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: Communication and patience often can alleviate many misunderstandings.
A proposed Public Good Order ordinance that was unveiled by city officials in the spring raised the ire of UW-Eau Claire students who felt they were left out of the process aimed at alleviating problems from excessively drunk people, primarily near campus. The city backed off the original plan and agreed to discuss the idea with multiple stakeholders, including university leaders, students, tavern owners, police and neighborhood residents. “It was just such a unique opportunity to hear all those perspectives in one space,” Lieske Giese, Eau Claire City-County Health Department director, told the Leader-Telegram’s Andrew Dowd.
The city will present a new version of the ordinance this fall. All parties may not agree with all portions of the ordinance, but everyone got to share their point of view.
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Thumbs down: The State Theatre could be a tough sell if it keeps the strict conditions owners put on it for future use of the building.
The 93-year-old building will stand empty when the Pablo Center at the Confluence opens down the street next month. Local and national productions that were at the deteriorating State Theatre will be on the stage at the new $60 million Pablo Center. The State Theatre may have held its final show because a restriction on the sale of the building by the owner — the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center will turn ownership over to the Confluence Council — prohibits use of the facility for live performances. Pablo Center officials don’t want the competition as the new venture gets off the ground.
The problem is that the restriction has no sunset date. Some members of the city Landmarks Commission fear that means it’s likely the building will be razed instead of sold. As reported in a story by the Leader-Telegram’s Andrew Dowd, Landmarks Commission member Brady Foust, who also is on the Confluence Council, said no serious offers have been made for The State. Foust suggested the Confluence Council have a “right of first refusal” arrangement with future owners of The State over acts considering Eau Claire. That’s an idea that could make everybody happy.
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Thumbs up: It’s exciting to see two Eau Claire basketball players — North’s Dalton Banks and Memorial’s Caden Boser — getting NCAA Division I scholarship offers.
Banks is an electrifying 6-foot-1 guard who was a first-team All-Northwest player as a sophomore. Banks has scholarship offers from UW-Green Bay and South Dakota while the 6-foot-7 Boser, who was fourth team All-Northwest, has been offered by UW-Milwaukee. They sharpened their skills playing AAU across the country this summer so expect big things from the Big Rivers Conference players this year. “You always dream about (college scholarships) as a kid and you think about what it’s going to be like,” Banks told the Leader-Telegram’s Nick Erickson.
Basketball fans will have an opportunity to watch the two standouts for two more winters and they will only get better. Don’t miss out on the opportunity.