In his article on the UW Press ("Top Shelf," 4/3/09), David Medaris did a good job summarizing the technological and business challenges facing book publishing today, and surveying the Press' recent publications, particularly our regional list of books. I'd just like to clarify two things.
First, though I stressed in the article that we are focused on quality, I was making the broad distinction between presses that emphasize strong work and those motivated more purely by profit. In fact, we have to say no to plenty of good manuscripts because they may not fit one of our core lists or because we simply don't have the capacity to publish all the quality titles looking for a home these days.
Second, though Medaris rightfully focused on regional authors and titles of particular interest to the local community, it's worth emphasizing that the UW Press has a wide-ranging list and receives national and international awards (among them a recent American Book Award) and media attention for its scholarly, literary and trade titles. Our website, www.wisc.edu/wisconsinpress, offers a good overview of our eclectic range.
Raphael Kadushin, Senior acquisitions editor, University of Wisconsin Press
More on that ER visit
I have worked in health care for nearly 15 years and think it needs a major overhaul as much as the next person. However, I must respond to Bill Lueders' column "Up Against the Health Care System" (4/3/09):
1. A visit to an emergency department does not come with an "all ailments diagnosed and cured or your money back!" guarantee. The fact that Mr. Peterson in essence was asking for a refund for his ED expenses is laughable and reveals his considerable naiveté regarding the purpose and limitations of an emergency evaluation.
2. Foreign debris in the eye can be difficult to locate. Not discovering any in Mr. Peterson's eye during his ED visit is not an uncommon occurrence and is not necessarily an indication of diagnostic ineptitude.
3. Beginning this piece by stating that Americans have lousy health care driven solely by profit is inaccurate at best. We have considerable oversight in our field, and most health care that is provided in this country is quite good, albeit expensive.
Tom McDonald, Middleton
Bill Lueders replies: That David Peterson sought relief from payment for his visit may be "laughable" to Tom McDonald, but, according to St. Mary's, it was deemed a valid request and immediately granted, as reported.
Thank you for reviving memories of 1959, when my husband, Ivan Nestingen, was mayor of Madison ("1959," 3/27/09).
My time in that great city started in 1944 when I was a freshman at the university, but I surely remember those exciting years when we fought so hard to have Monona Terrace become a reality. I now visit it every year and lament that all those people who fought back against the negative campaign by Joseph Jackson and Carroll Metzner did not live to see it built. Mr. Wright seemed to take the defeats much better than we did. He was so sincere about wanting to have something built in Madison, and offered that design free.
Ivan was so lucky because we had wonderful, dedicated people taking care of the city. I can only wish the current mayor the same good fortune.
Jerry Nestingen, Washington, D.C.