At the end of the day, Madison Police Chief Noble Wray may have done the right thing by essentially declaring an end to the Mifflin Street Block Party. Whether you agree with him or not, you have to respect the chief for stepping up and doing what he believes is best for public safety.
Before I left office, we were headed in a different direction. We felt that some elements of our successful efforts to tame Halloween might work for Mifflin. And things seemed to be moving in the right direction with no serious trouble during those years.
But in 2011, things got out of hand. And the truth is, as Wray has pointed out, it was never a healthy event. Even in the best years, the detox center was full and there were often reported sexual assaults and others that probably went unreported. A big drinking bash is not usually going to be without some ugliness.
There will always be the impulse for young people at UW to break out a little and have some fun when the weather warms up and just before they leave for the summer. Channeling that energy into things that are healthier is the right goal. I might not have chosen exactly this direction, but let's support it and hope it works.