WI Voices on Pause…

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For nearly three years, it has been our honor and pleasure to report about and record more than 40 interviews with our fellow Wisconsinites.  However, it is now time for WIvoices.org to take a break.


Thank you, all, for your generous support and your willingness to trust us with your stories!  Your testimonies not only reveal the deep sense of community prevalent here in Wisconsin, but also how public policy directly affects quality-of-life issues.


Ongoing reporting concerning Glenwood City frac sand mining is in the capable hands of local, state, and national news.
 (New Richmond News, WI Center for Investigative Journalism, Huffington Post)


Finally, there is one
 updated interview you should check out!  Former teacher, Stephanie Kline, “WI Teacher Resigns Citing Stress, Health Care, Uncertainty, provided us with a surprising update.  It seems her gamble may have paid off.

Although Kline misses her students, she writesLife is good.”


That’s a good place for us to pause for now too.  So, from everybody here at WIvoices.org, Thank you.
 

 

ELECTION RESULTS: Voters to Speak on Frac Sand; Recall Election Tuesday in Glenwood

UPDATE: Election Results

According to the Glenwood City website, the unofficial results of the December 17, 2013 recall election are as follows:

 

Mayoral Race:

John Larson (incumbent) -  183

Ken Peterson (challenger) -  140

 

City Council Races:

Nancy Hover (incumbent) – 163

Barb Standaert (challenger) – 160

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David Graese ( incumbent) – 162

Chris Schone (challenger) – 160

 

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism reported that besides Glenwood City, authorities “were not aware of any other recall efforts in Wisconsin over frac sand mining.”  In these unofficial results, the incumbents have held onto their seats in this contentious recall battle.

 

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Voters to Speak on Frac Sand; Recall Election Tuesday in Glenwood

Vista Sand's frac sand mine, proposed less than a half mile from Glenwood City's school, is the driving force behind the December 17, 2013 recall elections engulfing the city council and its mayor.

Vista Sand’s frac sand mine, proposed less than a half mile from Glenwood City’s school, is the driving force behind the December 17, 2013 recall elections engulfing the city council and its mayor.


Four days from now, on December 17, citizens in Glenwood City will finally be able to voice their opinion on the fate of their small Wisconsin community which has been grappling with frac sand issues for the last couple of years. 

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Happy Holidays from WIvoices.org

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We are a small, non-profit organization that offers a unique stage for the people of Wisconsin to tell their stories. We are staffed by volunteers, yet we have end-of-the year expenses like any other organization, including non-profit fees, website fees, traveling expenses, equipment costs and liability insurance for in-the-field interviewing. 

We primarily survive on donations from regular people (concerned citizens) like you.  So, we are asking for your continued support.  Funds are being raised HERE by the WI Voices Fund committee on behalf of the St. Croix Valley Foundation, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt entity. Your donations are tax exempt.

We feel that WI Voices is something special.  It is like the ‘Letter to the Editor’ section of the newspaper but without a word limit and further improved by the addition of multimedia and research.  WI Voices’ content has been republished, cited, or linked to by numerous local, state, and national entities, including: Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, MSNBC, Huffington Post, Bad River Tribe, WisPolitics.com, New Richmond News, Pioneer Press, Hudson Patch, Forum Communications, Open Salon, and others. 

If it is important for you to hear from regular people about how public policies affect them, not just the perspectives of politicians and media, take a couple of minutes to keep WI Voices operating during 2014!  Please help us forget about raising funds and get back to recording these important stories.

~ Thank you and Happy Holidays ~

 

In Wisconsin, “We are the underclass of the underclass,” Says Same-Sex Couple

Wanda Brown and Phyllis Goldin live in River Falls, WI.  The couple discusses the struggles they've faced as a same-sex couple for the past 40 years.

Wanda Brown and Phyllis Goldin live in River Falls, WI. The couple discusses the struggles they’ve faced as a same-sex couple for the past 40 years.

HEARINGS TODAY in WI Supreme Court challenging the Domestic Partnership law.

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Mother against Mining Files Recall Petitions for 3 Officials in Glenwood City

On September 20, a local citizen bustled into a Glenwood City restaurant and announced, “We’re recalling 3 local officials.”

Mother Julie Augesen submitted recall paperwork which targets 3 local officials who "refuse to let us vote" on frac sand mining near her children's school.

Mother Julie Augesen submitted recall paperwork which targets 3 local officials who “refuse to let us vote” on frac sand mining near her children’s school.

To the collective applause of the small group of diners at The Cafe, Julie Augesen, a mother of 7-year-old twins in Glenwood City school, explained what sparked the upcoming recall attempt.

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“The democratic process is window dressing”, Man says of Frac Sand Mining in Glenwood

UPDATED 9/25/13: citizen generated video of September 16, 2013 Glenwood City Council meeting HERE.

Original Post 9/17/13:
Over persistent opposition from citizens, on Monday night the Glenwood City council went into a closed-session meeting with representatives of Texas frac sand company Vista Sand.

Before entering into a private meeting on September 16, people were given an opportunity to address the council. Numerous citizens asked the city council if they had received a request to annex from Vista Sand.  “Absolute silence” was the response, reported local citizen Charlotte Heimer.  “They just sat there.”

Kwik Trip CFO/Glenwood property owner Scott Teigen (left); Texas company Vista Sand's lawyer, Anders Helquist (right).  Glenwood citizens have petitioned to vote on the frac sand mine proposed next to their public school.

Kwik Trip CFO/Glenwood property owner Scott Teigen (left); Texas company Vista Sand’s lawyer, Anders Helquist (right). Glenwood citizens have petitioned to vote on the frac sand mine proposed next to their public school.

Many citizens feel they were left without representation at the closed-session meeting.  The Glenwood City council, widely viewed as “disconnected” with the community on sand issues, was represented by Terry Dunst of Bakke Norman in New Richmond.  Vista Sand was represented by Anders Helquist of Weld, Riley Prenn, Ricci, Eau Claire.

“Who is in there speaking for us?” asked one resident angrily.

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Mining Referendum Stalled, Negotiations Begin with Frac Sand Company

 

Crowd gathered to listen to the Glenwood City council to discuss the idea of a referendum on frac sand mining, September 9, 2013.  The council tabled the referendum petition on annexation signed by over half of the city's registered voters.

Crowd gathered to listen to the Glenwood City council to discuss the idea of a referendum on frac sand mining, September 9, 2013. The council tabled the referendum petition on annexation signed by over half of the city’s registered voters.

In the most subdued city council meeting in months, Glenwood area residents in western Wisconsin anxiously awaited to hear the action that would be taken by council members in response to their petition on frac sand mining.

It turns out they will have to continue to wait.

The council tabled the referendum discussion and did not schedule that discussion for any future meetings.  Instead, the council scheduled a closed-session meeting with Texas company Vista Sand the following Monday.

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