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Cheers & Jeers

Cheers & Jeers

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CHEER: To the staff and volunteers at the La Crosse Center, hosting a second weekend of state championship basketball that has put the spotlight on the city. “It’s going to be spectacular, not only for the people in the facility, but the whole state, watching the tournament, seeing the La Crosse Center, seeing La Crosse,” said Brent Smith, president of the La Crosse Center Board, before last week’s play. “It’s just a tremendous thing for our facility and for the area and for the city.” How right he was.

Organizer Kevin Hundt speaks to protesters outside River City Rentals on Monday.

JEER: To the conditions faced by many renters in La Crosse, and brought to light in a big way this week at a protest outside of River City Rentals. Renters want and deserve support and an inspection system at the city level, as well as a dedication to investing in more housing options. “They have shown time and time again we’re unheard. We’re not worth anything but a paycheck to them,” said organizer Tori Ray. “Unsafe living conditions, harassment, ... people who are living with windows that are broken in negative temperatures, mold. There’s a list.”

JEER: To a continued slow vaccination process in this region, with Mayo Clinic Health System again not receiving the doses it asked for. Mayo has adjusted to just schedule appointments for what it gets, but it’s not getting enough. Meanwhile, as we inch along, now starting the phase with teachers and others while manufacturing and most workers continue to wait, President Biden declared that all adults that want a vaccination will have one by the end of May. Something, soon is going to have to change here.

CHEER: To the brothers of UW-La Crosse’s Sigma Tau Gamma who shifted gears when they heard their favorite fundraiser for the past 15 years – the Polar Plunge – had become another victim of the pandemic. Still wanting to raise money for Special Olympics, they decided on an Ice-Fish-a-Thon. “I knew we could participate in this event because it was outdoor and we could drill holes more than six feet apart,” said Zach Hanson, who came up with the idea. Eight chapter members participated in the day-long event Friday, Jan. 29, on Lake Onalaska. The result: $3,610 raised for Special Olympic. Job well done, guys.

CHEER: To the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce — along with partners LADCO, Explore La Crosse and La Crosse County — for launching a campaign to attract individuals to move and work in the La Crosse area. The group has already invested $19,000 into the initiative with the help of local businesses, with more to come. “Employers have made it known that attracting and retaining talent in the area has been a major obstacle,” said Chamber CEO Neal Zygarlicke.

JEER: To those responsible for shooting out windows of cars and homes in a vandalism spree in Winona last weekend. Police said the incidents typically involve sling shot marbles, and early reports indicated the projectiles could have originated from a pellet gun. Winona Area Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to criminal charges for those responsible. Visit its website or call 507-457-6530 with information.

CHEER: To Winona Health for rolling out a new mobile check-in option for patients seeking urgent or emergency care services. Patients can choose to register on their own device prior to seeing a provider instead of at the registration desk. Later this spring, patients also will be able to use self-check in for scheduled visits in primary care areas. “Mobile check in will be especially beneficial for people when it comes to completing a necessary form, such as a financial consent, and health history questionnaire,” said Beth Poulin, director of Emergency and Urgent Care at Winona Health. “And, for those who may have a child and/or are carrying a car seat, they can come in, sit right down and check in on their phone.”

JEER: To the La Crosse man who got so angry when someone in the checkout line of a Walgreens commented on his not wearing a mask that he assaulted him outside the store. Police caught up with him and took him to La Crosse County Jail. Wearing a mask is the right thing at this time, and nobody should take a punch to remind someone of that.

Organizer Kevin Hundt speaks to protesters outside River City Rentals on Monday.


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