The party line
Charles Walter's recent letter blaming the Democratic Party of Wisconsin for losing the recall is stupid and ill-informed ("Disastrous Dems," Letters, 6/7/2013). In the late summer of 2011, rank-and-file activists like me were organizing our neighborhoods and frantically running around the state trying to pull together an infrastructure to prepare for the recall.
Not a single major institution signed on, including our unions, who mirrored the Democratic Party line from Washington that it was better to wait to have the recall election coincide with the general in November 2012. That was a recipe for demobilization and something impossible to guarantee, considering Republican machinations.
So we continued to build our action groups, hoping for the best. To our relief, if not amazement, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin stepped up to officially sponsor the recall on the most aggressive timeline possible -- to start in November 2011. They poured in millions of dollars, and Democratic activists put their hearts into it, side-by-side with the rest of us. It was a model of correct behavior on the part of the DPW, which treated our autonomous groups intelligently and respectfully.
Biking for books
I enjoyed reading Dave Cieslewicz's article on the Little Free Libraries ("Shelf Life," 6/28/2013). For the past three years I have been keeping track of how many LFL's are in the Madison area and bicycling to each one of them, noting the type of books that can usually be found there.
What started out as a two-day project this year evolved into an eight-day odyssey using a location map I have created, breaking the area down into sections. At last count, there were 105 Little Free Libraries in the Madison/Monona/Middleton/Maple Bluff areas -- and more are popping up seemingly every week. I even ran across Dave one day outside the Sequoya Library while bicycling the near-west-side section.
It's been a fun and interesting project, and I've come across some very nice books. In these days of almost relentless warfare on education and the arts, it is heartening to see that Madison is so willing to do its part to ensure that literature is not dying.
James P. Roberts