I was saddened to read that Madison Festivals Inc. permanently banned Ramona Villarreal from participating in the Madison Marathon (Watchdog, 9/3/10). Villarreal had previously demonstrated her dedication to the sport of running and playing by the rules, but I guess one strike and you're out. The reaction of event organizers to her "transgression" was extremely harsh and their justification weak.
I recall when the Madison Marathon was first being organized, many runners in the Madison area were not pleased with the marathon being scheduled only two weeks after the annual Syttende Mai run. That didn't seem to matter to the organizers. They didn't get it then and they don't get it now.
A punch in the stomach
I found it most regrettable that you chose to describe in detail the discovery of a body after two weeks ("The Dirty Jobs," 9/3/10): "It was badly decomposed, giving off the worst stench imaginable and covered with thousands of flies." I believe the description matches the circumstances of an old friend of 30-plus years.
Though we had not been in close contact in recent years, he was nonetheless an important person in our lives and the lives of other friends and family. To see that in print was like being punched in the stomach. He deserved much better.