Down with ACT UP
I found your article "AIDS Network Dissed as Locals ACT UP" (5/22/09) absolutely appalling. As a longtime AIDS Network voluteer, I am aware firsthand that it is a viable, innovative organization. I have witnessed the assistance it provides to HIV-positive individuals, helping them to once again enjoy a normal life.
I have volunteered at several organizations, none with a more competent or dedicated staff. While Mr. Milward has served on the board, he apparently has no knowledge of the daily operations. To say the group has failed its clientele is absolutely false. In my small way I have assisted many of the clientele and never heard one complaint. In fact, there is nothing but praise and appreciation.
If anything, ACT UP should help the agency find funding to provide more services instead of looking to [ARC Wisconsin] to take over the operations. To engage in a turf war does not serve the clientele in this or any other community. Shame on ACT UP.
Conrad Oleson, Fitchburg
As a former board member of AIDS Network, I am intimately familiar with disgruntled clients. Indeed, I recall many meetings where we listened and tried to address concerns raised by clients, staff and others. I have no idea of the merits of Mr. Milward's complaints, but having met with the group's director, Karen Dotson, I believe she and the agency are working toward having their service model be fairly evaluated.
I admit being biased toward AIDS Network's collaborative service model. It seems to me more cost-efficient than ARCW's direct services model, especially since there is already a large medical services community in Wisconsin today.
I have nothing but respect for ARCW; it has done a fantastic job finding money, building an organization and providing services. But, as AIDS Network starts to move in that direction, I still ask myself: Why?
Mark Porter, Oregon
The recently formed ACT UP chapter is not the first in Madison. An earlier chapter operated in the 1990s, addressing such issues as HIV prevention in prisons and denial of day care to the child of an HIV-positive mother. The group disbanded in 1994.
Arboretum story omissions
Isthmus has scored another home run with Curt Meine's piece on the UW Arboretum's pioneering struggles and successes to re-create Wisconsin's natural areas ("Back to Nature," 5/29/09). In the process, the new science of ecological restoration was born.
Soon, however, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission may allow American Transmission Company (ATC) to build a massive, 345,000-volt electricity line across Dane County, including a stretch along the Beltline. Arboretum property lies on both sides of the line's corridor.
Since the power line needs 120-foot poles, it would be visible from most of the Arboretum. (Mature hardwood trees are about 90 feet tall.) So much for the Arboretum's ability to counter the destructive forces of "progress" and demonstrate that there are better ways to treat our lands.
The article by Curt Meine was outstanding. I just wish the PSC commissioners read it before rendering their decision on ATC's proposal to string power lines on 13-story-high pylonsalong the Beltline, hulking over the Aldo Leopold pines.
I enjoyed Curt Meine's cover story on the UW Arboretum and his admiration of Madeleine Doran, a distinguished teacher and professor. I regret that he did not refer to Nancy Sachse's splendid study of the Arboretum, A Thousand Ages. Augie Derleth paid tribute to this excellent first history of the Arboretum at its dedication.
Margaret S. Lacy
More on Moore
I could not agree with Andy Moore, er, more ("Close to Home," 5/22/09). I too live on the near east side and am constantly barraged by dogs who are unleashed. I too always hear from smiling owners, "S/he's really friendly" as I step back from a possible attack.
I was bitten by a "friendly" dog 10 years ago. I do not like dogs that bound toward me, unleashed. I love animals, but my love stops when their owners have no respect for others' rights. So stop it, people! Put your dogs on leashes, where they belong. Clean up their feces. Respect your neighbors. The near east side belongs to all of us.
The tone of Andy's column struck me as one of those east-side non-dog owners who feels the need to point out every doggy deposit on their property to anyone walking a dog in the proximity (even if they're on the other side of the street) and then yell at them to pick up their yard for them, because they must be responsible.Perhaps Andy should take his own advice and go to Paris (it's lovely this time of year) and correct the behavior of all of the ill-behaved American tourists.
Jen L. Ahlstrom
Rick Berg writes: "The time has come to put the brakes on unbridled government spending and administer a little frontier justice on those responsible" (Opinion, 5/29/09). I would like to hear from Berg a credible definition of "frontier justice" that does not involve violence. If indeed he is recommending violence against elected officials, let's hear it in clearer terms.
Howard S. Bregman
Berg replies: The term "frontier justice" is commonlyused to describe a harsh judgment. Use of that term to describe actions takenby California voters seems consistent with that meaning.It was not an endorsement of violence.