Friday, March 12, 2010

Take the Rail Survey!

route of high speed rail in Europe Ok, if they can connect all of Western Europe with high speed rail, why can't we have a decent commuter rail system in Wisconsin? Huh?

Take the survey.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Kapanke listening session FRIDAY, March 5

State senator Dan Kapanke will hold a "listening session" in La Crosse tomorrow,
Friday, March 5, from 4 to 6 p.m. at La Crosse City Hall, 400 La Crosse St., City Council Chambers.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Western Wisconsin Bicycle Summit - March 23

The La Crosse area is home to many passionate bicyclists from recreational family riders to commuters to off road riders to racers. But often the different groups do not have many connections.


On March 23, that will change. The Western Wisconsin Bicycle Summit, organized by a variety of local bicycle groups in coordination with the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, will offer networking, learning and idea sharing opportunities for businesses, individuals and policy makers and will connect those of us interested in bicycling to the wider state, regional and national family of bicycle advocates.

The event will be at the Radisson Center, 200 Harborview Plaza in La Crosse. A networking, idea sharing, social hour with cash bar will be from 5 to 6:40 p.m.

At 7 p.m., keynote speaker, John Burke, President of Trek Bicycle Corporation. Burke passionately spreads the word about the bicycle as "a simple solution to complex problems."

More details will be released soon. For now, please mark your calendar and save the evening of Tuesday, March 23

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Million Calls

A consortium of grassroots organizations including, the Center for Policy Analysis, the Progressive Congress Action Fund, HCAN, DFA and SEIU are urging at least one million Americans on Thursday, February 24 to call their senators and representatives and demand that meaningful health care reform be passed.

The Fix It and Pass It campaign is "making a HUGE push to fix the Senate bill via reconciliation and to pass it!"

When you call, please ask for these items to be included in a reconciliation fix:

* Inclusion of the public option (MOST Americans want a public option)
* The Medicare buy-in (allowing younger people to buy in to Medicare coverage)
* Fixing the excise tax
* Getting rid of the Nebraska Cornhusker Kickback deal
* National exchange NOT state exchange
* Drug re-importation
* Drug price negotiation in Medicare Part D
* Increasing subsidies.

Everything is still on the table. Now is the time to demand what MOST people want.

Contact your reps directly (see below) or use the tool.

Senator Russell Feingold
La Crosse
425 State St., Room 225
La Crosse, WI 54601-3341
(608) 782-5585

Senator Herb Kohl
La Crosse Office
205 5th Avenue South, Room 216
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 796-0045
Fax: (608) 796-0089

Representative Ron Kind
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

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Fresh the MovieDon't forget to attend the screening MONDAY NIGHT of the new film, FRESH, Monday, February 22, 7:00 p.m., Graff Main Hall Auditorium, UW-L.

From the website:
FRESH is more than a movie, it’s a gateway to action. Our aim is to help grow FRESH food, ideas, and become active participant in an exciting, vibrant, and fast-growing movement.

When I write we, I don’t mean our small team (officially two of us, with lots of amazing helps from our interns and volunteers) but I mean YOU. All of you. FRESH is a grassroots efforts for a grassroots movement. It’s been tremendously exciting to see the movie catch on and spread like wild fire, being used all over the country as a platform to raise awareness and connecting people to the solutions available in their community.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Senator Feingold office opening open house

Please join Senator Feingold on Saturday for the official opening of his La Crosse Field Office.

Saturday, February 19 from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
116 5th Ave South, La Crosse

Thursday, February 18, 2010

WTC Board Positions Open

[from June]

Western Technical College is accepting applications for their WTC District Board. The Application materials will be available starting Friday. February 19 and must be returned by 4 p.m. March 5. Three appointments are for three-year terms that start July 1. They will made at a public hearing and meeting March 25. For more information,
call (608) 785-9563.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Speak out about CAFOs!

[from Guy]

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture is holding listening sessions around the state on the Livestock Siting Law, which governs Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs. The Livestock Siting Law went into effect in 2006 and is now up for review.

This is our opportunity as citizens to speak and bring written comments. The closest session to our area is from 3 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Dodger Bowl, 321 King St., Dodgeville.

Comments can be sent by March 10 to or Michael Murray, DATCP, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708-8911.

The Livestock Siting Law limits local control. As long as CAFO applications are filled out correctly, local governments are pressured by the rules to accept an application. The maximum application fee a local government can charge is only $1,000, which does not cover costs, especially if more research or additional expert opinions are warranted. Local governments should be able to set their own timelines and fees.

Further, the law allows facilities to build before permits and licenses are in place, and thus, under pressure of possible lawsuits, permits are granted.

If a local community zones agricultural, it is required to include CAFOs. These are for-profit businesses that are allowed an unfair advantage with this law. For things such as utilities, we have laws that cover the state for the public good. This law grants an unfair advantage in promoting large-scale, industrialized operations for the profit of less than two percent of the livestock industry. We need to be supporting agriculture that is of a scale the land can support. We are letting family farmers suffer economically while supporting CAFOs.

To read more specifics on the issues surrounding the upcoming Livestock Siting Law rules review, visit

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Update on plastics recycling

[from Carolyn & Glen]

Thursday, February 11, 2010 the Common Council voted to support the recycle resolution. The Public Works department has up to 60 days to negotiate with Harter waste removal. Earlier in the week Harter offered a better rate/cost for adding the recycling of plastics #1 & #2. The new offer was $.07 per month per household verses the $.25 per month per household. In addition to this better rate Harter also wanted their contract extended to 2015. Presently the contract is through 2012. After the Public Works department has negotiated with Harter they will bring back a proposal. By mid April we will probably hear something, if not sooner.

When the city and county agreed to become an Eco-municipality with that came the responsibility of governing and living with The Natural Step principles guiding environmentally purposeful decisions. ... The recycling of plastics #1 and #2 and not creating more virgin plastics from fossil fuels is an opportunity for this community to eliminate our fossil fuel dependence. Recycling also eliminates our community's contribution to wasteful use of synthetic substances (plastics) which research is finding to be more detrimental than once realized. Although reduction of use would be the best for the planet, recycling is a good start.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


We've all heard about and, probably, donated to relief of the Haiti disaster. But there's another disaster in our midst - the weather - snow, ice and freezing temperatures - in South Dakota and particularly its effect on the residents of the several reservations in that state.

Unlike Wisconsin, in SD if you don't pay your power bill, utilities can shut you off even in the middle of winter. That, plus an unprecedented ice storm, lots of snow, freezing weather, have combined to make life even more miserable for poorest of the poor.

This disaster has been covered extensively on the website DailyKos and, more recently, by MSNBC program host, Keith Olbermann.

Money donations are especially needed, though donations of CLEAN clothing are also being accepted. Visit the dKos diary for info about donations.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Pass the public option

Health (insurance) reform is not dead. Many pols believe the best way to get real reform passed is two bills at once - a "fix it" reconcilliation bill and the Senate's flawed bill. How to do it is outlined here (it's a sorry day when new Democrat Arlen Specter shows them how to do it.)

Now, 120 House Democrats have sent a letter to Sen. Harry Reid demanding that what most people want - a public option - is included in the reconciliation process.

But, Ron Kind's name is not on the letter! Horrors!!

So, please contact Ron Kind (or call his office - La Crosse = 782-2558) and get his name on that letter!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Flyer available - PLEASE POST!!

The flyer for our Jan. 29 event is now available for your download and printing. Please click on the thumbnail to get a 8.5 x 11 version of the flyer, print it (preferably on the back of something you don't need anymore (like the tons of one sided colored-paper flyers the school district sends out at the start of every school year!))

Please post far and wide - school, store, laundro, car window, bicycle, work, dog, etc.

Updated list of tablers

Update on tablers for the Jan. 29 State of the Union:

[Updated 1/28/10] - Confirmed so far:
* American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin
* Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin
* Climate Commitment Projects at Western Technical College
* Cornucopia Institute
* CouleeCap Job and Business Development
* Coulee Partners for Sustainability
* Coulee Region Sierra Club
* La Crosse Area Freethought Society
* La Crosse City/County Strategic Plan for Sustainability
* LGBT Resource Center for the Seven Rivers Region
* Ramona Gonzalez for Court of Appeals
* La Crosse Area Planning Committee
* La Crosse Interfaith Justice and Peace Network
* Lynnwood Farm and CSA
* Mississippi Valley Conservancy
* The Root Note
* Small Family CSA
* Three Rivers Waldorf School
* United Nations Association - La Crosse Contact Group
* UW-L Progressives

(invited/still working on)
* High school student groups
* Active Living La Crescent
* many more - email for table info or to sign up!

We HAVE a Speaker!

Guy Wolf's done it again! We have a speaker for our Coulee Progressives State of the Union on Friday, January 29! (Remember - for table space, email!)

DAVID MORRIS, Vice President, Institute for Self-Reliance (Minneapolis, MN)

For more than three decades David Morris has been one of the nation’s leading proponents for humanly-scaled, community-based economic and political systems as a prolific writer, speaker and advocate who has provided the basis for an extraordinary array of path-breaking policy initiatives. An economist by training with stellar academic credentials, David is a syndicated columnist and author of more than 200 books and articles on rural communities, energy and sustainability.

He co-founded the Minneapolis and Washington, D.C.- based Institute for local Self-Reliance in 1974 and currently serves as its Vice-President and director of its New Rules Project. The Institute’s mission is to identify public policies that promote strong, locally owned and environmentally sound economies and to assist communities to move in that direction.

Bill Moyers calls him "one of the nation's most innovative thinkers" and US Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota described him as "one of the nation's leading experts on sustainable development."

Morris holds a PhD. from Union Graduate School (1976), an MA in Political Science / Latin American Studies from the University of Florida, and a BA in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.

His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and the Smithsonian magazine. He appears regularly on TV and radio, including All Things Considered, NBC’s TODAY Show, The O’Reilly Factor, and CNN Financial News. The Utne Reader listed him as one of the top 100 visionaries in America. President Clinton's Secretary of Energy appointed him to a congressionally created advisory committee to the DOE and USDA and President Bush's Secretary of
Energy reappointed him.

The Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR) is a small organization with a remarkable track record for breaking new ground in promoting sustainable communities. In 1978 RAIN magazine described ILSR as an organization that "puts hard numbers on soft dreams".

ILSR was the first to systematically apply the concept of local self-reliance to urban areas. In 1980 ILSR was the first to investigate the energy conservation and solar energy potential for a major city (Baltimore) and was one of the first groups to formally testify before a utility regulatory commission in favor of investing in energy conservation as a cheaper alternative to new energy supplies.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Plastics and CP SOTU Update

The city is posed to approve plastic recycling in La Crosse. This is a major step - for decades, the argument has been that the city's contract for waste to the "waste to energy" plant required as much burnable waste as possible to remain in the stream. However, with stricter pollution controls required and apparently a reduced plastic waste stream (where ARE all those water bottles going??!!), more emphasis on recycling would be a good thing.

However, more emphasis on not manufacturing/purchasing/disposing of plastics would be a better thing.


Update on tablers for the Jan. 29 State of the Union:

[Updated 1/19/10] - Confirmed so far:
> La Crosse Area Freethought Society
> LGBT Resource Center for the Seven Rivers Region
> Climate Commitment Projects at Western Technical College
> American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin
> Ramona Gonzalez for Court of Appeals
> UW-L Progressives
> Lynnwood Farm and CSA
> Small Family CSA
> Three Rivers Waldorf School
> Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin
> La Crosse Interfaith Justice and Peace Network
> The Root Note
> Coulee Partners for Sustainability
> La Crosse Area Planning Committee
> CouleeCap Job and Business Development

(invited/still working on)
* High school student groups
* Coulee Region Sierra Club
* Active Living La Crescent
* many more - email for table info or to sign up!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tom Barret in La Crosse Monday

Gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett will be in La Crosse on Monday.

Monday, January 18th
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
City Brewery Hospitality Center
1111 3rd Street South
La Crosse

All Contributions Gratefully Accepted

For more information regarding sponsoring this event, please contact Kelsey at (608) 432-5597 or kelsey[@]


Please send contributions to:
Barrett for Wisconsin
PO Box 510796
Milwaukee, WI 53203

or online.

State election law allows individuals to contribute up to $10,000 per year, corporate checks are not accepted. Contributions to Barrett for Wisconsin are not tax deductible.

Friday, January 08, 2010

6th Annual State of the Union - It's up to US! - updated

Join the local progressive community to share ideas, learn about what needs work and energize for the new year!

FRIDAY, JANUARY 29 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Concordia Ballroom, 1129 La Crosse Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin

[Update - UW-L Progressives are screening the new film "RETHINK AFGHANISTAN" at 3 p.m. on this day - see the film website to sign up and for more info.]

We expect about 30 to 40 tablers at our ACTIVIST FAIR where you can sign up for a cause, debate a strategy or share an idea.

[Updated 1/12/10) - Confirmed so far:
> La Crosse Area Freethought Society
> LGBT Resource Center for the Seven Rivers Region
> Climate Commitment Projects at Western Technical College
> American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin
> Ramona Gonzalez for Court of Appeals
> UW-L Progressives
> Lynnwood Farm and CSA
> Small Family CSA
> La Crosse Interfaith Justice and Peace Network

watch for more updates!

A variety of soups and breads plus plates and utensils will be provided at our COMMUNITY POTLUCK but if you can bring a fruit or appetizer or dessert to share, that would be great! Cash bar.

Our PROGRAM will include the annual Coulee Progressives Year in Review and we hope to have a speaker, too.

ADMISSION is by sliding scale fee ($2 to $20). No one will be turned away for lack of funds, but remember, you'll get free food and a warm place to hang out for a few hours on a cold January night!

If you can bring a NON-PERISHABLE FOOD ITEM for area food pantries, we will gladly accept and deliver it.

Sponsored by Coulee Region Progressives, UW-L Progressives and UW-L Native American Students Association.

For more info about securing a table space for your group, organization or cause, please email or call 608 788-4039.

See you there!