Local Issues

June 14, 2007 at 10:15 pm (environmental, political, Wausau, Wisconsin)


   The first thing that comes to my mind is the Scott Street Steak and Pub in Wausau.  For those of you that dont know, the Pub is approximately 100 years old, and is a fixture in downtown Wausau.  It is a piece of history.  The community development authority in town here bought it and wants to tear it down to build a parking ramp for Dudley Tower, a “skyscraper’ that was thrown up in haste that nobody really wanted either except for a few rich bigwigs.  Now mind you, if this parking ramp is built, as you face north, there will be three parking ramps in a row.  If we are trying to build charm and character to make Wausau stand out, this is not the way to do it.  They used underhanded manuvering to pressure the Pub into closing.  Such as using their connections in the local paper to print articles saying it was on it’s last legs when it wasn’t, so that people wouldn’t go and the place would be forced to shut down and sell.  Such as revoking their liqour license with no good explanation as to why (there has never been any problems with Scott Street obeying the law).  I went to the last night it was open, June 30, and watched as at midnight the cops came in and shut the place down because the liquor license expired at midnight.  They couldn’t even let the place stay open the extra two hours to have the final act, the headlining band, Corpse Show Creeps, play.  What little media coverage there was of this entirely failed to mention it was almost a riot when the police showed up.  There was heckling of the cops, such as people yelling “you guys are corrupt” and “fuck the police”.  People didn’t move until they announced that the party would be moving to the PI, another bar in town.  But they didn’t mention people’s anger.  What were they worried people might take a cue from that?  Revolution is simmering, and trying to hide the truth is only going to make it worse.  Or did they want to give the illusion that nobody cared and further twist the truth to their own advantage?  I don’t know, but there is something seriously wrong in our world that such history is thrown away like trash.

Wausau has changed so rapidly in the last three years that we are beginning to lose our sense of identity and Scott Street is the poster child of this.  All over this country it is happening because big corporations are franchising their way into every town, buying out the little guy and destroying the local economy.  I want to cry that Scott Street is now closed because it was such a cultural anchor for Wausau(the only decent sized stage for local music to play), there are few things left in Wausau now that have that kind of history, those kind of memories.  See Wausau is a town with a lot of ignorant people, ignoramuses who have no idea of the value of history and what folly it is to destroy it.  My father used to make the comment that people are born here, go to college (if they are lucky) within 60 miles of here and die here, never ever seeing the world that lies beyond Wisconsin (I sometimes wonder if that has something to do with the whole magnet theory I posed in the ELF section)  I want to tear my hair out in sheer fustration at the stupidity that runs rampant around here.  This lack of experience is what is doing Wausau in.  All these idiots watch their TV and see all the shiny new crap that is held in front of them and they want it, totally clueless to the fact that all things come at a price and that progress rarely ever is truly moving in the right direction.  I have lived in Cleveland, D.C., and Phoenix and I can tell you that there is a very dark side to progress.  The poverty of the disenfranchised, the decay, the crime, the pollution, the destruction of nature.  That is why I settled in Wausau because in 1996 when I came here it was 20 years behind the rest of the world.  The land was pristine, the water was pristine(the lakes and stuff up north were, sadly the river was severely polluted by the time I moved here, but that has to do with the fact the Wisconsin River is the most heavily dammed river in the country and as such, it cannot naturally cleanse itself), this place was peaceful and extraordinarily beautiful.  What is coming is going to totally destroy this town.  But again it is only history repeating itself and that is my whole point, those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.  Scott Street stands a as testament to what founded this town.  Lumber Barons, who chopped down trees that were the size of the California redwoods, but only they were pine trees.  People who could only view the land in terms of how much they could profit from it.  This is NOT what we want to attract to Wausau.  This land is doomed to have the same injustices repeated until someone conciously stops it.  I am reminded of an article I read about the super bowl in Detriot a few years back, where they made the comment of catering to outside wealth.  Wausau is doing that and I have some very dire warnings about it.  It began when the Rib Mtn Ski hill was sold.  Mind you this ski hill shares the mountain with Rib Mtn state park, and so conservation should be at the top of list of priorities.  They changed the name to “Granite Peak” and started cutting down trees on Rib Mountain to build more runs (they are still building more).  The sheer arrogance of it appalls me, and again it is looking at the land in terms of how much money can be made from it.  I used to be able to rent a snowboard and boots and get a day pass for the lift for 30 bucks, it now costs 140.  Then the drug dealers started coming up from Chicago and Milwaukee and the crime started.  Then they started building.  The mall got sold to a company out of Ohio and I’m sorry but I have nothing good to say about Ohio, and this company has only proved my point.  They are tearing up downtown with their God-forsaken greed.   I think 50% of downtown Wausau is now new, and it is construction that caters to outsiders as opposed to providing the people of this town with what they would want.  There was a referendum that failed a few years ago about a convention center/hotel downtown.  People did not want it.  But hey, somehow we got a hotel anyway, the Jefferson Street Inn.  Isn’t that interesting?  I know that something needed to be done to revitalize the area but this is not it.  I have to point out that you never know in this town when city council meetings are.  They don’t advertise them in anyway shape or form.  The only place they do advertise is on the public access channel, but the bulletins from there are always three months behind.  I swear to God it’s like a private club that they don’t want you to know about.  They make it as hard as possible to have a voice in the decisions made in Wausau.  As far as I am concerned that is corruption right there.  They do not want us to know what is going on because they are doing something they know they aren’t supposed to be.  And now, quite predictably, the crime is coming to a head, just a few weeks ago a man shot at an officer during a routine traffic stop.  I believe that is the first time something like that has ever happened here.  Outside wealth is like the Kraken of Greek mythology.  They will devour anything of beauty until all that is left is their own grotesque hulk, and then they will move on.  They will destroy this place, they already are.  I am angry at the corporations (and I mean the government when I say that as well, they are the biggest corporation of all) but I am angry also at the intelligent creative people who used to live here that abandoned this town because they thought it wasn’t cool enough.  You are just as guilty as the one’s who are destroying this place because you do not recognize the value of roots, knowing who you are and where you’re from.  I stayed here because I knew what would eventually come, and I knew that this was the place to draw the line.  Wausau is the gateway to the Northwoods, and it is the perfect position of strength from which to defend it.  I love this town and I would die to protect it, but its kind of hard to do anything when I cannot even see my enemy, because he hides behind a veil of wealth and priviledge.

Excuse me for a moment because I need to digress.  I hate rich people and I come from a very old and honorable family so I can say that, it’s not just sour grapes.  My family still has a family estate in Rhode Island from when my great grandfather eight times removed was Royal governor of Rhode Island and was reelected to that position even after the American Revolution, and our family still has an ancestral castle, Ferniehirst Castle in the Scottish lowlands.  There is great responsibility that comes with great power, and as such, great wealth.  I was raised with this notion of service my whole life and anybody who comes from , or studies such backgrounds will know what I mean.  Those who earned their money in a capitalist society certainly do not have the same code of ethics.  I went to best of the best private schools my whole life, and learned far more than what I wanted to about how the other half lives (the so called better half)  They are bastards.  They got that way because they stepped on the backs of their workers, because they were selfish and arrogant.  Those who have been given more have a duty to use that in the service of others, a message that is entirely lost on the ruling class of our country.  All I have to say is remember the French Revolution?  Well it can happen again, and it’s closer to that than you realize, so keep wallowing in your filthy money and power, see where it gets you.  You  show your true colors by even having such wealth in such horrible times.  There are people dying in the streets.  if you were worth the air that you breathe you would give away your money and your time, as I have, in an earnest effort to help those in need.  Instead though you hide in your gated communities and buy politicians to pass laws that make you even richer, instead of fixing the social woes that face our society.  Again that is exactly what happened in the french revolution, the nobility just hid in their houses and hid behind their power.  People are losing respect for the government and this is why.  The government is run buy corporations.  Wealthy corporations that are still trying to make even more money.  Those who have the money have the power, and if you don’t have money then well your a lazy second class citizen who doesn’t deserve a voice anyway.  I’m sorry but some people actually have a concious.  Your sugar and your mind control have not conquered everyone.  The Arrowhead Weston line is another example of this.  They built the powerline anyway that nobody wanted, tearing up the countryside to build Weston 4, another coal fired plant that going to further dirty our air all so American Transmission Company and Wisconsin Public Service can make their investors a tidy profit.  They plan on building a Weston 5 and a Weston 6.  When does this stop? These people are coming here because they destroyed where they were living and have nothing left so now they are going to come up here and consume until there is nothing left here.  All I have to ask you rich bastards is at the the end of the day does that fat wad of cash keep you warm at night, does it keep you from going mad when you look at yourself in the mirror and realize what a monster you are?  Or do you even feel anymore, did you sell that out as well when you sold out your integrity?  Your comuppance will come and I will be dancing in the streets when it does.  Wake up people before it is too late!!!



  1. Scottie said,

    I often wondered but had doubted there was really any real true voice or will in expressing the state of Wausau .. just a presumption of mine. I really don’t have the energy to type much right now but I think Waus is evolving/semi-established into kleptocracy-like localized state protected by corporate/capital interests, privatization (not just here but virtually everywhere.. i.e. globalization trend), and police. Much like the changes of a city are the changes of a state, country, etc .. Gradualism and incremental ism, are a few seeds of despotism. But, anyways, I read some of your blog entries .. And I think your spirit and intellect are incredible to come across for a person so close to me in thoughts and location. Oh, and I also wanted to say that reading your content is was kinda making me Hot!! Scottie

    • etheria888 said,

      Ok, that cracked me up:D Nice to know I got your pulse going but I should tell you, I am a happily taken woman.

      On a more serious note, the funny thing this was written almost four years ago now. I saw it then, and well it’s only gotten worse since. I really tried to work within the system although i find it offensive to the core, because how can you condemn it unless you have really tried the “proper” channels. At this point I can honestly condemn it, because they have tried to shut me up, and stooped so low as to take my kid away from me, all because I truly wanted to clean up the pollution around here. Your right it is a kleptocracy/plutocracy around here, and it is a mirror of what is going on all over in the rest of the country. I mean for Christ sake the mayor has used state funds to award his drinking buddy Ghidorzi no bid contract for things like Rasmussen college, which is putting a lot of people in debt in case you might have thought that was a good idea. I actually tried to call in some ovewrsight and I was told by state gov’t that appparently no one really keeps tabs on the millions of dollars handed out under TIF funding.

      I hope and pray just about everyday for people in this town to wake up and demand a regime change. The police are the gestapo, maybe not the beat cops, but the higher ups are, I’ve been harrassed by them for years yet all I have done is speak out, nothing violent. Im sure they love me cause I stood up at council when they were doing the “sobriety checkpoints” on grand ave and flat out called it a police state. Gross violation of fourth amendment rights, paid for by a grant from homeland security. More people need to do stuff like that, because it is in the shadows stuff like this festers. Sunshine is the best disinfectant. The gov’t is for the people, by the people. They have to listen to us, one way or another.

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