Here we are again at our favorite summer place - on the lakes. You may recall that we visited the state of Wisconsin 's lakes in our June 15 issue (Vol. 32, No. 24) with Brian McCombie's "How Many Boats Are Too Many?" This week we are decidedly and exclusively close to home with "Our City, Our Lakes" by Madison historian David Mollenhoff.
Mollenhoff certainly has the historical authority to speak on the topic, which he did at the First Annual Yahara Lakes Conference; this article is based on those remarks. He is the author of the 1982 history, since revised, Madison: A History of the Formative Years, judged to be a classic upon its initial publication. And as he points out in the article, Madison's lakes definitely played a formative role in the history of Madison .
But what kind of role they play in the future will be determined in large part by what we do with and about them now. The lakes are in sad shape, but there are things that can be done, Mollenhoff says. He is echoed in a companion opinion piece by Isthmus editor Marc Eisen , who says that, contrary to popular misconception, there are measures that can be employed to improve the quality of the lakes and ensure their health into the future.
To do this will require leadership, and we are unsure whether that leadership is forthcoming. Right now we seem to be caught up with concerns for light rail and trolleys. Let's hope there's room on the public agenda to deal with some of the issues confronting what's been called "the soul of Madison ," its lakes.
We direct your attention this week to TheDailyPage.com , for the return of the prodigal son. Featured there as of Friday morning is a DVD column by former Isthmus film reviewer Mike Wilmington. Wilmington wrote for us from 1980 until about 11 years ago. He came to us upon the demise of the old Press Connection, and continued to contribute while also writing for High Times magazine, Playgirl, L.A. Weekly and the L.A. Times, among others. We were embargoed from running his material when he joined the Chicago Tribune as staff reviewer over a decade ago.
Separated from the Tribune through their recent employee buyout, he is now free to embellish our content again. He does so on The Daily Page in the form of a column covering newly released DVDs. If you remember Wilmington , you will eagerly read his comments on the many new and classic films released on DVD each week. If you've never read him, you will enjoy his encyclopedic and insightful film commentary.