Next door, over at this DailyPage Forum, you will find a most entertaining thread initiated by my on-line editor and committed Madison liberal, Jason Joyce. It is an electronic shout-out for his favored candidate for Madison alderman, Mr. Apron Strings himself, Matt Phair.
Mr. Apron Strings and Dave Glomp are battling to succeed Thuy Pham-Remmele in District 20 in Tuesday's election. Jason faults Glomp for not "darkening his door" so that Jason could ask the tough questions, questions that have been festering in his mind for two long years:
[Glomp said] 'He was now afraid to walk down Meadowood's Leland Drive, where his family had once lived.' ... Afraid of what?
Jason suggests that he will not accept as an answer the word "crime." He knows this because on his street in the Meadowood neighborhood, which is not Leland, he plays catch with his son without being mugged, knifed, or shot. The implication is that Dave Glomp is a nervous nellie or worse. Other contributors to this thread picked up on the implication and played the race card.
If I follow their reasoning, Dave Glomp is afraid of crime because he hates black people. If that can be called reasoning. Or maybe he hates crime because he is afraid of black people. It's all so confusing.
Jason has been playing Chip Diller in the movie Animal House for two years now, running through our troubled streets like Kevin Bacon during the raucous homecoming parade shouting, in vain, "All is well! All is well!" as mayhem erupts on all sides and the Death Float achieves ramming speed.
One last breath, deep or otherwise
Memorably, Jason took to task Ald. Thuy and the Squire of the Stately Manor in a print piece on June 4, 2009. The both of us needed to "take a deep breath," the wise man counseled. The Squire's particular sin was to warn of "wilding in the streets." Four days later, young Karamee Collins Jr., age 17, took his last breath, deep or otherwise, due to the bullet fired into his back. The four teenagers responsible are now behind bars, their lives ruined. It was one of many shootings that summer.
Jason's operating thesis is that if he himself experiences no problems there can be, perforce, no problems anywhere. Makes pretty Pollyanna look like Thomas Hobbes in a smoldering Gehenna.
If there were no problems hereabouts, why did the city devote so many resources to our side of town? Why did so many citizens (600-700 at each of two neighborhood meetings in the summer of 2007) insist on more policing? Are there that many racists in Madison?
Read this lady's testimony. She lives but a few blocks from Jason, is she delusional?
"Such is life on Mayhill Drive, where I can look out my front window and see drug deals. Mayhill Drive, where I can come home from work and find an empty bottle of Cialis …. Mayhill Drive, where I walk my dog down the street and people I do not know call me a BITCH. Life on Mayhill, when I wake up in the middle of the night to find grown men drinking beer in my front yard and leaving their Corona beer bottles on the grass.
"Such is life on Mayhill, when I can hear the slaps and punches of people fighting over I don't know what. Such is life on Mayhill. It is not good."
At a meeting at the west precinct police station, a young father told of securing the windows on his apartment even on a summer's night.
"It's like Lord of the Flies out here," he said. He's at (or was then) Balsam and Leland. Take a deep breath, mister. Jason is playing catch with his kid.
Glomp, center, chairs a neighborhood meeting
Johnny come lately
Dave Glomp was on the ground and working with the neighborhood associations and interested parties. I attended most of those meetings in the summer of 2009; didn't see Matt Phair at any of them.
My general impression is that the troubles have eased up in the year since, thanks to the efforts of Chief Noble Wray, West side Captain Jay Lengfeld and their blue blanket. Thanks also to the efforts of a black business man and ordained minister, James Monroe. Thanks to committed landlords like Brent Midelfort, Ernie and Joan Horinek. And thanks to neighborhood association leaders like Tom McKenna and Dave Glomp.
The latter two worked with the neighborhood associations on a code of conduct and responsibilities. As Chief Wray told us, the police cannot do it all. They need a committed and vigilant citizenry.
Dave Glomp hosted one of Ald. Thuy's two listening sessions at Maria Goretti Church in 2007. It was at those historic conclaves that 600 to 750 neighbors told Mayor Dave to his face to ditch his trolley car nonsense and hire more police. Cieslewicz offered a handful more police; Chief Wray, who also attended those meetings, knew he had the backing of the citizenry and pushed for 40. He got them over the protestations of Progressive Dane and The Capital Times. But I repeat myself.
Mayor Cieslewicz never forgave Ald. Thuy or Dave Glomp for being shown up. Mayor Dave is renowned for once remarking that a little crime is the price you have to pay for becoming a bigger city. Now he has prevailed upon Matt Phair, the husband of his personal secretary, to succeed the independent (and yes, at times, abrasive) Ald. Thuy.
[Full disclosure: I have not worked on Glomp's aldermanic campaign, I did not ask him to run but I have endorsed him and his yard signs grace the expansive greensward of the Stately Manor.]
Mr. Apron Strings
Good liberals are lining up behind Phair, Including The Capital Times, which also endorsed campus malcontent Kyle Szarzynski. (Discussed here.) I see a Phair sign in the front yard of professional environmentalist Dennis Caneff, who, while president of the Orchard Ridge neighborhood association, steadfastly denied this area had a crime problem until the day he was held up at gunpoint while taking a late afternoon walk on the periphery of Russett Road.
We're hearing vague promises that Phair has "solutions" and has talked to everyone in the world to arrive at those solutions. We can be certain that these are solutions that the incumbent mayor will condone. I challenge anyone to contradict me: Matt Phair go NOT go toe to toe with Mayor Cieslewicz to fight for resources for the southwest side. Thuy did and she got them.
Mr. Apron Strings?
Come to think of it, why haven't I seen him at MY door? What are you afraid of? The NRA sticker?