Not always about race
Amy Barrilleaux's article "Madison's Racial Divide" (3/29/2013) obfuscates the real issue - whether Madison is making progress in finding school board candidates who will work for the good of all schools and students. Undoubtedly it is, though the preponderance of Barrilleaux's article seems to ignore that fact.
Barrilleaux's claim that Madison Preparatory Academy was "a controversial proposal that has split the community along racial lines" is unfortunate and arguable. That vote was far more about charter/voucher systems versus public schools than about race.
Her statement that "people of color are eyeing endorsements of people of color with suspicion" is an unfortunate generalization. Which endorsements would Barrilleaux accept as genuine and unbiased racially? Her reference to Derrell Connor's blog "Madison Liberals Hurting Communities of Color" gives liberals undue credit. What would race relations be like in Madison without any liberals?
That we have a racial divide in Madison is fact. But it has far less to do with votes for school board candidates than Barrilleaux believes.
The WYOU challenge
Thanks to Isthmus for reporting on the plight of WYOU, Madison's community television station ("WYOU in Limbo," 3/29/2013). Despite the devastating loss of PEG funding from the Cable Competition Act, we've kept our doors open, increased our programming, developed new live shows and started the Wisconsin Uprising Archive - a repository of media from the 2011 protests.
I'm proud of our board of directors and producers, who volunteer their time and expertise because they believe in WYOU's mission - to keep independent voices on the air while the mainstream monopolizes the media. In the process we've discovered this can be accomplished with a ridiculously small budget.
Here is the challenge - Madison could have and maintain a very well-equipped and volunteer-run TV station for under $50,000 a year. At the same time, many are convinced that if we let the station close we'll never have another opportunity to start a new one.
Barbara Vedder, Chair, WYOU board of directors
Re your article on lawns in Abode ("Grass Roots Empowerment Project," 4/5/2012): The Grassroots Empowerment Project is an established agency for consumers of mental health services. To use its name as a title for an article about lawn care is stigmatizing for those of us who battle our illnesses daily.
Jonathan A. Makool
Editor's note: We were unaware of the name of the program when the story was headlined.