In "Virtual Learning 2.0" (11/30/2012), Dave Cieslewicz makes thoughtful if fleeting reference to what happens to the city - "no crowds of wide-eyed freshman tramping down State Street" - if distance learning catches on big-time as a result of high costs at UW and a tougher job market for new graduates.
What the article doesn't deal with is the prospective impact on the city outside the campus - the almost 200,000 Madisonians who are not resident students but many of whom depend on student presence for their livelihoods. The focus in the article on the pedagogical changes rather than the effect on the local community seems odd coming from a former mayor rather than an educator.
John L. Gann Jr.
Fight for your rights
In her letter to the editor (11/2/2012) , Mary Kavon commented on the paucity of Republican responses to Candidates Answers, the nonpartisan voter information publication of the League of Women Voters of Dane County (LWVDC), distributed as an insert in Isthmus (10/26/2012). As stated on the front page of Candidates Answers, the LWVDC is nonpartisan, making neither endorsements of candidates and parties nor recommendations about candidates and parties. Candidates are offered the opportunity to get their information to the reading public, to have their responses printed verbatim, within the stated word limit.
The League of Women Voters, however, takes stands on political issues, based on thorough study and established positions regarding key issues. Central to our mission is protecting the right of citizens to vote, providing nonpartisan voter information and encouraging involvement in government activities. The action by the LWV-Wisconsin challenges the constitutionality of the 2011 Voter ID law.
The LWV, founded in 1920, grew out of the women's suffrage movement. Our foremothers fought for 72 years to win the right for women to vote. Protecting voting rights is part of our mission. We at LWVDC do not see the state League's legal action to protect voting rights as hampering our ability to print nonpartisan (verbatim) responses from candidates for electoral office.
Gail Bliss, LWVDC voter services chair