Regarding your article about the Madison Pop Festival ('Catch a Rising Star,' 12/8/06): Kudos to UW students Danny Tenenbaum and Jamie Hanson for booking the show that is easily the highlight of Madison's music scene for 2006. They reached right out to indie rockers across Madison and created a show that anyone would love.
These two students did what local show promoters are afraid to do: They picked acts with little national attention but that would still appeal to smart music lovers in Madison. While Smog (Bill Callahan) has played in Madison before, matching him with Joanna Newsom, a young avante-garde harpist, was a stroke of genius not seen in this city for a long time.
Why are the music promoters in Madison afraid to do what these two bright UW students did?
I was tickled to read Tom Laskin's glowing review of my contribution to the Wisconsin Pop Explosion CD, but I want to clear up a possible misunderstanding that Aunt Goodness is dead. I may be spending the majority of my musical mojo with the Runners-Up these days, but I have not retired the Aunt Goodness act just yet.
Didn't like the story
Vikki Kratz: I was very disappointed with your Madison.gov column of Dec. 15. It is not at all helpful in a column lamenting the lack of candidates of color to be totally negative toward the first announced candidate of color.
I emphatically told you I had fulfilled all requirements and now am officially running, but you still stated 'none of the candidates who have formally announced they're running for the council are persons of color.' In the future I will remember that to be formal I must be talking to the major Madison newspapers, not the informal Isthmus!
I consider your referral to me as 'an Asian woman named Thuy Pham-Remmele,' despite being pictured on the front pages of both the Wisconsin State Journal and the Capital Times multiple times, and being selected by the State Journal as 'One of Ten Who Made a Difference in Madison in 2002,' to be highly disrespectful of the accomplishments of all persons of color in Wisconsin.
It must also have surprised the now 100-plus persons who have formally endorsed me that you write of me as an unknown nobody.
Mrs. Thuy Pham-Remmele
Vince O'Hern: I see that you have turned yourself into 'one of those people' who can't seem to understand the purpose of parking meters and charging fees for the use of parking facilities (Making the Paper, 12/1/06). I will try to explain to you how wrong you are in the most rational and professional manner.
The purpose of a parking meter is to turn over parking; they aren't there just to collect money. The money collected from meters pays wages for collectors, revenue and maintenance staff, parking utility vehicles, meter repair and installation, and for new facilities.
The Parking Utility raises meter rates to keep people from coming back and plugging meters all day. Knowing that a parking enforcement officer is ready to give you a ticket for being four minutes late gets you coming to your car a little earlier to avoid that horrible, horrible $20 ticket.
The Parking Utility's job is to provide public parking in downtown Madison. To me, it's really sad how people are constantly thinking Parking Utility and the city are a bunch of crooks. Totally baffles me.
I'm sorry to hear that you had to pay $4 for special-event parking when you weren't attending the event. Look at it this way: You can sit in traffic to get in or sit in traffic to get out of the ramp. When the special event is over, the gates are raised, and this saves people from having to wait 30 to 45 minutes to leave. There are no other options.
There are such bigger problems in the world that I can't believe you would have even wasted the space in your paper to talk about downtown parking. You should rethink what you've said. It's really not as bad as you think.
Phil Gadke, Parking maintenance worker, City of Madison Parking Utility
Theresa Bernstein (Letters, 12/8/06) describes quite well the top-down corporate management structure of a soon-to-be-bankrupt company. In today's competitive marketplace, a CEO who sits in an ivory tower and issues missives to a disempowered workforce will quickly run his firm into the ground. Thus, I don't know if it is a good idea for Bishop Morlino to look to corporate America for management ideas, as Bernstein suggests, when the church structure for Christians was so aptly described by St. Paul as the body of Christ.
Those of us who call ourselves Catholics are a part of that body and serve the vital and interdependent functions God chooses to give us. Clearly, the brain does not tell the eyes what to see, but rather the mind is dependent on the eyes to see anything. The wise brain does not tell the skin how warm it is, but asks. Whenever a Christian institution is not corrupted by unholy interests, it follows St. Paul's model.
Regarding Steve Braunginn's column ('Dealing With Prostate Cancer,' 12/15/06): As a prostate cancer survivor myself, it was refreshing to receive some insight from another source. I was diagnosed in May 2002 and had a radical prostatectomy (removal of the gland) in September 2002.
Men should be made aware that there are other treatment procedures available than the radiation treatment Mr. Braunginn described. It is important to discuss these options with your urologist and/or radiation specialist before going ahead with treatment. I have been cancer-free for more than four years now and am very thankful that I went ahead with the surgery. Prostate cancer is a slow, painful death. Steve put it so well: 'Get tested'!
Eric H. Pangman
Thanks for serving
To Thomas Staskal, Patrick Wilcox, LaShell Lentz, Abbie Pickett and the other veterans who shared with us their personal stories and issues: You have my deepest and sincere thanks for your service to our country ('War Without End' and 'Women Vets Struggle for Inclusion,' 12/8/06).
This former sergeant whose return to Wisconsin in August 1975 after three years away from home was met by a thundering silence and crushing indifference wants to salute these courageous individuals. The public needs to know the ramifications ' bad as well as good ' of sending our warriors off to war.