The Mayors' report
Recently you brought together a group of people under the banner of discussing how Madison could avoid becoming like Milwaukee (Making the Paper, 9/15/06). Well, I'd like to help you out with this top 10 list, just for starters.
The Top Ten Ways Madison Can Avoid Becoming Like Milwaukee:
1. Don't hold the world's largest music festival during the summer on your lakefront, and don't feature the best in national and local music acts on 11 stages. Milwaukee attracts visitors and excitement to its lakefront for Summerfest and its ethnic festivals, held each weekend throughout the summer. This is one reason Milwaukee is considered by Forbes to be a hotspot for singles.
2. Don't build a year-round public market to promote and sell Wisconsin products, including products that showcase your city's ethnic diversity. This catalytic project is attracting people to Milwaukee and is sparking additional development in our Historic Third Ward neighborhood.
3. Avoid enhancing public access to your waterfront. Milwaukee created a 3.2-mile stretch of public Riverwalk that runs the length of the downtown and Third Ward neighborhoods. Now the activity along the river brings new vitality in the form of cafes, condos, residents and visitors.
4. Don't add world-class cultural attractions to your lakefront, and by all means, do not invite an international architect from Spain to design his first U.S. commission for your city. Milwaukee just opened the doors on a dramatic new addition to its lakefront, Discovery World, situated next to the striking Santiago Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum.
5. Don't promote the cultural and ethnic diversity of your city or the heritage of your historic neighborhoods. From the continued revitalization of the historic Bronzeville neighborhood to the growing Latin Quarter on Milwaukee's near south side, we celebrate the diversity that enriches our city.
6. Don't promote your city as an advantageous place to locate a Fortune 500 headquarters. The Milwaukee area is home to eight Fortune 500 companies.
7. Don't promote homeownership in all neighborhoods of your city. By promoting homeownership and guiding developers to central-city neighborhoods, Milwaukee's single-family homes are nearly 90% owner-occupied.
8. Don't have major league sports teams. We've got something for everyone here in Milwaukee. Not only do we enjoy great college basketball at Marquette University and with our UWM Panthers, but we also have our very own NBA team, the Milwaukee Bucks; our hockey team, the Milwaukee Admirals; our indoor soccer team, the Milwaukee Wave; and, of course, the Milwaukee Brewers.
9. Don't put 1,000 kids to work next summer. Without creating another layer of bureaucracy or any additional burden on our taxpayers, we put 1,000 kids to work this summer in city government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector. Kids were able to earn a few bucks while having an up-close look at jobs and careers they might not otherwise have considered.
10. Don't make your city friendly to entrepreneurs or seek business that may want to expand in your city. Whether it's a Fortune 500 global company like Manpower Inc. or a small family-owned neighborhood bakery like La Flor de Trigo, we reach out to business owners, CEOs, entrepreneurs and their employees.
So there you have it. These are just a couple of ways Madison could avoid becoming another Milwaukee. And don't worry, I'll be sure to mention these to your great mayor, Mayor Dave, the next time we get together.
Tom Barrett Mayor, Milwaukee
Isthmus was trying to be provocative in generating a community discussion about serious issues, but it missed the mark when it framed its recent forum in terms of how Madison could avoid becoming like Milwaukee.
Actually, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and I have appeared together in each of our cities to talk about how Milwaukee and Madison can cooperate on exciting projects like high-speed rail, exchanges between our universities and research centers and more.
Leaders in Allied Drive recently traveled to Milwaukee to see how they have improved neighborhoods there without gentrifying them. And as a Milwaukee-area native myself, I enjoy going back home to visit the Calatrava art museum, take in a Brewers game, see the State Fair, find a new ethnic restaurant or visit my parents in West Allis.
It's one of the worst lines in movie history, but it's true in this case: Milwaukee and Madison 'complete each other.' Madison has the state government and the UW, Milwaukee is the center of state commerce, and it has the cultural diversity we strive for here. It's long past time for us to lose our stereotypes about each other and to find ways to make each of our communities better by uniting what's best about both places.
Dave Cieslewicz Mayor, Madison
Note: Editor Marc Eisen, who organized the Madison-Milwaukee forum organizer, replies online at TheDailyPage.com.
The most chilling part of the Cry Rape excerpt was lawyer Brad Armstrong's 19-hour grilling of Patty (9/22/06). His intent to break her psychologically is so obvious, and his tactics so disgustingly cruel, that they achieve the impossible: He almost makes the police seem kind by comparison.
In particular, Armstrong asked Patty over and over why she had not resisted the rapist. She responded, patiently and consistently, that the man had a knife and her daughter was sleeping in the next room. Armstrong, like the police before him, was baffled by this answer. I wonder what it was about a mother's determination to protect her child that they found impossible to understand.
That Patty interrogator Brad Armstrong considers himself a Christian is a disgrace to all church-going, God-loving people. I only hope that God, Jesus and Saint Peter find the same kind of empathy and compassion for Armstrong that he found for Patty when it's his time to be judged. 'May God have mercy on his soul' is too good for this man.
According to 'Market Watch Weekend,' a financial program, manufacturers do their own testing, and they alone decide whether their products are 'energy efficient.'
So I guess Al Gore has initiated his own little 'pots and pans brigade' (if you don't recognize the term, ask someone who lived through World War II) for all the dumb-asses out there who want to throw their perfectly good refrigerators into the landfill just so they can feel good about their increasingly wasteful lives ('Wanted: Global Warming Zealots,' 7/28/06).
When I'm riding my bike six miles to the grocery store, I see the SUVs parked in the driveway, air conditioners running and the two-stroke engines polluting the atmosphere while their overweight owners do their ridiculous tasks. I think to myself: 'Americans haven't got a fucking clue what it means to conserve energy...even if that were a solution to the problem.'
As a lesbian, crewmember and mother of one of the cast in the play Ugly Ducklings, I would like to respond to Katie Reiser's review. I found it distressing that a review of a play that deals honestly with the brutal truths of homophobia and the very real fears that women face coming out was titled 'Girls Gone Weird' (10/6/06). To suggest that girls who courageously declare their sexual orientation are 'weird' is irresponsible.
Second, the choice of a cast photo depicting the one physical confrontation in the play serves to perpetuate the negative images of lesbians as antisocial and combative, stereotypes that Carolyn Gage's play attempts to challenge.
Reiser writes that the play 'addresses complicated issues...sometimes with too heavy of a hand.' That's perhaps a fair interpretation. However, one could also argue that Ugly Ducklings isn't heavy-handed enough in light of the real experiences of LBGT youth in our society.
According to a study conducted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, 78% of LGBT students reported hearing remarks such as 'faggot' or 'dyke' frequently or often. Ninety percent reported hearing the expression 'that's so gay' frequently or often. Sixty-four percent of students reported feeling unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation.
I want to thank Stage Q for producing the play at this politically charged moment for same-sex relationships. Lesbians are not weird, nor are they to be feared. They are our mom, our sister, our daughter, our teacher and our friends.
Arts editor Dean Robbins replies: The headline wasn't referring to homosexuality, but to the campers' 'insolence,' 'viciousness,' 'bitterness' and 'combativeness,' as the reviewer put it.
Regarding the letters (9/22/06, 10/6/06) criticizing Emily Flake's 'Lulu Eightball' comic strip: I've really enjoyed Lulu for many of the same qualities that I found in Matt Groening's 'Life In Hell.' It's true that Flake's sketching style is very different, but I think it works with her humor. What the strip does well is mirror people in a way that causes nervous laughter and makes us vaguely uncomfortable. Was that message easier coming from anthropomorphized rabbits?
'Life In Hell' was consistently boring. 'Lulu Eightball' makes me LAUGH OUT LOUD every week. Period, end of story.