Monthly open thread: June
Wausau affordable housing, the Wausau East Band Teacher controversy, Bull Falls Brewery for sale and more in The Wausonian last month.
It’s been another news-packed month. The months are blending together, frankly. One of the reason I like this open thread is it lets me take stock of the month and put my thoughts together.
So I’ll lead with a little bit of alpha that nowhere else has reported: The County Forest Citizens Advisory Committee is recommending that fat biking season be a permanent fixture at Nine Mile Forest.
Many of you might not even know about that committee - the county doesn’t post their meetings on their calendar (something there is a bit of contention around) so no one else has picked up on this news.
The county’s forestry committee needs to approved it and I believe it goes to the county board after that.
Another small observation that wouldn’t really fit into a story (though maybe one down the road): Why is downtown Wausau so dead these days? When City Pages’ office was still downtown, a Thursday afternoon would still be pretty busy. It seems quite dead these days. I worked out of Honest J’s on Thursday afternoon and I found myself surprised by a couple of observations/questions:
Hardly anyone passing by the Honest J’s window/empty streets.
There were several empty parking spots on the 300 block of Third Street. Historically happening upon an open spot there has been something of a lottery ticket win.
All the tables on the 400 Block plaza were empty. I sat there a bit before heading home and I was the only one. They used to be full of people.
Did the mall’s demise have that much of an impact?
Will the new developments on the mall site bring life back into downtown?
Work has begun on breaking up the concrete on what was the mall site. In July the city is slated to start work on the streets, and the developer T. Wall Enterprises is supposed to start work on the first building, which we wrote about. The Wausonian will be tracking its progress, since it has been delayed several times already.
Last month’s stories
The Wausonian published not the first (that one fell in April yet) but several stories about Wausau East Band Teacher Rob Perkins and his alleged racism. More incidents came out in a piece we reported this month, but here is what we reported last month:
The Wausonian also broke the news that Bull Falls Brewery was listed on an auction site (the brewery never responded to our inquiries but that weekend put out a press release saying it was for sale). Then it turned out they owed quite a bit of money to the city:
And in a letter to parents, Wisconsin Valley Lutheran announced it is closing up (I still haven’t seen this reported anywhere):
Because this is getting long, we also wrote a story about affordable housing in Wausau really is anything but; How shared revenue increases by the state could impact Wausau; how a new noise ordinance could kill the music at a popular beach-side music venue; and what I learned about a criminal investigation into conduct in Kronenwetter. Plus we had a featured post about Early Eyes at Lamplight Sessions.
Open thread topic
How do you feel the school district handled the Wausau East Band investigation? In our monthly open thread posts, I open up comments to everyone (normally restricted to subscribers) so leave your thoughts in the comments below and let’s get the conversation started.