Editor’s note: The weekly “Thumbs Up-Thumbs Down” editorial offers opinions on highs and lows in the news during the past week.
Thumbs up: Chippewa Falls is a progressive community when it comes to the issue of homelessness.
The City Council gave approval this week for two more small homeless shelters — tiny homes — that will be installed at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, according to a report by the Leader-Telegram’s Chris Vetter. With the new tiny homes, the city will have six such buildings in church parking lots while the village of Lake Hallie also has two. A city inspector last month said he has had no complaints about the tiny houses in the 18 months they have been available for the homeless. Seventeen people have used the houses for a combined 2,000 nights.
Why don’t more communities use tiny houses to help meet the needs of homeless residents? Chippewa Falls has shown the way, but no one else has picked up on the idea. No proposal has ever come before the City Council in Eau Claire. It may be worth groups taking a look at to combat the poverty in this community that has pushed people into the streets.
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Thumbs down: Dog- and cock-fighting seems like something out of a movie rather than something found on a west-central Wisconsin farm.
But Pierce County authorities say that for the second time in two years they’ve uncovered an animal-fighting operation in their county. The operation found near Spring Valley recently follows a 2016 discovery near Elmwood. Authorities say the Spring Valley farm had 1,300 animals — mostly chickens. In addition to deplorable conditions, sheriff’s deputies found more than a dozen dogs they believe were bred for fighting, roosters apparently altered for fighting and a fighting ring on the property.
Dogs and chickens fighting isn’t sport. It’s animal cruelty in the most despicable manner. Humans wagering on the demise of an animal has no place in this society. Kudos to Pierce County officials for cracking down on the activities.
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Thumbs up: Eau Claire is losing some of its big box retailers, but for now at least, the Chippewa Valley economy is rolling.
Sales tax collections in June set a record as Eau Claire County took in $1.25 million from its half-percent tax during the month, according to a report by the Leader-Telegram’s Andrew Dowd. Consumers purchased about $250 million in goods and services in June, showing Eau Claire remains a regional shopping hub where local residents and those in the surrounding area flock to, especially on weekends. Over the first six months of the year, Eau Claire County has brought in $5.4 million in sales tax.
Stores will come and go, but Eau Claire is, and will remain, a major shopping destination.