Russell Feingold's bill to have the Senate debate a "redeployment" of troops from Iraq passed out of committee by a vote of 70 to 24. Feingold says,

Now to be clear, Republicans agreed to have this debate because they're under the false impression that Democrats may be embarrassed to debate the war in Iraq.

I disagree, and so do the vast majority of the American people.

Add your name to thousands of others, and get your friends and family to join us in supporting Feingold-Reid.

I'm pleased the Senate has decided to address Iraq and how our continued military involvement there is distracting us from defeating the global terrorist threat from al Qaeda and its affiliates. But according to at least one news report this morning, some senators, even Democratic senators, don't agree.

According to the story, one senator has called the Iraq debate "a waste of time." Another called the debate a "diversion." Yet another said that Feingold-Reid was "too restrictive." And all of these are quotes from Democratic members.

We must keep up the pressure - help push this issue forward. The American people demand a debate, and thanks to your support, we've moved the ball a long way since first introducing this legislation last year. We must continue to work together in our combined effort to end one of the biggest mistakes in our country's history.

There will now be up to 30 hours of debate on this bill and it's up to each and every one of us to make sure Republicans and Democrats in the Senate feel the heat.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Act Now to Support Global Warming Legislation (from Clean Wisconsin)

[UPDATE: "02-26. A. Refused to suspend rules to withdraw from committee on Natural Resources and take up, Ayes 46, Noes 51."]

Important legislation to reduce global warming legislation is coming to a vote in the Wisconsin State Assembly. Call your Assembly representative and encourage them to support AB 157 Wisconsin's Safe Climate Act.

The effects of global warming are already being felt here in Wisconsin and if left unchecked global warming could have a devastating impact on Wisconsin's economy, culture and environment. The scientific community has said that we have very little time to enact legislation that will begin reducing global warming pollution in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Wisconsin cannot afford to wait for action at the federal level; we must pursue proactive solutions to reduce our global warming pollution today. AB 157 Wisconsin's Safe Climate Act will be coming to a vote soon in the Wisconsin State Assembly. Your representative's support for this legislation will be critical to ensuring Wisconsin is able to meet our global warming reduction goals.

AB 157 - Wisconsin's Safe Climate Act would require the State of Wisconsin to implement a plan to reduce our global warming pollution back to 1990 levels by 2020. These reductions will be an important first step to addressing climate change. The bill provides an excellent framework under which to advance and adopt the recommendations of the Governor's Global Warming Task Force.

Ok, let's face it. Once again, Republicans looking out for their polluting cronies are constipating this bill in the Assembly, most notably, number one blockage, Assembly "leader", Mike Huebsch. If you think it will do any good to call his office, (608) 266-3387 Or (888) 534-0094 or email him, feel free.

You could also try staring at that 8 foot mound of ice and snow by the side of your driveway to see if your x-ray vision can melt it in a matter of minutes.

The only way to get anything done, is to retire Mike Huebsch (maybe he can finish college using all the money he's saved up from his per diems.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008


[We interrupt this anti-war plea to mention that Chelsea Clinton will campaign for her mom on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 11 a.m. at Cartwright Center, UW-L. See Jimmy Breslin's 2005 take on Hillary and Iraq before you go.]

I hereby make a commitment that on the Third Friday of each and every month, I will break my daily routine and take some action, by myself or with others, to end the War in Iraq.


A few good men (well, one) have been trying to get a monthly Iraq Moratorium demonstration going in La Crosse. I've thought of all the excuses myself and used them, too. But it's time to get out there and keep this issue out in front.

We've gone over the $1 TRILLION dollar mark and are approaching 4,000 US military casualties in Iraq and more than 1 MILLION Iraqis killed. A CBS News report in November 2007 found that 120 vets PER WEEK are attempting or committing suicide and the Bush administration has recently argued in court that veterans do not have a right to mental health care.

What have we done?! Why are we continuing to let it happen.

Join us this Friday, February 15 from 5 to 6 p.m. at the corners of La Crosse Street and West Avenue. Bring your anti war signs. We will try to keep this up every third Friday of every month - until it's over.

BTW, there are no progressive candidates left in the Democratic primary. Jump on the bandwagon if you will, but don't hold your breath for much of a "change". Currently, the US spends more on its military than all other countries combined. So, the answer, from the "most liberal" candidate?

from Obama's Foreign Policy website:

Building a 21st Century Military
-- snip --
Expand the Military: We have learned from Iraq that our military needs more men and women in uniform to reduce the strain on our active force. Obama will increase the size of ground forces, adding 65,000 soldiers to the Army and 27,000 Marines.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Barak Obama, Democratic candidate for president[This just in]

Governor Jim Doyle will keynote a rally for the Barack Obama presidential campaign on Thursday, February 7th at 7:00 P.M. at Valhalla in the Cartwright Center NEW LOCATION: Cleary Alumni and Friends Center (East Ave. and La Crosse St.) on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

For more details or to volunteer please contact Mike Reynertson, Northern and Western Wisconsin Regional Field Director for the Obama campaign at 320-293-5531

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Just a note of thanks to all those who helped organize, donated or came to our fourth annual event on Friday, February 1. Special thanks to Fayze's for donating the delicious bread and Jules' for donating the wonderful coffee. Also, thanks to RoZ for the mix tape, Guy Wolf for his special chili and the year in review (in the historic progressive style!), Cathy for the soup and programs, Xong for the soup and Jessica Thill for staffing the sign in table. Thanks too, to the Concordia Ballroom, for the wonderful friendly facility.

Our goal is to bring in all the area progressives who are out there but not necessarily connected to a group. Next year we will try something different. What? Who knows! If you'd like to be on the planning committee, please email Cathy

In the meantime, there are plenty of issues, campaigns and organizations that can use your help RIGHT NOW! Please get active - write letters to the editor, donate, sign up to hand out literature, do what you can.

In the meantime, another thanks to all the great groups who shared info and ideas:
* 7 Rivers LGBT Resource Center
* American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
* Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin
* Bike - Ped Committee of La Crosse
* Bluffland Bloom and Brew
* Clean Energy Coalition of La Crosse
* Clean Wisconsin
* Cornucopia Institute
* Coulee Keepers - advocating regional sustainability
* CounterRecruiters of La Crosse - a new group
* Dancing Doe Farms, LLC
* Eco-Municipality - City and County of La Crosse
* GeoPathfinders
* Get Active! - helping local candidates and causes
* Jubilee Center for Justice and Peace
* La Crosse Democrats
* LAMP (La Crosse-Afghanistan Mine-removal Project)
* La Crosse Interfaith Justice and Peace Coalition
* League of Women Voters
* Three Rivers School
* United Nations Association of La Crosse (UNA)
* UW-La Crosse Progressives
* Western Technical College Multicultural Scholarship
* Women in Black

Friday, February 01, 2008


Come to network, share ideas, sign up, find old friends, meet new co-conspirators!, eat, drink and be merry.

Over 25 local, regional, state and national groups, candidates and causes will be there to get you ACTIVATED for 2008 - join a national advocacy organization, sign up to work on a campaign, get info about living sustainably.

Bring a dessert to share and/or a non-perishable for the food pantry if you can. Admission by donation. Free soup (vegan and veggie options available), bread and hot beverage.

Don't miss it! [all the details are in this_story at KickTime. In Cathy's enthusiasm she left out the where, when, etc!]

Groups confirmed so far: ACLU, AFL-CIO, Bike Federation of Wisconsin, Bike-Ped Committee of La Crosse, Bluffland Bloom & Brew, Clean Wisconsin, Cornucopia Institute, Coulee Keepers, CounterRecruiters of La Crosse, Dancing Doe Farms, Eco Municipality, GeoPathfinder - how-to sustainable living, Get Active!, Jubilee Center for Justice and Peace, La Crosse-Afghanistan Mine-removal Project (LAMP), La Crosse Demcratic Party, La Crosse Interfaith Justice and Peace Coalition, League of Women Voters, Three Rivers School, United National Association of La Crosse, UW-L Progressives, Western Technical College Multicultural Scholarship, Women in Black.

Monday, January 28, 2008

More (last minute notice) important stuff to do RIGHT NOW!

[from Guy]:

Focus the Nation: Global Warming Solutions for America. The local event will kick off at 6 p.m. Wednesday with local organic food vendors and video presentations at Viterbo’s Reinhart Center. At 7 p.m., Stephen Schneider, a climate scientist at Stanford University, will speak via remote video.

Thursday’s events begin at 9 a.m. with fair trade goods available in the Reinhart Center lobby. Speakers include Chris McClead, the campus minister, who will speak on faith and environmental justice, and Chris Schneider from Honda Motorworks. Val Schute of River Architects and Nick Nichols from Gundersen Lutheran will speak at 4:10 p.m. on LEED certified buildings.



January 30, at 5 p.m.
DNR Service Center
3550 Mormon Coulee Road
Rooms B-19 and B-20

Dairyland Power recently re-issued a mercury variance permit to the DNR for their Genoa coal power facility. (Genoa is a city 20 min south of Lax)
Coal generation accounts for 60% of all Mercury emissions that originate from human activity. According to EPA numbers, Dairyland's 350MW Coal facility is already releasing 94 pounds of Mercury into the air.

This permit would allow Dairyland to release mercury into the Mississippi above legal standards. For the Genoa area, the current limit for water emissions is 5.4ng/L (nano-grams / Liter) while Dairyland hopes to increase this limit to 12ng/L. At the current discharge rate of 188 million gallons / day into the Mississippi, the translation equals 3 pounds of mercury per year.

The DNR will host a public forum to submit written and spoken comment on this issue. We need every concerned individual to show the DNR that WE WANT TO KEEP WISCONSIN WATER HEALTHY AND SAFE. There will be a brief informational session at 4pm to clear up any concerns on public hearings. We can also talk about this in progressives.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Kind "Call-In Town Hall Meeting" TONIGHT

from Kind's website:

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) today announced that he will hold his first-ever LIVE Telephone Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 from 6:15-7:15 p.m. CST. The Telephone Town Hall Meeting uses new technology that will allow Rep. Kind to reach thousands of Third Congressional District constituents at once, providing an opportunity for constituents to hear directly from Rep. Kind on the issues affecting them, and communicate their questions and concerns directly to Rep. Kind from their own home.

“Between work, school, family, and everything else, I understand it can be difficult for people to attend a conventional town hall meeting,” Rep. Kind said. “This way, people can participate from their own home. I am looking forward to this opportunity to address constituents from across the district, and hear directly from them about the issues affecting their lives.”

New teleconferencing technology allows Rep. Kind to set up a large-scale conference call involving potentially thousands of Third Congressional District constituents. At the start of the call on Tuesday (approximately 6:15 p.m.), a random selection of households in the 3rd CD will receive a call from Rep. Kind, inviting them to participate in the Telephone Town Hall. Constituents will then have the option of staying on the line to hear a few comments by Rep. Kind followed by the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session.

Constituents may also dial-into the Telephone Town Hall themselves by calling toll-free (866) 447-5149, and entering the code 13433.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Consciousness and Commitment

Martin Luther King Jr event in La Crosse
Please plan to attend the La Crosse community celebration of the life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and help us spread the word by downloading the poster (right click on the graphic and save the .pdf file to your computer). If you prefer a .doc, right click and save this link.

A community celebration honoring the life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 21 at English Lutheran Church at 16th and King Streets. Co-sponsored by several area organizations, the event will feature gospel artist, Myron Jones, and local attorney, Keith Belzer, who will discuss "Consciousness and Commitment." The program will include a multimedia presentation, music, and poetry and a display of art by area students. The first annual Martin Luther King Leadership Award will be presented. A reception with refreshments will follow the program.

This event is FREE and OPEN TO ALL. Non-perishable food items will be collected for area food pantries.

For more information, please call Curtis Miller, Jubilee Center, 782-1394 or Pastor Mark Solyst, English Lutheran Church, 784-9335.

Co-sponsors: AmeriCorps, English Lutheran Church, Franciscan-Skemp Foundation, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation, Jubilee Center for Justice and Peace, La Crosse Interfaith Justice and Peace Coalition, Onalaska United Methodist Church, NAACP- La Crosse Branch, UW-La Crosse, Western Technical College, YWCA, Coulee Progressives.

Plan to attend and make a commitment to work in our community to realize Dr. King's dream.

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


U.S. Rep. Ron Kind & State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster for an important discussion about the future of education, as Congress prepares to reform No Child Left Behind.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Holmen High School, LGI Room

1001 McHugh Road, Holmen

Educators, Parents & Concerned Citizens Welcome

Contact Mark Seitz with U.S. Rep. Kind at 608-782-2558 for more information.

About the Event:

Six years ago, on January 8, 2002, President Bush signed into law No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which was designed to close the achievement gap and hold schools accountable. Since then, there has been much disagreement about the effectiveness of the law, due to funding issues and the concerns of educators and parents across the nation.

Congress is set to reform No Child Left Behind in 2008, and this forum will allow teachers, school administrators, and parents to discuss with Rep. Kind and State Superintendent Burmaster the effects NCLB has had on students in western Wisconsin and what changes would best address its shortfalls.

Please join us for this important forum about the future of education.