I must respectfully disagree with County Supv. Rich Brown, who is critical of Sheriff Dave Mahoney's efforts to step up minority recruitment for the Sheriff's Department ("New Sheriff Seeks to Diversify," 6/1/07). Mr. Brown is reading from an old playbook.
I am from the Deep South, and my alma mater is one of the historically black colleges and universities. I can say with full confidence that the north - Wisconsin in particular - being mostly white is not a major factor in black students deciding where they will live and work after they graduate.
It is an old discredited notion that blacks will not take a job in a predominantly white area. Blacks have been migrating to the North since the 1920s, and only when opportunities for blacks in the South began to grow did the migration begin to slow and reverse itself.
James R. Yarbrough
Madison and its nearby communities should be happy hunting grounds for minority candidates. Madison, Beloit and Racine schools are close to 50% minority; Kenosha, Green Bay and Sheboygan schools are more than 30% minority. Sheriff Mahoney should be on a first-name basis with high school counselors in those communities.
William P. Rowe
One of the best reasons to read Isthmus is for your commitment to open government. The worthiness of that cause does not excuse the need to exercise good judgment. I believe that your coverage of the Madison School Board ("Board Secretly Discussed Vang Pao News," 6/8/07) falls short.
While meeting in closed session on one subject, the board was informed that reporters were outside due to breaking news concerning another school matter. The board authorized a statement of "no comment," and did nothing else. For that, you accuse board members of breaking the law by failing to put that unknowable surprise on the advance agenda. This is beyond absurd.
This was a failure of editorial judgment. You owe the board an apology.
Okay, food critic Raphael Kadushin finds the new Hilldale "an emblem of resurgence and one of the city's most urbane corners" ("Maki at the Mall," 6/1/07). But the mall is a ghost town during the day, and the visitors anything but urbane and sophisticated. We are who we are, and $60 steaks, $30 raw fish and $13 picture shows ain't going to change all that. We are still frugal and plain folks. I'll stick to spinach and radishes from my own garden!