Yesterday in La Crosse
Giving a stadium a second chance, 30 years ago
In December of 1989, La Crosse Mayor Pat Zielke persuaded the city plan commission to endorse the idea of selling eight acres of West Copeland Park for a dollar to investors who might want to build a baseball stadium. The timing surprised people, coming just a week after La Crosse voters defeated a referendum for a $3.6 million baseball park. Some observers viewed the referendum loss as a rejection of alleged back-room deal-making at City Hall, and council president Linda Heisler argued that Zielke’s new plan was another attempt to do business ‘under the table.’
La Crosse was number 1, in accidents, according to city Police Chief Bruce Marco. The chief said La Crosse had the highest accident rate among Wisconsin cities with a population over 30,000. The year before, there were 34 crashes for every 1000 La Crosse residents, with the most dangerous intersections being on West Avenue, Jackson, Cass, and 3rd and 4th Streets.
Former Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci escaped from her home country of Romania, which was still under Communist control. Comaneci was a star of the ’76 Olympics in Montreal, and at age 28, was planning to move to Florida.
Marty McFly visited the year 2015 in the second “Back to the Future” movie in theaters that Christmas, and Ariel got out from under the sea and tried life on dry land in “The Little Mermaid,” 30 years ago, 1989, yesterday in La Crosse.