Lobbying laws justified
Letter writer Marshall Smith ("Lobby Law Unconstitutional," 9/4/09), after misquoting the First Amendment, goes on to conflate free speech with spending money on lobbying. Is this really a basis for good government?
"The Edgewater proposal," says Smith, "is not a lobby effort." Does Smith believe there's been no lobbying for the project? And, contrary to his assertion, this lobbying has not been done in a "direct, transparent fashion." It's been secretive enough that it appears to have violated the city's not-so-strong lobbying laws.
These laws don't prohibit lobbying. They aim to let we the people be aware of who's paying whom to lobby whom, and for what. I want these laws enforced.
Story an annoyance
Every time I read a piece like Joe Tarr's ("Drumlin Farm's Day May Be Numbered," 9/4/09), I get annoyed - not with the Joseph Alexanders of the world, but with the Celia Barreras of the world. Tarr writes, "[Barrera's] about to lose her plot." It's not "her" plot; it's Alexander's plot.
I also get annoyed with the Jay Allens of the world. Fitchburg's mayor complains that Alexander is using "strong-arm" tactics. Hardly. "Strong-arm" tactics on Alexander's part would have been to evict the illegal tenants the moment he acquired the property in 2007, and to level the houses the very day his demolition permit was approved. I submit that Alexander has been downright magnanimous.
Joseph T. Leone, Brooklyn, Wis.
Classical music solution
I haven't walked State Street in a long time but my memory is that Peace Park is small ("No Peace for Park," 9/4/09). The purpose of upgrading the park, whether or not it was publicly stated, is to move the current clientele or change their behavior. Do we need a large building to do that? Is there a demonstrated need for a visitor center?
A far cheaper way to influence clientele is worth testing. Malls have apparently had success with piping in classical music all day. It is certainly worth a try.
Article made her giggle
Emily Mills' article [on Madison clubs], Out-on-the-Town Smackdown! (8/25/09), was so well written! Delightful turns of phrase. It made me giggle out loud more than once.
Erin Sievert, Waterloo