There are some weeks that I have a lot of things to say about one topic. There are other times that I have a few thoughts about a variety of subjects...
DOWNTOWN EAU CLAIRE: If you remember, my editorial last week discussed the possibility that Riverfront Partners III, LLC, would be the entity that would be approved to develop the North Barstow Street area that has been targeted for revitalization. At the time that I wrote last week's column, the city council had not yet acted on the proposal to have Riverfront Partners proceed with their plans, despite the fact that the city's Redevelopment Authority had approved of the concept for the new group to renovate the two-block region. The Eau Claire City Council voted to delay the process last Thursday night because the elected officials were not convinced that the newly-promoted development team had "the same vision" that the initial development partnership had in mind for downtown.
The city's reluctance to allow the new developers to allow the project to proceed was a clear lack of judgment. Memo to Eau Claire City Council members: This new group of developers, which includes Dan Clumpner and Stuart Schaefer of Commonweal Development and Dan Market of Market & Johnson are undoubtedly some of the most productive business owners this area has. I hope the city council has the foresight to take advantage of a proposal from two of the area's most successful companies to allow them to do what they do best. It may be the last chance for a "white knight" to bail out the city's vision for an improved downtown central business district.
NFL/BTN NETWORKS: It has been four years that I have been Charter-free. In other words, I have not spent any money to support Charter Communications, the region's worst excuse for a service company. I have spent a few more dollars each month to access DirecTV, but it is worth the extra cost. I have enjoyed the NFL Ticket the past few years and look forward to watching many Big Ten college football and basketball games through DirecTV on the Big Ten Network (BTN). I know I am spending more money, but is is heartwarming to know that Charter Communications has not earned anything from me since 2003.
LEINIE'S: I noticed that Leinenkugel's Brewing Company has launched a new brand called Big Eddy Russion Imperial Stout, which is named after the "Big Eddy" spring that feeds the Leinenkugel's Brewery in Chippewa Falls. Unfortunately, Miller Brewing Company decided to only test the new product in Milwaukee, Madison and the Detroit,MI, area. How can a product that reflects its Chippewa Falls heritage not be available to local beer drinkers?