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!