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Spring DNR and Conservation Congress Meetings Will be Online ONLY

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March 17, 2020

MADISON, WI -In light of COVID-19, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are closely following guidelines from the

Podcast available on more platforms

February 18, 2020

The So - That Happened Podcast is now available on more platforms. 

Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/show/3YlmGNcH6GtqoFSFefbNgT

Breaker - https://www.breaker.audio/so-that-happened-4

Podcast Episode 1

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February 16, 2020

Episode 1 of our podcast, So - That Happened is now live. We're still working through a few technical issues, particularly since some of this podcast was recorded in noisy places. 

In this episode we explore citizen activists in the Chippewa Valley who are making a difference through their actions. I went on a bus trip to Madison with the Wisconsin Conservation Voters as they lobbied with their state Senators to pass legislation to protect water in Wisconsin.  I also spoke to Chris Hambuch-Boyle about her efforts to support our public schools for Public Schools Week along with the Wisconsin Public Education Network.

Podcast is live

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January 9, 2020

We're starting a podcast. The first episode of So - That Happened just went live. It is not a regular podcast episode, but is more of an introduction. I talk a little about the background of WisCommunity, how we got where we are, and what you can expect in 2020 from the podcast and from the site. You can listen many different ways. There's a play widget on the front page of the site. You can go to our podcast page. At our podcast page you can also leave feedback or audio for us to use in our upcoming episodes. 

We are also being distributed to multiple different podcast services through our main platform, Anchor.fm. It is currently available on Spotify.  The first episode should roll out to the other sites very soon, though it looks like Apple Podcasts is being a little persnickety. 

I want to encourage you to think of this as your podcast in the community, so please send in ideas for what you'd like to hear and how it can improve. 

Coming Attractions

Coming Attractions - 35mm - HD

December 28, 2019

Life has been full. I've spent some time regrouping, making plans, and trying to forge a path for Wis.Community for 2020. As some of you know, it has been a trying year at Cruiskeen Farm. My partner and wife Lorelei died in August. Our doggie Shadow left shortly before that. As a result, I'm learning to manage the farm here, which I've blissfully left to Lori while we have lived here. I've also taken some time out to get used to living alone. 

Help Us Keep Local News Alive - 3 - Contribute Content

December 5, 2019

WisCommunity was always intended to be a community platform. Did you know that you can contribute directly to the site from your computer or phone? We would love to have more content from the community.  Adding in content on the site requires. Things you can contribute include:

Help Us Keep Local News Alive - 2 - Become A Paid Member

November 30, 2019

Producing news costs money. Newspapers around the country are struggling to find ways to fund news-gathering operations and production costs. Our production costs are fairly low, but there still is a need to pay people to do the work, to pay web hosting costs, development costs, and more. 

Local News is Dying. Help Us to Keep It Alive - 1 - Sign up for our Newsletter

November 29, 2019

Newspapers throughout the country are dying and news deserts are sprouting up. We're trying something new, producing news stories you are not likely to see in-depth elsewhere. Help us to build a new news ecosystem for the Chippewa Valley. We will have a story per day on how you can help us to build this. 

Podcast is Coming - help us build it

November 26, 2019

WisCommunity will be starting a podcast early in 2020. The podcast will cover bigger issues facing the Chippewa Valley and the state. It will feature interviews with important people in the community, and will cover a different issue every month. The podcast is titled So - That Happened

Thanksgiving Vacation

November 23, 2019

WisCommunity will be taking a Thanksgiving vacation. Through about Dec. 2 expect to see a slower pace here while the publisher/editor makes a trip to New England. 

So That Happened - 10/29/2019

October 29, 2019

This is a semi-regular compendium of thoughts, observations, and events from the Chippewa Valley. 

Attending the Google News Initiative conference

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October 10, 2019

I was notified yesterday that WisCommunity's application to attend the meeting in Chicago has been accepted. Google will be paying accommodation expenses for me to attend the meeting and find out new ideas for monetization of news, and other initiatives that Google is working on for journalists.

Site Changes

October 6, 2019

You may have noticed that the site has been down off and on for the last couple days.  You may also have noticed this afternoon that it is a good deal faster than it used to be, or at least it appears that way at Chateau Cruiskeen. I've made some rather serious changes to the way the site is run on this server, and I'm hoping that this will fix some long-standing performance issues.

Like Someone Had Branded My Brain

September 11, 2019

I was driving from the farm to a gig at Best Buy where I was working as a consultant. It was a normal sunny day in The Cities as I tried to swill down enough coffee to wake up as I was listening to NPR, just like normal.

WisCommunity is back

Steve Hanson
September 6, 2019

As I am sure has been clear, WisCommunity has been very slowly updated for the last few months. Those of you who know me personally have been aware that my wife has had serious health issues over the last nine months. I am sad to have to report that my darling Lorelei died on August 25th at home with me and our daughters.

The perils of a one-man enterprise

Miranda "Bear with .." from S01 E01

July 18, 2019

As has probably been apparent, posting and maintenance at Wis.Commuity has been more than a little slow lately. It's one of the problems with having what is essentially a one-man operation (not for lack of trying to spread the work through the community). The gist of it is that if I for one reason or another cannot work every day, things suffer. 

Where Have We Been?

June 18, 2019

#60616d; font-family: 'open sans', sans-serif; font-size: 18px;">You may have noticed that posting here has been sparse lately. I've been on a vacation and have recently returned. You will see things picking back up again over the next few days. I'll have a little to write about from the vacation, notably about Amtrak and where they are going, along with a narrative of taking the Lake Shore Limited, and how that particular train is going.

Commenting Changes on Wiscommunity

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May 23, 2019

We have made some changes to commenting policy on the site. In the past no comments could be made on the site unless you have previously created an account with us and signed in. For at least the time being, comments can be made by people without accounts, but they will be held for moderation until an editor approves them. We hope this will promote a lively discussion in the community without allowing a free-for-all of spam and other problems.

So That Happened 4/14/2019

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April 14, 2019

I'll be poking myself in here from time to time with rambling discussions of what is happening at Wis.Community, observations, and things you may or may not find interesting. This may at some point become a podcast. Or not. Bear with me. Call it a blog. Call it the musings of a quickly-aging guy. It's an experiment.

Hi -

This is the Wiscommunity space. It's the place for discussion about Wiscommunity, how it should be developing, issues with the site, and what the future holds.

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Recent Activity

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Yesterday, January 24

  • Steve Hanson
    6:09pm

    So many projects, so little time. Once in a blue moon, I write a little article to let readers know what is going on here, and what you will see coming in the future. 

    First of all, an apology. You may have noticed that the WisCommunity calendar has been a little sparse for the past week or so. A lot of the events in the calendar are imported from Facebook events through a process that I won't go into - Facebook tries to make that hard these days even though a few years ago it was easy - they're trying to keep all the eyes on Facebook. In any case, for some obscure reason, the ical feed from my personal account moved to a different URL, so the WIsCommunity site kept trying to import events from  - well, nothing. I finally fixed that and made a few other improvements to the process yesterday, so that should be stable and working again. The calendar is again filling up nicely. Let me remind you all that you can put your own events in the site. It's easy, but you need to on the site first - you can only create events when you're logged in. If you have questions, .

    I've been a member of for some time now, which brings a lot of good things to WisCommunity. As a LION member, I have just sent in an application to take part in the  They will only be accepting 12 publications to take part, so odds are probably not great, but if you don't ask, you don't get. So I'm asking.

    The current site design is fairly complex and cumbersome and doesn't really suit the needs of a modern news publisher. I originally built the site as a community discussion place that happened to have some news. It was a much harder sell than I expected to get community organizations to use the platform, primarily because generally people were firmly convinced that Facebook was the answer to all questions. I still think that is wrong, but sometimes you need to admit defeat. Anyway, the site suffers substantially from that background for many reasons. The platform it is built on (OpenAtrium, a Drupal distribution) is in some ways extremely flexible and full of features. Unfortunately the site now only uses about 10% of those features, and the site is being dragged down by the other 90% of code that isn't in use. The site is also a little clunky and not as good on mobile devices as it should be (and about 70% of our readers now read the site on mobile devices). Lastly, the current site is built on a base of Drupal 7, which will eventually...

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