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A COUPLE OF TIMES THIS WEEKEND, PEOPLE RAN INTO ME IN PUBLIC, AND THOUGHT I WAS A MEMBER OF A ROCK-AND-ROLL BAND. NOT JUST ANY BAND, BUT THE 50'S NOSTALGIA GROUP SHA NA NA. IT'S AN HONEST MISTAKE, BECAUSE I WAS HANGING OUT WITH THE BAND IN MILWAUKEE THIS WEEKEND.
THIS HAPPENED BECAUSE ONE OF MY BROTHER ERIC'S FRIENDS IS A GUITARIST NAMED GENE WHO HAS BEEN A MEMBER OF SHA NA NA FOR SEVEN YEARS. THE BAND WAS IN WISCONSIN FOR NEW YEAR'S WEEKEND TO PERFORM POP CONCERTS WITH THE MILWAUKEE SYMPHONY. SO ERIC AND I SCORED FREE TICKETS TO THE SYMPHONY'S NEW YEAR'S EVE CONCERT.
IT'S PROBABLY THE BEST SYMPHONY CONCERT I'VE EVER ATTENDED. EVEN BEFORE BACKING UP SHA NA NA FOR A SHOW OF 50'S FAVORITES, THEY DID IRVING BERLIN AND SHOW TUNES...OLD T-V THEME SONGS, AND 'ON WISCONSIN' IN HONOR OF THE ROSE BOWL. LEADING THE WAY WAS THE M-S-O'S POPS CONDUCTOR, MARVIN HAMLISCH. NOW, THAT GUY KNOWS HOW TO ENTERTAIN AN AUDIENCE. AND SO DOES SHA NA NA.
THREE OF THE SEVEN GUYS IN SHA NA NA HAVE BEEN WITH THE GROUP SINCE THE LATE 60'S, WHEN IT STARTED AS A SPIN-OFF OF THE GLEE CLUB AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY. NO KIDDING.
ERIC AND I BROUGHT IN THE NEW YEAR AT A BREW PUB IN DOWNTOWN MILWAUKEE WITH GENE AND A COUPLE OF OTHER BAND MEMBERS. BUT THERE WAS MORE ADVENTURE TO COME. THE BAND WAS PERSUADED TO MAKE AN APPEARANCE AT THE BIG NEW YEAR'S DAY POLAR BEAR PLUNGE ON LAKE MICHIGAN. SO ERIC AND I SPENT ABOUT THREE HOURS SATURDAY, MOSTLY IN A BIG HUMMER LIMO, WITH FIVE MEMBERS OF SHA NA NA. THE BAND PERFORMED ON THE BEACH FOR ABOUT FIVE MINUTES, DOING A POLAR PLUNGE VERSION OF 'SPLISH SPLASH.' HARDLY ANYBODY NOTICED. SINCE I WAS WITH THE BAND MEMBERS, A COUPLE OF PEOPLE MISTOOK ME FOR SHA NA NA VOCALIST SCREAMING SCOTT SIMON. GEE, I COULD HAVE PERFORMED WITH THE BAND ON THE BEACH, AND NOBODY WOULD HAVE KNOWN. NAAAAH...BUT MAYBE I SHOULD PRACTICE SINGING DOO-WOP, IN CASE THEY EVER NEED A QUICK REPLACEMENT.
As part of the Gundersen Lutheran Campus Renewal project, last April, the Gundersen Lutheran Boards gave full approval for the organization to break ground on a Hospital addition.
The first phase of construction on additional space for several of Gundersen Lutheran’s major patient service areas will begin early this year, according to Jerry Arndt.
The Senior VP of Business Services says the new hospital will be built in phases over the next four to eight years. Some closures of entrances has already occurred since October and there will not be an actual groundbreaking for the project.
The West Salem Boys and Girls Club will rise again...probably at a different location, though.
Area Club director Mike Desmond says the New Year's Eve roof collapse at the Leonard Street Club speeds up the plans to buy land for a larger facility. Desmond does not expect the club to return to the damaged building, which is owned by Franciscan Skemp. Desmond says about 75 kids a day take part in the club programs at West Salem. They'll be offered bus rides to clubs in La Crosse, at least for this week.
Gundersen Lutheran finished out 2010 as by far the biggest private property owner in La Crosse. Poised to get even bigger this year with a new critical care hospital beginning construction. But will that new facility be property tax exempt? Maybe, says city assessor Mark Schlafer. He says Gundersen will have to apply for an exemption under state law. And the new facility will have to be used solely for hospital purposes.
Schlafer says Gundersen still has to provide details about the new facility to his office.
Nothing says end of the Christmas season like trees getting dumped in the trash. Christmas tree pick-up begins today in La Crosse. City crews will be collecting trees curbside from today through January fourteenth. The city wants the trees naked: no ornaments, tinsel or tree bags and they should be out on the curb by seven in the morning. Trees can also get dropped off at the Isle La Plume brush site Monday through Friday.