Thursday, October 28, 2021

Your CLIMATE ACTION input needed now!

The climate crisis is not going to fix itself. It's not a movie that ends in a couple of hours or a cyclical bad flu season that goes away. It's an ever and exponentially increasing disaster that threatens all life on Earth. Governments' pledges and promises have led to slight changes but are not nearly enough to bend the curve toward the 1.5 or even 2.0 degrees rise that scientists say will be catastrophic but not life-ending. On our current path, we're headed to 2.7C temperature rise by the end of the century, which means 1.5 and 2.0 before the end of the century. 

We have to all get in on this now. From local and personal actions (today, I pledge to stop flying), to institutional changes; to planning, zoning, and budgeting changes; to electing people who feel the crisis and the need to act and dumping people who don't. That also means reminding those in our community who are using up or planning to use our collective carbon emissions budget on frivolous unnecessary things that we are not going to put up with that xxxx any more. It does no good for some to turn back the thermostat while others burn up several households' annual worth of electricity on spaceship-riding Santas or helicopter rides! when they could just demand that their corporate sponsors pay workers enough money to be able to afford food. For example.

There are many opportunities for public input on important things. If people don't speak up, the path of least resistance, the path that has brought us to the edge of the climate abyss, will be followed. Your input, participation, and action can make a difference.

Here are some opportunities and a little background. Please participate!

Market Street bike infrastructure - this may seem like a small thing, but it's not. It's a chance for our city to finally get one decent, safe, modern protected bike lane for transportation cyclists of all ages and abilities. As the Jackson Street remodel is rolled out with outdated and unsafe painted bike lanes between moving and parked cars rolls out, we have a chance to get real safe bike infrastructure--Protected Bike Lanes (PBLs)-- on a section of Market Street. Please weigh in on your preferences by taking the survey at or emailing comments to

But before you do, check out these short videos about how a two-way protected bike lane that completely removes moving motorized vehicles from bikes, can make all the difference:

City of La Crosse Climate Action Plan survey and story portal - This survey is a way to inform and involve La Crosse residents as the city begins its planning to fulfil the promise made in 2019, to reduce carbon emissions to zero and transition to 100% renewable energy, community-wide, by 2050. Please take this survey, share your thoughts, stories and ideas, and encourage others to get involved. There will be more opportunities for public input and action coming in 2022 as the city's planning consultant, Pale Blue Dot, works to help us take real and meaningful climate action. This is a meaningful, deep survey that will take time and thought. You can do it in sections. Please complete the survey by March 2022. Survey: and story portal to share artwork, stories, photos, etc. that convey your personal feelings about the climate crisis:

The School District of La Crosse wants to build new schools and close neighborhood schools. That should give you a clue that they probably haven't given an eenth of thought to how their plans fit with needed climate action - encouraging fewer car trips and more trips by walking and biking, for example. Increasing evidence shows that refurbishing existing buildings to high energy standards costs less in terms of money and carbon emissions than building new buildings. A sample survey is linked at their long-range planning site, but you will have to call the District office, 608-789-7628, to get a survey code or have a survey mailed to you if you didn't already get one. It is due by November 8 or 18 (the website sample says Nov. 8, the email reminder from the district says Nov. 18). If you have ever been push-polled by phone, this "survey" will be familiar to you. There's no information about the climate or social equity costs of consolidated schools farther from homes and harder to get to for those without good cars or the ability to take time off work at will, with, possibly larger class sizes and less accessible by public transportation. There are only vague mentions of costs to maintain without any comparisons to cost to refurb or cost to build new (cost in terms of dollars and carbon). There are constant references to old buildings, but, as anyone who has been to Europe knows, old buildings can be perfectly usable, comfortable, and glorious. There's nothing about how school buildings that may be experiencing enrollment dips could be shared with nonprofit office space, a childcare facility, maker spaces, technology centers, retail or service spaces, fixit space, a medical clinic, a training restaurant, or so many others. They want their brand new buildings, and they are pushing you to say you want them too. Please don't.

County of La Crosse Survey on Sustainability Goals - The county also has pledged to zero out carbon emissions and move to 100% renewable energy. There is a new survey that's supposed to help them narrow down targets as they complete an update of their Comprehensive Plan. Warning: this is one of the worst surveys I have ever taken in my life. If you don't take it, I wouldn't blame you. Whether or not you take it, I encourage you to email the county board with your ideas and suggestions because you won't get to put them into this silly survey. If you want to take the survey, complete it by the first week in November.

The Governor's Clean Energy Plan - This effort is being spearheaded by the Wisconsin Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy, which, thanks to the Republic minjority, has a budget of $0 and a staff of one. Nevertheless, the OSCE recently held public input sessions online to gather ideas for the governor's Clean Energy Plan. If you weren't able to attend those sessions, you are welcome to send suggestions, ideas, thoughts, and examples, through the online public input form at:

These are just a few places your input is requested. Consider how climate action is connected to transportation options, where things are sited, how much energy things require, whether they will reduce the demand for energy or increase it, and whether we need it - is it worth your child's future? - or not. Please participate, share the links, and then look for more ways to take and demand climate action.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Holmen - Support Sane School Board


Around the country, Trump-pets are bullying, threatening, and disrupting school boards over public health and social justice issues. As explained in this Washington Post  article

"... there is plenty of evidence that the current school board battles are not the spontaneous actions of concerned parents who want to solve problems. Conservative organizations have held “School Board Boot Camp” and sent leaders from out of state to speak at school board meetings. According to The Washington Post, Republican megadonors have financed efforts to fight masks in schools. A draft letter that one conservative group circulated provides a script: “NAME is excited to be joining NAME OF SCHOOL this year,” it reads, and “I have to speak up for what is best for my kids."

Tonight, at the Holmen School Board meeting, it's likely that a loud minority will attempt to take over the board. This has happened in other communities where the cultists have then slashed budgets, changed policies, and rolled back progress made addressing equity and social justice issues. It can happen here. It happened in Kenosha.

If you are a citizen living within the Holmen School District, please attend tonight's rally and, especially tonight's school board meeting. Meet by the lower parking lot side door at the Frederic Frick Administrative Center, 1019 McHugh Road.

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Afghan help update

The city of La Crosse will consider a resolution of welcome and support at its October 14 meeting. A  resolution sponsor, Council Member Rebecca Schwarz, reported that it has passed the committees, though one community member spoke against it at the Judiciary and Advisory committee. Council Member Mackenzie Mindel, the other sponsor, responded to those concerns.

Consider emailing the council and mayor to let them know you support such a resolution and encouraging its passage ( and

On October 19, join an online discussion about, "Getting to know our new Afghan neighbors." The live stream link can be found at:

Donations for visitors housed at Fort McCoy are still being accepted. Thirteen thousand people who left their lives and homes behind with nothing but the clothes on their backs have many needs. Current and continuing needs include appropriate everyday clothing, winter outerwear, underwear, and shoes. 

Please consider using one of the online portals to ensure your donation meets the most urgent needs. Or use the lists on these sites and shop on other sites. (For example, Fruit of the Loom ( has men's sweatshirts on clearance for $5 to $6.50 each.)

If you shop online, please set the shipping address to Team Rubicon Resettlement, Sparta Armory, 602 E Division St, Sparta WI 54656. Donations of NEW items  may also be delivered to the armory between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. seven days a week.

For more information about other donating and helping opportunities, please see the Catholic Charities Afghanistan Refugee Assistance page.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

People vs. Fossil Fuels, 10/11-15

October 11-15 is set as the People vs. Fossil Fuels Week of Action in Washington, DC. 

Dear Relatives, 

We, the undersigned, come from the trenches in the fight against fossil fuels. From fracking sites and oil wells, to pipelines and refineries, to plastic plants and more, we are impacted Indigenous, Brown, Black, and low-income communities living on the frontlines of this climate emergency. Over the years we have written thousands of messages to politicians, attended countless hearings, testified hundreds of times, and have placed our bodies on the line when needed, all the while our government continues to ignore the science and Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge and steers us toward climate catastrophe. 

We have everything to lose and no time to wait. President Biden promised to address the climate emergency and a history of environmental injustice, but so far, his administration continues to allow the fossil fuel industry to poison our communities and desolate our Mother Earth. The President could stop dangerous fossil fuel projects like the Line 3 pipeline and Formosa Plastics plant with a stroke of his pen, but his inaction is continuing widespread environmental injustice and the violation of Indigenous rights and rights of nature. We will hold Biden to his “Justice 40” initiative; we expect him to help stop the destruction of fenceline communities, homelands and neighborhoods by the fossil fuel industry, and demand equity, restorative justice actions for the same.

We are asking you to stand with us. As representatives of communities who have carried the brunt of the harm from fossil fuels for generations, we ask you to join us in solidarity—and risk arrest—in Washington DC, October 11-15, 2021, as part of Build Back Fossil Free’s People vs Fossil Fuels Week of Action. 

We will be going to Washington DC, to the White House itself, to send a clear message: “President Biden, in light of the upcoming COP26 United Nations climate summit, you cannot claim to be a climate leader when you are still supporting fossil fuels. Stand with frontline communities, stand with future generations, stop approving fossil fuel projects, declare a climate emergency now.” 

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 2021 report led by hundreds of scientists once again made it unmistakably clear: Climate change is here, it’s a crisis, and it’s caused by fossil fuels. The report tells us that the window to stop irreversible harm to all life on Earth is sing while Congress wastes time bickering over baby steps.

If we don’t stand together now, no matter where we live, all of us —you, your children and grandchildren will all eventually live in sacrifice zones of drought, record temperatures, wildland fires, hurricanes, floods, food shortages, pandemics and more. Transitioning away from fossil fuels cannot be put off any longer—we can either come together as a species now, or make this planet uninhabitable for the foreseeable future. 

We know that participating in People vs a big request. This would be a sacrifice of time, money, energy and freedom, and all under the shadow of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. But we also know the despair many of you feel, the anxiety of this moment, seeing environmental devastation and human rights abuses around you, but not knowing how to help. 

If you have ever marched, rallied, called your representatives, lobbied, signed petitions to urge governmental leaders to act — we call on you to take the next step. Nonviolent civil disobedience is a time-tested tactic for change. Every movement for change—from suffragettes to the Civil Rights movement--has proven that the defining moments are those where people are willing to risk arrest. 

If we all come together, put our bodies on the line in the name of climate justice, we may be able to change the course of history. Please consider joining us on October 11-15 for one day, for the entire week, or for whatever time you can offer.

In solidarity for the protection of Mother Earth and the next seven generations of life,

Dawn Goodwin, RISE Coalition, Stop Line 3

Taysha Martineau, Camp Migizi, Stop Line 3

Winona LaDuke, Honor the Earth, Stop Line 3

Sharon Lavigne, Founder, RISE St. James

John Beard, Jr., Founder and CEO of the Port Arthur Community Action Network

Joye Braun, National Pipelines Organizer with Indigenous Environmental Network

Juan Mancias, Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas

Tasina Sapa Win Smith, Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective

Siqiniq Maupin, Sovereign Inupiat for a Living Arctic 

Crystal Cavalier, Stop MVP Pipeline Organizer, Pueblo Action Alliance Leadership, Tiwa Territories

Pueblo Action Alliance Leadership, Tiwa Territories

Casey Camp-Horinek, Environmental Ambassador, Ponca Nation of Oklahoma 

Cesar Aguirre, Central California Environmental Justice Network

Native Movement Alaska

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Antiracism is a verb

Programming continues as the La Crosse Waking Up White Collaborative welcomes us to examine and pledge action on racism in our community and society and offers opportunities for us to learn how we can actively change the system.

Please visit the website for details. Participate and bring a friend or family member to a discussion or program. Currently, all programming is online only.

Book chats are offered throught the month. These small groups allow for an open dive into specific aspects of the  racism baked into our systems and assumptions. Learn more here.

These programs, open to all, are scheduled for October:

Saturday, October 9 at 4 p.m., Dr.Bee Lo and his wife, Lynette Prieur Lo will share their personal stories of times they have seen racism and white supremacy show its ugly face in our community.  Living as a biracial couple for the past 30 years they have too many stories to share. Dr. Bee will graciously and vulnerably share some of the things he has experienced as the target of racism from white folks toward him as a HMong person. Lynette will share her journey of understanding the racism and white supremacy that lives within her, as well as share stories of the ghastly racist experiences she has witnessed from strangers and loved ones.

Monday, October 11 at 7 p.m., In honor of Indigenous People's Day and National Coming Out Day, Dr. Roger Kuhn, a Poarch Creek Two-Spirit Indigequeer soma-cultural sex therapist and sexuality educator, will speak about, "Returning to Ourselves." Dr. Kuhn's appearance is sponsored by the UWL Pride Center, Rainbow Unity, Transform, and the Native American Student Association.

Friday, October 22 at 3 p.m., attend a panel discussion on diversity and inclusion in theater.

Saturday, October 23 at 2 p.m., Dr. Suthakaran Veerasamy will discuss cultivating cultural empathy to overcome white supremacy thinking.

Saturday, October 30 at 10:30 a.m., join Shaundel Spivey and Jazzma Holland in learning about grass-rooting in a predominantly white community.