Saturday, January 31, 2009


Thanks to all who worked on and attended the 2009 Coulee Progressives State of the Union!

Planning committee: Kevin, Jessica, RoZ and Obbie, Hank, Guy, Cathy
Flyer: Obbie
Venue: Concodia Ballroom
Soup & Salad: RoZ, Guy, Jess, Cathy, Kevin
Bread donation: Fayze's Restaurant
Guest speaker: Ben Manski
Speaker host: Hank
Emcee: Obbie
Year in Review: Guy (and Kevin?)
Power cord for projector: anonymous angel!

Thanks to everyone else for attending, networking, sharing, bringing great desserts, bringing food donations, helping to set up and helping to clean up!

By tomorrow, we will try to have links/contact info for all groups represented at the Community Fair in case you missed someone.

Please help us make this event bigger and better (yes, bigger IS better in this case) next year by completing the survey!

Please feel free to add your comments!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's a NEW DAY! [Updated]

CouleeProgressives State of the Union 2009Have you been inspired and energized by Martin Luther King day events and the inauguration of Barack Obama? Here's your chance to get involved!

The FIFTH ANNUAL Coulee Progressives State of the Union will be held on Friday, January 30 at the Concordia Ballroom, 1129 La Crosse Street. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. to the annual Community Fair - lots of local, regional and national organizations and groups letting you know what's going on and giving you the opportunity to sign up to volunteer. Of course, free food and a cash bar and wonderful music and lots of idea sharing will add to the enjoyment.

At 7:30, Ben Manski of the Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution will speak.

[UPDATE:] We will also get a preview of the new video Transportation Liberation and have a great look back at actions and events of 2008!

Entrance is by sliding scale donation (we use entrance fees to help pay for the hall) and you are welcome to bring a dessert to share and/or a non-perishable donation for local food pantries.

Groups, organizations, candidates who want table space during the Community Fair should email

Updated: Confirmed tablers (so far - will update over the weekend. If you should be on this list, please email me!)

African American Cultural Alliance of La Crosse
American Civil Liberties Union
AMOS/Jubilee Center
Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin
Clean Energy Coalition
Coulee Partners for Sustainability
Coulee Region Sierra Club
Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition
La Crosse Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
La Crosse Area Freethought Society
La Crosse Citizen Advocacy
La Crosse County Democratic Party
La Crosse Interfaith Coalition for Justice and Peace
Lenard for Mayor of La Crosse
Londre for Shelby Town Board
LGBT Center of the 7 Rivers Region
Three Rivers Waldorf School
United Nations Association of La Crosse
Upper Mississippi Anarchy
UW-L Progressives
Vets for Peace/War Moratorium
Wisconsin Farmers Union
Women in Black

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

National Single Payer Health Call in Day

National Health Care for Allfrom Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice:

Call Congress - Support HR 676 – Single Payer Healthcare. Call 1-202-224-3121

United For Peace and Justice encourages you to join this nationwide Congressional call-in day. This is the second such call-in day, organized by the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Healthcare - National Single Payer Coalition.

Make your calls to the Washington, D.C. offices of the House of Representatives. HR 676 has been reintroduced in the 111th Congress. There are 86 cosponsors in the House from the 110th Congress who have been sworn into the 111th session. The goal set by the National Single Payer Coalition is to double those sponsors through this massive call-in on Thursday and other efforts. [You can see a map of who is a co-sponsor at this web site. You guessed it! Ron Kind is NOT a co-sponsor! - CP]

If you do not know who your Representative is or how to reach her/him, click on to -- and then enter your zip code on the upper right corner where it says "Find Your Officials". The Congressional call-in number is 202-224-3121.

When you make the call, be sure to ask if your Representative is already a sponsor of HR 676. If they are, thank them and urge them to do all they can to help it pass.

If your Representative is not yet a sponsor, urge them to become one now. (Visit Healthcare NOW for talking points.) They can also attend a briefing on HR 676 that will be held on Wednesday, January 28 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the halls of Congress.

If you can make one more call, please call one or both of your Senators to support companion legislation to HR 676 in the Senate.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Important Corporate Law Case Coming

One Wisconsin Now
The headline reads "Case could rewrite corporate law in Wisconsin” and arguments before the Wisconsin State Supreme Court begin this week.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has already made it known how it would like the Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule.

And who can forget the millions of dollars WMC spent supporting corporate-friendly and ethically-challenged judges Michael Gableman and Annette Ziegler?

Haven’t you had enough? It's time WMC-backed justices Gableman and Ziegler remove themselves from ruling on this case. Sign the petition below and demand Justices Ziegler and Gableman recuse from the Virnich and Moores case.

In 2006, A jury ordered the owners of Communications Products Corporation, Daniel Virnich and Jack Moores, pay $6.5 million in damages after the pair took over $10 million from the company as they drove it into the ground. Dozens of workers were out of jobs when the company went under, and Communications Products Corp. refused to fulfill its union contract and pay workers their due. All the while, Virnich and Moores continued to collect huge payments from the company.

When WMC gets its way, it means fewer rights for workers and more breaks for corporations. Labor lawyers have said that allowing owners like Virnich and Moores to get rich on the backs of workers would "weaken future collective bargaining agreements and companies' duties to meet their obligations."

Please take just a moment and sign on to the petition demanding Gableman and Ziegler recuse themselves. But don't just sign—get five friends to sign too. Together, we'll stand strong with our workers and fight back against the corporate greed of WMC.

Follow this link to sign the petition:

Justices Annette Ziegler and Michael Gableman,

I am writing to request you recuse yourself from participating in the upcoming case before the Wisconsin State Supreme Court involving the former Communication Products Corporation. As you know, oral arguments are set to start, Wednesday, January 7.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce not only filed a brief at the appeals level but also reiterated its sentiments and desired outcome of the case in the media just days ago.

Because of the millions of dollars spent by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce which benefited both of your races for Supreme Court, your continued participation would raises serious concerns about your impartiality on this case.

To ensure a Wisconsin Supreme Court with the highest ethical standards, I respectfully request you withdraw from participation in this case.

[Your Name Here]

Friday, January 09, 2009

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.A community celebration and commemoration of the life and ideas of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held on MONDAY, JANUARY 19 at 7 p.m. at the English Lutheran Church, 1509 King Street, La Crosse. The featured speaker will be Reverend Everett Mitchell, of the Madison-area Urban Ministry with music by the Tommy Wesley Gospel Choir. Doors open at 6:30. Free admission. Sponsored by La Crosse County, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center and Franciscan Skemp Healthcare.

La Crosse MLKJr FlyerPlease print out and distribute the flyer!

"It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it."

Thursday, January 08, 2009

More last minute notice

From the Tribune:
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will take public comment in La Crosse today on its draft long-range transportation plan, Connections 2030. A public meeting will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the UW-La Crosse Cartwright Center. Area residents are invited to attend to learn about the plan, ask questions and submit comments. The DOT also welcomes comments and questions via phone at (608) 266-8108, or on the Connections 2030 Web site at Comments will be received until Feb. 27.

The draft plan summary includes:

Support BICYCLE and PEDESTRIAN facilities and plans.:
*Increase accommodations along state trunk highways, where feasible, to develop a connected bike and pedestrian network
* Expand the federal “complete streets” policy to state funded projects
* Continue to implement the state’s bike and pedestrian plan goals

* Support public, specialized and human services transit.
* Work with partners to ensure that adequate funding is available for existing transit systems and improve coordination among providers
* Seek new funds for rural and regional transit systems to improve coordination between the state’s transit systems
* Improve intercity bus service and connections.
* Promote intercity bus service that links urban and rural areas, and connects to other modes
* Establish a state program to fund service, improve station facilities and purchase new buses

* Support development of fixed-guideway transit systems.
* Continue state funding for studies and implementation
* Recommend new, separate operating funds for new fixed-guideway transit systems receiving state assistance, and develop a capital and operating assistance program in
major metropolitan areas
* Increase intercity passenger rail service.
* Continue to improve intercity passenger rail service by supporting existing service and implementing the state’s component of the 3,000-mile Midwest Regional Rail System
* Establish a rail station capital assistance program for existing buildings and constructing new stations, and promote connections with other modes such as local and interregional bus, taxi and air service
* Consider opportunities »to extend intercity
passenger rail service to areas of the state not identified in the Midwest Regional Rail System.

Most important (to me):
Encourage transportation demand strategies.
*Encourage alternatives »to driving alone by promoting ride sharing and telecommuting, providing more transportation service choices and improving modal connections
* Integrate transportation demand management strategies and corridor management

There's more at the link above. And/Or attend tonight's public meeting. Maybe in a few decades our public transportation system will begin to meet the needs of the last century!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Advance notice?

From the Tribune:

Wisconsin Sen. Dan Kapanke is inviting constituents to his new La Crosse office for an open house Thursday.

Kapanke, who was elected in November to his second term, will be on hand to take questions and talk about the 2009 legislative session. A projected $5.4 billion shortfall is likely to dominate most of the session as lawmakers struggle to balance the state’s budget.

Visitors are welcome between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in suite 308 of the Exchange Building, 205 Fifth Avenue S. A light lunch will be served.