Thursday, July 30, 2020

Save our Libraries!

Libraries are under attack in Canada, too.

As Donald Trump works to kill of the U.S. Postal Service, an institution enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, so short-sighted budgeteers seem to be doing their best to Grover Norquist our public libraries, another centuries-old institution. Don't let that happen!

This alert is from Citizen Action:

The La Crosse library system is suffering.  

The City of La Crosse has slashed their budget.  We can take action RIGHT NOW to restore funding but we have to move quick.

Libraries across the Coulee Region are so important. They offer so much more than books. They are internet access for the underserved. They are a meeting place. They are a resource for the unemployed looking for work.  Libraries serve everyone in the Coulee Region.

The library is collecting statements from the public in support of restoring the library's funding.  Use this link to submit a statement in support of La Crosse's library. It only take a minute and it can have a huge impact. 

The deadline for comments to be submitted is July 31st so we only have a small window.  Please take a moment RIGHT NOW to let the City of La Crosse know that libraries are an essential service.

Thank you in advance for helping to protect La Crosse's libraries!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Week of Action!

There are several action items coming up that need your attention. 

Note: Currently, the Coulee COVID-19 Compass is at SEVERE with recommendations to stay at home unless essential, no indoor gathering outside of household, only 10 or fewer people at a gathering outdoors, etc. The county is concerned that if we don't control this now, fall will be hell. Young people can get it. People can spread it without knowing they even have it. Even those who have mild symptoms can end up with long-term serious brain, lung, immune system and other conditions that may require costly therapies. We cannot recommend in-person events at this time.

First - VOTING HAS STARTED for the August 11 primary elections. You may still request an absentee ballot at or by calling your municipal clerk. You may also vote absentee-in-person at City Hall through August 7. Please vote AND encourage and help others to vote. And, make a plan to help get out the vote and protect the vote from now until November 3. Experts are predicting a very scary election season due to voting issues from problems with mail-in ballots to lack of polling places, decrepit unreliable hackable voting machines and Republic efforts to continue disenfranchising voters. Add the concerns by experts on authoritarian and fascist regimes and expect a nightmare. Be prepared.

The Governor's Task Force on Climate Change is accepting comments through Friday, July 31. Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes is heading up the group. He says, "We are charting a path to meet our goal of 100% carbon-free energy by 2050, while improving the state's economy and environment, diversifying the resources used to meet the state's energy needs, and generating family-supporting jobs." Please submit comments to push for real and meaningful change as quickly as possible. One item you might consider mentioning: If Governor Evers is serious about reducing carbon emissions and addressing equity and environmental racism, he should not restart the "zombie" highway, a bllion + dollar extension of I-94 in Milwaukee that even Scott Walker rejected. Read more about the task force and how to comment at their website

On Sunday, August 2, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and SEIU Healthcare are hosting a social distant rally and protest in La Crosse taking a stand against medical debt.. Meet at 3 p.m. at Poage Park. PLEASE REGISTER AT THE LINK. Wear purple, bring your water bottle, and dress for the weather. Let Gundersen know that they need to stop suing their employees and the community over medical debt! The event will begin at CA says, "Gundersen Healthcare is somehow a nonprofit that brought in over $1.4B in profits last year. They are paying their CEO over $1.1M a year. At the same time they are ruining the financial future of their employees and community members by sending them to collections for debts as small as $300. Gundersen is even garnishing the wages of THEIR OWN EMPLOYEES. As one of the largest employers and health care providers in our community, Gundersen Health System has a responsibility to our most vulnerable citizens. In just the past few years, Gundersen has taken hundreds of our community members to court for unpaid medical debt – including its own employees who cannot afford the who cannot afford the steep cost of the Hospital's insurance plan."

At 5 p.m. on Monday, August 3, the La Crosse County Board's Planning, Resources, and Development Committee will discuss a Resolution Adopting Sustainability Goals Transitioning to Carbon Neutrality & 100% Renewable Energy by 2050. This is your chance to push for strong local action to address the climate crisis. If you are able to attend the meeting, please do. You may attend online but UPDATE: If you want to comment at the meeting, you will need to attend in person - Room 1700 County Administration Building, 7th & State Streets. Right now, though, you can SIGN THE PETITION urging prompt action and you may EMAIL THE COUNTY BOARD (countyboardsupervisors at with your comments in support of a strong resolution that will include the whole county, not just county operations. The window of opportunity to make sufficient changes to avoid an unsustainable global temperature rise is rapidly closing. We are already brushing up against the 1.5 degree ceiling. The Arctic is on fire. Read more about communities that are pledging to reduce their carbon emissions to fight the climate crisis.

At 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4Building Unity Wisconsin is coming to La Crosse. The event will be held OUTDOORS in the parking lot at 401 West Avenue South. Social distancing and masks required. This will be part rally and part brainstorming session with some speakers. If you would like to speak on a particular issue, please email and we will put you in touch with organizers. It is also nonpartisan. Building Unity is based on four pillars: Peace, Justice, Sustainability, and Democracy. For more information about the event and the organizations, visit

On August 8 and 9, the Democratic Party will call voters who have requested absentee ballots but not returned them yet. Beyond the importance of making every vote count, voters who have requested absentee ballots for the rest of the year but fail to return their August ballot will not be mailed a November ballot unless they complete a new absentee ballot request form. If you would like to sign up for this very important phone bank event, please email Pete (peterk at

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Stand Against Medical Debt!

from SEIU and Citizen Action

Citizen Action of Wisconsin and SEIU Healthcare are taking a stand against medical debt. Join us for a socially-distant rally and protest to let Gundersen Health System know that they need to stop suing their employees and the community over medical debt!

Saturday, August 2 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Meet at Poage Park, 1301 Fifth Avenue South

Please use this form to RSVP for this important event

As one of the largest employers and health care providers in our community, Gundersen Health System has a responsibility to our most vulnerable citizens. In just the past few years, Gundersen has taken hundreds of our community members to court for unpaid medical debt – including its own employees who cannot afford the who cannot afford the steep cost of the Hospital's insurance plan.

Gundersen has been named one of the most profitable hospitals in the country.  Community members and Gundersen employees should be able to receive affordable services at a nonprofit Hospital without being sued, taken to collections, or having their wages garnished.
We demand Gundersen:

1. Cease suing our community members and employees for medical debt
2. Forgive existing medical debt
3. Provide employees with affordable health insurance coverage

Remember to bring water and sunscreen.  Also please wear the color purple in solidarity. 


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

More Than A Word

From Media Education Foundation:

Media Education Foundation | documentary films. challenging media.

More Than a Word is Streaming Free Now!

More Than a Word GIF
After years of resisting and mocking pleas to change the racist name of the Washington football team, franchise owner Dan Snyder has finally caved to pressure and relented — not because it was the right thing to do but because corporate sponsors like FedEx and Nike were threatening to walk and damage his bottom line.

Regardless, it’s a moment of triumph for Native American groups and others who have been fighting against all odds to get the team to change its name for years.

If you’re looking for some background on the fight to change the Washington team name, and the larger ongoing movement against racist indigenous team mascots in football and other sports, we want to remind you that our acclaimed film More Than a Word is streaming free through the end of July!

Directed by Native American filmmakers John and Kenn Little of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, More Than a Word offers a deeply personal account of the injustices done to indigenous peoples, the inequalities that still plague indigenous communities, and the cultural stereotypes that have helped normalize both.

"Native people have been fighting the battle against Native American-themed mascots for more than 50 years," the filmmakers said in a recent statement. "It has been a slow but steady battle. We're proud to have been part of that movement, and thankful to people like Suzan Harjo, Amanda Blackhorse, and others who have been instrumental in creating change for Indian Country. This is the beginning of the end for Native mascots."

More Than a Word is just one of many anti-racist titles we're making available to stream for free from now until the end of July. See the full list here. 
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Copyright © 2020 Media Education Foundation, All rights reserved.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Criminal Justice Commission positions

This is from Mary at La Crosse Waking Up White:

As people learn about systemic racism they ask, "What can I do".  Here is a concrete way to make a difference.  Consider being a "citizen member" of the La Crosse County Criminal Justice Management Council. This committee has made some substantial changes in our community's criminal justice system. They initiated the "System of Care" which has made progress on the disproportionate contact of black youth with the criminal justice system.

Here is the information about applying to become a citizen member of County Criminal Justice Management Council. NOTE the DEADLINE is July 29th.

"The Criminal Justice Management Council (CJMC) is currently recruiting citizen members to fill 3 open seats on the council. Candidates selected will participate in an active and engaged committee that applies a forward thinking philosophy to create and support enhancements to the criminal justice system. These include reducing disproportionate minority contact in the juvenile justice system, treatment courts and other alternatives to incarceration, evidence based decision making in arrest and detention decisions, and gender-specific programming in jail and the community. Our current focus is on developing a plan to make our system more responsive to racial injustice, people experiencing trauma, and implementing strategies that are based on research and best practices. Since its creation in 2000, the CJMC has advised the County Board on establishing and fostering innovative correctional policies for juvenile and adult offenders.

In selecting new members, preference will be given to citizens who have felt the effects of the criminal justice system, have been involved in promoting racial justice in the community, have a strong interest in equity issues, or bring a diverse perspective to the table. In order to bring a greater balance to the council, BIPOC, LGBTQ and other marginalized community members are encouraged to apply.

The CJMC is composed of 21 members – the county board chair, three county board supervisors, a judge, sheriff, district attorney, one representative each of the WI Department of Corrections, the WI Public Defender’s Office, and the La Crosse School District, the Director of Human Services, the police chief of the City of La Crosse and a police chief from another municipality in La Crosse County, along with eight citizen members. Citizen members are crucial to the CJMC, since they bring diversity and insight into community concerns to the Council.

The Council meets monthly in the County Courthouse, and members are strongly encouraged to attend regularly. Citizen member terms are for three years. Interested citizens are encouraged to submit a letter of application, including their name, address, phone number and email address. Please include a brief statement describing how your background qualifies you for serving on the CJMC, and reflect on how you will contribute to the bettering of our community.

Please submit your application to: Monica Kruse, County Board Chair, 212 6th Street North, Room 2400, La Crosse, WI 54601 or email to: by July 29, 2020.

Thank you,
Monica Kruse

Thursday, July 16, 2020

it PASSED!!!

!   The Board of Park Commissioners just voted UNANIMOUSLY to remove the statue from Riverside Park! After a nearly hour-long delay during which a 30 day referral was discussed and news announced that an application had been made to have the statue designated as an historic landmark, the board rejected a referral by a 4 to 4 vote (one commissioner moved to the other side of the state earlier this year and that seat is not vacant).

Two members of the Ho-Chunk Nation spoke at the public hearing. Both we adamant that the discussions have been held, the information has been given, and it's time to take the step. 

Commissioners Roger Christians and Sandy Cleary were strongly in favor of removal from the start of the meeting. Mr. Christians noted that this was the same tortured process UWL went through when it decided several years ago to replace its mascot. The same arguments were given, the same delays were sought. But, he said, five years later no one would ever consider going back. 

He also noted that this is a great opportunity for our community to move forward together, including Native Americans and the community in finding a better way to honor and educate about the Ho-Chunk people and the history of La Crosse. 

City Council representative Larry Sleznikow also spoke and encouraged the Board to act immediately, listen to the people, and move forward in a positive direction.

In addition to those who spoke at the public hearing, the board received at least eleven letters. 

At long last, the statue is coming down. The motion to remove included instructions for Park Department staff to work on a replacement. We look forward to seeing something that represents a new way of including and honoring and remembering and healing.

Remove the statue

Tonight at 5:30 p.m. the La Crosse Board of Park Commissioners will decide whether or not to finally remove the large folk art statue that sits on the north edge of Riverside Park.

Somehow a high school art teacher has become an artistic saint whose work may never be touched. Never mind that the city has a long history, for good or for ill, of removing all kinds of historically significant monuments, including many statues and sculptures. For some reason, this one piece of folk art (and by the way, there are similar pieces all around the country, so this is not some unique genius master innovation), has a following of supporters similar in persistence to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

I never had a class from "Zim" but I do not remember him having attained sainthood by the time I graduated.

Saint or not, it's time for that statue to go. Period.

Interestingly, while searching for the Park Board page, I was reminded that the commissioners, last year, had no trouble removing lifeguards from the city's beaches, a move that actually endangers lives and has the effect of making the beach less safe and less accessible for people of color and for low-income children whose adult care-givers may not have the luxury of supervising their kids for a day at the beach.

Please email or call the Park Commissioners and attend the virtual meeting Tell them it's a new day and they need to ensure our parks are welcoming for and respectful of everyone by removing the statue. And then ask the Mayor to broaden the economic and cultural diversity of the board. The board needs people who can consider the economic and access consequences of board decisions.


In an effort to keep the public, City staff, and Park Board Members as safe as possible from the spread of COVID-19, the committee meeting will be conducted through video conferencing.


This meeting will also be open for attendance in person. Agenda items approved for Public 
Hearing by the committee are open to public comment. For anyone entering City Hall, social 
distancing is enforced and face masks are required.

Members of the public may provide written comments on any agenda item by:
E-mail:, Mail: Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department, 400 La 
Crosse Street, La Crosse, WI 54601, or by using the drop-box outside of City Hall.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Important election: Hear from candidates

The 32nd district State Senate seat is vacant. It was held by Jennifer Shilling until she quit in May to take a lobbying job with Dairyland Power Cooperative. There are three people running in the August 11 Democratic Primary. In the last election for this position, Jennifer Shilling won by just 61 votes.

Brad Pfaff was the Secretary-designee of the state's Department of Ag, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) until the Republican minority-controlled state legislature "fired" him by refusing to confirm his appointment. Read more about Pfaff at his campaign FB page.

Jayne Swiggum is a nurse who lives in Gays Mills. She has not run for office before. She says the Republican candidate's irresponsible behavior during the COVID-19 crisis spurred her to file to run. She is not accepting any campaign donations and is a supporter of Medicare for All and other progressive issues. Listen to a good interview here. Her campaign website is at

Paul Michael Weber is a resident of La Crosse. You can listen to an interview with him on WORT-FM here.

The Republicans have targeted this seat in their "veto-proof" campaign. Adding three seats each in the State Senate and Assembly would give them complete power to rule the state as a minority party and override any Evers vetoes. So, this is not a rehearsal. This is big. 

A virtual house party for Brad Pfaff is being hosted on Wednesday, July 14 from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. This is an opportunity to ask Pfaff about your top issues. 

Meeting ID:  924 4166 2573


Jayne Swiggum will be a guest at the Monday, July 20 6:30 p.m. La Crosse County Democratic Party ZOOM meeting. Dr. Mark Neumann, who is challenging United States Representative Ron Kind in the Democratic primary, will also speak at this meeting [UPDATE] as will Rep. Ron Kind.

Email for meeting access details. 


Friday, July 10, 2020

Safe Routes to School

If you still believe in CLIMATE CHANGE, then Safe Routes to School is very important. If you live by a school in La Crosse you will know that every parent on the face of the earth MUST driver her/his child to and from school, parking near the entrance, and, often, idling for 10 to 30 minutes per trip. Schools have even invited this by redesigning entrances to provide more spaces for cars to pull in and idle. 
Idling vehicles contribute to air pollution and emit air toxins, which are pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects. Monitoring at schools has shown elevated levels of benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and other air toxics during the afternoon hour coinciding with parents picking up their children. Children’s lungs are still developing, and when they are exposed to elevated levels of these pollutants, children have an increased risk of developing asthma, respiratory problems and other adverse health effects. - EPA Idle-Free Schools Toolkit
Never mind that the EPA thinks idling is so dangerous to children's health that it has a whole program designed to STOP people idling their cars by schools. Never mind that some of the children live but a few blocks away or that about one in every 7 Wisconsin children is obese or that every fossil fuel car trip sends climate-changing greenhouses gases into the atmosphere.

If you want to help solve the climate crisis, get your kids to school some other way than driving them. Safe Routes to School is trying to encourage that. The plan that will be discussed is an update that's been open for public comment for about a month. Each elementary and middle school has a plan (for some reason, SRTS thinks high school students are a lost cause. Sad.)

My complaint with this process is that it's like asking people who have never seen a vegetable, what kind of salad to serve the children. We live in CAR-IS-GOD's country and if you are not a car and dare to try using a road, street, or highway, woe be unto you, even if you are a child trying to bike to school. Could we close a street in front of a school for a couple of hours per day so no one but those with permits could drive to the front of the school? Could we narrow a street by adding a walk/bike multi-use lane (not a sidewalk, but claw back a street lane) protected from moving vehicles by posts, blocks, planters? Could we set an intersection light to be4-way green FOR BICYCLES ONLY for one minute of each cycle?

Other cities, even whole countries, have asserted that the rights of people are more important than the rights of fast cars. For example, check out this short online webinar from Mobycon on The Elements for Creating Child Friendly School Zones. "Over two-thirds of all school-aged children walk or cycle to school, with 75% of secondary school students cycling to school." If someone is achieving like this, wouldn't you want to use their ideas and designs? If you're on Twitter, follow @fietsprofessor check out #PowerfulMobilityMemes.

Enough ranting. Here's the message about the upcoming meeting:

In efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Safe Routes to School Plan Committee meeting will be conducted through video conferencing. The meeting can be viewed by clicking this link (or typing the URL in your web browser address bar):

If you wish to speak on an agenda item, you can do so as part of the virtual meeting.  Contact the Planning and Development at the email: or phone number 608-789-8676 below so we can provide you with the necessary information to join in. Agenda items approved for public hearing by the committee are open to public comment.

Members of the public who would like to provide written comments on any agenda may do so by emailing Questions, call 608-789-8676



Best Regards,
Jack Zabrowski
Associate Planner
City of La Crosse Planning and Development
608-789-8676 w
608-381-1033 c

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Important Budget Issue - your action required!

from Heather (note that the amendments also include language to require public hearings):

SAY NO TO $36 million Police Law Enforcement Center WITHOUT Public Input!


Today we mobilize to AMEND the 2021-2025 Capital Improvement Projects Budget: SAY NO to a $36M Police Law Enforcement Center without public input!

The proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget will go before the City Council tomorrow, July 8 at 6 p.m. for final approval. Though we have tried in earnest to have the entire CIP budget delayed in light of COVID-19 and the subsequent budget crisis, as well as lack of public input and community impact assessments, the budget WILL BE up for a vote tomorrow night.  

We are mobilizing to AMEND items in the CIP budget that we find most egregious. The amendments below have been cleared and will be uploaded on Legistar shortly. We can ACT NOW!

Our goal is to have 1,000 residents contact the ENTIRE City Council TODAY with PERSONALIZED statements in support of these amendments! After you send your email, please notify us and SHARE with your people. THEN, update with counts of how many completed the action if you can. We are aiming for 1,000 contacts today!!! 


Olson Amendment #1:
Line Item [8] Police Law Enforcement Center

  • Delete $25,000,000 from 2023 GOB (GOB = General Obligation Bonds)
  • Delete $10,000,000 from 2024 GOB
Olson Amendment #2:
Line Item [645] City Hall Lobby Renovation
  • Reduce 2021 GOB funding from $1,500,000 to $140,000
  • Move $1,360,000 GOB funding to 2022
Line Item [272] Main Library Flooring
  • Amend project title to read "Main Library Flooring and Shelving"
  • Increase GOB funding from current amount of $170,000 to $310,000
  • Move full funding from 2022 to 2021
Line Item [23] Myrick Park Playground
  • Move $500,000 GOB allocation from 2022-2021
Line Item [443] Weigent Park Shelter
  • Move $300,000 GOB allocation from 2022 to 2021
Line Item [552] Riverside Park Bathrooms
  • Move $250,000 GOB allocation from 2022 to 2021
And, a third amendment is forthcoming regarding funding for renovation work at South Branch Library in 2021! Keep eyes out for that!

Full amendment text here:

We're Taking Notice, Acting Together!! We need to ALL send PERSONALIZED statements of support for these amendments TODAY! Many council members go from work to the meeting tomorrow night, so today must be our day of action to make sure they have time to HEAR US and ACT ACCORDINGLY!

Example (but please personalize)

Council Members,

My name is __________ and I live at ____________. I am writing in support of Olson amendment #1 and #2 to the CIP budget. Please pass these amendments at tomorrow night's meeting and do the work of soliciting public input and completing community impact studies needed in regards to the proposed Police Law Enforcement Center and City Hall Renovations. Don't say yes to the money until they've done the work! We're in the midst of remaking how we do policing in America and we're also in the midst of a public health crisis. Our 2021-2025 CIP budget needs to reflect those realities!

Thank you.
Get more information from

Support Medicare for All

From Citizen Action & Coulee DSA

Millions of Americans are not able to afford the healthcare they need

We are living through the worst global pandemic of our lives. Americans across the country have lost their jobs, their income, and their access to healthcare.  This moment, more then any moment in American history, is showing us just how dangorous it is to have healthcare tied to employment. La Crosse County needs to stand up with counties, and cities, across the country to demand a universal single payer healthcare system so that no one goes without the health coverage they need to live!  Please use this form to contact the county board and let them know that La Crosse County supports universal, single payer healthcare!

Universal single payer healthcare will not only make sure that EVERY AMERICAN can access the healthcare we all need, it will also boast our economy both locally and nationally.  It will allow Americans to look for the kind of employment that allows them to follow their dream without the worry of losing healthcare. It will take the burden of providing healthcare off the backs of our local employers. It will end the toxic political influence of the health insurence industry. Most importantly single payer healthcare will guarantee that every American is able to see a doctor, or recieve life saving healthcare, when they need to regardless of income.

You can help make health coverage a reality for every American, regardless of income by urging the La Crosse County Board to pass a resolution in support of Medicare For All. Dozens of places across the country such as Austin Texas, Warren County Tennessee, Cook County Illinois, and Philadelphia Pennsylvania have all passed similar resolutions. There is a national movement of cities and counties showing Washington that Americans need healthcare; La Crosse County needs to add its voice to that movement. Together all of these resoutions will show Washington that America demands a universal, single payer healthcare system NOW.  

Please use this form to send an email to members of the La Crosse County Board letting them know they need to pass a county resolution showing supporting Medicare For All. Once you fill out this form, and customize the email if you want, your email will be sent directly to every member of the La Crosse County Board.  

Only together can we make Medicare For All a reality in America.  Please use this form to contact the La Crosse County Board right now and demand that La Crosse County adds its voice to the Medicare For All movement!

Friday, July 03, 2020

Films, talks, podcasts

Some films, talks, and podcasts for the weekend and the month. 

JULY 3-5: UNFIT from Duty to Warn. Scheduled for release in September. 3 days only: July 3,4,5; Hi-res stream; 84 min's; $6 Trailer here

Medical doctors and mental health professionals go on camera, on the record, for the record - it's an eye-opening discussion, analysis, and science-based examination of the behavior, psyche, condition, and stability of President Donald Trump. #UNFIT also examines Trump's effect on our citizenry, culture, and institutions. 

JULY 7: THE CONDOR AND THE EAGLE is a new film about how independent media initiatives can be powerful tools for indigenous rights and social and environmental justice organizing. The National Sierra Club hosts the film and talk at 6 p.m. Register to receive the link to view. Trailer here

Challenging the isolation and impotence that many are feeling in the face of the current health and racial crises, the award-winning documentary The Condor & The Eagle and its impact campaign "No More Sacrificed Communities" bring us together in these challenging times – reminding us of our deep interconnectedness with the Earth and one another. Regarded by EcoWatch magazine as one of the "7 best new documentaries about global warming” (March 2020) that “exemplifies how independent media initiatives can be powerful tools for social and environmental justice organizing,” (June 2020) the film is breaking new ground in the distribution world, working directly with impacted communities and the organizations fighting for climate justice around the world.

JULY 7: 13th by Ava DuVernay. Hosted by Sierra Club Ready for 100 team with discussion after. Tuesday, July 7 at 6:30 p.m. Register for link. Discussion follows. Trailer here.

Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay's examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country's history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America. This piercing, Oscar-nominated film won Best Documentary at the Emmys, the BAFTAs and the NAACP Image Awards.Rating: TV-MA For mature audiences. 

NOW THROUGH JULY 28: The Story of Plastic from the Story of Stuff Project. This screening is sponsored by the Coulee Region Sierra Club. Register for link to view any time between now and July 28. An online discussion will held on Thursday, July 30 at 7 p.m.. Trailer here

THE STORY OF PLASTIC takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it. Spanning three continents, the film illustrates the ongoing catastrophe: fields full of garbage, veritable mountains of trash, rivers and seas clogged with waste, and skies choked with the poisonous emissions from plastic production and processing. Featuring interviews with experts and activists on the front lines of the fight, the film reveals the disastrous consequences of the flood of plastic smothering ecosystems and poisoning communities around the world, and the global movement that is rising up in response. 

JULY 16: RACE IN AMERICA WITH COLSON WHITEHEAD will be livestreamed on the Library of Congress Facebook page and Youtube channel at 6 p.m. as part of the National Book Festival.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden talks to two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and National Book Festival veteran (2009, 2012, 2016 and this year) Colson Whitehead about the need for stories from our past to help us contend with the present—especially at moments of great change.

PODCAST. Intercepted - episode: Confederacy Inc.: Donald Trump, Racist Police, and the Whitewashing of History. Jeremy Scahill interviews Simon Balto, assistant professor of African American History at the University of Iowa (formerly of Chaseburg!), whose book, Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power, tells the often deleted history of Black political organizing and rebellion in Chicago. It offers lessons on how this history speaks to the demands and struggles of the present moment. Scahill also talks with Native American historian and professor, Nick Estes, a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and an assistant professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico and host of The Red Nation podcast.