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AUGUST 2013 | VOLUME 13, NO. 8

the free press A






The Best of

LACROSSE • Mayor Tim calls

a timeout

[P. 9] • A chat with the


Irishfest founder

[P. 13] • Advice for this

year's freshmen

[P. 15] • Folk music still


difficult to define [P. 19]


2 // August 1, 2013

Second Supper | The Free Press

Second Supper | The Free Press


the free press

The Top

Second Supper Newspaper P.O. Box 427 La Crosse, WI 54601

Rejected Best of La Crosse categories 1. Electronic billboard 2. Middle school football team 3. Rail liquor selection 4. Parking ramp 5. Internet troll 6. Graffiti artist 7. Kwik Trip Underappreciated Bests 1. Pete Best 2. Milwaukee’s Best 3. “Best In Show” 4. Best Western 5. Best Coast 6. Best Buy 7. "My Best Friend's Girl"

Publisher: Roger Bartel Editor in Chief: Adam Bissen Cover and Ad Design: Jenn Bushman Regular Contributors: Amy Alkon, Andrew Chulyk, Marcel Dunn, Brett Emerson, Shuggypop Jackson, Jonathan Majak, Matt Jones, Dean Robbins, Kevin Sommerfeld, Nate Willer Contact Us: 608.782.7001 or 262.521.8144 Online: Second Supper is a monthly alternative newspaper published by Bartanese Enterprises LLC, P.O. Box 427, La Crosse, WI 54601

Thank You

Coulee Region for voting Altra Federal Credit Union as

Best Financial Institution four years in a row!

Isn’t it time you switched? 608.787.4500 | Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender. Contact Altra for membership eligibility.

for voting the People’s Food Co-op Best Deli!

August 1, 2013 // 3

4 // August 1, 2013


Social Networking

Second Supper | The Free Press


New Taste of India

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE? Pedestrians and bicyclists who are unable to grasp the physics of an automobile, or local bands who do not promote their shows even though I have made posters and handouts for them.

1812 Jackson St., La Crosse 608.782.8133

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING? "Welcome To The Music Business: You're F*cked", Martin Atkins TELL US YOUR GUILTIEST PLEASURE: Sleep. I feel really guilty when I waste time sleeping.

Now open 7 days a week

Lunch buffet 11a-3p | Happy hour 3-5p | Dinner 5-10p Free delivery 5-9 pm NAME AND AGE: Steve Harm , 49 WHERE WERE YOU BORN? La Crosse CURRENT JOB: Talent buyer/postermaker/band psychiatrist @ Warehouse

New Taste of India

New Taste of India

New Taste of India




Buy 1 regular priced menu item, receive the 2nd for 1/2 off of equal or lesser value. Dine-in only.

Your purchase of $30 or more. One coupon per table. Dine-in only.

Takeout orders. One coupon per visit.

Expires 12/31/13

Expires 12/31/13

Expires 12/31/13

Regular menu items only.

Save $1 off our buffet with college ID

DREAM JOB: My current job with more staff, or international photojournalist. LAST THING YOU GOOGLED: Wisconsin Commercial Foreclosure Laws IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD IT BE? London. I guess I answered it as if it was where in the world BESIDES La Crosse. I am fine right here. La Crosse is close enough to Minneapolis, Madison, Chicago. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE: Spend a month in Europe, and sleep a LOT. WHAT IS YOUR BEVERAGE OF CHOICE? I just love an ice cold water, or a chocolate malt. NOT A SHAKE.

TELL US A JOKE: Did you hear about the new restaurant on the moon? Great food. No atmosphere. IF A GENIE GRANTED YOU ONE WISH, WHAT WOULD YOU ASK FOR? To have my debts paid off and be able to continue what I do. WHAT ONE PERSON ALIVE OR DEAD WOULD YOU WANT TO HAVE DINNER WITH? I think Dean Martin would be a blast to have dinner with. FIRST CONCERT YOU WENT TO: Journey/Van Halen at the Mary E. Sawyer Auditorium in La Crosse, 1978, $6.50. WHAT'S THE LAST THING YOU BOUGHT? Show posters for Letlive. WHAT'S IN YOUR POCKET RIGHT NOW?: Wallet, 7¢, mini-Sharpie, two microphone alcohol wipes and a mystery phone number (Should I call it?). — Compiled by Shuggypop Jackson,

Second Supper | The Free Press


Editor’s Note: Our fourth annual Best of La Crosse contest drew approximately 1,775 voters, all through our website ( We would like to thank the voters, as well as the many local businesses that advertised in this issue, for their support of the free press in La Crosse. Winners in the music division will be announced in our October edition.


1. Freight House (22 percent) 2. The Waterfront (21 percent) 3. Digger’s Sting (20 percent) 3. Kate’s on State (20 percent) Supper says: Come for the fat slices of prime rib, stay for another bottle from their exemplary wine cellar. When it comes to fine dining in La Crosse, options are expanding and passions are divided (look at those razor-thin vote totals!), but this year’s favorite option is the beloved Freight House. It’s the perfect place to savor a long evening with that special someone. For example: College students, feel free to mention this award-winner to your visiting parents or grandparents. Voters say: Le Chateau garnered several comments, including, “It’s like eating in Paris,” in the category that drew more and longer (we hear you, 4 Sisters fan) comments, than any other.

Pizza - Restaurant

1. Pizza Amore (30 percent) 2. Big Al’s (28 percent) 3. Edwardo’s (13 percent) 3. T-Jo’s (13 percent) Supper says: Whether you’re a traditionalist or looking to try something unique, Kate and her crew whip up gourmet pizza perfection every time, in a softly-lit atmosphere that’s modish, but not at all stuffy. The freshest toppings coupled with homemade sauces on a delectable crust ensure you will never leave disappointed. Don’t forget to order the Giant Stuffed Meatball as an essential precursor. Voters say: Again, one of the finalists drew the most comments from fervent fans such as: “T-Jo’s, hands down. Whoever says any different hasn’t had T-Jo’s yet.”

Pizza – Delivery or Pickup

1. Toppers (28 percent) 2. Politos (26 percent) 3. Pizza King (22 percent) Supper says: It all starts when you pick up the phone and hear the specials from the funniest answering machine voice in regional franchise pizza-dom. Then there’s the quick delivery, the multitude of dipping sauces, those pepper things, and the expansive menu that meets all of your munchie needs. Oh yes — and

August 1, 2013 // 5


they deliver later than you should even be awake. Bless you, Toppers, for everything you do. Voters say: Most of the pie lovers took us to task for including Happy Joe’s on the ballot, but one pizza lover really captured the flavor of this category: “Makes you love and hate yourself at the same time.”

Chinese Food

Voters say: We’re hoping this reader was joking (an lol was included) but the comment for one of the restaurants on the ballot noted, “They hardly speak English it’s so authentic. lol.”

Candy Shop

1. The Pearl (44 percent) 2. The Sweet Shop (25 percent) 3. Ranison (21 percent) Supper says: Glass jars brimming with colorful confections and lined up on towering antique wooden shelves make us feel like we’ve just walked in on Willy Wonka’s private reserve. The Pearl’s truffle and fudge selection must be perused, sure, but it’s the baggies of “gold” coins, ribbons of candy buttons, and giant rainbow-swirled lollipops that will make even the most jaded of adults start digging for quarters like a kid again. Voters say: “Candy cigarettes … reminds me of the good old days!” Another reader shares, “Ice cream can’t be beat.” And still another loves those “fragrant waffle goddamn cones; also mint chocolate chip.”

1. Hunan (39 percent) 2. China Star (28 percent) 3. Great Wall (18 percent) Supper says: Chinese restaurants come and go in the city of La Crosse, but Hunan has been the dependable cornerstone in the heart of downtown. Great soups, hearty entrees, and flaky egg rolls have earned the loyal following and the repeat title of La Crosse’s favorite Chinese food. Voters say: Again, they say the survey is flawed … The Dragon has closed, which didn’t stop 69 voters from checking the box, and one who vowed “it was the best when it was.”

Breakfast Menu


Lunch Menu

1. Dublin Square (25 percent) 2. Sloopy’s Alma Mater (21 percent) 3. Rudy’s Drive In (14 percent) Supper says: When Dublin Square first dug into the corner of Third and Main streets a mere three St. Patrick’s Days ago, it had its eyes on the crown of best burgers in town. After serving up a half-pound, freshground patty of Angus beef beneath a wide smattering of topping, this doesn’t seem to be a title it will be relinquishing any time soon. Voters say: “I want a burger and I am hung over. The Irish understand this need most.”

1. Pickerman’s Soup & Sandwich (34 percent) 2. Fat Sam’s (26 percent) 3. Beef & Etc. (10 percent) Supper says: Come to Pickerman’s any time around noon, and you’ll find plenty of folks from LHI, SAP, Kaplan and many of the other downtown office drones enjoying a mid-day meal. But you don’t need to be a 9-to-5 (err, 8-to-5) warrior in order to enjoy a delicious lunch. A savory menu of sandwiches, salads, and soups is available to those of any employment orientation. Voters say: “Who needs healthy lunch options?”

Mexican food


1. Manny’s Cocina (33 percent) 2. Tequila Mexican Restaurant (20 percent) 3. Fiesta Mexicana (19 percent) Supper says: There are several ways to serve Mexican food, and Manny’s Cocina does it big and rich. Between hearty portions, creamy sauces, strong drinks, juicy meat, and perhaps the best fish selection in the Coulee Region, Manny’s Cocina is a treat for any food lover, and it’s your pick for best Mexican restaurant in town.

1. Fayze’s Restaurant (36 percent) 2. Margie’s (18 percent) 3. Old Style Inn (11 percent) Supper says: Between basic breakfast ingredients (eggs, bacon, flour) and some more exotic fare (wild rice, kielbasa) Fayze’s Restaurant offers up over 30 unique breakfast platters, and all are filling and pretty darn cheap. It’s the rare breakfast joint equally qualified for curing a hangover as treating your grandmother. Voters say: “Eating Eggs Benedict somehow lessens the crimes of the historical traitor.”

1. Sports Nut (28 percent) 2. Blue Moon (22 percent) 3. Features (12 percent) Supper says: Yes, chicken wings run this city, but don’t settle for 10-cent castoffs just because it’s Wednesday and all of La Crosse smells like fried breading. No, when you chose to order buffalo wings, make sure you do it at the Sports Nut, where the appendages are CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

6 // August 1, 2013

Supper says: One of the more positive developments in the three-year history of Second Supper’s Best of La Crosse Awards is the explosion of entries in the International Cuisine category. We could hardly dream that La Crosse would have two Indian restaurants, to say nothing of a fine French bistro, but when it comes to dining on the tastes of the world, there’s nothing our readers prefer more than the cuisine of the Emerald Isle, as served up daily by Dublin Square. So grab a shepherd’s pie or an order of corned beef and cabbage and savor the flavor of widened horizons. Voters say: The Dublin Square fans were out in force … “cause what the Irish are known for is great cooking,” although a voter who went for the runner-up noted, “Taste of India had the most marvelous buffet presentation I’ve ever seen.”

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 meaty, juicy, and way more delicious than they need to be. So whether you like your wings to be Hadeslevel spicy, chef’s choice flavorful, or some combination of the two, make sure you cruise up to the near Northside to enjoy La Crosse’s best. Voters say: A surprising number noted, “Don’t eat them.”

Soup Selection

1. Pickerman’s (49 percent) 2. People’s Food Co-op (20 percent) 3. Fat Sam’s (10 percent) Supper says: Pickerman’s soup is so tasty, we find ourselves still craving a steamy bowl even in the middle of summer. There’s something for everyone, from a classic meaty chili to an impressive vegetarian roster. If you’d rather slurp while curled up on your couch, check for your favorite flavor in their cooler and take home a quart or two. Their 5 Star Mushroom is not to be missed! Voters say: “International Bake Shoppe should win, but it’s ending lunch service.”

Family Restaurant

1. Fayze’s Restaurant (51 percent) 2. Schmidty’s (18 percent) 3. Ardie’s Restaurant (14 percent) Supper says: Grandma, grandpa, sister, brother, broin-law, uncle, ma, pa, auntey, step-ma, nana, niece, nephew, son, daughter, step-daughter, cousin, other kin, and a full 51 percent of Second Supper readers agree: Fayze’s is our favorite restaurant to enjoy with the whole family. Voters say: Really, only one noteworthy comment, from the voter who doesn’t like “disgusting, screaming, diseased children … where I eat.” Lord, no, we can go home if we want that.

Sandwich/Wrap Selection

1. Lindy’s (25 percent) 2. Pickerman’s (20 percent) 3. Fat Sam’s (16 percent) Supper says: It was a close race, but the variety available at Lindy’s Subs and Salads came out on top again this year. Lindy’s has been a La Crosse staple for over 20 years, and with fresh ingredients, locally baked bread, and a highly customizable menu, even the pickiest eater in your party can find something they like. They offer delivery too, which means you can support local businesses without even leaving the couch.

Coffee Shop

1. Java Vino (18 percent) 2. Jules Coffee House 17 percent) 3. Root Note (14 percent) Supper says: Voting margins for Best Coffee Shop were razor-thin this year, but despite Java Vino’s slightly out-of-the-way (read: not right downtown) location, they were declared the reigning champs. But the hike is well worth it, as their new location boasts ample seating and an updated menu, in addition to the good wine/good coffee combo that made their name in the first place. Voters say: McCaffrey’s received several write-in votes, with several voters praising the scones.

Second Supper | The Free Press


Outdoor Dining

1. Syl’s (28 percent) 2. Ardie’s (14 percent) 3. The View (12 percent) Supper says: Nothing says Friday night in Wisconsin quite like a fish fry. And nothing says a fish fry in the Coulee Region quite like Syl’s. So start your weekend with our favorite Barre Mills fried (or steamed) fish baron, and savor that sweet flaky tradition. Voters say: One unhappy customer laments, “This side of the state needs to step it up in the fish department.”

1. Huck Finn’s on the Water (28 percent) 2. Dublin Square (25 percent) 3. Pettibone Boat Club (17 percent) Supper says: Tucked into a quiet cove of French Island, at the beginning of a Black River backwater alternately dubbed Catgut Slough or Richmond Bay, sits La Crosse’s favorite spot for outdoor dining: Huck Finn’s on the Water. Needless to say, they own the spot. A huge back patio ambles down to the docks where boats of all shapes and sizes moor and passengers disembark for dinner, or more. Like so much of the Coulee Region, this spot is somewhat hidden, but once you find the place, you may never want to leave. Voters say: Several voters were surprised The Waterfront was not the only nominee, with its patio declared the “hands-down winner.” “Have you seen it?” another fan asked. While perhaps a more budget conscious voter went with Rudy’s: “You can’t beat the roller-skate delivery method, as classy as f*@k.”


East Asian Food


Fish Fry

1. People’s Food Co-op 40 percent) 2. Festival Foods (37 percent) 3. Holmen Meat Locker (18 percent) Supper says: When you’re in the market for a meat market, quality is priority #1. You want the juiciest cuts of the freshest meats, a variety of fish, and butchers who know how to slice it and where it was farmed. Throw in an interesting assortment of handmade salads and sides, and you’ll have La Crosse’s #1 deli: The People’s Food Co-op. Voters say: ‘London Broil. Google that.”


1. Freight House (32 percent) 2. Digger’s Sting (30 percent) 3. Piggy’s Restaurant (15 percent) Supper says: The reigning champion of the char broil, the Freight House knows there’s more than one way to cook a steak. From the fat porterhouse cuts to the legendary prime rib that melts in your mouth like a cream pie, this is where La Crosse goes when it wants to find the beef. The Freight House chefs will surely know just what to do with it. Voters say: This one drew a smile: “It’s fun to eat where your grandfather does.”

International cuisine

1. Dublin Square (49 percent) 2. Taste of India (21 percent) 3. Le Chateau (11 percent)

1. Bamboo House (42 percent) 2. Hmong’s Golden Eggrolls (29 percent) 3. Sushi Pirate (19 percent) Supper says: There was once a time, in the not-sodistant past, when you couldn’t order a decent curry or a pad Thai anywhere in La Crosse. Thankfully, our restaurant options have expanded since those dark ages, but for being the first in town to serve up such choice East Asian fare, Bamboo House is once again our favorite. Voters say: “No good Asian food in LaX. Please fix that,” one voter pleads.

Regional food

1. Buzzard Billy’s (64 percent) 2. Coney Island (13 percent) 3. Texas Roadhouse (13 percent) Supper says: We’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like to eat at Buzzard Billy’s. With a lengthy menu featuring authentic Cajun cuisine such as Blackened Catfish, Shrimp Po’Boy, and Jambalaya, you’ll discover that the only downfall to dining here is how long it will take you to decide what to order. Hold yourself over with an order of Armadillo Eggs — just make sure to get extras for your friends because you won’t want to share! Voters say: “The southern maliciousness is palpable.”


Second Supper | The Free Press


1. Howie’s (30 percent) 2. Flipside Bar & Grill (17 percent) 3. Eagles Nest (13 percent) Supper says: When Howie’s changed owners and briefly closed its doors for a remodel last year, we weren’t quite certain what to expect when it reopened. A sportswatcher’s paradise with dozens of flat-screen televisions, a delectable menu, and an impressive row of tap beers was far more than we expected, but we’ve been winning ever since. Voters say: Perhaps a bit of sarcasm: “I don’t think they have enough TVs.”

1. Del’s (57 percent) 2. Dublin Square (17 percent) 3. Digger’s Sting (7 percent) Supper says: Del’s will always have the best Bloodys in town. Period. Even the haters who “can’t stand tomato juice” will be converts when they belly up to the bar and start smelling that homemade spice blend. In a Bloody world where the garnishes often take center stage over the drink itself, you’ll be at the bottom of your glass before you can even bite into that chunk of Pepperjack. Voters say: Lots of Del’s fans out there. “No contest,” one says. “That drink is like a freaky Greek salad.”

Cocktail Bar

1. Starlite Lounge (51 percent) 2. The Waterfront (17 percent) 3. The Cavalier (13 percent) Supper says: When you look at the decor, you may think you’re in 1950s New York; when you look at the drink menu, you might feel you’re in 1990s Las Vegas; and when you look at the happy hour specials, you’ll remember you’re in Wisconsin. Mix those elements together and climb a flight of stairs, and you will be in the Starlite Lounge, La Crosse’s favorite cocktail bar. Voters say: “Just be careful on the way down,” one voter warns after frequenting our winner.

Beer Selection

1. Bodega Brew Pub (65 percent) 2. Pearl Street Brewery (13 percent) 3. Stolpa’s Stein Haus (5 percent) Supper says: Some imbibers might be overwhelmed at a place that boasts over 400 different kinds of beer. Luckily for them, Bodega has lists organized by different traits as well as the most knowledgeable bartenders in town. So no matter if you walk in with your mind made up, or you need help finding something to suit your tastes, you’ll be quaffing the perfect brew in no time. Voters say: Let’s hear it for the veterans: “The Viroqua American Legion has a bitchin’ selection, too.”

College Bar

1. Eagles Nest (21 percent) 2. State Room (19 percent) 3. Animal House (16 percent) Supper says: When it comes to colleges and their amenable bars, what can we say: We like Eagles! La Crosse’s favorite across-the-street-from-a-college bar has a proud history of serving UW-L students and

1. Goodwill (46 percent) 2. Second Showing (15 percent) 3. Good Steward (12 percent) Supper says: Long before Macklemore stormed the airwaves with the sweet sounds of tag-poppin’, Goodwill provided a fun challenge for the thrifty, a helping hand to those in need, an ugly sweater for the college kid with a theme party to go to attend, and a place for anyone who’s ever moved to drop off carloads of unwanted junk. Despite being a big chain, Goodwill has always managed to operate on the, err, goodwill of the community to keep it stocked with an impressive selection of unique, gently used items. It’s shopping that both your wallet and your conscience can feel good about. The voters say: Our voters have long memories: “Vintage Vogue, we miss you!” BEST SPECIALTY STORE: PEARL ST. BOOKS


Bloody Marys

August 1, 2013 // 7


fans, and with a fun atmosphere and affordable drinks, they wouldn’t be surrendering their aerie anytime soon. Voters say: More sarcasm: “The music is never loud enough.”

Wine Bar/Selection

1. The Wine Guyz (39 percent) 2. 4 Sisters (33 percent) 3. Java Vino (18 percent) Supper says: You can get lots of beer in this town, and plenty of cheap liquor too, but if you want a lesson on grapes, terroir, and the best pairings with aged cheeses, you simply must plan an evening at WineGuyz. Lose yourself in the thousands of wine bottles on the shelves, the local art on the walls — or perhaps just a free-flowing conversation. In vino veritas. Voters say: They were relatively quiet, enjoying the fruit of the vine, it seems.

Music Related Store

COMMERCE Live Music Venue

1. Pearl Street Books (36 percent) 3. Intimate Treasures (16 percent) 2. Tree Huggers Co-op (16 percent) Supper says: Cynical folks love to point out how archaic books have become in the Digital Age, but until someone invents a smartphone app that emits the smell of aged pages, people will still love digging through the shelves at their local used bookstore. It’s like a treasure hunt, but with knowledge as the prize. And while we loathe the thought that bookstores may soon become a novelty, there are few stores more special than Pearl Street Books.

1. Popcorn Tavern (30 percent) 2. Root Note (16 percent) 3. La Crosse Center (15 percent) Supper says: You could travel the entire world seeing concerts in rock clubs and never experience a venue quite like the Popcorn Tavern. Over 40 years old, it’s worn in all the best ways — the dance floor tiles are see-through, the graffiti tells its own stories, and the band stickers adorning every wall are a testimony to the constant growth of Midwest music. Mix in some bartenders who have seen everything but still want you to have a great night — and yes, a nice sound system and clear sight lines —and you have a veritable rock club El Dorado that we can call our own.


1. Kick (31 percent) 2. Dale’s Clothing (28 percent) 3. Tree Huggers Co-op (17 percent) Supper says: When it comes to the annual battle for La Crosse’s favorite boutique, Kick kicks. Shoes are practically a fetish object in this downtown hub of commerce, and when it comes to slipping your feet into some boutique heels, no one does it better than the Kick chicks. Voters say: “Cause the name Dale screams fashion savvy.”

Vintage/Thrift Shop

1. Deaf Ear Records (45 percent) 2. Dave’s Guitar Shop (27 percent) 3. Leithold Music (15 percent) Supper says: Deaf Ear has always been a sort of Mecca of coolness in La Crosse, and now that vinyl records are back en vogue, it’s become even cooler. Even with the reach of the Internet, Deaf Ear can still be the first place to introduce new music to La Crosse listeners, while still offering plenty of older gems to sift through. Don’t sleep on that tape section either.

Novelty/Specialty Store


1. Metropolitan Salon & Spa (41 percent) 2. The Orange Pearl (22 percent) 3. Salon Medusa (13 percent) Supper says: Want to be pampered like a princess or strut around with the chic hairstyles of high-fashion living? Book yourself an appointment at Metropolitan Salon & Spa. They’ll make you real pretty-like. Voters say: The voters offered shout-outs to Denny Rae Arauz, Don, Posh Boxx, the brunette at the front desk, Tim and Erik.

Employer (Large Company)

1. KwikTrip (26 percent) 2. Gundersen Lutheran (25 percent) 3. Logistics Health Inc. (16 percent) CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

8 // August 1, 2013

Second Supper | The Free Press



Supper says: It seems Second Supper readers find it just a teeny bit more favorable to work for the company that keeps our cars running than the one that keeps our bodies running. Why? Perhaps because a car that’s low on gas is nowhere near as sad as a body that’s low on health. Or maybe it’s more satisfying to ask “any gas today?” than it is to try and convince someone of the necessity of a blood test. Whatever the reason, Kwik Trip: it’s not just for shopping anymore.

Employer (Small Company)

1. Pearl Street Brewery 2. Dublin Square Supper says: It’s quite possible we know every single person who works for the Pearl Street Brewery — and they’re all pretty cool. Weird, huh? Voters say: 97 different employers nominated. Finishing out of the money, but praiseworthy nonetheless: Pot dealers, Peaches and Your Mom.

Bank/Financial Institution

1. Altra Federal Credit Union (53 percent) 2. Marine Credit Union (11 percent) 3. Coulee Bank (9 percent) Supper says: No one should literally put their money where their mouth is, that is unless they’re some kind of taste masochist. But figuratively speaking, it’s usually a safe bet to use some sort of federally regulated savings institution.. There’s been a lot of talk lately about the big bad banks, money barons, and world takeovers, so do your part to stifle global domination: Put your money in a friendly community credit union. And in this town, there’s no one friendlier than Altra. Voters say: “Eat the rich.”

Local Periodical

1. La Crosse Tribune (43 percent) 2. Second Supper (25 percent) 3. Coulee Region Women (9 percent) Supper says: That’s cold, Second Supper voters. Next month: 32 pages of Sudoku and the Love Goddess! Voters say: Forget it, we’re not telling you what the voters say. Go ask the Tribune. She’s the one you want. This breakup will get ugly.

Tattoo Parlor

1. Mind Altering Tattoos(36 percent) 2. Blue Line (25 percent) 3. Twisted Skull Studios (24 percent) Supper says: If you’re going to get your body altered, you may as well alter your mind while you’re at it. We were planning to have that tattooed in Chinese lettering, beneath an Irish cross, on our lower back, but the fine folks at the venerable Mind Altering Tattoo talked us out of it. No wonder they’re the best.

Budget Entertainment

1. Rivoli Theater (77 percent) 2. Pettibone Disc Golf (6 percent) 3. Riverside Amusement Park: (5 percent) Supper says: The general consensus is that Hollywood puts out terrible movies these days, so why drop ten bucks on a ticket just to suffer through some loud explosions or a trite romance? Instead, grab some cheap Rivoli tickets, a pitcher of microbrews, and a pizza. You’ll love every movie at the Rivoli! Voters say: “I sure hope this is spilled soda on my


Radio Station

1. The Rock 95.7 (28 percent) 2. Z-93 93.3 (24 percent) 3. Classic Rock 101.1 (22 percent) Supper says: Put your devil horns up for community engagement! Not only does 95.7 The Rock crank some of the hardest tunes on the western Wisconsin dial, its radio personalities always seem to be out in the town, driving that painted SUV, wearing those cool shirts, and seemingly giving away a motorcycle key every single day. Because the heart of great local radio station isn’t only what comes out of the speakers, it’s what goes on inside the studio. Voters say: “None of the above. Radio in LaX sucks balls.” CULTURE/ARTS Theatre Season 1. La Crosse Community Theatre (29 percent) 2. Pump House (23 percent) 3. Muse (18 percent) Supper says: In the always tight voting for favorite theatre season, the La Crosse Community Theatre snagged a repeat victory in 2013 — due in no part, we’re sure, to their snazzy new digs at the Weber Center for the Performing Arts. Well, OK, the new theatre is pretty nice, but it’s probably the audience-friendly productions that once again put LCT over the top. Voters say: “I love that we have an off-center theatre in town.”

Art Space

1. Pump House (54 percent) 2. Root Note (20 percent) 3. Grand River Station Gallery (7 percent) Supper says: It always helps when art is hung in a building that could itself be considered a piece of art. Who would’ve thought an old pumping station on King Street would provide a perfect place to display the great works of talented local artists? Was it an artist, or just someone who likes art? Doesn’t matter, this place is well suited for both, and will turn one who is neither artist nor art lover into one or the other . Voters say: “Get more.”

Bowling Alley

1. All-Star Lanes (36 percent) 2. Pla-More Lanes (25 percent) 3. South Lanes (16 percent)

Supper says: What makes AllStar Lanes the all-star of La Crosse bowling alleys? It could be the tradition, the cheap bowling nights, or even the excellent pizza. But what definitely makes it La Crosse’s favorite bowling alley are all the bowlers and voters who came together to make it so. You’re the 7-10 split of newspaper democracy.


1. DJ Trivia (31 percent) 2. Popcorn Tavern (20 percent) 3. Buffalo Wild Wings (19 percent) Supper says: A certain independent newspaper editor and weekly Popcorn Tavern trivia host may be a little despondent that he didn’t collect more votes, but we can’t deny the people what they want. And what they want, clearly, are the fun-loving hosts of DJ Trivia, scattered throughout the city on nearly every night of the week. With a game that combines pop music jams, video screens, and the thrill of being the smartest person on a barstool, DJ Trivia is the right answer just about every night of the week. Voters say: “Bissen is the best.” We do not think a certain independent newspaper editor wrote that comment. We don’t. Really.

Local Politician

1. Ron Kind (36 percent) 2. Jennifer Shilling (29 percent) 3. Tim Kabat (18 percent) Supper says: Who would have guessed that the flaxen-haired Democratic boy wonder who grew up in La Crosse, set football records at Logan High School, quarterbacked the team at Harvard, attended the London School of Economics, earned a law degree at Minnesota, won six consecutive congressional races, became an esteemed leader on agricultural issue and a prime candidate for governor would ever be popular among Second Supper voters? Guess politics will surprise you. Congratulations, Ron Kind. You win again. Voters say: “Any Republican.” And “Republicans can’t be favorites?” Perhaps our readership is shifting? Of course, we can rely on some readers: “They’re all crooked.” “They’re all puppets.” “Not one person in politics is actually there for the people.”

Local Celebrity/Character

1. Peaches (47 percent) 2. Great River Singers (22 percent) 3. Dan Breeden (14 percent) Supper says: If you don’t know who this vibrant vixen is by now, you must be living under Grandad’s Bluff. You know that saying “dance like no one is watching”? Yeah, Peaches wrote that. Our days get just a little brighter when we spot her rockin’ out with her bad self, singin’, gyratin’, or hula-hoopin’ along the sidewalk. Look up “Peachez” on Facebook and join the other 3,100-plus fans if you want to see what she’s up to next. Really, though, you can’t miss her. Like she writes on her page, “pEAChEs d0Nt cARe wHErE shE bE sHe w0Rk iT !”

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August 1, 2013 // 9


Mayor Tim calls a timeout

Rental conversion moratorium meets with opposition By Bob Treu Contributing editor

A few days after the governor of Michigan declared Detroit to be bankrupt, I stopped at Mayor Tim‘s office to see how La Crosse was doing and ended up discussing the new moratorium on the conversion of single family homes to rentals. While the mayor feels this is a move important to the city’s health, he assured me we wouldn’t be following Detroit down the behavioral sink any time soon. On the other hand, he convinced me that the situation in La Crosse is serious enough to demand immediate attention. To some observers, La Crosse remains an exceptionally attractive city. Caught between the Mississippi River and the bluffs, it offers tree-lined streets rife with birdsong and impressive storybook mansions that seem afloat in a timeless dream. To others it is a city in crisis, where yards go untended and houses try to turn the peeling paint of their faces away from the sun. It’s the place

where a year ago the floor of a Sixth Street rental buckled, sending 40 people plummeting through a gaping hole. And like most cities it has its occasional outbreaks of violence. In the few months since I last talked with Mayor Tim (Kabat), a young man was fatally stabbed in the bathroom of a convenience store and a woman was shot in the back by a man who was apparently in town for a drug deal. Both of these events occurred on Fifth Avenue, a few blocks from where I live. Following a pattern established much earlier in our largest cities, people have been abandoning La Crosse for suburbs like Onalaska and Holmen for decades. But when the economy crashed in 2007 something else happened: housing values quickly dropped by 30 percent or more and interest rates dropped to laughable lows. Stormy weather for most, it was sunny skies for investors who wanted to pick up properties on the cheap and rent them out. According to Mayor Tim, La Crosse now has 51 percent of its housing in rentals, which is one of the highest percentages

in the state. According to him, there is no shortage of rentals in the city. He feels we are at a crossroads, a precarious point where we can no longer let things slide, and for that reason he authored the new ordinance. As La Crosse reacted to the moratorium, we learned something else about ourselves. When a neighborhood or even a few houses begin to show signs of deterioration, renters and landlords blame each other for the blight, and homeowners begin to generalize about and stigmatize renters. Often those stereotypes determine where people want to buy homes and how the homes are valued on the market. Add to that a changing and more diverse demographic and suddenly the moratorium became a touchy issue. But just what does the moratorium do? The helpful folks in the Planning Office handed me a copy of something called subsection 8.07 of the City Code, which is, refreshingly, easily contained on two sides of a single sheet of paper. In fact you could skip the “whereases” and read the ordinance in

less than a minute. It establishes a moratorium on the conversion of single-family homes into rentals in the (R-1) Single Family Residential District and the Washburn District. To see what that means, I checked out the color-coded map on the Planning Office wall. The residential area (shown in a tasteful tan) comprises much of the north side and the part of the south side east of West Avenue. There is a sizeable and somewhat garish purple area just west of the university that will, presumably, be allowed to flourish in its present state of excitement. Then there is a sizeable light green area decorated with polka dots that represents the Washburn Residential zone, just south of the central city. This troublesome area was redefined almost seven years ago in an attempt to limit density. It is the part of La Crosse that most resembles an inner city, and has an enormously diverse population, almost any way you define diversity. It is also the area being championed by the Neighborhood Renova-


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MORATORIUM CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 tion group, an organization that actually recommended a yearlong moratorium. The ordinance also calls for a study of the rental situation, which can seem confusing, since studies usually precede new laws. The first of the “whereases” that precede the text of the ordinance finds it necessary to study the impact of conversions to rentals; while the ordinance itself finds it necessary to preserve one-family homes in order to study the impacts of conversions. There must be a chicken and egg type joke going around city hall about which came first, the study or the moratorium. Of course, we could have a moratorium without a study, or even a study without a moratorium, but Mayor Tim apparently decided to stick the tail of this particular snake into its mouth and see what would happen, which isn’t so much illogical as a sign of urgency. Too many studies go on and on without ever implementing anything. The mayor would like to avoid that this time. The moratorium ordinance has plenty of support and passed the City Council on a 15-2 vote, but it also has plenty of opposition. One dissenter, speaking on television news, suggested the moratorium is a violation of the American principle that we can own as much property as we like and do whatever we want with it, a view not universally endorsed by constitutional scholars. Particularly surprising was the dissent of Audrey Kadar, who has a long and honorable record of support-

ing community projects. She feels the moratorium isn’t necessary at this point and called it “punitive.” But perhaps the most organized opposition comes from local Realtors, whose leader, Cindy Gerke-Edwards, said the moratorium will hurt those it is meant to help. Mike Peterson, of Re/Max, feels there is a shortage of rental properties, and also worries about people like the client he represents who is having difficulty selling a home in the Washburn area. The client bought another home to accommodate a growing family and is having trouble making two payments. The new ordinance might seem to prevent her from renting out the Washburn property, which is the obvious solution, but she may not be in much of a jam after all, since the ordinance contains a hardship clause allowing people like her to apply to the council for a waiver. I also spoke with Melissa Sample of BiState Realty. She shares Peterson’s view that there is a shortage of rentals in La Crosse. She cited the university, Gundersen Clinic, Trane and First Logic as institutions that constantly bring in professionals for limited periods of time, often people who want to live close to work. Still, she feels the moratorium is not as horrible as some real estate people say. She feels it’s important to register properties with the city and work with the inspectors to avoid problems. So who is right about the availability of rental space: the mayor or the real estate agents? When I visited with Dave Rinehart,



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MORATORIUM CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10 chief city inspector, I discovered that question is not easy to answer in any objective way. There are 10,384 rental units registered, but how do you count the unregistered ones? Nor is it possible to accurately track the growth of rental units over time, since the city does not archive such information. Like an elephant who has lost his memory, it knows only what is going on in front of it. Thus Rinehart was also unable to tell me much about the outburst of speculation after 2008. He could only tell me from his own observations that 360 Real Estate, Brian Benson and Steve Eide were some of the larger players. Also, the chief inspector’s reaction to the moratorium is on record. He feels people will continue to convert single family homes to rentals without registering them, because he simply doesn’t have the staff to search them out. Presumably that’s what Mayor Tim meant when he said he would like the study to propose ways to “put some teeth” into the city’s rental code. Or perhaps he was thinking of that incident last September when a floor collapsed in a Sixth Street rental property. Melissa Sample told me the upstairs of that building was definitely “cool,” and she had thought of living there herself at one time. Nonetheless, the building was not registered as rental space at the time of the collapse. The owner, Nate Brooks, of River City Rentals, was fined

August 1, 2013 // 11

COMMUNITY $240, a sum he argues proves he is guilty of no huge affront. According to Rinehart, Brooks turned up a couple of days after the incident with 37 rental registration forms for places he was already renting out, and he is eager to get the collapsed property back in business. No wonder the mayor is calling for more teeth. It’s been pretty much all gums up to now. There has also been the troubling undercurrent of criticism that the moratorium is a discreet attempt to stem the tide of African-American migration into La Crosse, since most African-Americans moving into the city can’t afford to buy and will be dissuaded by the lack of rentals. One noteworthy online comment warned of AfricanAmericans and college students vying for limited rental space. In any case, this question must be part of any study, and it would be a good thing if the mayor appointed a representative of the minority community to serve on the committee. Assuming Mayor Tim can overcome the opposition and inertia that confront almost any serious attempt to make a city work, he may face a more powerful opponent: the crass ideology that sees cities as somehow dysfunctional and worthy only of dismantling. The Wisconsin State Senate is considering a bill that would prohibit municipalities from requiring registration of rental properties and their landlords. That would mean all attempts to control rental properties and stabilize neighborhoods, everything Mayor Tim is trying to do with the


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MORATORIUM CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 moratorium, would come to naught. What La Crosse is experiencing, in a slightly less exaggerated way, is what Detroit

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and other cities are struggling with: an enormous, apparently irresistible rejection of cities. Since World War II people have been moving to the suburbs and now the exurbs, leaving cities to deal with more and more complicated problems with fewer and fewer resources. Take a turn into any of the coulees between here and West Salem and you will be amazed at the size, the splendor, and the number of new homes. The suburbs that once depended upon cities have ended up strangling their hosts. And every time things fall apart in a place like Detroit, the Right declares a victory, because the battle to save the cities has become a political debate. We need to recognize, without dissimulation or exaggeration, that none of these things would have happened, at least not in the same way, without the internal combustion engine. One of the main reasons Europeans consume so much less energy than Americans is that they haven’t abandoned their cities. But there is a small countermovement under way in America, especially among young people who are willing to try a different, less damaging lifestyle. They are starting to bike to work, learning about mass transit schedules, and discovering that most ‘burbs don’t offer anything better than listening to a concert or watching the tows chug by in Riverside Park. Even taken together these roadside conversions might not change the course of history, but wait until gas reaches $6 a gallon and living in a coulee west of West Salem loses its charm. That’s when the real urban renaissance begins.


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What's the craic with Irishfest?


Fest founder discusses annual celebration Q. Why don’t you ever borrow a leprechaun money? A. ‘Cause he’s always short. So warns Matt Boschka, one of the owners of Dublin Square, which will have one of the three food booths at Irishfest La Crosse. Laughs and blarney certainly won’t be in short supply when Irishfest La Crosse’s ninth annual celebration of all things Irish takes over the Southside Fest Grounds from Aug. 9-11. The fun has already begun, with events such as a kilt contest, held July 25 at Dublin Square, and joke contest helping, as Boschka explains, “get the community pumped up and excited about the festival.” For a look under the Irishfest hood, or kilt, as it were, we did a quick email interview with Pat Stephens, president of Irishfest La Crosse: Second Supper: There is so much on the schedule, from the Wee Folks events to some very tempting adult beverages, what would you consider the top attraction of Irish Fest? Pat Stephens: Not sure there is a single "top" attraction. Our job is to have enough going on that you can't take everything in on one day. I know some people come just for the Highland Games, some sit at the

harp stage all day, others like to shop the Irish market, and everyone seems to enjoy the array of Irish music.

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SS: It seems like you’ve expanded the festival over the last few years. Is that an accurate perception and why do think it has been able to grow so successfully? PS: There are 70 million Americans that can trace their roots to Ireland and millions more that love celebrating the Irish culture, history and contributions that the Irish have made to this country. Our budget has tripled over the last nine years as we keep adding more things to do. We are about as large as we want to get. We pay the bills, have fun and try to keep everything family friendly.

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SS: What was the attendance last year, and how many people do you expect this year? PS: Over the three days we'll see 7,000 to 8,500 people. About the same as last year.

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SS: I’ve not looked at any demographics, but does La Crosse have a strong Irish population, or is this just a great excuse for another fun festival in a city of festivals?


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IRISHFEST CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 PS: Plenty of Irish in the area. Probably in third place behind the Germans and Norwegians, but the Irish have a reputation for warmth and hospitality, and that is what we try to have our guests experience.

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SS: And why in August, rather than, say, March? PS: Compared to The Cities or Milwaukee, we are obviously a small market. We selected the second week of August because the St. Paul Irish Fair is also the second week of August and the largest Irish festival in the country is in Milwaukee the third weekend in August. It puts us right in the middle. It allows us to pick up, at a fraction of the cost, the best traveling bands on the circuit. About 98 percent of the bands that play in La Crosse are also playing in The Cities or Milwaukee. As the Guinness ad would say, it was brilliant. SS: What’s your role in the event? PS: I am credited with being the founder of the festival, and, thus far, after nine years, its only president. SS: You have a variety of contests – freckles, red hair, green eyes, jokes. Tell us an Irish joke. PS: I'll save my favorite Irish joke for the open Irish joke contests on Aug. 1st (Sloopy’s) and 8th (Onalaska American

Second Supper | The Free Press Legion) as a warm-up for the fest. Q. What do you call an Irishman that knows how to control his wife? A. A bachelor. SS: The musical acts seem to cover a wide range of styles, from traditional Irish music on harp and flute to Irish punk rock, and even some “bagrock.” How difficult was it land such a strong, diverse lineup? PS: For eight years, our entertainment chair, Casey Stephens, has done an excellent job of building relationships with the musical groups. They love La Crosse. When he puts together the schedule we want it to be as diverse as those attending the festival. This way, we have something for everybody. It is true that Gaelic Storm is probably the best known. They continue to do 150+ appearances per year. It keeps their name and talent in front of the general public. SS: Forgive me for not knowing my Irish music better, but who would you consider the headliners? PS: As far as the big groups go, Gaelic Storm, Scythian and The Red Hot Chili Pipers would be considered our headliners. We've been fortunate enough to get these groups because they are all playing in either (or both) Milwaukee and The Cities. We sprinkle that with some local and Midwestern talent and our smaller cultural stage has different acts all three days. SS: The food offerings, too, seem quite tempting.


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IRISHFEST CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 It’s great to see area businesses participating. Any favorites that you would recommend? PS: A few years ago we settled on three main food vendors knowing with our numbers that they would all do well. They work closely together and you'll notice there is no duplication of menu items. It is mostly menu items that are known as good Irish food or American items with an Irish twist. We also offer an Irish assortment in the Bantry Tea Garden (named after La Crosse's sister city in Bantry, Ireland) of teas, cookies and soda breads. SS: I’d be remiss, too, if I did not ask about the Highland Games. How popular are the events and how difficult is it for Average Joe to join in? PS: It is amazing to see how the Highland Games have grown. We are completely filled with contestants within two weeks of seeking applicants. The competition is fierce and we're attracting some of the best known Highland athletes; both male and female contestants. I'm afraid the Average Joe can't join in, they can only watch. But there are a few demonstrations on Friday night so folks can learn the terminology, scoring and history of the games. SS: Anything we missed, or any general comments to add? PS: In our ongoing effort to always offer something new and different each year, we've added a theater production of a humorous Irish play called “Flanagan's Wake.” It is an interactive play about an old-fashioned Irish funeral. Our first cornhole tournament, called The Irish Cornhole Sweepstakes, will take place on Saturday. Great prizes and great fun. Even in this lengthy article, we were unable to touch on all that is Irishfest, including the Mashed Potato and Kilt Run. For a complete schedule of Irishfest-La Crosse events and performances, visit And don’t despair. If you have not yet purchased your admission or raffle tickets, you still have time to do so. And as Boschka says, “It’s a blast every year.”

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August 1, 2013 // 15


College 101

Advice for this year's freshmen By Madeline Marquardt Special to Second Supper It’s that time of year again, just as every other year as August quickly approaches, so does the beginning of school. It’s the time of year when hundreds of nervous college freshman and their mothers pack the aisles of Target and Wal-Mart stocking up on extra long bedding and ramen noodles. Amongst all of this chaos and madness college veterans take the time to reminisce upon their freshman year. For me, these memories are still fresh in my mind, as I was only a freshman myself a short year ago. Although college may seem scary and intimidating now, these really are some of the best years of your life. In hopes to ease you into your freshman year I thought I’d share a few tid-bits of advice for incoming freshman students. First and foremost, move-in day is going to be hectic and crazy, but have no fear it is just one day and once you are all settled in and all of your goodbyes have been said, the real fun begins. The first few days of college are nothing like the rest of your college experience, which leads me to my next few pieces of advice.

Go to the freshman activities! Although the welcome week activities may seem lame and completely unnecessary, they are a great way to meet people. Even if you feel beyond embarrassed going to the Midnight 5K, or the outdoor movie on the lawn, go and have fun. Talk to people, talk to everyone! Because you never know what could happen, the girl sitting next to you could be your maid of honor one day. Making friends is one of the most important aspects of college. Step outside of your comfort zone and knock on your neighbors door and introduce yourself or ask them to go to dinner with you. At the dining hall sit next to people you don’t know and strike up a conversation. No matter how awkward and shy you feel, just remember everyone else is in the same boat as you. Another piece of advice is the ever so cheesy, “get involved.” In high school many of my friends were made through the clubs and organizations I was involved in. The same goes for college, no matter how nerdy and lame college clubs seem they really are a great way to meet people. For me, I decided I would go to sorority rush and see what the

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campus sororities were all about. Although I decided that joining a sisterhood wasn’t for me, I met some of my closest friends during the process. Now what about homesickness? Moving out and being away from your friends and family is tough, it’s weird and it’s definitely an adjustment. Whether you’re an hour from home or 10 hours, you’re going to miss things about home. The good news is the homesickness goes away over time. It does get better, trust me! Going home every weekend might make the homesickness go away, however it’ll make your college life much worse. Weekends are the time to meet people, to make lifelong friends and everlasting memories. If you’re at home every weekend hanging out with mom and dad you might strengthen your familial bonds, but you will suffer at school. If you get a job at school try your hardest to get one that gives you weekends off. Although it might seem impossible, trust me when I say that you are going to want your weekends to yourself. Whether you choose to go home, to go out, or to just stay in with some friends, weekends are the time to socialize and truly experience college. What about roommates? Whether

you share a room with someone from high school or a complete stranger, it is safe to say that you are not going to see eye to eye on everything. Although your personalities are most likely going to clash if you stay calm and address the situation politely things should be resolved easily. However, if you find yourself in a living situation that is less than ideal, talk to your RA or hall director. They are there to help you, and to make your freshman year a great experience. My last piece of advice is don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with. Unlike high school, college introduces you to all different people from all different backgrounds. If you don’t like to drink or go out on the weekends, then don’t. If you’d rather spend your Saturday night at the library, go for it! There are other people that share the same interests as you, it might take time for you to find them, but if you do the things you like, and ignore the peer pressure you will find yourself as well as a great group of friends. College is a complete 360 from high school. It is a time to reinvent yourself and be whomever you want to. Even though you can eat Taco Bell for supper every night and stay up until 3 a.m., trust me when I say don’t do it. Instead of being scared and intimidated by college, embrace it and dive in headfirst. You’ll never get another freshman year so live it up, and love every minute of it.

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The Month in Preview Every WED thru summer PADDLE FOR YOUR LIFE @ Pettibone Park While La Crosse’s hard-earned reputation as a party town is well established, the exquisite natural beauty we get to enjoy every day doesn’t get nearly as much press. For the remainder of the summer, there are countless ways to enjoy the great outdoors, and most of them are pretty cheap. UW-L’s free paddleboard clinic continues through the month of August, taking place each Wednesday between 4:45 and 7:30 pm. All you need to do to is register online and get yourself to the Pettibone Lagoon, where instructors will help you hit the water and paddle away. All skill levels are welcome, but anyone under 18 will need a waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, so visit to reserve a spot. And then put down the computer and go outside, for goshsakes.

Fri., Aug. 9 OPEN CANOPY! @ Cameron Park The City of La Crosse Parks & Recreation Dept. and the Cameron Park Market Assoc. will be celebrating the grand re-opening of the Cameron Park Hanifl. Now, they won’t be literally opening the canopy like a bunch of rainforest clear-cutters. It’s more like they’ll be celebrating the canopy and the farmers’ market it generously covers. There’ll be face-painting, kids’ games, cake and ice cream, and a performance by the Bluegrassy group Ditchlillies. It all starts at 5 and runs till 7 and is free for the whole family.

Aug. 9–11 GET IRISH AGAIN @Southside Fest Grounds Almost half a year after the revered St. Patty’s Day, La Crosse will be hosting the 3-day long Irishfest. But unlike St. Patrick’s Day, which for much of America is an excuse for getting beyond blackout drunk

August 1, 2013 // 17


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and blaming it on the Irish (who historically have already been oppressed enough), Irishfest will feature lots of opportunities to broaden one’s understanding of Irish culture and tradition: Many well-known Irish performers/entertainers, including Gaelic Storm, will be there. There’ll be Irish dance lessons, sheep shearing, storytelling sessions, and other games & activities. An Irish market will be selling authentic Irish items. And of course there’ll be Irish (and local) brew and food. Advance tickets are $20 for a 3 day pass, $10 for one day. Day of tickets will be $15. Children 12 and under are free.

Sun., Aug. 11th A LOG OF ONE’S OWN @ Great River Landing, Onalaska Before the advent of ESPN, manly men (aka, lumberjacks) used to entertain themselves by trying to throw one another off discarded logs floating in the river. Admittedly, we have no idea if that’s actually true, but in any case, “log-rolling” is an official, ESPN-approved sport, and is open to all ages and genders at the annual log-rolling tournament. La Crosse is home to quite a few record-holding logrollers, but don’t let that intimidate you— the amateur competition starts at 10 am, and the professionals will step up at 2 pm.

This is a great opportunity for community involvement, and to celebrate the city’s history. You might even be able to make the Loggers game afterwards to complete the picture.

Aug. 16–18 CARNIVAL OF CORN @Village Park, Holmen

The East and West coast might have their oceans of water, but we have our oceans of corn, which might not be as great for swimming or surfing, but are sure a good source of food and animal feed. In honor of

all that corn does, Holmen will be putting on their annual Kornfest, which will feature all you could want from a Midwest fest: things such as beer tents and garden, carnival rides, softball, a parade, bingo, dancers, a horseshoe tournament, car show, country music, and fireworks. Food, especially corn, will also play a pivotal role at the fest. Participation is free, though some activities will require a wristband.

Aug. 23–25 GREAT FOLK FEST FOR GREAT FOLKS @ UW La Crosse Campus What better place to hold the Great River Folk Festival than below the bluffs? Maybe that’s one reason why the fest is in its 38th year. More likely though, is that it continues to provide a truly genuine and entertaining folk experience for the Midwest at large. This year will feature plenty of performances by renowned folk singer-songwriters and groups. Pop folk artist Dar Williams, who is considered by The New Yorker to be “one of America’s very best singer-songwriters” will fire things off on Friday. The whole weekend will include arts & crafts fair, craft demonstrations, children’s activities, songwriting contests, and lots and lots of food. Ticket prices vary from $7 day passes to $100 friend of the fest passes, with many options in between. For more details and all ticket prices, visit

18 // August 1, 2013

The Rumba Beat Ongoing and upcoming art events in the Coulee Region Summer greetings to all you fun seekers and art aficionados. Art Rumba here just chillin’ (literally) in the back yard. Here are some things to check out: Lanesboro Arts Center, 103 Parkway Ave. N., Lanesboro, Minn.: “Under My Skin” - ceramics by Lenore Lampi. Through Aug. 25. Red Horse Gallery, 116 S. Main St., Fountain City: Rick Alfaro – photography.

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THE ARTS Acoustic Café, 77 Lafayette St., Winona, Minn: Carol Slade – prints-pastels-photos Viva Gallery, 217 S. Main St., Viroqua: Marie App – watercolors; Raelene Roberts – metalwork. Studio Gallery 1311, 1311 Market St., La Crosse: Check for upcoming shows. www. State Street Gallery, 1804 State St., La Crosse: Paintings, sculpture jewelry and ceramics by local, regional and national artists. 608-782-0101 UW-L Center for the Arts, University Art Gallery, 333 N. 16th St., La Crosse: Jennifer Williams Terstra – “Transcendence / Immanence,” new encaustic paintings. Through Sept. 14. The Pump House Regional Arts Center, 119 King St.. La Crosse: “Aboutface” – Jeanne Arenz – mixed media paintings; “Rural America” – Elizabeth Ann Larson – watercolors; “Double Vision” Theresa Smerud and Byron Annis – photography; www. The Wine Guyz, 122 King St., La Crosse: Stop in and see what’s up. And don’t forget to check out The Root Note and Grounded Coffee in downtown La Crosse for more local art talent and music. Enjoy the art, support the artists and RUMBA ON!

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The Art Rumba Review Theresa Smerud and Bryon Annis "Double Vision" Pump House Regional Arts Center 119 King St., La Crosse By Andrew Chulyk Special to Second Supper The camera has come a long way from being a simple image recording device to what it is today, an electronic image recording device. Even a phones do it. Pretty soon you will wear glasses that record every moment of your incredibly interesting day. Just look, shoot and share and the world will know how mediocre your life really is. Our brain already does this for us and we possess a marvelous editing device called “forgetting.” So why are we so obsessed with visually recording everything that we do? Are we afraid no one will remember us? Are we insecure? Are we deluded in thinking our lives our important? If you answer YES to any of these questions, then stop reading. You don’t have time to waste. Quickly take a picture of yourself before you disappear. But for those who prefer a more intellectual, relaxed and introspective approach to the art of digital photography, then “Double Vision” is for you. This show is a journey full of surprises presented by photographers Theresa Smerud and Byron Annis, two different artists with two unique perspectives. Combined, their images create an interlocking mosaic of 21st century life, from children to the aged, from the familiar to the foreign, from introspection to pure observation. Theresa Smerud is a rule breaker who likes a good challenge. And photography offers that challenge. Her backstage images of young ballet dancers preparing to perform captures youth in transition: “I like being in the wings witnessing the dancer’s momentary expressions of passion and focus. I’m not looking to just freeze the moment (although she does) but create a more universal image, not a portrait. I become a voyeur watching for that one authentic moment” A great example of how this works can be seen in “Three Ballerinas” (my favorite in the show). The figures seem isolated the faces expressing disinterest, intent and anxiety. Holding her camera and using only the existing dim light, Smerud takes long exposures with a high ISO (1300-2400). This results in large amounts of “digital noise” that give her images a soft tone and texture. Her compositions are framed in the camera and Smerud sometimes highlights or accents her pieces with pastel chalks. Her piece “Fireflies,” reminiscent of Degas, borders on the abstract and the space fills with motion, ballerinas poised in space, performing. “Getting Ready” is a shimmering abstract of red and orange in which an arm or leg is just a small element in the composition. The dancers are only an indication, a suggestion rather than the main focus. Overall, her work covers a wide range

of styles and subject matter, from rainy day river scenes, to models in angled poses, but always, just below the surface lies an underlying quiet tension that pulls the viewer in to take another look at the hidden world around them. On side B of this review, I talk about the work of Byron Annis. Please flip this page over to continue. Byron Annis is not a rule breaker, but a ground breaker, an intrepid explorer of our world. With camera in hand, this now retired neurosurgeon takes to the road and looks at and records the life around us. Starting in the early ‘90s, just as digital photography was coming to the fore, he delved into this new technology with eagerness and passion. Oh for the love of Photoshop! But, it’s not just his post-production computer skills that define his work, but his uncanny ability to capture the mystery and casual intensity that fills our environment. His work is not about what we see, but what we don’t see. In post-production he nudges and adjusts our reality: “I like to exploit the space beyond realism, to explore abstraction in order to reach a more fundamental understanding of the world I encounter.” His work is not cropped, but like Smeruds’, framed in the camera so you see the whole picture as the camera sees it. Some of the most exciting work centers on Annis’s trips to Cuba. Here we view life in a crumbling, decaying world and what he shows us IS life, reflected in the eyes and expressions of those islanders, in their habits and occupations unfettered by western cultural influence. A superb example can be seen in “Inspecting Sneakers”. At first the people seemed posed, but a closer looks reveals a stopped motion reminiscent of Renaissance and Dutch painting. Hands caught in gesture, heads turned, dabs of color accenting time and place, all this catches us off guard and for a moment we are there. “Stripping Tobacco” is a wonderful image where we get to look into another world. Here all details are equal and balanced, from the magazine page decorations hanging from the roof, to the work slogans on the walls to those focused on the task at hand. A woman in the foreground smiles and stares back at us as if there is some joke we don’t get. In “Morning Havana”, a highly detailed image shows us a crumbling building punctuated by blue plastic barrels mounted high up on the facade. Pedestrians casually stroll beneath the weight of this edifice, absorbed in their own lives. Viva Cuba! But back in the U.S. Annis captures, “Singer Needing Some Love” shot at the Mangoes Club in South Beach, FL. A singer standing high on a stage sings to an audience that hardly notices her. A few are turned towards her, but most are absorbed in conversation or drinks. It is a symphony of blues, verdigris and pink, a heady atmosphere where you want to pull up a chair and order some rum. Annis’s work is varied and precise. His images are haunting, a travelogue of places we should visit and people we should meet.

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August 1, 2013 // 19


Folk's diversity on full display at Great River festival Dar Williams opens fest Aug. 23 By Roger Bartel Its roots run deep in American history. Authors have penned books about it, students can take courses dedicated to it, and it’s been the subject of numerous documentaries. Still, folk music defies a simple definition, although “American roots music” is perhaps the closest to capturing its essence, since it can include traditional folk, folk rock, gospel, bluegrass, blues and more. If you want to understand the diverse musical styles that fall under the folk music umbrella, look no further than the lineup at the venerable 54th Newport Folk Festival, held last month. The schedule included cowboy troubadour Ramblin’ Jack Elliott of Texas, the funk of New Orleans native Trombone Shorty, acoustic folk harmonies of the Milk Carton Kids, the retro rockabilly of JD McPherson and the Berklee Gospel and Roots Choir — and that’s just a small sampling. The same diversity will be on display at the 38th annual Great River Folk Festival from Aug. 23-25 on the UW-La Crosse campus. “We sure try to cover a wide range of styles,” said Bobbie Wilson, a member of the festival’s marketing and performers committees. “Some people say, ‘No blues (or whatever), this is a folk fest.’ I say, just about every style of music is folk music, or started out that way. It’s music of the people! We, of course, have singer-songwriters, some traditional folk, but also alt bluegrass, gypsy swing and an awesome girl group, SHEL, that defies categorizing.” Dave Schipper, a first-year member of three GRFF committees, agreed. “We are not and have never been stuck in a narrow genre,” he said. “The fest has is an under-marketed gold mine of music.” The common trait that ties the musical styles together is their grassroots appeal. The music has long been a way for the disenfranchised to be heard — whether slaves in the 1800s, immigrants and union organizers in the 1900s, civil rights demonstrators in the 1950s or antiwar protesters in the 1960s. It is not surprising, then, that the 1960s, one the most chaotic times of American history — with the civil rights movement, Vietnam war and rise of feminism — is considered by some as a golden age of folk music. Artists such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and others helped popularize the acoustic sound most often associated with folk music, but then faded as popular music became louder, coarser and more commercial. Occasionally, an artist perceived as a folk musician, such as Tracy Chapman, or an indie group, such as Bon Iver, may still break through in the music world, but in large the folk music audience is not as prominent as it once was. Still, folk festivals continue to draw enthusiastic fans, and roots music seems to gaining popularity among younger fans and artists, which is good news for the Great River Folk Festival and others like it. “There are always great young singer-songwriters, bluegrass bands, blues players and they have their followings,” Wilson said. “Folk music has always been simmering under the surface. Joni Mitchell and Pete Seeger used to be on the radio all the time, but the ways people listen to music have changed. I think there are many, many people who are looking for, and finding, music that has meaning to them — rather than the mass-produced stuff.” And it’s also good news that a new generation of singers and songwriters has found folk to be an effective way to share their stories and to pick up the standard for social change. A quick glance at three of the many acts at the Great River festival illustrates that point. • Dar Williams, the headliner for the opening night’s show at the Cartwright Center, has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Baez, but


Music Directory FEATURED SHOWS

Thursday, August 1st Del's Bar – Hijos de Galletas Friday, August 2nd Huck Finn’s – Joe Cody & Jan-Arden Petersen • 6 p.m. Freight House – Michael Patrick & Alden Hedges • 6:30 p.m. Root Note, Old Knifey • 8 p.m. Saturday, August 3rd Warehouse – My Ticket Home, Night Verses, I Am King, We Paint the Sky, Molly’s Worst Enemy Freight House – Michael Patrick & Alden Hedges • 7 p.m. Leo & Leona’s – Dan Mahar (singer songwriter) • 7:30 p.m. ($10) Root Note – Emily Forst • 8 p.m. Monday, August 5th Del's Bar – Rick Weeth, open jam host Tuesday, August 6th Farmer’s Market – Grass Run Band • 4 p.m. Warehouse – The Gallery, Neon (acoustic) Wednesday, August 7th Riverside Park – String Ties • 11:30 a.m. Root Note – Adam & Russel Duo (from Horses & Handgrenades), Oso Brew Co. Tasting • 8 p.m. Del's Bar – Terrapin Shells Thursday, August 8th Waterfront – Michael Patrick & Alden Hedges • 6 p.m. Del's Bar – The Occasions Friday, August 9th Irishfest Main Stage – Goitse, The Full Set, The Langer’s Ball, Gaelic Storm • Music starts at 4:30 p.m. JavaVino – Mark & Janette Hanson • 6 p.m. Freight House – Ultra Sonic Duo • 7:30 p.m. Root Note – 64 Squares goodbye • 8 p.m. Leo & Leona’s – Heartsfield (acoustic trio) • 8 p.m. ($10) Saturday, August 10th Irishfest Main Stage – Shillelagh Lad, We Banjo 3, La Crosse Pipe and Drums, Goitse, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Scythian • Music starts at 1 p.m. Freight House – Ultra Sonic Duo • 7:30 p.m. Sunday, August 11th Irishfest Main Stage – Glencastle, We Banjo 3, Hounds of Finn, Scythian, Scattering • Music starts at 11:30 a.m. Monday, August 12th Del's Bar – Dave Orr, open jam host Wednesday, August 14th Riverside Park – Jawbone • 11:30 a.m. Root Note – James Wilson & the Parsley Fields • 8 p.m. Del's Bar – Mayfield Experiment Thursday, August 15th Warehouse – Of the Fact, Borders, Day 42 Del's Bar – Andy Hughes Friday, August 16th La Farge – Larryfest Bluegrass Music Fest • Noon Root Note – Brothers Burn Mountain • 8 p.m.

Warehouse – (Bands TBA)



Saturday, August 17th La Farge – Larryfest Bluegrass Music Fest • Noon Root Note – Shane Leonard • 8 p.m. Monday, August 19th Del's Bar – Dave Armstrong, open jam host Wednesday, August 21st Riverside Park – The Executives • 11:30 a.m. Root Note – Shawn Water • 8 p.m. Del's Bar – DJ Moses Thursday, August 22nd Del's Bar – Ma Bennett's Boys Friday, August 23rd JavaVino – Mark & Janette Hanson • 6 p.m. Huck Finn’s – Joe Cody & Jan-Arden Petersen • 6 p.m. Freight House – Dan Sebranek • 8 p.m. Root Note – Jordan Patros • 8 p.m. Great River Folk Festival – Dar Williams • 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 24th Huck Finn’s – Emma Lea Blank • 7 p.m. Great River Folk Festival – Barbara Jean, Harmonious Wail, The May North, SHEL, Willy Porter • 5 p.m. Root Note – Great River Folkfest Afterparty Sunday, August 25th Great River Folk Festival – Claudia Schmidt, songwriting contest winner, The Ultrasonics • 4:30 p.m. Monday, August 26th Warehouse – Wilson, The Greenery, American Fangs Del's Bar – Dustin Rosa, open jam host Wednesday, August 28th Riverside Park – Third Charles • 11:30 a.m. Del's Bar – Bandsaw Brothers Thursday, August 29th Del's Bar – Brahman Shaman, Matt Monsoor, Moth Mountain Friday, August 30th Pump House – John Gorka (acoustic) • 7:30 p.m. Root Note – Downtown Sound Presents Chastity Brown


Sunday La Crosse Queen – The Journeymen • 6 p.m. Popcorn – Innocuous Voodoo (funk) • 10 p.m. Monday Popcorn – Grant’s Open Jam • 10 p.m. Del’s – Cheech’s Open Jam • 10 p.m. Tuesday Popcorn – Paulie • 10 p.m. Root Note – 3rd Relation Jazz • 8 p.m. Jade Café – Open Mic Night • 7 p.m Thursday Starlight – Kies & Kompanie (jazz) • 5 p.m. Root Note – Open Mic • 8 p.m. Popcorn – Dave Orr’s Blues Jam • 10 p.m. Huck Finn’s – Joe Cody, Jan-Arden Petersen • 6 p.m. Friday La Crosse Queen – The Journeymen • 6 p.m. Saturday La Crosse Queen – The Journeymen • 6 p.m.

20 // August 1, 2013

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The Beer Review

"Sounds Terrible" Music you don't want to hear By Matt Jones

Answers on Page 15

Strawberry Rhubarb New Glarus Brewing New Glarus, Wisconsin By Adam Bissen

ACROSS 1 "Rubaiyat" poet Khayyam 5 Unbuttered, like toast 8 Foil the plans of 14 Vincent of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" 16 Medicine man 17 Extremely drab orchestra tunes? 18 Pulling an all-nighter 19 Not a silk purse source, in an old phrase 21 Clique member, often 22 Fall back, as the tide 25 Rap so ancient that fungus is growing on it? 27 Opulent residence 30 Greek letter 31 The Atlanta Braves' div. 32 Destroy 33 Went ___ for the ride 35 Loud music that's too deep to think about? 39 Succulent plants 40 "Arrested Development" surname

43 Big bygone bird 46 1998 Hyundai acquisition 47 Pic taken at arm's length 48 Anti-label music that's totally bogus? 52 S.E. Hinton classic 53 ___-do-well (scoundrel) 54 Border on the court 57 Let everyone else have a turn 59 Moronic offshoot of reggae? 63 Pink character on "The Backyardigans" 64 Sensitive to other's feelings 65 Visualizing 66 Fast-spinning stat 67 Body shop removal DOWN 1 Deceased Wu-Tang member, briefly 2 Word from Miss Piggy 3 "Brokeback Mountain" director Lee 4 Burgles

5 Art correspondence class come-on 6 Laundry detergent brand of yore 7 Alpine melody 8 Lovey's hubby on "Gilligan's Island" 9 "Cool," once 10 "America's Most Wanted" host John 11 Support group with 12 steps 12 Prepare for a factory upgrade 13 Amplifier setting 15 Progressive character? 20 "Someone Like You" singer 22 Pre-album albums, briefly 23 "Jackass" crew member Margera 24 Nothing to brag about 26 Is impossible 28 In a muddle 29 Sarah of "Roseanne" and "Scrubs" 33 Clock settings

34 Nerve 36 Easy-to-recognize word in speech recognition programs 37 Ache (for) 38 Air, to Germans 41 Pain in the neck? 42 Place a curse on 43 Jazz bassist Charlie 44 Early even score 45 Penguin from Antarctica 47 Cuts corners 49 From Baghdad, say 50 Comparatively peculiar 51 Dirt cluster 55 The Pistons, the Pacers, etc. 56 Founded, on town signs 58 It's "a mass of incandescent gas," in a TMBG song 60 Word ignored when alphabetizing 61 "Ich bin ___ Berliner" 62 %, for short ©2013 Jonesin' Crosswords

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I was planning to pen an endearing ode to New Glarus’ latest seasonal gem, but I simply cannot ignore the fact that 12 hours ago a new YouTube video went viral. So go ahead and Google "Crazy lady in my town caught stealing rhubarb," and I’ll try not to mention it again. Now then — speaking of that delicious summertime treat, have I got a story to tell you about rhubarb! This involves Dan and Deb Carey, the husband and wife duo behind New Glarus Brewing, the cultish microbrewers whose previous fruit concoctions (Serendipity, Raspberry Tart, Wisconsin Belgian Red) have attained a hallowed status as some of the highest-rated beers in the world. But there’s just one problem with making locally sourced fruit beers — sometimes the crops don’t cooperate. Following continued failures of the raspberry and cherry harvest, the Careys opted for another delectable pie combination to stand apart from the masses: strawberry rhubarb. Though this may seem like a staple of Wisconsin cuisine, it was again a tough year for commercial growers — so there Dan and Deb were on June 15, reaching out to their neighbors (no, not that one!) at the annual New Glarus Polka Festival. Manning a booth, the Careys accepted bunches of garden-harvested rhubarb to be used in this first time-brew. Six weeks later — after the fruit was mashed with a sour brown ale base and aged in oak barrels — the newest New Glarus creation was ready for the world.

FOLK CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 her sense of humor is considered a bit more acidic, which comes through in her lyrics. “She is a sweetheart that will have the crowd waiting on every word,” Schipper said. Coming out of the East Coast folk scene of the mid 1990s, she has created a significant fan base that appreciates not only her ability to write songs about contemporary life, but also her three-octave voice. • SHEL, too, illustrates the diversity of roots music. The vocal group of four sisters (Sarah, Hannah, Eva and Liza) has blended, as one writer put it, “wisps of folk revival, vaudeville, renaissance fairs and steam-punk esthetic.” SHEL’s core influences, they say, include The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Harry Nilsson and acoustic super-group Strength In Numbers. The band was listed as one of the top 10 secrets of this year's SXSW fest, Schipper noted. • Wisconsin native and UW-Eau Claire grad Willy Porter, meanwhile, is well known across the state for his talents as a guitarist and story teller. He has toured with groups displaying a staggering array of styles: Jethro Tull, Tori Amos, Ricky Lee Jones, The Cran-

Purchase: One 25-ounce bottle of Strawberry Rhubarb from Festival Foods, $8.99 Style: Fruit beer Strength: 4 percent ABV Packaging: The most distinctive feature is the green bottle, topped with green wax, while the label boasts an illustration of a strawberry with the word RHUBARB spelled out in stalks. Appearance: Although I expected something unnaturally red like strawberry pop, this beer takes earthier tones of rhubarb (or perhaps the brown ale) to make a thin brownish-amber brew with a light, pinkish head. Aroma: The fruit notes are big — with an emphasis on ripe strawberries — but they are not overbearing. The sour base comes out through the nose, along with a faint hop presence. Taste: The first flavors to hit the tongue are huge gulps of strawberries, tasting like they were just picked hours ago. You’d expect potent rhubarb to dominate the taste, but it creeps out with a humble earthiness towards the finish, gently guided along by light hops. Mouthfeel: Very thin bodied, probably the thinnest beer I’ve tried all year. Drinkability: This beer is extremely delicious and would probably be better as a standalone treat than as a food pairing. Ratings: The reviewers at BeerAdvocate score this a 94, while RateBeer continues the New Glarus hype by grading this a 99 — though, honestly, I’d be hard-pressed to say it’s overrated. This is just another locally sourced masterbrew from New Glarus. I can only hope the harvest I pull from my own garden (or, perhaps, my neighbor’s) will taste a tenth as good.

berries, Paul Simon, Jeff Beck and Sting, among others. His live performances show off his incredible breadth of talent as guitarist, songwriter, storyteller, performance artist and comedian. Folk music, it’s clear, is far from dead. “Acoustic music, intense songwriting, people music ... it isn't going to go away soon,” Schipper said. The organizers of the Great River Folk Festival will be happy, however, if fans just leave the festival with a smile on their faces. “I hope people will remember discovering great performers they hadn’t heard before, being surrounded by other folks who are having a great time at this traditional end-of-the-summer party,” Wilson said. Schipper said this year’s festival should be noteworthy because it had music playing all the time, hosted its first poetry slam and “I believe and hope they'll ultimately remember they saw SHEL before they won a Grammy for the best new artist.” Friday evening’s headline concert will be held at the Cartwright Center. All other events are held outdoors on the UW-L campus, including the “Under the Stars” concert Saturday night. For more information and a complete Great River Folk Fest schedule, visit

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I Like to Watch

her for only a short time, I’m already counting on her.

By Dean Robbins Special to Second Supper Web Therapy Tuesday, Aug. 6, 9 pm (Showtime) Web Therapy is a series where comedians amuse each other and, more often than not, the viewers. Lisa Kudrow plays a dumb, vain, manipulative therapist named Fiona, who communicates with people via web chat. Each half-hour episode consists of a doublescreen image, with Kudrow on one side talking to stars such as Megan Mullally and Steve Carell on the other. In season three, they improvise silly conversations about a misbegotten Broadway musical and a phony self-help cult called Quorum. Carell plays Jackson, the head of Quorum, and this week he hooks up both Fiona and himself to a “soul-cleansing machine.” The machine makes a pleasant DING after a truthful answer and provides an electric shock after a lie. Jackson gets a shock when he denies that he once sold timeshares. He takes an additional jolt when he insists that they were “spiritually based timeshares.” BZZT! A blooper reel over the closing credits shows the stars having a good time. You’ll have a good time, too. DING. Broadchurch Wednesday, Aug. 7, 9 pm (BBC America)

August 1, 2013 // 21


A quiet English town registers shock when an 11-year-old boy’s body turns up on the beach. No one on the local police force has experience in such matters – no one except a new detective in town named Alec Hardy (David Tennant). Alec is hauntedlooking and intense, given to outbursts when his partner, Ellie (Olivia Colman) makes a mistake. Ellie’s son was a friend of the victim, and she can’t help letting her own feelings affect the investigation. This BBC series brings to life not only these two detectives, but a whole community. Everyone knows everyone in Broadchurch, and everyone becomes a suspect in the murder. It’s refreshing to watch a crime drama that doesn’t feel the need to throw buckets of blood at the screen. Instead, Broadchurch focuses on relationships, some of them almost embarrassingly intimate. “I don’t know if I can do this,” Ellie confesses to her husband at the start of the investigation. I certainly hope she can. After knowing

Strike Back Friday, Aug. 9, 9 pm (Cinemax) When it comes to international terrorist dramas, I’ll take Strike Back over Homeland. It’s twice as exciting, with actors clearly out to have a good time. (Contrast to Homeland’s perpetually pained Claire Danes.) The season premiere begins at maximum thrill level, as terrorists threaten a member of our British intelligence team in the Lebanese outback. I guess “maximum” is the wrong word, because the action only ratchets up from there. Bad-ass operatives Michael (Philip Winchester) and Damian ( Sullivan Stapleton) parachute into Colombia to neutralize the terrorist kingpin who’s traveled from Lebanon to do business with a scary South American drug lord. These two find time to rib each other in between grenade blasts, gun battles and rocket-launcher attacks. And don’t think all the fun is reserved for these gorgeous, muscle-bound, toughas-nails guys. The episode gives equal time to gorgeous, muscle-bound, tough-as-nails women, who (believe me) are not to be trifled with. One of them, an agent stationed in Colombia, notices Michael dive into the water during a climactic shootout. “What the hell is he doing?” she asks Damian. He replies, “Something brave or something stupid.” Either way, I guarantee you will enjoy it.

Clear History Saturday, Aug. 10, 8 pm (HBO) All of us Curb Your Enthusiasm fans were suspicious when writer-star Larry David suspended the series to work on an HBO movie. But we needn’t have worried. Clear History is like an extended episode of Curb, with even bigger and better humiliations for the Larry David stand-in. Here David plays Nathan Flomm, a bearded, longhaired marketing executive who stupidly walks away from a billion-dollar electric-car idea after a petty fight with his partner, Will (Jon Hamm). Nathan becomes a national laughingstock, so he moves to Martha’s Vineyard, changes his identity, shaves his hair to Larry David-style baldness, and blends into working-class life with a group of new pals (Amy Ryan, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes, Danny McBride, Bill Hader). All is well until Will happens to move to the island with his perfect wife (Kate Hudson). Nathan plots his revenge, ignoring the advice of a friend to “let it go.” Of course, a Larry David character can never let anything go. He’s convinced he’s in the right, thereby sealing his doom. David is our bard of minor irritations, dating back to his brilliant scripts for Seinfeld. Clear History bears the marks of his comic genius, including an insight into the minutiae of daily life you’ve never thought about before. (And really, why aren’t elec-

ommitment meets cooperation

Where healing meets strength Where hope meets resilience

Where wellness meets teamwork

Where inspiration meets innovation

Where compassion meets respect

Where Caring Meets Excellence


22 // August 1, 2013


I Like to Watch CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21 trical outlets at eye level?) Then there’s his ruthless determination to expose self-interested behavior in all its forms. David is incapable of allowing his heroes satisfaction. I just hope he can allow himself a moment’s satisfaction for his longform achievement in Clear History. Breaking Bad Sunday, Aug. 11, 8 pm (AMC) Here we go. Breaking Bad begins its last

eight-episode run, sealing the fate of high school teacher turned drug kingpin Walter White. I don’t actually know if Walt’s life will end tragically (AMC is being as secretive as the NSA about the season’s plot points), but it’s hard to imagine a moral universe in which it didn’t. In the season’s first half, which aired last summer, Walt revived his meth operation, forced his wife into a fake suicide attempt, killed an associate, and had a bunch of potential stool pigeons massacred. I can’t foresee the sun shining and the soundtrack striking a major chord when the curtain finally comes down on this corrupted soul. I can foresee Breaking Bad taking its

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place among the TV series immortals. Entertainment Weekly recently picked it as the 18th best show of all time, even though it’s still in mid-run. Here’s hoping the home stretch places it definitively in the top 10. Baby Sellers Saturday, Aug. 17, 7 pm (Lifetime) This TV movie goes inside the criminal operations that provide babies to sell on the adoption market. It is efficiently written and directed to evoke maximum outrage. In the opening scenes, Homeland Security officers with flak jackets and assault rifles surround a truck carrying a cargo of babies in plastic bins. One of the officers, Ni-

Second Supper | The Free Press cole (Jennifer Finnigan), is so disgusted she decides to go undercover to a shady adoption agency, posing as a woman seeking a baby from India. Agency head Carla (Kirstie Alley) is all sweetness and smiles in public, but cold and calculating as she deals with her suppliers behind closed doors. I’m used to loving Alley on the small screen, so it’s a shock to see her as a villain. And what a villain – cynical, blunt and cruel. She makes such a memorable creep that it might be hard for her to go back to playing sympathetic characters. I’m worried that, from now on, even seeing her in Cheers reruns will make me slightly uneasy.

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— Friend Of Stubborn Woman

The Advice Goddess By Amy Alkon Mystery meet

A man my friend was crazy for just broke up with her. I kind of saw the breakup coming, as I thought they were too different, but she thinks he just falsely advertised who he really is. They met online, and he made himself out to be this guy who loves art and culture, which to her means going to museums, shows and lectures, and to him means staying home and making things. She now insists that the only way to meet people is in the activity you want them to be doing. For example, if you want a guy who likes art museums and going to cultural events (which she does), you’d better hang out in an art museum to find a date. I think it’s a mistake for her not to keep online dating, because I think she’ll meet a lot more

August 1, 2013 // 23


People try to put their best foot forward on dating sites, and rather often, it turns out it’s not actually their foot. Of course, deceptive self-marketing is not exclusive to online dating, and online dating does offer certain efficiencies that trying to meet a man at an art museum or cultural event does not. For example, people join a dating site specifically because they are looking for a partner. Some man you spot in a museum may also be looking for a partner — his wife, who was right behind him just a room ago. It sounds like your friend is blaming the Internet because a guy she liked didn’t like her back. They maybe both projected what they wanted on each other and needed to dig deeper to find out who the person they were dating really was. This is what dating is for. It’s supposed to be a process of finding out about a person, not “I baited the hook; I caught the fish; now let’s decide what’s for dinner at the wedding!” We often don’t need anybody to go to the trouble of deceiving us. We do that really well on our own, like by telling ourselves we’ve found the “perfect person” and ignoring any evidence to the contrary.

Instead, there needs to be a vetting process, whether you meet a man online or at an artwalk. It involves asking questions and looking to see who he is and being willing to find out that he isn’t right for you. This vetting is essential because, wherever you meet men, there’s one thing many will have in common: insisting they’re interested in whatever you are if they think you’re hot. Try to help your friend see that holing up in the art museum isn’t the answer. Sure, it might be kismet that Mr. Dreamypants is standing in the lobby right next to her favorite sculpture, or he might just be waiting to enjoy the work of Sir John Harrington, the guy who invented the flush toilet found in the free public bathroom.

A mitey love

I'm 5’8”; my fiance is just at 5’7”. I’m only comfortable when he wears lifts, especially if I’m wearing heels. It may not seem like a big height difference, but when he doesn’t wear them, he feels like my son. I know they’re uncomfortable, and he sometimes doesn’t feel up to wearing them. Mostly, though, he won’t let me see him without them, because he knows I'm way more attracted to him when he’s a tad taller. I feel bad about this, and I’ve prayed that one day, my strong love for him will let me ignore this minor “flaw.” —Trying To Get Above It

The dream was tall, dark and handsome. Not elfish, dark,and handsome. Still, the problem here could be seen another way: You need to be shorter. Unfortunately, accomplishing that is the less practical solution, as it would require a saw. It might help to understand that you want him to be taller not because you’re a bad person but because you’re a product of human evolution. In our ancestral past, height in a man likely had mating and survival advantages. (The short caveman would have been less able to reach the lion with his spear: “Take that, you big meanie!”) As for what to do in the present, elevator shoes might be the solution you’re both looking for. While lifts are inserts stuck into the shoe, mainly raising the heel, elevator shoes, which can be custom-made by a podiatrist, have a hidden platform built in throughout the shoe. The latest models are cleverly designed and appear to be normal footwear. This means that a man needn’t suffer the discomfort of tromping around in heels just to be attractive to his partner. (Next thing you know, he’ll be complaining about the scratchy red lace and underwire digging into his flesh.) (c) 2013, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon at (

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Best of La Crosse 2013