In 1977, five members of the La Crosse school board were fighting for their board seats, in the face of a recall campaign. The board angered some citizens by voting not to renew the contract of Longfellow Junior High principal Myron McKee, who had gotten praise and criticism for his approach to discipline at the school. Newly elected board member Ralph Geary Jr. said the targeted board members shouldn’t fight to keep their jobs, if so many people signed petitions to get them out of office. Those five targeted members were removed from office that August.
The La Crosse convention bureau wanted a bigger share of the hotel room tax in ’77. The tax on rooms at the time was 3%, raising about $100,000 a year, and there was talk of raising the levy to 4%. The visitor bureau and the city of La Crosse each got 45% of the money. The CVB wanted its share increased to 60%, to finance more tourism promotion. That idea was turned down by the city council, by a one vote margin.
Shopko stores were having a “sound explosion,” selling stereo LP’s and 8-track tapes for 99 cents. Vinyl albums on sale included releases by the Supremes and Sammy Davis Jr. For your car, you could buy 8-tracks from the Guess Who, Lawrence Welk, and Pat Boone.
At the Oscars in March of ’77, “Network” took three of the four acting awards, including Peter Finch for best actor as TV anchor Howard Beale. Finch died two months before the Oscars. The best picture of the year was the original “Rocky,” yesterday in La Crosse.