Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Public input - La Crosse Center

The Tribune reports a public input session Wednesday (5:30 to 7:30, La Crosse Center Ballroom) on plans to spend $40+ million to expand the La Crosse Center. Your input is invited.

In light of continuing dire warnings about global warming's consequences and studies showing the La Crosse Center is one of top energy hogs among local public buildings, it might be good for people attending to stress the need for any public projects to put reduction of carbon foitprint at the top of the goals list.

A remodel of the new County Admin building resulted in much greater efficiency, for example. The city is assessing several sites for possible solar installations which would reduce the use of coal and natural gas generated electricity.

The last attempt at planning a remodel of the center, stymied because of plans to overreach Riverside Park, apparently included few specific carbon reduction goals and no solar panels.

This do over on planning is a chance for the community to make clear that efficiency and reduction of climate harm should be a priority.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Common Cause: Stop the minority power grab

Thanks to those who came out to vote last night. The new LCDP board seems determined to find ways to broaden its membership, support critical initiatives and progressive legislators, and continue working on making sure everyone eligible is able to vote.

Protecting democracy in Wisconsin is an ongoing struggle it seems. Despite winning statewide elections in November, Dems failed to gain a single seat in the Wisconsin legislature. The results may have strengthened the case of Wisconsin voters whose suit suit before the US Supreme Court challenging hyperpartisan gerrymandering was returned to lower courts earlier this year, but for now it means the gerrymandered minority is turning to increasingly desperate tactics to maintain power.
"We’ve now seen four election cycles in which the result of what the voters wanted is not reflected in the seat allocation in the Legislature," - Sachin Chheda, director of the Fair Elections Project
Common Cause Wisconsin, quoting a PR Watch report on a proposed lame duck legislative session, is sounding the alarm and urging people to call their state legislators:
... let your own State Senator and State Representative know that you oppose this "extraordinary session" because it defies the will of the state's voters, is a colossal waste of taxpayer money and will only increase partisan acrimony, not reduce it. If you are not sure who your State Senator and your State Representative are, you can look them up here
Also, let Speaker Vos and Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald know what you think of all of this. Here is their contact information. 
Sen.Fitzgerald@legis.wisconsin.gov(608) 266-5660 
Rep.Vos@legis.Wisconsin.gov(608) 266-9171 
Finally, please be ready to take further action after Thanksgiving when we know more about exactly what will be unleashed against us. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

November 19 La Crosse Dems

On Monday evening, the La Crosse County Dems will vote for a new board for 2019. If you are a member in good standing (dues paid by last Wednesday), you are eligible to vote. There are new and progressive candidates on the ballot. If you're eligible to vote, please attend. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm in the Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House (8th & Maine).

As you may have heard, Indivisible is pivoting from GOTV to pushing for truly progressive movement on legislation that most people want like Medicare for All and an emergency move to renewable energy. Much of this push involves individual groups focusing efforts - lobbying, meeting, writing, and challenging - on their local Member of Congress. Read the new guide here.

If anyone would be interested in working on a gathering in early 2019 to get organized to work locally on a few most important issues (Progresstival or similar event), please email.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Nov. 14 - MTU Open House

NOVEMBER 14 PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPEN HOUSE  Please join the City of La Crosse Muncipal Transit Utility (MTU) for an evening of information, tours, free bus rides, and a celebration of Public Transportation! The OPEN HOUSE will be held on Wednesday, November 14 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Transit Center, 314 Jay Street. Please call 608-789-7350 with questions.

If you are already a bus rider, here is your chance to demonstrate support not just for what we have now but for a robust, well supported, and interconnected system going forward. If you aren't a bus rider yet, here's an opportunity to learn more about the system and how you can benefit.

The benefits are many.

The private vehicle is a household’s largest contributor to greenhouse gases. By taking existing public transportation instead of driving a car, an individual can reduce annual carbon emissions by an average of 4,800 pounds, (tinyurl.com/apta-businfo), A strong public transportation system is good for the environment.

In addition, public transportation serves all people, regardless of age, income or ability. Riding the bus is safer than driving. Riding the bus saves most commuters money. There are major economic values for communities with strong public transportarion systems. Converting to electric buses can not only improve communities' air quality and carbon footprints, it can save them big money, too. And, as noted by Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogotá, Columbia, public transportation is democracy in action.
A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transport.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Fight the Frac

Good news from Jackson County (via Frac Sand Sentinel):

For immediate release: Contact Attorney Tim Jacobson, Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC, 608 784-4370, ext. 238, tim@fitzpatricklaw.com

Wisconsin trial court rules in favor of anticipatory nuisance claims against frac sand mine. Omnitrax calls it quits.

In a written decision issued on Election Day, the Jackson Co. Wis. Circuit Court, Judge Scott Horne of La Crosse presiding, ruled that the anticipatory nuisance claims of a group of private landowners against the proposed OmniTRAX frac sand facility would be allowed to proceed to trial.

In response, OmniTRAX’s lawyer immediately informed the judge that a trial would not be necessary, because in light of the court’s decision, OmniTRAX intends to abandon the project, before the first shovel has broken ground.

The Jackson Co. court’s decision in favor of the landowner plaintiffs in Ripp, et al. v. OmniTRAX follows the August 9 decision of the Wisconsin court of appeals in the case of Krueger, et al. v. AllEnergy, which concluded that Wisconsin law does recognize a claim for “anticipatory nuisance” in situations in which the harm has not yet arisen but is inevitable and certain if a planned course of conduct by a defendant is followed.

The plaintiffs in the case against OmniTRAX are three married couples who own land and live next to the area where the frac sand mine, processing facility and rail load-out facility were proposed to be constructed. They have been seeking to prevent the substantial disruption of their rural quality of life and health from the creation of a neighboring frac sand facility. They alleged in their complaint that the proposed OmniTRAX facility would create nuisance conditions, including, but not limited to toxic air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, light pollution, ground disruption and vibration due to blasting, destruction of agricultural and forested lands and landscapes and wetlands, adverse impact on endangered species, depletion of groundwater, and loss of property values. They further alleged that siting this mine as contemplated would unreasonably interfere with the rights of these landowners to the quiet and peaceful use and enjoyment of their property rights.


Read more in Chris Hubbuch's Wisconsin State Journal article.

More details at the memorandum decision and order denying motion to dismiss.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Make a Climate Call

From La Crosse Citizens' Climate Lobby:

To amplify the impact of these meetings and help to move Congress a step closer to climate legislation, please use the link below to call your legislators on Friday, November 9th. Its organized to make it very easy to make your calls. If you don't get through, you can leave a message Friday night or call on Monday, Nov. 12th.


Time and again we hear from members of Congress that they don't hear enough from their constituents that climate change matters to them. Calling your Senators and Representative is the first step in building a relationship with your congressional offices and creating the political will needed to address climate change.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

5 pm
Corner of West Avenue & Main Street

Nobody is Above the Law

Donald Trump has installed a crony to oversee the special counsel's Trump-Russia investigation, crossing a red line set to protect the investigation. By replacing Rod Rosenstein with just-named Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker as special counsel Robert Mueller's boss on the investigation, Trump has undercut the independence of the investigation. Whitaker has publicly outlined strategies to stifle the investigation and cannot be allowed to remain in charge of it. The Nobody Is Above the Law network demands that Whitaker immediately commit not to assume supervision of the investigation. Our hundreds of response events are being launched to demonstrate the public demand for action to correct this injustice. We will update this page as the situation develops.

Donald Trump just crossed a red line, violating the independence of the investigation pursuing criminal charges in the Trump-Russia scandal and cover-up.
Trump putting himself above the law is a threat to our democracy, and we’ve got to get Congress to stop him.
We're mobilizing immediately to demand accountability, because Trump is not above the law.

RSVP to attendIf you choose to attend an event, you agree to engage in nonviolent, peaceful action, to act lawfully, and to strive to de-escalate any potential confrontations with those who may disagree with our values.

I'm getting messages from folks saying the event is listed as being on Friday, but I'm not able to see where it says that. The event is TODAY, Thursday 11/8, @ 5pm at the corner of West Ave & Main Street in La Crosse. 

Please bring signs and wear red!

Also, please note, we are NOT planning to block traffic, just to hold up signs in the high-visibility area to raise awareness. 

Thank you all and hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Life or death.


Get Out the Vote in La Crosse County!
Set your clock back tonight, grab an extra hour of sleep, wake up refreshed, and head down to the LCDP Office at 115 5th Ave S. in downtown La Crosse or to 1343 Pinecrest Ln in Onalaska for canvassing or phonebanking today, tomorrow, and election day.

Think of it this way: three hours of your time instead of four more years of Walker and Republicans.

Every additional phone call, every additional canvass packet that goes out, every additional contact is so important.

Walk-ins welcome. Send a message to Donald Trump and Scott Walker that Americans are ready for a change. 

And ...