2012 Audio Archives
Thursday, September 6, 2012:The West Side kicked off the first of nine state legislative candidate forums with the 28th State Assembly District race between Republican incumbent Erik Severson and Democratic challenger Adam Bever. Host Rich Kremer moderated the forum asking questions about jobs, collective bargaining for public workers and frac sand mining. Listeners from within the 28th Assembly District also called in with questions of their own relating to taconite mining and medical marijuana.
Thursday, August 30, 2012:The west side delved into the issue of prescription drug abuse in Wisconsin and highlighted a report of recommendations created by a panel of experts from the fields of law enforcement, medicine and addiction treatment. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Twila Johnson, Pharmacy Services Director for Security Health Plan in Wausau and Dr. Mike Miller, Addiction Psychiatrist Medical Director of the Herrington Recovery Center.
Thursday, August 24, 2012:Tribal opposition to the state wolf hunt was discussed on a special edition of The West Side Outside. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Executive Administrator for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission Jim Zorn, Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Council Member Mic Isham and the Outdoor Guys including Joe Knight of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram and Dave Carlson of Northland Adventures. Guests discussed why the wolf is sacred among tribal people and about a disagreement between tribes and the state in how the wolf should be regulated. Then DNR Wildlife Biologist John Dunn Joined the show for a preview of the numerous fall hunting seasons.
Thursday, August 16, 2012:The economic impact of the frac sand industry in Wisconsin was discussed on The West Side. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Economist Toby Madden of the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, Barron County Administrator Jeff French and investigative reporter Dee Hall of the State Journal and Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Guests discussed issues like job creation related to the numerous frac sand mining and processing facilities being built across the state, the impact those operations are having on local and county property taxes and the spillover effects rippling through local businesses. A detailed report from the Center for Investigative Journalism on just how big an impact the frac sand industry is having on our state and local economies was also highlighted during the program.
Thursday, August 9, 2012:The issue of Limited access to justice among people in poverty was discussed on The West Side. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Mike Waterman, Hudson Attorney and member of the Board of Governors for the Wisconsin State Bar, Kimberly Haas, Deputy Director of free legal services provider Wisconsin Judicare and Beverly Wickstrom, Eau Claire attorney and coordinator of the Eau Claire Free Legal Clinic. Guests discussed the difficulty faced by people of low income in finding free or reduced legal assistance in civil court cases. Guests also talked about a state commission tasked with improving access to justice.
Thursday, August 2, 2012:The increase in victims seeking shelter from and assistance with domestic violence in western Wisconsin was discussed on The West Side. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Kim Wojcik, Executive Director of Turning Point for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Abuse in River Falls and Jerry Wilke, Executive Director of the Boulton Refuge House in Eau Claire. Guests talked about an increase in people seeking shelter in the region and why people are staying longer and seeking more services. Also, guests discussed how decreased funding from state and federal sources are making it more difficult for shelters to serve victims in their communities.
Thursday, July 26, 2012:The double digit youth unemployment rate in Wisconsin was discussed on The West Side. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Labor Economist with the Department of Workforce Development Scott Hodek who gave insight into the 14.9% youth unemployment rate in Wisconsin last year and why it was nearly double that of the adult unemployment rate. Kremer was also joined by two members of the non-profit agency West Central Wisconsin Workforce Resource, which offers career training and job placement opportunities for youths and adults. Media Coordinator Scott Morfitt and Clark County Coordinator Jodi Conner joined discussed the Clark County manufacturing academy which gives youths hands on training in manufacturing and industrial arts.
Thursday, July 19, 2012:The impact of a 5.5% increase in tuition costs for students and the impact of nearly $300 million in cuts to University of Wisconsin campuses in western Wisconsin was discussed on The West Side. Host Rich Kremer was joined by UW-Eau Claire Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance David Gessner, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at UW-Stout Mary Hopkins-Best and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at UW-River Falls Fernando Delgado.
Thursday, July 12, 2012:The West Side studied up on Wisconsin's school funding formula and asked why this year's estimates have given some districts aid boosts while cutting others. The Spooner Area School District and the neighboring Shell Lake District served as examples with Spooner estimated to get a 15% cut in state aid while Shell Lake could get 21% more than last year. Kremer was joined by Spooner Area District Don Haack, Spooner Area District Business Manager Mike Markgren, Shell Lake Superintendent Jim Connell and Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance Research Director Dale Knapp.
Thursday, July 5, 2012:The recently passed 2012 U.S. Farm Bill was discussed on a special edition of WPR's regional programs The West Side and Route 51. Host Rich Kremer was joined by representatives from two of the state's largest farm advocacy groups. In studio were Jim Holte, a board member of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Kara Slaughter, Government Relations Director for the Wisconsin Farmer's Union. Guests discussed the proposed end of direct payment of subsidies to farmers, cuts to conservation programs and the controversial Dairy Security Act.
Thursday, June 28, 2012:An effort by the United Way to mobilize community members in the Chippewa Valley to improve their neighborhoods and their lives was discussed on The West Side. Host Rich Kremer was joined by United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley Executive Director Jan Porath, UWGCV Officer of Community Mobilization Dave Gordon and Chair of the UWGCV Education Advisory Council Arlene Wright.
Thursday, June 21, 2012:The DNR's proposed structure and quota system for Wisconsin wolf hunt was discussed on The West Side Outside. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Chair of the Natural Resources Board Dave Clausen and the outdoor guys Joe Knight, Outdoor Editor for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram and Dave Carlson, Host of syndicated TV show Northland Adventures. Guests also discussed an effort to ban lead in bullets, the effects of Frac sand mining on local streams and Joe Carlson's new book A Fish Gift: and Sketches From Northland Adventures.
Thursday, June 14, 2012:Western Wisconsin's groundwater and the increasing demand on it was discussed on The West Side. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Department of Natural Resources Hydrogeologist Larry Lynch, Chippewa County Conservationist Dan Masterpole and UW-Extension Crops and Soils Educator Jerry Clark. Guests identified the different aquifers present in the region and the many draws including increasing population, heavy agricultural use and the increasing demand for water by frac sand mining and processing operations.
Thursday, June 7, 2012: The West Side looked at local election results from the June 5, recall and previewed the fall election cycle. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Emeritus Professor of Political Science at UW-Eau Claire Mort Sipress and Associate Professor of Social Science at UW-Stout Alec Kirby.
Thursday, May 31, 2012: The West Side hosted the final 23rd State Senate Recall Candidate Forum. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Republican State Senator Terry Moulton and Democratic Challenger Kristen Dexter. Both candidates answered a host of questions from Kremer, listeners calling in and from The West Side facebook page.
Thursday, May 24, 2012:The unlikely collaboration between utility company Xcel Energy and local conservation groups to clean up and restore the Tyrone property along the lower Chippewa River was discussed on The West Side. The Tyrone Property, which is owned by Xcel, is located about five miles south of Durand and is considered by many to be a world class ecological area. In the 1970's Northern States Power-Wisconsin proposed a nuclear power plant to be located at the Tyrone Property, which led to vigorous debate and protest. Eventually the nuclear power plant was scrapped but the property was overlooked for decades and was abused by people dumping garbage there and ripping up ecosystems with off-road vehicles. Recently Xcel Energy has teamed up with some of the same people that fought them in the 70's to clean up and restore the 4,400 acre Tyrone land. Host Rich Kremer was joined by retired Northern States Power-Wisconsin President Mike Swenson, former DNR staffer and current Xcel Energy Permitting Analyst Matt McFarlane and President of the Lower Chippewa River Alliance Eleanor Wolf.
Thursday, May 17, 2012:The newly announced public private partnership to build an Eau Claire arts and convention center, new retail space and student housing were discussed on The West Side. Al Ross, host of Spectrum West, filled in for Rich Kremer and was joined by UW-Eau Claire Vice Chancellor for Facilities Mike Rindo and President of Commonweal Development Stuart Schaefer.
Thursday, May 10, 2012:The West Side Looked into poverty in western Wisconsin, how widespread it is, who it affects and what programs are available to those facing it. Host Rich Kremer was joined in studio by Eau Claire County UW-Extension Family Living Educator Julie Keown-Bomar, Director of Program and resource development with Indianhead Community Action Agency Nancy Kraft and Assistant Project Employment Director with Western Dairyland Anna Cardarella.
Thursday, May 3, 2012:The West Side hosted the 23rd State Senate District Recall Primary Candidate Forum. Host Rich Kremer was joined by former State Representative Kristen Dexter and political newcomer James Engel. The two democratic candidates are vying for a chance to take on State Senator Terry Moulton of Chippewa falls who is facing a recall election. The winner of the recall primary will go on to face Moulton in a recall general election on June 5th. Engel and Dexter discussed their platforms, why they're running and what they hope to accomplish if elected.
Thursday, April 26, 2012:The West Side in collaboration with regional program Route 51 hosted a 29th State Senate District Democratic Recall Primary candidate forum. Host of Route 51, Glen Moberg was joined by Democrat Donna Siedel of Wausau and Jim Buckley of Antigo.
Thursday, April 19, 2012: The West Side looked into the recent discovery of a deer with Chronic Wasting Disease in western Wisconsin. On April 2, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced that a deer killed on private property near Shell Lake tested positive for the fatal brain disease. CWD was thought to have been contained in southern Wisconsin but has apparently jumped more than a hundred miles to the north. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Dr. James Kroll who was appointed by Governor Scott Walker to be the state's Deer Trustee, Department of Natural Resources Land Administrator Kurt Thiede and the Outdoor Guys, including Outdoor Editor for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram Joe Knight and Host of TV show Northland Adventures Dave Carlson.
Thursday, April 12, 2012:A wind farm project that has drawn controversy in the St. Croix County Town of Forest was discussed on The West Side. In 2008, negotiations began between wind developer Emerging Energies of Hubertus, Wisconsin and town board members in Forest. But not long after a contract was signed between the two parties a citizens group calling themselves Forest Voice formed and began opposing the wind project. That opposition resulted in two federal legal actions and the recall of the entire Forest Town Board. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Jay Mundinger, a Founding Principle of wind developer Emerging Energies and Brenda Salseg, a member and spokeswoman for opposition group Forest Voice.
Thursday, April 5, 2012:Two state lawmakers from western Wisconsin visited The West Side for a chat about the historic 2011-2012 State Legislative Session. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Freshman Republican State Representative Kathy Bernier of Chippewa Falls and Democrat State Representative Chris Danou of Trempelau. The guests discussed what they thought went right in state politics during the last year, what went wrong and what should have been done differently. Also, the lawmakers discussed some recent legislation that caused much tumult in Wisconsin such as the failed iron mining legislation, the legislative redistricting, which is now in the hands of federal judges and a bill limiting the authority of local governments to enact moratoriums on things like frac sand mining operations.
Thursday, March 29, 2012:The International Year of the Co-op was celebrated on The West Side. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Bill Oemichen, President and CEO of the Cooperative Network in Madison; Bob Gadwill, former board chair of Eau Claire Energy Cooperative; and Pete Farrow, CEO of Group Health Cooperative in Eau Claire. Guests talked about why Wisconsin has the second highest concentration of cooperatives in the U.S., how they've assisted rural populations over the years and why they still thrive in today's economy.
Thursday, March 22, 2012:The upcoming Spring Hearings of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress was discussed on the Spring Edition of the West Side Outside. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Outdoor Editor for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram Joe Knight, Conservation Congress Bear Committee member Russ Hitz and Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Management Director Mike Staggs. Guests discussed proposals that will be voted on during the hearings like a year round fishing season, elimination of trout stamps and out of state fishing license fees, and a possible sand hill crane hunt.
Thursday, March 15, 2012: The West Side looked into the different ways local governments are responding to the frac sand mining boom in western Wisconsin. Local officials have forged legal development agreements with frac sand companies, used police powers to enact non-metallic mining ordinance and passed moratoriums to temporarily ban new sand mines. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Rick Stadleman, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Towns Association; James Hare, Editor of the Hay River Review and John Behling, an attorney with Weld, Riley, Prenn and Ricci, who represents frac sand mining companies.
Thursday, March 1, 2012:
The West Side delved into a report called "The Good Life: A Cultural Direction for Eau Claire County". The result of more than two years of study of area cultural offerings and citizen surveys the report creates an action plan for local government and local arts and cultural organizations to follow in building a cultural economy and infrastructure in Eau Claire County. Host Rich Kremer was joined by "Good Life" collaborators including L.E. Phillips Memorial Library Director John Stoneberg, Eau Claire Regional Arts Council Executive Director Ben Richgruber and Chippewa Valley Museum Director Susan McLeod.
Thursday, February 23, 2012:
The West Side looked into a brand new teen court program in Dunn County. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Restorative Justice Specialist for Positive Alternatives Maliegha Meyers, Teen Court Volunteer and Elk Mound High School Junior Jordyn Messing and Circuit Court Judge for Buffalo and Pepin Counties James Duvall. Guests talked about how the Dunn County Teen Court got its start, what types of crimes qualify for teen court, and why so many counties are turning to this restorative justice model.
Thursday, February 15, 2012:
The West Side celebrated it's ten year anniversary with a look into the evolution of western Wisconsin media. Host Rich Kremer was joined by original show host and co-founder Mary Jo Wagner and longtime producer Henry Lippold for a chat about how the West Side got its start and why. Then Kremer was joined by representatives of print and broadcast media from western Wisconsin including Editor of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram Don Huebscher, Publisher with Rivertowns Newspaper Group Steve Dzubay, CEO of Koser Radio Group Tom Koser and WEAU TV 13 Internet Coordinator Russ Slak.
Thursday, February 9, 2012:The West Side delved into the world of ethanol to discuss how a cut in federal subsidies for corn based ethanol may affect the western Wisconsin ethanol industry. Western Wisconsin has two ethanol plants, Ace Ethanol in Stanley and Western Wisconsin Energy in Boyceville. Also, around 40% of all locally grown corn makes its way through those plants. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Bob Sather, Director of Government Relations for Ace Ethanol; UW-Extension Crops and Soils Educator and local Ag expert Jerry Clark and Bill Krueger, a corn farmer from the Village of Knapp. Guests talked about the cut in subsidies, the future of cellulosic ethanol from things like switch grass and the overall food vs. fuel debate.
Thursday, February 2, 2012:
The effects of an additional $65.7 million in cuts to University of Wisconsin System campuses was discussed on The West Side. Host Dean Kallenbach, filling in for Rich Kremer, was joined by UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich, UW-River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Galen and Executive Director of Communications and External Relations at UW-Stout Doug Mell. Guests talked about how the additional cuts will affect the campuses along with other issues affecting higher education in western Wisconsin.
Thursday, January 26, 2012:
The viability of the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport was discussed on The West Side. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Chippewa Valley Regional Airport Manager Charity Speich, Eau Claire City Councilor Dave Duax and Chippewa Falls City Councilor C.W. King. All are members of the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport Commission. Guests talked about the role of the Airport in the Chippewa Valley despite the existance of an international airport in the Twin Cities.
Thursday, January 19, 2012:The recent restructuring of the Department of Natural Resources by Governor Scott Walker and Republican state legislators was discussed on The West Side Outside. Host Rich Kremer was joined by John "Duke" Welter who recently finished a seven year stint on the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board and The outdoor guys, Joe Knight of the Eau Claire Leader Telegram and Dave Carlson of WQOW's Northland Adventures. Guests talked about changes to the DNR's permitting proposals, mining laws and wetland protection.
Thursday, January 12, 2012:The West Side looked ahead to the 2012 political season in Wisconsin. Host Rich Kremer was joined by Republican State Representative Scott Suder of Abbotsford and Democratic State Senator Kathleen Vinehout of Alma. Topics included the recall efforts against the governor and state senators, the mining proposal in Northern Wisconsin, frac sand mining and pending legislation in the upcoming legislative session.
Thursday, January 5, 2012:
The replacement of the Stillwater lift bridge was discussed on The West Side. Host Rich Kremer was joined by St. Croix City Board Chair and spokesman for the St. Croix River Crossing Coalition Daryl Standafer, and Sierra Club St. Croix Valley Interstate Group Volunteer Leader Jim Rickard to weigh in on the decades-long debate about how to replace the 80-year-old Stillwater lift bridge. The bridge spans from Holton, Wisconsin into Stillwater, Minnesota and crosses the St. Croix River which is federally protected. Critics say the proposed replacement bridge would be an expensive endeavor and would destroy the scenic beauty of the river valley.
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