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Monday, November 11, 2019

Action items for the week

This week is filled with public hearings and organizational meetings. There are many other great events happening, too, including speakers and films (see the calendar), but the events listed here are opportunities for the people to have direct interaction with the decision-makers.

November 12: 
* At 4 p.m. in the Council Chambers, City Hall, "The City of La Crosse's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program will hold a public hearing. All citizens are invited to comment on its Consolidated Plan, including community development issues and housing needs, overall CDBG performance, and impediments to Fair Housing. Draft results of the community needs survey will also be presented at this meeting and public will be invited to comment on the results of that survey. Comments can also be submitted to: City of La Crosse Planning Department (400 La Crosse Street, 3rd Floor) or on the City’s website"

* At 6 p.m., as noted earlier, "a Public Hearing will be held for any taxpayer on the Proposed 2020 Operating Budget of the City of La Crosse will be held in the Council Chambers, City Hall.  The proposed budget is available for inspection at City Hall Finance Department Monday through Friday from 1:00pm until 4:00pm.  Click here for a summary of the proposed General Fund Budget." This is very important - funds for an update to the city's 2009 Sustainability Plan were to have been in the 2019 budget but were pushed back to 2020. Now, we've heard that those funds will be pushed from the 2020 budget to the 2021 budget. This is unacceptable. In addition, funds for a very important greenhouse gas emissions assessment, which were to have been in the 2020 budget, are also pushed to 2021. Please attend or email our council and Mayor urging the restoration of these funds to the 2020 budget.

November 13:
* At 12:30 p.m. a Town Hall Forum with Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "How does student debt affect La Crosse’s economy? How’s the job market for college grads? Why are wages low? Are we headed toward a recession? Here’s your chance to bring your questions and comments to a man in the middle of all those issues, and more." The event will be held in The Bluffs, UWL Student Union. See link for details.

November 14:
* From 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., a conference on Expanding and Strengthening Inclusive Communities, hosted by the Greater La Crosse Diversity Council, will be held at the Lunda Center, Western Technical College

* From 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., Chancellor Gow will hold an Open Forum in the Great Hall of the Cleary Center at UWL.

* At 5:00 p.m., a listening session with State Senator Jennifer Shilling and State Representative Steve Doyle will be held at the West Salem Public Library

November 16:
* From 10 a.m. to noon, a public interactive presentation, How Did We Get Here? The hidden impacts of racial disparity on the well-being of Wisconsin and La Crosse will be held at the English Lutheran Church, 16th and King.

Again, please check out the other events happening this week. And remember, if your event is not listed, please submit it for inclusion. If you would like to post a longer item about an event or issue you are working on, please email.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Public comment on city budget

This is your chance! From City Hall:

11/12/2019 - Proposed 2020 Operating Budget Public Hearing
Notice is hereby given that on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 6:00pm at the Council Chambers of City Hall a Public Hearing will be held for any taxpayer on the Proposed 2020 Operating Budget of the City of La Crosse will be held. The proposed budget is available for inspection at City Hall Finance Department Monday through Friday from 1:00pm until 4:00pm.  Click here for a summary of the proposed General Fund Budget.
UPDATE:  It appears that funding for an update to the city's 2009 Sustainability Plan which was originally to have been in the 2019 budget but was pushed back to the 2020 budget has now been pushed from the 2020 budget to the 2021 budget! This is bad news if you believe that the climate crisis is real and we must take immediate action to address it! In addition, we hear that funds for a planned greenhouse gas emissions assessment, necessary to establishing good goals for the plan, has also been pushed to 2021. This is unacceptable. Please attend the public hearing and advocate for the 2020 funding of these important sustainability items or, if you can't attend, email the council and the mayor urging their inclusion.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

ALEC inspired bill penalizes protest

Cross-posted from Sierra Club with updates

ALEC inspired bills penalize pipeline protest

The recent passage of Assembly Bill 426, which would provide felony penalties for protests near oil and gas pipelines and other "energy provider" sites is alarming. The bill now moves to the Wisconsin Senate as SB 386. A hearing on the Senate bill was held on October 22. This is one of many such attempts around the country to prop up the fossil fuel industry and tamp down protests. Unfortunately, some Wisconsin Democrats are co-sponsoring.

According to the International Center for Not-For-Profit Law, under the ALEC-inspired legislation, "... trespass onto the property of any 'company that operates a gas, oil, petroleum, refined petroleum product, renewable fuel, water, or chemical generation, storage, transportation, or delivery system' would be a Class H felony, punishable by six years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Accordingly, protests in a range of locations could be covered, whether on land containing a pipeline or the corporate headquarters of an oil company."

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is suing to force Enbridge to remove its pipeline from tribal land (the easement expired in 2013), but this new law would potentially conflict with hunting and fishing treaty rights and criminalize treaty-guaranteed rights and tribal sovereignty. A diverse coalition of groups, including the Sierra Club and tribal governments oppose the legislation. Read their letter to Senators. Use it to make your own letter or phone call script.

A similar bill enacted in Sorth Dakota has been successfully challenged by the ACLU with the state agreeing to not enforce and to compensate plaintiffs' attorney fees.

Read about the bill and contact your state senator and Governor Evers.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Climate (again)

Wednesday, La Crosse's chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby is hosting a pizza potluck and an overview of what area orgs are doing to educate and activate our fellow citizens about increasingly dire consequences of unaddressed carbon emissions (climate crisis). The event starts at 6 p.m. and will be at 401 West Ave. S.

There is another climate action being planned for late November/early December. If you are interested in helping with planning, please email.

If you think being concerned and liking a FB page is enough, think again. We are headed for catastrophe and it's not good and you know it. Now, it's time to make sure your electeds know you know. They cannot make the good and, in some cases, hard changes needed if most of their constituents are not making a big deal out of it. We need to call and email and talk to them - all of them, not just the ones who probably agree with us. Ask them to read the Uninhabitable Earth (now two years old). Share your concerns and your strong desire for them to do the right climate thing. Challenge slow walkers and sweet talkers. We need action and we need it now. Show up to demand it in person:

10/23 - CCL meeting

10/24 - Wisconsin DOT, straight from 1975, planning to remove trees and bowling-alleyize La Crosse Street to make it more convenient to drive fast in your private vehicle. We need more trees (read this great Tribune letter), protected bike lanes, no left turns, safer crossing for pedestrians. Public event is 5 to 7 p.m. at the Cleary Alumni Center (take the #4 bus).

10/26 - Climate = politics. Sorry. Get political for climate. The La Crosse Dems are hosting progressive icon Matt Rothschild for a talk and lasagna dinner from 5 to 8 to raise funds to canvass, call, and GOTV in 2020. Reserve your spots online.

10/27 - Climate = politics II. Which candidates have the best climate policies and a track record of getting things done? What are you waiting for? Get active with a campaign. The La Crosse for Warren folks had a kick off last Wednesday. And the La Crosse for Bernie (@crossefor on Twitter) kick off will be on Sunday from noon to 2 p.m at the Myrick Park Center. Both candidates get it. Both have a track record of making things happen. Don't be sucked in by Twitter and FB mindf**kery

Keep up on the science and spread the word. Talk to people about this CRISIS and why we have to act now. (And, no, natural gas is not the answer.) (And, no, Xcel Energy is not going to save us, either.)

There are answers, though. Inside Climate News has a whole great section on "Middle America's Low Hanging Carbon," the quest for reducing GHG emissions and storing carbon in Midwest cities, towns, and on farms. Check this list of top ciimate crisis info sites, too.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Hate and Bias

This week we learned that the City of La Crosse's attorney considers the phrase HATE HAS NO HOME HERE to be "political" and therefore not appropriate to be displayed in a public park. At least that's what the Tribune article says. You could politely contact our city council and our Mayor to provide your opinion. Wisconsin has "hate crimes" definitions and statutes, so apparently there is legal precedent for preferring no hate, at least when crimes are committed. We need, I think, to stop the Owellian slide - black is white, crime is legal, war is peace, hate is good, etc.

[UPDATE: We've heard that the city strongly supports the message that hate has no home here and is working on updated displays to that effect that will be placed at various locations around the city by the end of the year.]

On Saturday, (from 10 to noon at English Lutheran Church), learn about unconscious bias at a program sponsored by Creating a Healthier Multicultural Community (CHMC), a program that responds to the desire of many residents of the predominantly white La Crosse region to widen their awareness, understanding, respect and empathy for the lived realities of people with a wide range of racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. For more information go to

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Oct. 26 - Matt Rothschild speaks

The La Crosse Dems are holding a fundraiser dinner on Saturday, October 26 at the Concordia. Social hour starts at 5. Dinner is served at 6. Funds will be used to help pay for space, materials, and equipment to educate, canvass, and GOTV in 2020. The Coulee Region's Dem state electeds will be under attack as Rs have vowed to "win" a veto-proof majority. And, of course, consider *resident trump.

So, the catered lasagna dinner is for a good cause and worth your time even before you consider the great and wonderful speaker, Matt Rothschild.

Matt Rothschild was a leader (writer, editor, publisher) at The Progressive magazine for decades. In 2015, when Mike McCabe stepped away from the great public resource he founded, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Rothschild took over as its Executive Director. Both organizations have been instrumental in holding and protecting Wisconsin's progressive seeds as the Walker/Vos/Fitzgerald wildfire continues to burn decades' worth of people-centered policies and priorities.

The latest WisDC initiative has been educating about fair voting maps.

Their Five Things You Can Do list includes:

Join fellow progressives on October 26 to plan, listen, and learn how we can be more effective in 2020. You need not be a party member to participate. If cost is an issue, email

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Truth vs. the machine

I am reading Franklin Foer's book, World Without Mind: the existential threat of big tech. I highly recommend this book. We are letting corporations powered by money=god technology steer our thoughts and emotions.

What is true and real? Don't let paid talking heads, hacks, and trolls interpret for you. Know for yourself.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Citizen action smorgasbord

On Thursday, October 3 at 7 p.m., Citizen Action of Wisconsin will kick off its Driftless Organizing Co-op with an announcement about a new resource to help people tighten up their homes, save energy, and save money. The event will be held at 401 West Avenue South. RSVP on FB or through their EveryAction page.

Did you know Rep. Ron Kind still hasn't made up his mind whether the Trump administration is corrupt enough to impeach? What is he waiting for?? Your call, of course. His La Crosse office number is 608-782-2558. In fact, Indivisible, MoveOn, and others are urging constituents to hold impeachment town halls so the reluctant-to- do-their-constitutional-duty holdouts can explain their lack of action to the voters who have read the Constitution and do understand who is supposed to be protecting the country from "a criminal enerprise" president (and not the establishment haves from the majority have-nots). Nothing's scheduled yet for La Crosse. Anyone?

On Friday, October 4, and every Friday, join the students of Fridays for Future, La Crosse chapter, striking for immediate, real, meaningful action on the climate crisis. Students strike every Friday from 10:10 to 10:45 a.m. on the sidewalk in front of Central High on Losey. Bring your signs.

Also on Friday, October 4, La Crosse Area SURJ will host a Bystander Intervention Training from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at Old Towne Strings, 1218 Caledonia St. Have you ever witnessed or heard something so unbelievably cruel, racist, or ignorant that you were frozen in place wondering if you really just saw or heard it? Have you ever not acted because you weren't sure what to do? Have you ever spent days chewing on an experience you had wishing you'd done or said something or something different? We have to break out of our Midwest nice and our 'this can't really be happening' to be effective and supportive fellow humans when members of our community are being disrespected, denigrated, threatened, and attacked. Training helps. Get some training.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, October 10 the *resident will be at the Target Center in Minneapolis. You may join one of several groups planning demonstrations against his class warfare, racist, anti-democratic reign including a Resist the Trump rally and a Dump Trump rally.
I don't believe it's possible to be neutral. The world is already moving in certain directions, and to be neutral, to be passive in a situation like that, is to collaborate with whatever is going on. And I, as a teacher, do not want to be a collaborator with whatever is happening in the world. I want myself, as a teacher, and I want you, as students, to intercede with whatever is happening in the world. - Howard Zinn: You Can't be Neutral on a Moving Train (2004) documentary film

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Voter alert from City Clerk

From the City's website:

9/24/2019 - Voter Registration/Absentee Ballots Mailings
2020 is a Presidential Election year, which means you will soon be finding voter registration forms and absentee ballot request forms in your mailbox.  These mailings are not from your municipal clerk, even though they may appear to be.  They are sent by special interest groups and the prefilled voter information on the forms is often inaccurate.  To ensure you are properly registered or to apply for an absentee ballot, please visit or contact the La Crosse City Clerk’s Office at 608-789-7510.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Your protest urgently required

On August 4, CP noted that the City of La Crosse is considering a new "special events" permit.

Today, we learned, from someone who attended that initial meeting, that the process is moving forward with a new section for MARCH OR PUBLIC ASSEMBLY.

Here's the pertinent part of the email:
"[We] attended a city planning meeting in August to clarify and ensure that 1st amendment rights are not indirectly negatively impacted by such changes to event permitting. In response to our comments and questions, an additional section was added. (see segment below or the full document here: ). I am still considering the ramifications of the proposal, including the additional wording, and want to make sure others are aware of it too. I can't attend the 10/1 city planning meeting but plan to follow up prior to next Tuesday 10/1).

ARTICLE III – MARCH OR PUBLIC ASSEMBLY Sec. 39-26. - Permit Required. 
  (a) No person shall set up for, hold or conduct a march or public assembly, as defined herein, within the City without first obtaining a March or Public Assembly permit in compliance with the provisions of this Article.  
 (b) The following public assembly or marches do not require a permit: 
(1) Groups of fifty (50) people or fewer may hold a public assembly in a City park, other similar City-owned property or private property without a permit. (2) Marches and public assemblies on sidewalks that do not obstruct the normal flow of pedestrian traffic do not require a permit. (3) Protests, marches and public assemblies in response to breaking news where such protest, march or public assembly is a spontaneous and immediate (within twelve (12) hours of the event occurring) response to a current event.  .."
I'm considering requesting that they increase the response time to 24 hours. Do you agree? Do you have other suggestions or want clarification on this matter or other aspects of the new permitting guidelines? I encourage everyone to read the full document and respond directly to Nikki Elsen prior to the 10/1 meeting, as well as attend the meeting.

--------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Elsen, Nikki <>
Date: Mon, Sep 23, 2019 at 3:36 PM
Subject: Special Event Permitting - City of La Crosse

Good afternoon,

I want to update you on the pending special event permitting process that was discussed at the Board of Public Works meeting on August 12th.  The proposal has made it’s through legal review and is scheduled for the upcoming October Council meetings.

Since the proposal was first discussed, changes have been made after review by our Legal Department.  Here is a link to the revised documents:

Most of the changes were just grammatical or verbiage.  However, I know some that were in attendance at the BPW meeting were there with questions on how the proposal affected activities protected by the First Amendment.  A change made was to remove the exception language from the special event ordinance (Chapter 39, Article II) and create a separate section (Chapter 39, Article III) for marches and public assemblies.

If you have any questions after you have had the opportunity to review, please let me know.  I’d be happy to discuss the proposal, or any of the changes, more in depth prior to the October 1st meeting.

Thank you.
Nikki M. Elsen, WCMC
Deputy City Clerk
City of La Crosse (Population 52,282)
608-789-7555 phone
First of all, imo, what a bunch of BS! Who decided that 50 people is the limit? Why? In a city of 50,000, isn't a limit of 0.1% of the population pretty tiny? Also, who decides when an event is happening because of "breaking news"? Or that 12 or 24 or 624 hours is the limit?  

One could argue that the climate crisis, gun violence, ongoing deaths from lack of adequate affordable health care, gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement, increasing income inequality, toxic racism, unlimited inhumane incarceration of immigrant children, mass extinction, rule by oligarchy, etc is continual breaking news. Or at least it should be.

Also, what if 10 busloads of 95 year olds walked with their walkers from the post office to the co-op at a rate of about 0.02 miles per hour. Would that be considered "obstructing the normal flow of pedestrian traffic?" Would they need a permit?

We have been gradually conditioned to accept these arbitrary restrictions on the few rights we still have through having to get permission to speak, go to the bathroom, and move from one place to another in schools, to having administrators censor student newspapers, moving from one class to the next triggered by bells, requiring permits for posting info on college campus bulletin boards, getting fined for chalking messages on sidewalks, being threatened with expulsion for protesting a speaker, or being herded to "free speech zones" at public events.

I hope we will hold a rally of 51 people in the city hall parking lot at 5:30 pm without a permit and then attend the 10/01 meeting and use our time to quote the bill of rights and the ACLU rights guides. Any restrictions, to me, are too many, but certainly these are at the very least arbitrary and indefensible.

The J&A committee is at 6 pm on 10/01 in the city hall council chambers. Official agenda with links is here:

I also think it will be good to have a WORKSHOP ON FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS sometime in the next few months. If anyone would be interested to help put such an event together, please email couleeprogressive at hotmail.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Tuesday, Heading for Extinction

On Tuesday, September 24, the Coulee Region Sierra Club will show a video of an Extinction Rebellion program hosted by George Monbiot in Oxford, England, in April.

The video, Heading for Extinction (and what to do about it) talks about clinate crisis predictions and actions that will help avert the worst of the unrecoverable consequences of runaway planetary heating. Following the video, the group will talk about what we can do in the La Crosse area and Coulee region to push policies, priorities, and projects that will reduce carbon emissions and move toward renewable energy.

Also at this meeting, Ben Wilson, new organized for Citizen Action of Wisconsin, will talk about CA's work to encourage and support energy efficiency updates and improvements in the southwest Wisconsin area. And there will be a report about Ready for 100 progress in La Crosse.

Everyone is welcome to attend the free and open to the public event. Refreshments will be provided. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Reminder: Workers Healthcare Forum

Crisis of Care A Workers' Healthcare Forum Organized by the Coulee Region Democratic Socialists of America
Click here for more information.

WHAT: A public forum on conditions in the local health care system and how they affect ordinary people, both as users of the system and as workers within the sector. WHEN: 1-3pm Saturday, September 21, 2019.
WHERE: South Side Neighborhood Center, 1300 S. 6th St., La Crosse.
CONTACT: Evan Dvorsak. 608-632-6166 or

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Climate Strike! Join us!!

La Crosse youth and adults are planning Climate Strike events to coincide with the Global Climate Strike on September 20. This is big. Not only will millions around the world be marching and rallying to bring attention to the climate crisis, people of La Crosse will rally, too.

But getting the world out, competing with business as usual, has been hard. So this is our plea: tell everyone about the Friday, September 20 Global Climate Strike and encourage them to get involved locally.

First, read and SIGN THE LETTER to Rep. Ron Kind that urges him to support real and immediate climate action legislation. This is not a "political" thing. This is a fundamental right of citizens thing! Sign the letter and encourage your groups and contacts to sign the letter.

Then read about and share the events highlighted at the event page. Events include a morning commuter visibility at La Crosse St. & Losey, two afternoon student strikes, and an evening march and rally.

Download and share the flyer - on social media, at your school or office, via email.

Last, attend and bring others to the events. Talk about the climate crisis every day. Relate what we are not doing right now to what we are doing to our future. Sunday's La Crosse Tribune had a great editorial about the consequences of our inaction.

This is the most important thing. Drop your current most important thing for one day and help the 9/20 Climate Strike break through the celebrity news and the Packers news and all the other distractions. The future of our planet and our children is on the line. Don't ignore them.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Workers' Healthcare Forum

Crisis of Care A Workers' Healthcare Forum Organized by the Coulee Region Democratic Socialists of America
Click here for more information.

WHAT: A public forum on conditions in the local health care system and how they affect ordinary people, both as users of the system and as workers within the sector. WHEN: 1-3pm Saturday, September 21, 2019.
WHERE: South Side Neighborhood Center, 1300 S. 6th St., La Crosse.
CONTACT: Evan Dvorsak. 608-632-6166 or

Monday, September 09, 2019

Stop Husky Refinery

From Winona LaDuke:

On April 26th, 2018, an explosion rocked the Husky Refinery in Superior, Wisconsin that resulted in a dangerous fire. In the aftermath, it was discovered that had the accident unfolded in a slightly different matter, it could have killed many of the residents of Superior, WI and Duluth, MN. fire. The refinery has effectively been shut down since the event due to the extent of the damage from the explosion and fire.

Now Husky is applying for an air pollution control construction permit from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. This permit would allow Husky to begin the construction required to not only bring the plant back online, but also to expand.
The Chemical Safety Board has yet to issue a final report on the cause of the explosion. The Duluth City Council has urged the WI DNR to review the use of hydrofluoric acid at the plant. Nevertheless, the WI DNR has only allowed 30 days for the public to review and comment on this permit application.
We are asking you to take action TODAY.
Right now.
The Department of Natural Resources and your elected officials need to hear from YOU that the public is concerned about this plant re-starting operations.
  • Any permits should be put on hold until the Chemical Safety Boards issues their final report;
  • A 30-day comment period does not provide enough time to review and understand the implications of restarting this plant;
  • Hydrofluoric acid is not cutting edge technology and new, safer alternatives are available;
  • The “rebuild” permit is also being used to increase the plant’s capacity, which should require a more robust review process;
  • The air permit should be denied on the basis of the extreme increase in greenhouse gases;
  • Communities in the Husky refinery airshed should be given an education and a chance to comment on the increase of air-borne toxins this plant restart would produce;
  • Husky’s safety record should be reviewed before they are allowed to restart the plant;
  • If the plant is re-started, the state of Wisconsin should increase worker safety requirements for the plant and all refineries, including both emergency response and clean-up activities for a worst-case scenario explosion.
   Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
   Bureau of Air Management
   (608) 264-9243

Find your representative or senator here:

Stop the Husky Refinery from taking more dangerous action in the Twin Ports by voicing your concerns. CALL NOW before it's too late.


Winona LaDuke,
Executive Director

XR Training for the Global Climate Strike

There is a group car pooling from Viroqua on Saturday to this training. Email couleeprogressive at hotmail for connection. For more details about the La Crosse area Climate Strike and related activities? Please check the event page. If you or your group have a event to add or would like to be a supporting organization, email.

From XR- Madison:

I want to extend an invitation for you to join members of Extinction Rebellion Madison for at least one of several 4-hour trainings in Nonviolent Direct Action (NVDA) leading up to the September 20th Global Climate Strike

We’re hosting NVDA trainings on three separate dates (9/10, 9/11, & 9/14) that we’re hoping other groups will feel welcome and interested in attending to more meaningfully prepare for a broad range of possibilities on September 20th.

Coming to any of these trainings doesn’t mean you have to be a member of Extinction Rebellion now or in the future, and it doesn’t mean that you plan on doing civil disobedience on the day of the global climate strike. It does mean that you want to learn more about nonviolent direct action, and consider what types of outcomes are possible using this strategy.

I hope you will join us for one or multiple of these trainings – while the content will be largely the same at each, you will approach subsequent trainings with different knowledge and a different mindset, so we’d love to see you at several if possible.

One note on the 4-hour time commitment – going into an action underprepared or underinformed is dangerous, not only to the cause and the movement, but to all participants as well. We feel strongly that it is our responsibility as organizers to set standards of required preparation prior to any action, and hope that the different dates and times allow you to secure the time available to join us.


  • Tuesday 9/10 – 5 PM to 9 PM – 1444 E Washington Avenue at Art In – 9/10 FB event link
  • Wednesday 9/11 – 6 PM to 10 PM – location TBD, but likely near the intersection of N Henry St and Langdon St – check Facebook for final location – 9//11 FB event link
  • Saturday 9/14 – 1 PM to 5 PM – location TBD, but likely near the intersection of N Henry St and Langdon St – check Facebook for final location – 9/14 FB event link
Hope to see you there!
Justin Novotney

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Apt. Fire Help

UPDATE: FIXED LINK! Thanks, Rebecca!

Here’s an update to the neighborhood apartment fire that occurred recently. Two Hamilton Hawk families were affected, along with three other households, losing all their possessions and home. Fortunately no one was injured.

A fund has been established by the School District of La Crosse to help those Hamilton Families. Please give what you can. Financial, clothing or food donations. Here is a link to the financial donation site: Hamilton NS Fire Relief

The school is accepting donations at the Hamilton Front office. Here is a list of suggested items from the school:

  • Boys underwear: Sizes, 2T, 4T, 5T, 8T
  • Girls Underwear: Sizes, 5T, 6T, 7T
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Lotion
  • Baby lotion
  • Diapers: Size 3,4,5
  • Wipes
  • Baby-care products
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Bedding
  • Pillows
  • Food
  • Gift cards (Kwik Trip, Wal-Mart, Festival) 

 Thank you to our La Crosse Community for their response already! 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum

If you don't know about Democracy Now!, a daily independent award-winning news program with Amy Goodman, you are missing out on the best news program in the country. Much of Thursday's episode shows what a real news program should be and what a real candidate forum should be. 

Have you heard about the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, Iowa? The commercial news channels focus endlessly on the madness of the *resident, but the real issues faced by the real people rarely get national media attention. And real news about Native Americans and the racist genocidal history and current policies of our government is never on "the news."  

The forum was a two day event. Candidates answered questions from a panelists including youth, elders, and tribal leaders on issues including treaty rights, adoptions of Native children, tribal sovereignty, environmental racism, voter suppression, and the epidemic of murders of Native American women. What is particularly striking, if you've watched the commercial media's circus-like presidential "debates," is the difference in the quality of questions and questioners.

Please watch this half hour story including issues background; interviews with Native leaders, politicians, and organizers; and real discussions. You should watch. It's only half an hour. Here's part 1. (You can also find these at the website.)

And here's part 2:

Then you can learn more about it at Indian Country Today's event site.

Monday, August 19, 2019


If you haven't yet, please email Wisconsin's DNC members and ask them to vote yes on the Podlodowski resolution at this week's DNC meeting in California. Be aware that DNC chair, Tom Perez has introduced a competing toothless resolution. Read more at Huffington Post. (Unfortunately, this is just business as usual for Perez.) Two Wisconsin DNC members are already on board. Thank you Andrew Werthmann and Khary Penebaker. The others are Martha LoveJanet BewleyBen WiklerMahlon Mitchell, and Felesia Martin.

On Tuesday, 8/20, State Senator Jennifer Shilling is hosting a birthday fundraiser. If you can attend, do. If not, consider a donation and, coming up, volunteering. Shilling won her last election by a very slim margin last time. State Republicans are hoping to gain enough seats in 2020 to provide a "veto proof" majority. We can only imagine what that might mean for the ghost of progressive Wisconsin.

On Thursday, Kevin Kane will meet with La Crosse area folks interested in organizing a Citizen Action co-op in our region. If interested, sign up at the FB event page.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

City will consider new "special events" permits

From the city's web site:

The City of La Crosse is proposing updated policies and procedures for permitting special events held within the City beginning January 1, 2020.

The City’s goal is to encourage and help coordinate special community events, while regulating these events in a positive manner to ensure the health and safety of participants at the event, efficient management of City services and the protection of public lands and facilities.

The proposal will be discussed at the Board of Public Works meeting on Monday, August 12, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in the 5th Floor Conference Room.  The proposed legislation is expected to then be presented to the Judiciary & Administration Committee and Common Council in the September 2019 cycle of meetings.

Below are links to documents detailing the proposed policies and procedures:
If you have questions or seek additional information, please contact Nikki in the City Clerk’s Office at (608) 789-7555 or email at (Note:  I will be out of the office August 5 - 9, 2019.)

Does this mean that a demonstration or vigil or group visibility event needs a permit with an application 60 days in advance and proof of insurance? Do city permit regulations interfere with First Amendment rights?

The ACLU says,
"Do I need a permit before I engage in free speech activity?   
Not usually. However, certain types of events require permits. Generally, these  events are:
• A march or parade that does not stay on the sidewalk, and other events
that require blocking traffic or street closure
• A large rally requiring the use of sound amplifying devices; or
• A rally at certain designated parks or plazas
Many permit procedures require that the application be filed several weeks in  advance of the event. However, the First Amendment prohibits such an advance  notice requirement from being used to prevent rallies or demonstrations that are
rapid responses to unforeseeable and recent events. Also, many permit ordinances give a lot of discretion to the police or city officials to impose
conditions on the event, such as the route of a march or the sound levels of  amplification equipment. Such restrictions may violate the First Amendment if  they are unnecessary for traffic control or public safety, or if they interfere
significantly with effective communication with the intended audience. A permit  cannot be denied because the event is controversial or will express unpopular views. 
If organizers have not obtained a permit, where can a march take place? 
If marchers stay on the sidewalks and obey traffic and pedestrian signals, their activity is constitutionally protected even without a permit. Marchers may be  required to allow enough space on the sidewalk for normal pedestrian traffic and
may not maliciously obstruct or detain passers-by.
May I distribute leaflets and other literature on public sidewalks? 
Yes. You may approach pedestrians on public sidewalks with leaflets, newspapers, petitions and solicitations for donations without a permit. Tables may also be set up on sidewalks for these purposes if sufficient room is left for  pedestrians to pass. These types of free speech activities are legal as long as  entrances to buildings are not blocked and passers-by are not physically and
maliciously detained. However, a permit may be required to set up a table.
Do I have a right to picket on public sidewalks?Yes, and this is also an activity for which a permit is not required. However, picketing must be done in an orderly, non-disruptive fashion so that pedestrians can pass by and entrances to buildings are not blocked.
Read more at the ACLU's site.