Come on down!
Regarding Rick Berg's comments about downtown retail in his column "Let Them Eat Commuter Rail" (6/27/08): On behalf of the more than 100 retailers on State Street and the Capitol Square, the Central Business Improvement District welcomes Rick to visit the district and discover downtown shopping.
Rick can find everything - clothes, shoes, hats, gifts, housewares, sporting goods, watches and jewelry, fine chocolates and artisan cheeses - and then dine at his pick of more than 70 restaurants or take in an evening of music, theater or (yes) movies.
Downtown has indeed changed since Rick's (and my) youth. A district with more than 350 shops, boutiques, restaurants, night spots, museums and theaters - many locally owned - changes constantly, keeping the mix fresh and vibrant.
New retail (Atticus Shop, Anthology, Epoch Vintage Clothing) and service businesses (such as health and fitness) are geared to the whole range of downtown residents and visitors. In the very same issue of Isthmus, the article "Sucre Brings Continental Flair to the Square" describes this locally owned bistro and patisserie as a prime example of the evolution of downtown.
As the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Capitol to campus...few Midwest thoroughfares are as vibrant as State Street."
Mary Carbine, Executive director, Madison's Central Business Improvement District
The old and the new
Your article on the town of Cross Plains ("The Great Divide in Cross Plains," 6/13/08) on oldies versus newbies misses a key point. The article leaves the impression that a "newbie" is someone who moved out here in the last few years. No, a newbie is someone who hasn't had family in the town for at least a couple of generations. Louise Klopp, who has been here since about 1970, is a newbie. My wife and I are newbies; we've only lived here for 19 years.
Jeff Baylis, Cross Plains
Note: On June 17, Jeff Baylis was elected to the town of Cross Plains board, replacing "oldie" Bob Bowman.
I read with shock and amazement Thomas Kozlovsky's letter ("Crime and Punishment," 6/27/08). Will Isthmus print anything as long as it is anti-gun? Mr. Kozlovsky's inane rant is so far out of reality that it is irresponsible for Isthmus to print such trash. I guess if Isthmus is going lend credence to such gibberish, perhaps we need more constraints on the First Amendment as well.