Bill Lueders' sensitive, sad but hopeful piece "Remembering Billy" (1/27/2012) brought tears.
Like Billy Zurlo's family, our family struggled with the mental illness of a son for years. Also like Billy Zurlo's family, we were able, fortunately, to rise from almost total ignorance to some understanding of our son's situation. Love and refusal to give up on him were the keys.
Our son's life was not as difficult as Billy Zurlo's, but it was enormously tough for him and for us to live with.
After long bouts in the abyss, the combination of excellent professional care, a medication that worked, help from the National Alliance on Mental Illness and support from our family brought the miracle. Our son now shows no symptoms and is living a happy, helpful life.
Frank Ryan, Middleton
Thank you, Bill, from all of the "Billys" and their caregivers, friends and families everywhere. Is there a Pulitzer Prize for cover stories?
I almost had an attack of apoplexy upon reading Marc Eisen's statement concerning high-speed rail that the ideal stop for it in Madison would be Yahara Station ("Gov. Walker's Fateful Decision," 1/13/2012). As a person who virtually risks his life driving on First Street between East Washington and Johnson during rush hour, I invite Mr. Eisen to join me in the ride. He'd soon change his tune.
If the train situation had been handled right from the start it would have been possible to approach this concept logically and sensibly. But it wasn't. As it is, Madison is faced with a growing reality that high-speed rail probably won't work here due to layout.
Peter. W. Clark
I enjoyed the article by Diane Schwartz regarding the new Tenney Park warming shelter ("From Warming Hut to Prairie-Style Palace," 1/27/2012). I was disappointed, though, to see no reference to Garrison Keillor's major fundraising effort, in 2009, to honor his brother, Phil Keillor, who died in an ice-skating accident in Madison early that year. From all I know of their lives and work, I regard both brothers to be national treasures.
Peter James DeWind, Middleton
Capital has abandoned our communities, leaving our workers high and dry ("One Worker, One Vote," 2/3/2012). But rather than mourn, we must organize and rebuild our economy into something that serves our interests.
Our communities must make the development of worker cooperatives a high priority. I would suggest the creation of worker cooperative incubation centers as a means to build the kind of infrastructure needed.
We need federal legislation to create the framework enabling the formation of worker cooperatives. We need to allow unemployed workers to use their unemployment compensation as seed money to create new worker cooperatives. Government must allocate substantial funds for grants and loans to facilitate the creation and development of worker cooperatives, especially in the manufacturing sector and in areas hard hit by capital flight. This would be a real and meaningful stimulus package.
In Larry Kaufmann's letter of Feb. 3 he once again demonstrates his reliance on superficial statistics that do not connect to the reality of everyday life. His claim that it takes only 1.5 hours to get to Minneapolis versus the six hours by high-speed rail is a perfect example. To get to Minneapolis from Madison you need to get to the airport an hour in advance, fly to O'Hare, wait two to five hours for a connection, fly to Minneapolis and then make it into the city. A six-hour train ride would get you to Minneapolis anywhere from one to five hours faster and cost $500 dollars less. Mr. Kaufmann needs to get out more.