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Saturday, November 26, 2016

NoDAPL solidarity action - Dec. 1!!

On November 20, the police violently attacked peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, sound grenades, and sprayed them with water cannons in subfreezing conditions. Hundreds of people were injured.

In response, a coalition of groups at Standing Rock are calling for a Global Day of Action on December 1st. The main targets are financiers of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the police departments that have been brought in from across the Midwest to brutalize water protectors.

In La Crosse, supporters will be gathering outside the Wells Fargo downtown (305 5th Ave. S.). Due to the short amount of time to organize, this will not be a programmed protest with speakers. We will gather and take part in a walking protest with signage and pass out informational fliers to Wells Fargo customers and pedestrians.  It would be great to have people sign up for shifts so we can stage an all-day protest from 9am - 5pm.  You can indicate which time period you'll be attending  when you RSVP at

To stay up to date with what's happening in the pipeline fight, follow the Sacred Stone camp or Indigenous Rising Media on Facebook.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Congratulations, Winona! - and - when no one speaks up

It was very exciting to hear the Winona County has voted to ban frac sand mining! This is the power of the people who have organized, argued, informed, written, educated, lobbied, pushed back, and worked tirelessly to hold their elected leaders accountable to the good of the pe.ople. ===== On a different note, this article points out that Democrats have been mostly silent on DAPL because they are funded by the fossil fuel industry. When the elected officials are already owned by those who are doing the damage, lobbying elected officials does no good.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Sustainable business conference - Dec. 8

Join RENEW Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Sustainabile Business Conference 2016
The 2016 Wisconsin Sustainable Business Conference is coming up on Thursday, December 8th in Onalaska, WI. The agenda was just announced, and RENEW's Tyler Huebner will be moderating a panel tilted "Using Renewable Energy in Your Business." 
The panel will feature:

- Ben Reynolds - Reynolds Transfer

- Alan Eber - Gundersen Health

- Dan Andersen - Phillips Medisize

Join RENEW Wisconsin at this excellent event to learn more about cutting edge business sustainability practicies and to disucss how we can help create a successful, sustainable, transparent, Wisconsin business community that will stand out nationally.

When: Thursday, December 8th 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m., with reception to follow

Where: Empire Screen Printing

Address: N520 Marco Road Onalaska, WI 54650

Learn more and register here!

Now what climate strategy session Nov. 11


Let's plan the fight ahead.

With Trump as President, there is no denying the fact that our job is harder now. Leaders from across movements for justice will gather on a live broadcast to discuss plans for the fight ahead. To continue toward justice, our movements must join together like never before. If that’s a vision you want to be part of, join the live strategy session on November 11.

RSVP here: 


Monday, November 7, 2016

November 15 - NO DAPL ACTION in La Crescent

[cross posted at]

NOVEMBER 15 - NO DAPL event in La Crescent


Nov 15 #NoDAPL Day of Action at Army Corps of Engineers

10:00 AM at Army Corps of Engineers Field Office
1114 S Oak St, La Crescent, MN 55947

Indigenous leaders are calling on us to take to the streets and disrupt "business-as-usual" one week after the election to demand that President Obama’s Army Corps of Engineers and the incoming administration stop the Dakota Access Pipeline -- and all those after it.

On Tuesday, November 15th, join a massive day of action in solidarity with those at Standing Rock, and demand the Federal government and the Army Corps reject this pipeline.

The Army Corps fast-tracked the Dakota Access Pipeline without proper consultation, and as a result, bulldozers are approaching Standing Rock as we speak. But with coordinated, massive demonstrations across the country, we’ll make it clear that this powerful movement will not allow the Obama administration or the incoming President to sacrifice Indigenous rights, our water, or our climate - they must reject this pipeline.

This day of action is one of many calls for solidarity actions targeting not only the Army Corps, but stakeholders at every level -- including the banks who are funding Dakota Access and the companies building the project.

This is one of the most courageous stands against a fossil fuel project this country has ever seen. Together, our movements stopped the Keystone XL pipeline almost one-year ago today, and an even bigger movement is rising up to stop Dakota Access and all fossil fuel infrastructure.

We know that elections and individuals alone don’t create change -- movements do. That’s why we’ll continue to fight until native sovereignty is honored, indigenous rights are protected, and our communities, water, and climate matter more than fossil fuel profits.

This is a movement-led day of action, taking leadership from indigenous groups active in the Standing Rock struggle including Indigenous Environmental Network and Honor the Earth. We encourage local action organizers to reach out to indigenous and frontline leaders in your community and work together in planning and organizing, reflecting that this moment is about social, climate, environmental, and economic justice - with a centering of indigenous rights and de-colonization.

Participating groups include:
  • Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)
  • Honor the Earth
  • National Nurses United
  • Hip Hop Caucus
  • BOLD Alliance
  • Greenpeace USA
  • Rainforest Action Network
  • Oil Change International
  • Our Revolution
  • Center for Popular Democracy
  • Powershift Network
  • Earthworks
  • Food and Water Watch
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Sierra Club
  • and more

Friday, November 4, 2016

My Enterprise car share experience

Thanks to the hard work of CRCA member, Brian, UWL Enterprise Car Share opened up their program this year to La Crosse community members.

Right now (until December 31, 2016) new members can get a year's membership for just $1 (the application fee is waived and the annual membership, normally $35, reduced to $1!) And, until the end of the year, using one of the two Nissan Altimas that currently make up the program fleet, costs $5 per hour (normally it's $7.50).

Though I own a car, I am currently sharing it with my housemate so I thought I would join for a dollar and see how it works. While I may not need a car share in town very much, another benefit of being a member, acccording to the FAQ page, is being able to book a car in another city, and that might come in handy for vacations.

I had read through the new member info and felt I had a good grasp of how things worked. In this first experience, I found that some things worked great and there were a few glitches.

I will summarize what I learned today here in case you join. It's not exactly as easy as they describe in the little intro videos, but it's much cheaper than buying, registering, paying interest on, insuring, fueling, and maintaining your own car.

1. When you get your card, there's a six digit number on the front. This is NOT your member number which was emailed when your application was complete. This is your gas PIN. You may want to write your member number on your key card. More about this below!

2. Make sure you have the details of your reservation with you - either printed out or on your phone or tablet's Enterprise Car Share app. You may need to adust your reservation or call about a problem and having all the details handy will help. In fact, in addition to your reservation details, make sure you have with you - your key card, your membership number, a paper and pencil or an enhanced memory, and some money or a credit card just in case, your smart phone with Enterprise app installed.

3. Because of the way the pick up and return times work, at least now while the cars are not being heavily used, I would suggest reserving for the shortest time you think you will need the car and adjusting your reservation by adding 15 or 30 minutes while you're using the car if needed. More about this below. This won't work so well if it gets to a point where the vehicles are busy all the time, but that's what I suggest for now.

4. The blue Nissan Altima is in lot C-2 (the Stadium Lot) and it's in a RESERVED spot three in on the furthest west (facing East Avenue and the sidewalk) row of parking. (Of course I started way on the other side and walked the whole lot before finding the vehicle!) The white (other) Altima is in a different lot - I think in the lot between Recreational Eagle Center and La Crosse Street).

5. The #4 bus stops right at the corner of Vine and East Avenue - just steps from the car. If you ride your bike there, there is a large bike parking area just across the street.

6. The person before you was supposed to have left at least 1/4 tank of fuel in the vehicle. In my case, the first thing that greeted me when I started the car was the LOW FUEL indicator. Hmmm. No problem. I would gas up near my first errand stop.

When you get gas, you will swipe the gas card (stored in the glove box) and then need to enter the car's current mileage (thus the paper and pencil) and then your PIN number.

7. When your membership is approved, they are supposed to enter your personal PIN (the six digit number on your key card) into the system. If they don't, when you go to get gas, you will get the message BAD PIN and that's when you will use your member number and reservation details to call Enterprise and ask them what is going on! They are very helpful.

8. If it takes you extra time to deal with gassing up the vehicle because of someone else's screw up, ask for extra time free of charge.

9. If you return the car before your reservation time is up, you will not be able to swipe your card to end your reservation. This is a problem if you don't want to wait around until the exact minute (the reservation times are in 15 minute segments) it does end. So, call Enterprise and they will end the reservation for you. This seems a little weird and silly, but that's the way it is, apparently.

However, if, during your reservation, you realize you have reserved for too long and you shorten your reservation, you will still be charged for up to three hours from the time you make the change (or until your original reservation ends, whichever comes first).

That's why I say, go short and add time by phone or with the app if needed (and possible). From the FAQ: "If your extension or late return delays another member who has reserved the vehicle you are driving, an inconvenience fee may apply."

Overall, it was an adventure and I learned a lot. Now I know how to gas up the vehicle and how to maneuver the reservation system. As I said, it's much cheaper than owning a car. And statistics show that car sharing reduces the number of miles driven and more efficiently uses resources.

So, if you've been thinking about it, I encourage you to try it for a year and see if it works for you. Join by December 1 to save money. Comment with your own experiences or with questions.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Many small things

Here are some updates about local/regional/national issues.

At the November 2, Community Resiliency Conference, Mayor Roy Buol talked about their sustainability initiatives. One included doing a survey of their entire community's greenhouse gas emissions and then pledging to cut them by 50% by the year 2030. A member of the Compact of Mayors, Buol and his team are using a standard reliable measuring protocol. Other iniatives have included rebuilding their waste water treatment plant to employ anaerobic digesters which produce methane that helps generate electricity for the facility. Read more about it here.

On Friday, November 4, the National Sierra Club will host a NO DAPL webinar including reports from club members who have been standing with water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota. The webinar will begin at 4 p.m. Central time and continue until 5:30. Get the RSVP link and much more from the Coulee Region Sierra Club's November newsletter.

The State Sierra Club will host a Transportation summit in Milwaukee on Saturday, December 3 with low cost registration ($10, but rduced fee available), free meals, the chance to network with others around the state, and even a free bus from Madison. Register by November 21 and the club will help you find a ride/car pool to Madison (where you can grab the free bus). This summit is a chance for people concerned about the economic and environmental implications of state transportation budgets that continue to favor private vehicle use and road building and ignore transit riders and those who don't or can't drive cars. More details at the registration page.

Before the Flood is a new documentary from National Geographic. Narrated by Leonardo di Caprio, the film looks at what's at stake if we don't take immediate action to halt climate change. You can watch it free online until November 6. We may try to do a community screening before the end of the year if there's enough interest.

What action can we take? If you are reading this you know that reducing or stopping your consumption of meat - especially far-away produced meat - will help. Reduce your energy use. Quit driving your car to every little thing. Turn off the lights and, if you have to, fight with your Trumpkin co-workers who don't believe in climate change. Demand real action from our leaders, not the tepid, useless, "Maybe we can reroute the pipeline," silliness that passes for woke behavior these days.

Don't let others get away with bad actions, either. We are in prime LEAF BLOWER season. As I bike past people blowing a single leaf down a 30 foot driveway, it's very hard not to stop and yank the blower cord from the socket . We will soon be coming into prime idle-your-car-for-half-an-hour-outside-the-school/Y/martial-arts-studio-while-waiting-for-your-child-who-is-perfectly-capable-of-taking-the bus-home season. Be prepared to tap on a few windows and remind people that our planet is going to burn up if they don't wake up. And don't get me started on rotary Blights! grrr.