The roof of La Crosse City Hall was crowded one morning in 1992, as spectators watched naturalist Pat Skewes place a box containing four peregrine falcons atop the six-story building. It was part of a DNR effort to get falcons to build a nest in the area. The number of falcons in the Mississippi Valley was at dangerously low levels, following decades of use of the pesticide DDT.
Mark Johnsrud was launching a third campaign for the state Assembly, for the 95th District seat held by John Medinger. Democrat Medinger was retiring after 16 years. Republican Johnsrud did not get to the Assembly, losing to Democrat Mark Meyer in ’92. But he did succeed Medinger 13 years later, becoming mayor of La Crosse when Medinger retired after two terms in that job.
Pat Zielke was still mayor in ’92, and he was busy trying to bring riverboat gambling to La Crosse. The Chamber of Commerce and many businesses wanted it, so Zielke decided to form a five-member commission to study the possible impact of gambling on the local economy, in 1992, yesterday in La Crosse.