Tuesday, January 27, 2015 | Madison, WI: 25.0° F
|CITIZEN DAVE: Thoughts and ideas about city building from Madison's former mayor|
Citizen Dave: Measuring what matters in 'smart cities'
Just like the natural world, real urban communities are complex and messy places that defy neat and orderly solutions. There is a trend, driven by technology companies like IBM, to promote an approach known as "smart cities." I'm all for some of that. >MoreCitizen Dave: Safer communities through better design
"Where flowers bloom, so does hope." Lady Bird Johnson said that more than 40 years ago, but we're just now starting to understand that flowers, and beauty generally, aren't frills for those who can afford them, but necessary ingredients in a safe and healthy community. >MoreCitizen Dave: Will it be Mr. Spock versus Yosemite Sam?
Last week, I wrote about President Obama's seeming inability to decide what kind of leader he wanted to be. For a man who is so well grounded and self-assured in his personal life, he appears confused about his own public profile. >MoreCitizen Dave: Let's try community paramedics in Madison
One of the things I really enjoyed as mayor was stopping by a fire station around lunchtime. Firefighters really know how to cook. But they seldom get to eat uninterrupted. It turns out lunchtime is one of the busiest times of the day for the Madison Fire Department. >MoreCitizen Dave: Signs of hope for Obama's reelection
People will fight for a fighter. That's the lesson from the last year or so of the Obama administration, underscored by a New York Times/CBS News poll from last week. >MoreCitizen Dave: Let's get kids moving again with Boltage
In 1969, half of all kids biked or walked to school; today it's less then 15%. One problem isn't the kids, but the parents. When I was a kid, my mom's instructions were to "go have fun" and "be back in time for supper." Parents today have become like helicopters, hovering over their offspring, unwilling to let them face the slightest bit of independent adventure. >MoreCitizen Dave: Republicans are the Ho Hos of political nutrition
I admit it. I watched the Republican presidential debate last week. It was kind of a guilty pleasure, like tuning in to Real Housewives of Someplace or Other or eating Cheetos. I knew there wouldn't be any real nourishment there, but it was fun. The Republicans are to serious debate of serious issues what Hostess Ho Hos are to nutrition. >MoreCitizen Dave: Rep. Steve Nass looks to exploit Madison brewhaha
Look, if there's one thing we don't need in American politics today it's more incivility. So somebody on this side of the debate should say it: The protestor who dumped beer on Rep. Robin Vos at a downtown Madison bar shouldn't have done so. >MoreCitizen Dave: Reimburse Madison for Capitol protest costs, audit Wisconsin Republicans
The other day, the Wisconsin legislature's Joint Finance Committee delayed reimbursement to the city of Madison at the urging of 14 Republican lawmakers. Madison's request is apparently being "audited." In their letter, the Republicans state incorrectly that, as mayor, I ordered Madison police to not participate "in any law enforcement actions to remove or control siege protesters within the Capitol." >MoreCitizen Dave: Gov. Walker, give us back our train
Shouldn't the airlines have some competition? And it turns out a lot of other people think the same way. That's why Amtrak is setting ridership records. What's particularly painful about the story above is that it notes ridership is particularly high to and from college towns (like ours) and among young people (like the ones we're trying to retain in Wisconsin). >More