As a medical volunteer for Sharing Resources Worldwide, I was delighted to see Mary Dowling and Lisa Fernandez finally get some of the recognition they deserve ("Dynamic Duo," 11/21/08).
I've been traveling to Honduras with a team that provides high-quality orthopedic and eye surgery to children. We travel at our own expense, and donations cover some the material goods and medications. We use medical equipment and unused items that would otherwise end up in landfills.
The days are exhausting, but our efforts pale in comparison to what the families go through to bring their children to us from all parts of the country. It's immensely gratifying to improve these kids' quality of life, allowing them to become more productive citizens.
Mary and Lisa volunteer tirelessly from an unglamorous warehouse. Every dollar directly impacts people's lives. I encourage readers to visit "Have We Had Enough of Falk?" (12/12/08) was an eye opener! As a UW graduate who, now retired, is back in Madison, I was pleased to find balanced coverage of Madison politics in Isthmus.
I've lived in New York, Caracas, San Francisco and Hong Kong and have heard Madison described as the "Middle Coast," as liberal as the East and West coasts. To read Berg questioning Kathleen Falk's managerial abilities was a shock, since she's assumed to be an automatic vote of the local liberal voting bloc, and a politician for whom the local media is "in the tank."
Berg's overview of Falk's poor performance was insightful and refreshing. A mix of liberals and conservatives in office will keep Madison from falling into the Cook County model.
Hearing more than one point of view will keep me coming back to Isthmus.
It's not surprising that Rick Berg uses his column to bash Kathleen Falk. Bashing is what he's done to Barack Obama, Jim Doyle and anyone who doesn't agree with his outdated and dangerous right-wing thinking.
The right wing doesn't like Kathleen because she's a fiscally responsible progressive who's succeeded where they have failed. She's invested in environmental protection and conservation. She's fought sprawl. She's championed innovative criminal justice initiatives, now being copied elsewhere, that reduce recidivism. She's addressed mishandled 911 calls by adding staff, improving technology and issuing a directive that dispatchers, when in doubt, should send police.
Berg and the extreme right don't like what they see Kathleen getting done in the future, like advancing clean energy and good jobs, promoting smart growth and fighting alcohol abuse in Dane County. As always, her agenda combines innovation, common sense and fiscal responsibility.
It's been 15 years and more since Rick Berg and Nancy Mistele held public office. Both spent their public careers resisting change, opposing good public policy and railing against the majority - something they continue to do today. No Answers and No Change equals No Clue.
Wayne Bigelow, chair
Democratic Party of Dane County
Wanted: A left alternative to Falk
I was disappointed to read several months ago that Scott McDonell decided not to run for county executive once Kathleen Falk announced that she would run again. My disappointment grew when I read about the tons of money Falk's raising ("Falk Prepares for Battle," 12/5/08). I doubt she's electable. The 911 debacle and the way she mishandled it disqualify her for another four years in that position. Progressives will sit on their hands if she's the only liberal/left candidate.
I'd hate to see Nancy Mistele win simply because people of conscience couldn't vote for Falk. I call on left politicos in Dane County to run against Falk.
Please, don't force Mistele on one of the country's most liberal counties.