Thursday, May 18, 2023

La Crosse Needs an Overnight Bus Route

If we're serious about meeting our climate obligations, we need to reduce car use.  La Crosse’s new Climate Action Plan states that about ⅓ of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions come from vehicle use, and calls for doubling the use of mass transit to 3% of commuters by 2030.
In order to do that we need to make mass transit as accessible as possible for as many people as possible. But for anyone whose workday starts or ends when buses aren't running (between 10 PM and 5 AM on weekdays or 6 PM and 8 AM on weekends), taking the bus in La Crosse isn't an option. That includes many workers in food service/hospitality, retail, 2nd and 3rd shift manufacturing, etc- in other words, many jobs which are already at the low end of wages. Anyone who works late or early has to either live near enough to their workplace to be able to walk, or drive.

Furthermore, if someone owns a car because they need to have one for one reason, they're going to be more likely to use it for other reasons- why bother learning the bus system or walking ten minutes when the car is right there in the driveway?

We need to take away as many factors that force car ownership as possible, and one straightforward way to do that is to provide a mass transit option for every trip. Overnight service for the MTU fills a services gap for people who need it the most.

In addition, reducing night driving reduces the most dangerous driving- even though only about 25% of vehicle miles are at night,* half of traffic fatalities are at night.**

It's not necessary to provide the full route menu as in daytime hours. Buses running north-south routes on an hourly basis would be at least something, if they target the business areas where workers are most likely to need to reach (such as downtown, the Highway 16 retail area, and several warehouse and factory areas) and go through the bulk of residential areas. One possible loop map is presented below.


 * National Household Travel Survey

** National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Overview of Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes in 2021 page 17 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Volunteer at Juneteenth!




The Juneteenth organizers need your help! We all love the wonderful community celebration, but it takes a lot of people to make it happen. Plus, they are working to make this event as green as possible, so they have a supervised bike corral and a non-plastic food court that require some assistants in addition to the regular festival volunteer needs.

If you can help out - you, meaning you and all your friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbors, and community group buddies - please sign up at the link!



Saturday, May 13, 2023

We must stop.

"It's absolutely clear now that we must stop having new oil, new coal, etc. if we're going to have any chance of any livable future. This isn't, by the way, any more about staying below 1.5°C. I work at the University of East Anglia, and the climate scientists I work with are all clear, at least in private, that the 1.5° goal is gone. That kind of brutal truth-telling, we're still not getting. And, even in this terrible situation, where we're going to be going through 1.5°, they're still planning to do more oil and gas.

"So, the point is: what are we all going to do? What is each and every one of us going to do in response to this difficult situation? ... We all have a responsibility now to step up. The world is watching. The future is watching."


What can I do?

* Change personal and family habits: drive less, combine trips, share rides and errands, take the bus or bike, reduce energy use, seal and insulate, upgrade appliances, consider heat pump water heater and furnace, consider e-bike or EV, consider solar panels, eat less or no meat and dairy, don't waste food, quit plastic, ...

* Read La Crosse's Climate Action Plan and the action steps. How can you help make these changes happen? 

* Talk about climate collapse and personal actions to everyone - neighbors, family, colleagues, team members, classmates, fellow community group members. Share what you know and what you are doing. Help and encourage others to make changes.

* Look for ways to make or advocate for changes at your school, workplace, club, organization, faith and/or  community group. Find your power and use your power. 

* Pay attention and get involved with local city, school board, and county planning and budget decisions. Do they include or ignore the climate emergency? Push to make climate action a priority in every official thing.

* Join climate action organizations and groups. Get involved in campaigns to stop fossil fuel expansion like Dairyland Power Co-op's NTEC or Xcel's Wheaton plans.

* Support climate action candidates and push current elected officials to do more faster. We don't have the luxury of waiting. Emissions must be halved from 2005 levels in just 6.5 years.

If we do nothing, it doesn't just go away. It just gets worse. We must stop.

Friday, May 12, 2023

HMOOB American Day Sunday

In 2021, Governor Evers proclaimed May 14 Hmong-Lao Veterans Day in Wisconsin. The Executive Order created an annual event to honor the Hmong children and adults recruited by the American C.I.A. to fight a "secret war" in Vietnam and Laos. In 1975, the Americans ended their decades' long invasion, with the last chaotic airlift of some fighters and some of their family members on May 14, 1975. 

Now, nearly 50 years later, the Hmong veterans and their descendents who have made a home in and infinitely enriched the La Crosse Area are celebrating Hmong American Day at Myrick Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

You're invited to join Cia Siab, Inc. for our HMOOB American Day Celebration at Myrick Park on Sunday, May 14! There will be free food & drinks! Games & prizes for all ages and much more! Come celebrate with us! What could be better?
Tuaj koom Cia Siab, Inc. qhov Hmoob American Day Celebration tim Myrick Park (Phaj Monkey) rau hnub Sunday, May 14! 
Tuaj koom dawb xwb! Yuav muaj zaub mov noj thaib peb yuav npaj kev lom zem rau txhua tus. Tuaj koom peb nawb!

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Community Conversations - Mayor Reynolds

Join La Crosse Interfaith Leaders in an opportunity to hear from Mayor Reynolds about the things he worries about for our future, and how he and his administration are tackling them.

You will also have an opportunity to ask him the questions you have been thinking about.

The program begins at 12 noon Wednesday, May 17 at English Lutheran Church.

Please note - 
Lunch is not provided at the church, but you can certainly feel free to bring  your own lunch.  

if you cannot attend in person, please join on Zoom

Sunday, May 07, 2023

Tuesday - Expand Badgercare

Wisconsin Republicans just denied healthcare to tens of thousands of low-wage workers. Once again, the gerrymandered legislature ignored the opinions of 75% of Wisconsinites and removed BadgerCare Expansion from the governor’s budget. But it’s not over yet. 

Citizens Won’t Budge on BadgerCare, Budget 

Wisconsin’s healthcare coverage gap is perhaps most keenly felt by patients and providers at free clinics across the state. Responding to the Legislature’s decision to deny thousands of Wisconsinites healthcare, Citizen Action will host a News Conference at the St. Clare Health Mission to highlight the local impacts of this decision. Speakers will share stories, explain the risks posed by the Legislature’s decision, and identify opportunities for citizens to support BadgerCare Expansion and the Governor’s budget. 


  • Dr. Robert Kraig, Executive Director, Citizen Action 
  • Jason Larson, Executive Director, St. Clare Health Mission
  • Tina Pohlman, Citizen Action member 

WHENTuesday, May 9, 2023, 10:00 AM

WHERE: St. Clare Health Mission, 916 Ferry St, La Crosse

Please join us at this press conference to show your support for the Citizen Action of Wisconsin's fight for BadgerCare expansion! We will have signs for you to carry.


Friday, May 05, 2023

Garden Season

Grow your own food. You will save money. You will know what's in it. You will reduce carbon emissions. You will be more self-sufficient, happier, and healthier.

The GROW plant sale is today through this weekend. Supporting this sale supports school gardens which helps children learn gardening.

Don't know how? Volunteer at one of the city's community gardens and learn (plus feel better and get some great food). Or, if you're a garden pro, share you knowledge and experience with others.

Kane Street Community Garden - it's huge and diverse and they need your help! If we don't plant it, we can't eat it!

South side "Hope Grows" Neighborhood Victory Gardens - started on 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these neighborhood gardens are run entirely by volunteers. You can walk or bike hear and pick some food for your family. One is at City Hall, one is at 19th & Mississippi, and one is at Aptiv on South Ave. (across from A&W). During road construction, enter Aptive from the back via Castle Drive. Learn more - email or call 608-315-2693.

North side "Seeding a Legacy of Healing" gardens - funded initially by a grant from the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, these gardens--at Logan HS, at Northside Elementary, and at the North Community Library--grow food and help kids learn how to do it. 

GROW school gardens - these are also neighborhood gardens and neighborhood members can help keep them going during summer. Sign up through GROW.

Part of a day's harvest from Aptiv Victory Garden. September, 2022.

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

Review the Chapters


Monday, May 01, 2023

Bike Month NOW


It's not a toy. It's not recreational equipment. It's the most efficient mode of transportation known to man. It emits no greenhouse gases, it makes no loud noises, it's fun, and it will improve your health. It should be most people's preferred mode of transportation.

Is it safe? That is up to us. Will we continue to let electeds and planners prioritize cars over people or not? 

Cartoon by the genius Andy Singer of a planner showing a map to an audience where the car drivers have a direct route from A to B, but the bike riders have to ride a much longer route with many turns and twists to get to the same point.We want a grid of protected bike lanes and bike priority streets with direct routes to places people and families want to go. 

We want bike boxes, protected intersections, non-vanishing bike lanes, and other safety features at intersections and roundabouts so bicyclists have priority and don't have to worry about a driver not seeing them. 

We want to feel comfortable biking with our kids and grandkids, or sending them on their own bikes, to school or the park or library. 

We want covered, secure bike parking near to shops, workplaces, schools, services, and high density apartments so we don't have to worry about our bikes being vandalized or stolen.

We want employers to pay us for biking to work - the equivalent, in cash, of any parking benefit they provide to driving employees.

We want better enforcement of traffic laws so car drivers who cut us off at a corner, use their car as a weapon, or yell or throw stuff at us while we are legally riding our bikes on the street will be sanctioned and pay a penalty.

We want what they have in Copenhagen, Netherlands, Bogota, Paris, and other places where a high percentage of the population ride their bikes for everyday travel.

And we want it now.


Watch this space for a few community bike rides and audits and an announcement of a summer video challenge!