Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Oil Spill & Me

Yesterday, I was surprised by an interview request from my fellow Chippewa Falls Citizen's Fire Academy graduate, Trent Artus, a reporter for WQOW in Eau Claire. Here's the video:

It was honor to be asked, and I was glad to offer what I could.

Here are some oil spill links, for the curious:

The Houma Courier--My hometown paper; front-line reports.

The EPA Oil Spill Page

The White House Oil Spill Page

What Does BP Have To Say?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Make a Splash! Read!

Above we see Ms. Colleen Crowley of the Chippewa Falls Public Library (looking for all the world like an extra in a Woody Allen movie) as she reads to the children of St. Charles Primary School last week.

Ms. Crowley was out to push the theme of the 2010 children's summer reading program, "Make a Splash! Read!"

Summer Road Travel Links

Summer vacation time will soon be upon us, and the roads will be full of people going here and there. If you choose to be one of them, here is a series of useful links I've found for people making long drives:

Pre-Travel Auto Checklist

Top Ten Summer Travel Tips

Summer Road Trip First Aid

RoadTrip America: 70 Rules of Defensive Driving

Must Have Road Safety Products

Remember: long trips take preparation if everyone is to stay happy and safe, but the payoff is EXPERIENCE.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Summer Events 2010

So it's my first summer in Chippewa, and there's a lot going on. First, library hours change after Memorial Day weekend.

The schedule of hours will look like this:

Sunday Closed
Monday 10 am - 8 pm
Tuesday 10 am - 5:30 pm
Wednesday 10 am - 5:30 pm
Thursday 10am - 8 pm
Friday 10am - 5:30 pm
Saturday 10 am - 1 pm

If you're planning to slip in and see us in the warmer months, take note!

Also, take a look at the schedule and calendar for the summer reading program. The theme for this year's program is water, so the adult reading program is "Water Your Mind," the teen's program is "Make Waves," and the children's program is titled "Make a Splash-Read." So if you want to get wet this summer, stop by the library. On your way to the Irvine Park Pool, that is.

People tell me the at Wisconsinites hold summer very dear, and we'll do our best to give them something they can cherish and look forward to the best we can.

Summertime at the Library: It's All Yours!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Chippewa Falls Public Library: Deaf Accessible

The Chippewa Falls Public Library has filled the circulation clerk position that closed on May 7th. I'm very excited to say that Ms. Diane Bergeron, pictured above in action, is our new full-time circulation clerk. But I don't post this because I'm playing favorites. I want everyone to know because Ms. Bergeron is a fully-trained American sign language interpreter with years of experience communicating with the hearing-impaired. Above, she translates the first lines of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" to Ms. Sue Rada.

Aside from all that, she has worked with us for quite some time in our circulation department as an adult page and knows the job thoroughly.

So, if you know someone who is deaf or hearing impaired and looking to use the library, let them know.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

AARP: Cha-Ching for Chippewa!

I just got some interesting figures. This year, the AARP Tax Aide Program got $193,310.00 in refunds for about 400 people who came and got help at the Chippewa Falls Public Library. True, not everyone who came got a refund, as many people were simply filing for the Homestead Credit and some ended up PAYING, but the overall net result was a "refund" of almost 200 thousand dollars for the people of Chippewa Falls. Not bad!

We've already started organizing next year's efforts and are coordinating with AARP to make sure everything runs as smoothly in 2011 as it did this year.

We hope that anyone who took part will do so again and might look into volunteering or telling a friend about the program.

Once again:

People helped--393
Total refunds--$193,310.00

Monday, May 3, 2010

Citizen's Fire Academy 2010

Ever tried turning a hose on or off while wearing a Tyvek chemical suit? How about crawling around in pitch-black darkness trying to locate a child in a smoke-filled house? Can you imagine keeping your balance in a raft while pulling dead weight out of a rushing river during spring thaw?

Well, I couldn't either until I signed up for the Citizen's Fire Academy. In this six-week course, citizens are taught to appreciate the challenge that is the daily work-life of your average firefighter, even in a picturesque little hamlet like Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. So far, we've learned how to use air tanks, how to don various types of protective gear, and what the fire inspector looks for when he tours a home or business.

The photo above was taken last Monday night at the South Side Fire Station after we had just gotten done struggling with a leaking valve, meant to simulate an ongoing chemical spill. I tell you, when you see it on the news, it doesn't dawn on you the trouble involved in cleaning up stuff like that. Just getting DRESSED to do it is a production. I am the guy all the way to the left, by the way.

In the course of the class, participants also get to go on "ride alongs" to actual emergencies to see firsthand the calm and élan with which our firefighters and EMTs conduct themselves in the line of duty.

For information on next year's Citizen's Fire Academy, contact the fire department at 715-723-5710. It's an eye opener.