Sunday, October 02, 2022

OctVOTERfest! October 6

 


Voting is essential for a vibrant democracy.  Please attend and promote this FREE nonpartisan local event.  

There will be FREE food, bounce house, live music plus help for folks to get birth certificates, IDs, certificates of citizenship , etc. for voting and help with transportation to the polls.

OctVOTERfest
Date: October 6
Time: 3 to 7 p.m.
Location: Copeland Park shelter

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CP says, This might be your last chance to vote in a real election. Democracy or fascism? USA or Gilead? Climate action or burn in hell? Speaker Trump? You decide.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Goin' Solar!

 


Sign up (free) to visit six solar installations in the Village of Trempealeau between 10:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2. The cost to install solar continues to fall and current and coming credits and incentives can reduce the costs even further, making the payback window shorter, not to mention carbon emissions, lower.

Now is the time to learn about solar systems from those who own them and consider signing up for an assessment or make an appointment for a 2023 installation. 

The 2022 in-person and virtual National Solar Tour brought to you by the American Solar Energy Society is the largest grassroots solar,renewable energy and sustainable living event in the nation. The National Solar Tour will occur October1-2, showing a collection of solar sites and local solar tours around the country.

Support Black Student Leaders!!

 


Sunday, September 25, 2022

Vets for Peace coming

 

Vets For Peace Golden Rule Project is a National Project of Veterans For Peace

We aim to advance Veterans For Peace opposition to nuclear weapons and war, and to do so in a dramatic fashion. We have recovered and restored the original peace boat, the Golden Rule, that set sail in 1958 to stop nuclear testing in the atmosphere, and which inspired many peace makers and peace ships that followed. The restored Golden Rule is voyaging once more, to show that a nuclear peace is possible, and that bravery and tenacity can overcome militarism.

On October 5, the Golden Rule will arrive in La Crosse. You are invited to greet the vets and participate by joining them at one or more events.

From 10:30 a.m. to noon, Meet the crew at Riverside Park.

12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Official welcome and proclamation by the Mayor; presentation about the boat's mission.

5:30 to 7:00 p.m., Presentation on the dangers of nuclear war at Pearl Street Books.

Learn more: http://www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org/

Drive/Ride/Bus Electric TODAY!


Electric car drivers, e-bike riders, solar installers, supporters, and interested local residents are invited to La Crosse's Ask Me About My EV event today from 1 to 4 in Copeland Park to highlight the climate, clean air, and cost savings benefits provided by electric cars and bikes as part of the 12th annual National Drive Electric Week.

The twelfth annual National Drive Electric Week, a coast-to-coast celebration of electric vehicles (EVs), will be held September 23–October 2.

The La Crosse event included more than a dozen plug-in electric cars, several e-bikes, solar installers discussing the benefits of powering your vehicle with the sun, and groups and agencies providing information about EVs, renewable energy, and climate action.

EVs are less expensive than people think, and they drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At this event there will be older EVs bought used, newer EVs, electric bikes, and even the MTU's e-bus. All these vehicles are less polluting, economical to run, and incredibly fun, efficient and convenient to drive and ride.

There are more than 1.5 million EVs on the road in the United States, and a recent survey by Consumer Reports and the Union of Concerned Scientists showed that more than 60% of prospective car buyers in the U.S. are interested in electric vehicles. Consumer Reports has also found that the cost to own and operate an EV over its lifetime is about half the cost compared to a fossil fueled vehicle.

With more than 40 models available in the U.S. at a wide range of price points, and with new credits and discounts coming next year thanks to the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, more families will be able to make the switch.

If you can install solar, you'll be able to power your rides with clean, renewable energy. The MTU's electric buses will soon be fueled by electricity generated by waste water treatment plant gases.

Robbie Young, who owns Coulee Bicycle Company, is bringing several electric bikes to show. “We see electric bikes as the transportation solution of today. Electric cargo bikes and family bikes do 90% of what a truck or suv does and costs only a fraction to buy, power, maintain. Kids transported by bike learn their city better than those who ride in cars. They're healthier and happier,” he said.

Local and state supporters of this event include the City of La Crosse, the Coulee Region Sierra Club, the Electric Vehicle Association-Wisconsin Chapter, RENEW Wisconsin, Western Technical College, Wisconsin Clean Cities, and Xcel Energy.

NDEW is presented by national organizers Plug In America, the Electric Auto Association, the Sierra Club, and EVHybridNoire. Nissan LEAF® is the exclusive automotive sponsor of NDEW 2021 and Wells Fargo is the exclusive banking sponsor of NDEW 2022. ClipperCreek and Electrify America are silver level sponsors. Edison International and Enel X are bronze level sponsors. IBEW 11 is a green level sponsor.

For more information about La Crosse Drive Electric Week, visit: https://driveelectricweek.org/event?eventid=3360

For a complete list of National Drive Electric Week events, visit: DriveElectricWeek.org

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

La Crosse Hmong New Year

 


The Hmoob Cultural & Community Agency and Hmong Community cordially invite you, your family and friends to join us in celebrating our New Year Festival.

Day Events:
-Traditional Ball Tossing
-Cultural Performances
-Food & Clothing Booths
-Sports Tournaments
and much more...

ADMISSION FEE: $5.00/PER PERSON
(Free Parking)
Free Admission for Seniors 65+ and children under age 5

NIGHT EVENT from 6pm to Midnight
at the La Crosse Center, 300 Harborview Plaza

ADMISSION FEE: $15/PER PERSON AT THE DOOR, $10.00/PER PERSON IN ADVANCE-PRESALE ONLY AT FESTIVEL GROUND ON SATURDAY!

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Change or die

Recent articles about fast approaching climate "tipping points" make the need to make immediate changes even more important.

Change how?

For one thing, we have to stop transportation emissions

That means quit driving. Not kidding. Most transportation emissions, more than any other sector, come from cars and light trucks. That's us. That's our weekend rides in the countryside, our summer camper road trip to visit the national parks, our flying about the countryside to visit the grandkids, our daily 20 mile commute, alone, in our fossil fuel car. We can do things differently and we must.

This Thursday, World Car Free Day, the MTU will offer free fares all day. Take advantage. La Crosse Area Transit Advocates offers Ride with a Guide training for new bus riders. Use this opportunity to make a change in your habits.

Yes, you can take some long distance trips without flying or driving. Buses and trains can get you to many places. Buses are going electric. Train service in our area will soon double.

Ride your bike or walk (most U.S. daily trips are under 3 miles). Push our city to increase its density and stop permitting developments with no services on the outskirts of town. Vote no on the school district's ridiculous plan to make high school students and their families drive hundreds more miles per year to get to school.

If you have to drive, get and share an electric car. Used ones are affordable for many. The costs to own and operate are much less. You will not be burnng fossil fuels. 

Come to the EV show with car and bike owners telling about their experiences and learn about how the inflation Reduction Act (IRA) can help you switch in 2023.

The IRA has many incentives, rebates, and credits for transportation, installing renewables, and reducing energy use by insulating and sealing buildings. An overview of benefits is here. Plan now to take advantage of these programs.

We are at the cliff's edge. Do what you can do as quickly as you can do it.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Get ready to VOTE!

 

September 20 is National Voter Registration Day, "a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy. First observed in 2012, it has quickly gained momentum ever since. Nearly 4.7 million voters have registered to vote on the holiday to date."

Nationally, up to 25% of those eligible are not registered to vote. This holiday intends to change that.

In Wisconsin, while Republicans have restricted voting access with harsh voter ID rules and more recent changes to absentee voting and ballot return procedures, we are still able to register up until election day. But, registering before election day is less hectic and gives you more time to make sure you have the right registration documents with you.

The League of Women Voters of the La Crosse Area will be at the La Crosse Public Library, 800 Main Street, on Tuesday, September 20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to register voters and provide more information about voting. If you need to register because you're a new voter, or if you need to update your registration because of a change of name  or address, here's your chance. If your friend, child, colleague or neighbor needs to register, offer to take them.

You can check your registration status at MyVote.WI.gov and learn what ID you need for registration and voting  at https://elections.wi.gov/Register.

Register. Learn. Vote.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Planned Parenthood - your help needed

From Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin:

We are hitting the streets and knocking on our neighbors' doors to talk about what's at stake with reproductive rights in Wisconsin in the upcoming November election. Can you pitch in? 

Our door-to-door Canvassing has been a fun opportunity to have meaningful conversations with supportive voters in our community. No previous experience is required; training is provided before the start of each canvass and there is also a virtual canvass training tonight (and again next Thursday night) at 6 p.m. 

Links to register for upcoming canvasses and virtual canvass training sessions are below, please feel free to forward this email to your personal contacts or share these links on social media! 






Sunday, September 11, 2022

Public participation time

There are several opportunities for us to participate in developing important plans for our community. Please take advantage if you can. If you can't attend specific meetings, you can always read the documents published for comment, and feed back via online forms or by emailing the appropriate departments and council members.

1. Every second Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., the city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meets online to discuss improvements and plans for bike and ped infrastructure and policies. Often, this is a very important first step in pushing for protected bike lanes, improved sidewalks, better connections, safer intersections, and more. Check the agendas at their city web page. Read the September 13 agenda here.

2. A  Public Hearing regarding the Housing Authority of the City of La Crosse’s, PHA 2023 Annual Plan and the Five-Year 2023-2027 Capital Fund Program Plan is scheduled for Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. at Ping Manor, 1311 Badger Street.

The Public Hearing will be held for the following purpose:

Provide an opportunity for residents of the City of La Crosse, including LHA Residents and Non-Residents, to express their comments regarding LHA’s proposed PHA 2023 Annual Plan and the Five-Year 2023-2027 Capital Fund Program Plan.

Draft copies are available for review at the Housing Authority website www.lacrossehousing.org, as well as at the Administrative Office, located at 1307 Badger Street, La Crosse, WI 54601. Office hours are from 9:00 a.m. to Noon and 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Written comments will be considered until October 1, 2022 at 8:00 a.m. CST.

The Housing Authority of the City of La Crosse will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, familial status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. 

Equal Housing Opportunity: info@lacrossehousing.org

3. The City of La Crosse is updating Confluence, the City of La Crosse’s Comprehensive Plan via Forward La Crosse, a campaign to encourage public involvement in the planning process. The deadline to participate has been extended to September 30, 2022. 

There are FIVE WAYS to participate: 

BONUS: Take and post photos of your favorite (or least favorite) things in La Crosse and tag Forward La Crosse on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter utilizing the hashtag #MoveForwardLaCrosse and be entered in a prize drawing. Four participants will be randomly selected to receive a $25 Gift Card from Downtown Mainstreet Inc. valid at over 75 local businesses.

4. Have you read and commented on the city's Climate Action Plan yet? We are going to need a lot of people to understand why this plan is needed and to push for its adoption later this year. If you haven't read it yet, please do it this week!!

5. The La Crosse School District is planning an expensive change that will disadvantage many low-income and non-drivers families, increasing school-related vehicle miles traveled while the city is planning ways to reduce them. You may wish to attend their focus group sessions which are not opportunities for public input, but rather exercises in frustration for people who don't want this plan and so want some answers. (In fact, there have never been real public input sessions.) In this case, your participation is needed to ensure your family, neighbors, co-workers and others understand that this is important and should not be just a public rubber stamp of a bad plan that needs to go back to the drawing board. Email for more details.

On a related note, the City of La Crosse is finalizing its budget plan with no public input planned until the plan is complete. What good will it be to have input when you are finished? Public input may drive proposals for amendments, but with such an intricate plan, where changing one small thing here may unravel another important thing there, chances of those changes passing are relatively small.

If you sincerely want public input, it seems much better to offer those opportunities at the beginning of the process, not at the end. Put the bathroom in the floor plans, don't wait until the house is built and then stuff a forgotten bathroom into a closet.

If you know more about how city budgets work and could provide a post with some insight into this backward system and how best to make needed changes through public input, please email couleeprogressive at hotmail. 

Friday, September 09, 2022

Pride moves to Logan HS

Because of the rain forecast for Saturday, Pridefest will be held at Logan HS instead of Riverside Park.

+++

On Thursday, the climate emergency resolution passed and the "conversion therapy" ban passed. Please thank the good council members for standing strong. And please consider running for council to retire those who opposed.

These are the council members who voted against and are up for reelection in April 2023. Nomination papers will be due in early 2023. Who will run against them?

CORRECTION District 1, Andrea Richmond (abstained on ban, no YES on climate emergency) The official vote is not yet reported. The unofficial information I received was incorrect. Corrected now. Still, abstain on the ban?

District 2, Scott Neumeister

District 3, Barb Janssen

The terms for two other no voters, District 9, Woodard, and District 12, Happel, are not up until 2025.










Tuesday, September 06, 2022

TAKE FIVE MINUTES - CLIMATE EMERGENCY RESOLUTION!

 

PLEASE TAKE FIVE MINUTES RIGHT NOW to email zzcouncilmembers@cityoflacrosse.org, cityclerk@cityoflacrosse.org, and reynoldsm@cityoflacrosse.org in support of #22-0977: Resolution declaring a climate emergency, committing to policies that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and accelerating the clean energy transition, and supporting intergovernmental cooperation to reduced GHG emissions.

The original resolution, introduced in July, was withdrawn to be rewritten when some council members expressed concern that naming fossil fuels would offend some people. The new version replaces "fossil fuels," with "greenhouse gas emissions." You can read the two versions here at the cityoflacrosse.legistar.com web page.

Still, at the August 30 J&A committee meeting, there were council members indicating they would not support the resolution. Only two of us spoke/registered in favor of the resolution!

WE NEED CLIMATE ACTIVISTS to spend a measly five minutes TODAY to email council members (and the clerk so your support letter will be part of the record) to get this resolution passed. If we cannot pass a "words" resolution, how will we ever pass the "deeds" recommended in the climate action plan later this year?

You can call council members and email them. Your email doesn't have to be long. Just say, I hope you will support the climate emergency resolution. We are in an emergency and need to recommit to taking real action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible. Or something like that.

For more information about the global effort to declare a climate emergency, please see Climate Emergency Declaration and UN Facts about the climate emergency.

PLEASE SHARE WITH OTHERS.

Thursday, September 01, 2022

If a tree falls ...

If COVID-19 is still spreading and killing around the country, but people are "tired of it," does it matter?

It's September 1, 2022, and COVID community transmission levels are HIGH throughout most of the state, yet you would never know it by the minuscule number of people wearing masks in our community and the number of crowded, unmasked, in-person events.

WTF?

Following the right people on Twitter has helped me understand the complete and total failure of national health agencies, both under TFG and during the current administration, to effectively lead on this health crisis.

You may have noticed that suddenly things are better. One reason, as explained by Dr. Eric Topol

... the CDC continue to push a contrived metric which they call “community level” to “know your risk for serious illness”. As defined by the CDC website, this “is determined by the higher of the new admissions and inpatient beds metrics, based on the current level of new cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days”. This is not appropriate guidance since Americans would be rightfully concerned about getting infected, not stressing hospital resources in their community. The right United States map, is the “community transmission” which simply reflects the number of confirmed cases in the past seven days per region.

But, hey, it's like the flu, right? Except it isn't. COVID-19 can cause severe and expensive long-term health problems including

New studies show that up to 50 percent of people infected with COVID end up with long COVID. And that's if you don't die from it. While no longer making headlines, the average COVID death rate in the US is about 400 per day (and some days, like August 31, 1,518 deaths, much higher) and that includes vaccinated and boosted individuals.

As school starts again, in "back to normal" mode, COVID infections will put children, school staff, and families at risk. There are many, with conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious health effects, who will be endangered by lax policies. The consequences for children who may end up with long COVID may mean health and financial issues in the future.

We can reduce the opportunities for spread and further mutation by being diligent about masking with high quality N/KN95 masks and replacing in-person indoor events with remote or outdoor events where possible. Unfortunately, the crazies have cowed health officials into silence. So, it's up to individuals and families. 

Get vaccinated, wear a mask, encourage others to do, push for better public policies.


Saturday, August 27, 2022

Declare Emergency/Ban "Conversion Therapy"

The City of La Crosse Common Council Administration and Personnel Committee will discuss two very important resolutions, both returning for consideration after being pulled earlier this summer. The meeting wil be held on Tuesday, August 30 at 6 p.m. in person at the Council Chambers of City Hall and online via LifeSize. See below for attendance information.

First: The council will take up a rewritten ban on so-called conversion therapy, "any attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression." See the previous post for more information. We need people to support this ban. More details about how, below. This is item #22-0636: AN AMENDED ORDINANCE to create Sec. 32-191 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of La Crosse prohibiting Conversion Therapy. (Note: The Committee and/or Council may convene in closed session) The sponsor is Council Member Kiel.

Second: The rewritten climate emergency resolution which was pulled from consideration in July after some people were worried that saying "fossil fuels" in a resolution recognizing the emergency need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (which result mostly from burning fossil fuels) might turn some people off. Links to both versions can be seen here

Thirty-nine countries and thousands of municipalities around the world have already declared a climate emergency to draw attention to the existential threat of using fossil fuels. 

This is item # 22-0977:  Resolution declaring a climate emergency, committing to policies that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and accelerating the clean energy transition, and supporting intergovernmental cooperation to reduced GHG emissions. The legislation is sponsored by Council Member Mindel.

We need people to attend this meeting in person or online--being there is better--in order to urge passage of both the ban ordinance and the climate emergency resolution.

This meeting is open for in-person attendance and will also be conducted through video conferencing. The meeting can be viewed by typing the URL in your web browser address bar:

https://stream.lifesizecloud.com/extension/1271327/e7506959-fe5d-44ac-805c-9016fb33bd90

Agenda items approved for public hearing by the committee are open to public comment. If you wish to speak ona n agenda item, arrive early to sign up before the meeting begins. If attending virtually and you wish to speak, contact the City Clerk at the email or phone number below so we can provide you with information to join.

Members of the public who would like to provide written comments on any agenda may do so by emailing cityclerk@cityoflacrosse.org or using a drop box outside of City Hall. Questions, call 608-789-7510. 

For each agenda item, time per side (pro and con) is limited to 15 minutes each, with individual spoken testimony limited to three minutes, so, be succinct if you plan to speak. Emailing comments is recommended, whether or not to plan to speak.


Thursday, August 25, 2022

Tonight - Conversion Therapy

 


In June, the La Crosse city council passed a resolution banning the practice called "conversion therapy." This is a dangerous and debunked practice that attempts to change a person's sexual orientation. Unfortunately, due to legal concerns, the original ban was rescinded so that language could be refined. The new version will be back before the Judiciary and Administration Committee on Tuesday, August 30, before going back to the City Council for another vote on September 8.

Complicating matters is a new threat by a right-wing law firm to sue if a ban is enacted. While 26 states have similar bans or limits, the Wisconsin MINjority Republican legislature is fighting with the majority-elected governor over the issue. In March 2021, after the State Department of Safety and Professional Standards adopted a rule to prohibit the harmful practice, the Wisconsin legislature maneuvered to protect it. In June 2021, Governor Evers signed an executive order banning the use of state and federal funds from being used in conversion therapy for minors. But, the order does not make the practice illegal, so several Wisconsin cities are taking the next step on their own. (Such bans are supported by the American Society for Suicide Prevention.)

The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection is hosting a  discussion about conversion (“reparative”) therapy with a panel of medical experts, mental health professionals, and religious leaders on Thursday, August 25th at 7:00 p.m. at English Lutheran Church, 16th and King. 

The events is FREE, but please get tickets in advance to help 0rogram planning. Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Cia Siab event Friday

 

Please support this great local resource however you can! Donations are always welcomed and volunteers are useful, too! 

Friday, August 19, 2022

IRA and You

From Climate Action Tracker

Not the Irish Republican Army or an Individual Retirement Account, or the Green New Deal, the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law last week, is an investment in clean energy, energy savings, and transitioning from fossil fuels.

While there's a huge list of things left out of the bill, including disturbing give-aways to the fossil fuel industry, there are many big programs that will help reduce carbon emissions, and, these days, that has to be the main concern. The counter-productive fossil fuel gimmes may not matter as much as feared as more switch to increasingly cheaper renewables.

For regular people, according to this Fast company summary:

close
One key part of the new law is a set of rebates aimed at low- and moderate-income households. Households making between 80% and 150% of the area median income can get back half of the cost of specific energy upgrades, while those making less than 80% of the median income can be fully rebated, up to a certain cap. The incentives include:
  • Up to $8,000 for a heat pump for heating and cooling
  • Up to $4,000 to upgrade your electrical panel (to prepare for an all-electric home)
  • Up to $2,500 for new wiring
  • Up to $1,750 for a heat pump water heater
  • Up to $1,600 for insulation, air sealing, and ventilation
  • Up to $840 for an electric stove, oven, or an electric heat pump dryer
On the transportation front, some credits for purchasing electric cars (even used cars) have been expanded and extended, but credits for eBIKES are nowhere to be found. This is a terrible omission, but, depending on the outcome of the November election, it could be fixed. And, local or state-level incentives could fill the gaps for a time.

Support for cleaner mass and active transit was included in the bill, including access and equity grants for improving walking and biking infrastructure.

As more details emerge and experts figure out who is eligible for what IRA benefits, communities like La Crosse are moving forward with plans to reduce our own  community carbon emissions. 

The draft Climate Action Plan is now ready for public review and comment. If you haven't yet read through it, please do. It's possible that action steps identified in that document will be made easier by the new IRA.

Between now and election day, we can move forward by
  • Reading, commenting on, and supporting the La Crosse Climate Action Plan;
  • Learning what incentives you can use to reduce your energy use and replace carbon-high appliances and vehicles with carbon-low (a great first step is getting a Focus on Energy Home Energy Assessment);
  • Joining with others to highlight and educate about why everyone needs to participate in this process;
  • Working like there's no tomorrow to elect people to office who deeply believe that climate collapse must be our top priority.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

August 18 - Black Student Leaders fundraiser

Here's another chance to help BSL raise funds for back-to-school gift cards. 

Yummy bbq dinner for $20 OR a donated gift card on Thursday between 11 and 7 at 231 Copeland Avenue. 

If you can't attend, you can donate at https://bree90842.wixsite.com/bls-lacrosse

TODAY! Speak up for better biking

Ru-posting this important opportunity to make biking and walking better:

Here is your chance to have a say in what things might look like in La Crosse about twenty years from now, specifically, how we are going to get around (whether or not cars will continue to be our overlords).

Please attend and boldly give your opinions about what must happen in the future. Please don't be meek or incremental. Please know that we must stop (not just we but WE ALL) driving cars around. Gas-powered cars are awful for carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions, but all cars are awful for plastic particles from tires, space and resources for car roads and storage, and safety of people not in cars.

Before you go, get riled up that other places can have nice things like

but we have to have smelly, noisy, dangerous, Earth-killing cars roaming at will around every inch of our downtown, neighborhoods, schools, parks, and shopping areas. Aliens looking down at our community would think that the humans live in prisons surrounded by car-guards. Not only do they encircle almost every abode, but we give over huge plots of valuable space to their storage (most cars sit idle up to 95% of the day!) and feeding. We have to beg for them to stop for us to walk or bike across a street. They have forbidden us from using the streets, unless we get special permits, for anything but driving (and, supposedly, cycling, but most people don't see it that way from my experience).

We need a whole new way of looking at where we live in relation to where we get food, medical care, entertainment, services and education. We need a whole new way of valuing transportation that is healthy, least polluting, less dangerous, and more sustainable. We need to plan for that right now. The special public input sessions on August 16 are a way to do that. Please attend if you can.

On August 16 there will be two opportunities to weigh in on the La Crosse comprehensive plan for 2040 with respect to bicycle and pedestrian (and transit) issues. Please plan to attend and give your opinions on what changes we will need to see in La Crosse to make life better, easier, and more accessible for those who choose to move around without a car.

You may attend either session in person or online (see access information below):

* From NOON to 1 p.m. at the Southside Neighborhood Center (1300 6th Street South) 

* From 5 to 6 p.m. at the Black River Beach Center (1433 Rose Street),   

To attend online, join the meeting: https://call.lifesizecloud.com/4796124 OR call this number (you will only be able to listen if you call in, not speak): 877-422-8614  meeting 4796124#.

City of La Crosse Comprehensive Plan 2040

Bicycle

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Draft Climate Action Plan

 


After several months of meetings, discussions, research, and more meetings, the City of La Crosse Climate Action Plan team and consultant paleBLUEdot have published the draft climate action plan for public review and input. Public input sessions will be coming this fall. For now, please read and comment.

La Crosse Wants Your Input
on the Draft Climate Action Plan!

In 2019, the City of La Crosse Common Council passed a resolution which set a goal of reaching carbon neutrality community wide, in both energy and transportation by 2050.  

In August 2021, the City engaged paleBLUEdot for the development of its first Climate Action Plan outlining strategies and actions to support achieving its climate goals.  The City of La Crosse has been working over the last year in collaboration with the Climate Action Planning Team made up of a wide range of community members.

The Draft Plan is now available and needs your input.

You can review the City’s Draft Climate Action Plan on the plan’s website. Please share this review opportunity with your neighbors, friends, and family.  

Find the Draft Plan here:

https://www.lacrosseclimateactionplan.org/draft-plan  


Tuesday, August 09, 2022

School district meetings

 

In spring 2021 the La Crosse School District' superintendent, Dr. Aaron Engel, invited community members to "public input" meetings about the future of La Crosse schools. At those sessions, the props for an input session were present but it was pretty clear from the presentation and lack of answers that the decisions had already been made. Neighborhood schools would close and lots of money would be requested for a new high school waaaaay on the southside of town, far from homes, shops, restaurants, and after school jobs. This was bad. Really bad.

Questions about transportation came up. How many students would lose the ability to walk or bike to school? How were families without cars supposed to get to parent-teacher conferences? How many more teens would be expected to drive to school so they could get to their after-school jobs? How would all this new driving affect transportation greenhouse gas emissions? What conversations had been held with low-income families? What other options had been considered? How did staff feel about these plans?

Crickets.

And still, more than a year later, the only response has been that the state does not give the school districts enough money. Nothing about equity, transportation problems, climate consequences, safety concerns. 

After those initial meetings, there have been two push-poll surveys and other meetings where legitimate questions were, again, not answered.

The one answer Dr. Engel did give was why he had chosen the Trane administration building site. We don't need a site the size of Mayberry for a high school. But we do if there's going to be a giant redundant sports complex and huge parking lot.

To make matters worse, the school board seems to have  hidden behind a system of doing business that gives almost total control of everything to the superintendent. They set broad goals and he does what he wants with annual reviews to see if he's meeting those goals. The goal categories need updating (there's nothing, for example about the district's responsibility to our community and its students to operate in a way that reduces carbon emissions and transitions to renewable energy). And rules that allow for board intervention and more frequent assessments are, it seems, being ignored.

There's more, too, as staff protest pitiful inadequate raises and one school board member has resigned. As the city rolls out its draft climate action plan, it's clear that the school district's plans will make the commumity carbon reduction goals harder to achieve. Staff have not been listened to. Parents who want to bike with their kids to school have not been listened to. Families who don't drive have not been listened to.

More meetings are being planned, including at least one neighborhood meeting (at 6 p.m. on August 23 hosted by Logan Northside Neighborhood at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1010 Sill St), between now and November 8 when a nearly $200 million referendum will go before the voters. Don't expect to get answers or have anything change. The fix has been in from the start. But please go anyway and keep asking for answers. There are many reasons to oppose this plan. I think it needs to be withdrawn for now until real public input can be included.

8/11: Fundraiser for Black Student Leaders

 

Black Student Leaders needs your help! The BSL need to raise $7800 in gift cards or cash to help send local teens back to school with confidence and style.

Please support their fundraiser by sharing this post and stopping by 231 Copeland Avenue this Thursday 8/11/22 for some yummy barbecue! 11:00 am - 7:00 pm!! Thanks


VOTE TUESDAY

VOTE TODAY

Sunday, August 07, 2022

August 16 = our future in your hands

Here is your chance to have a say in what things might look like in La Crosse about twenty years from now, specifically, how we are going to get around (whether or not cars will continue to be our overlords).

Please attend and boldly give your opinions about what must happen in the future. Please don't be meek or incremental. Please know that we must stop (not just we but WE ALL) driving cars around. Gas-powered cars are awful for carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions, but all cars are awful for plastic particles from tires, space and resources for car roads and storage, and safety of people not in cars.

Before you go, get riled up that other places can have nice things like

but we have to have smelly, noisy, dangerous, Earth-killing cars roaming at will around every inch of our downtown, neighborhoods, schools, parks, and shopping areas. Aliens looking down at our community would think that the humans live in prisons surrounded by car-guards. Not only do they encircle almost every abode, but we give over huge plots of valuable space to their storage (most cars sit idle up to 95% of the day!) and feeding. We have to beg for them to stop for us to walk or bike across a street. They have forbidden us from using the streets, unless we get special permits, for anything but driving (and, supposedly, cycling, but most people don't see it that way from my experience).

We need a whole new way of looking at where we live in relation to where we get food, medical care, entertainment, services and education. We need a whole new way of valuing transportation that is healthy, least polluting, less dangerous, and more sustainable. We need to plan for that right now. The special public input sessions on August 16 are a way to do that. Please attend if you can.

On August 16 there will be two opportunities to weigh in on the La Crosse comprehensive plan for 2040 with respect to bicycle and pedestrian (and transit) issues. Please plan to attend and give your opinions on what changes we will need to see in La Crosse to make life better, easier, and more accessible for those who choose to move around without a car.

You may attend either session in person or online (see access information below):

* From NOON to 1 p.m. at the Southside Neighborhood Center (1300 6th Street South) 

* From 5 to 6 p.m. at the Black River Beach Center (1433 Rose Street),   

To attend online, join the meeting: https://call.lifesizecloud.com/4796124 OR call this number (you will only be able to listen if you call in, not speak): 877-422-8614  meeting 4796124#.

City of La Crosse Comprehensive Plan 2040

Bicycle and Pedestrian Issues Focus Meeting

(Hosted by the City of La Crosse Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee)

AGENDA

Introduction and Overview of the Comprehensive Plan

  • What is a Comprehensive Plan?

  • How the La Crosse Comprehensive Plan 2040 is being developed

  • How walking and biking issues and priorities in La Crosse connect with the Comprehensive Plan

Discussion Questions

  • What do you like about walking or biking in La Crosse? What works well? What are some of the city’s key assets or advantages for walking or biking?

  • What do you not like walking or biking in La Crosse? What are some things that don’t work well? What are some problems or issues?

  • How should we make things better? What ideas do you have for improving walking or biking in La Crosse?

Next Steps

  • How to contribute additional ideas and comments for the plan

  • Plan website and surveys: https://forwardlacrosse.org (new walk- and bike-oriented survey available after our session of August 16)

  • Questions, other items?