A developer calls for moving a shelter for homeless men off of the Capitol Square ("Teen Center Eyed As Homeless Shelter," 9/28/07). It might make nearby condo dwellers happier. It might make the developer's upscale properties more marketable. It might make the Capitol area more visually attractive. It might be "viable" to convert an old teen center into a shelter.
Only in the last paragraph does anyone bother to ask: Is this move good for the homeless men? I'm guessing no one bothered to see what the shelter residents themselves think.
This is a microcosm of a horrible trend: The Common Good seemingly is no longer defined by how we can create the best possible Madison for everyone living, working and playing in the city. "Best interests" appear to be defined by profit margins that seldom involve the pockets of people most affected by specific policies.
Andrea Potter, Fitchburg
My nominee for Scrooge of the Year is Cliff Fisher. If the homeless problem is a safety issue, then Grace Episcopal is the right location because thereabouts lies visibility. If the homeless problem is an esthetic issue, then people like Fisher should take their own advice: Move somewhere else.
Go to some gated community where you can ignore the problem that you don't want to see.
Steve Daley, Cambridge
With all due respect to those who have discovered and rediscovered the Capitol Square and State Street: The students and the homeless shelter were there first.
Those of us who warned of gentrification changing the face and character of State Street (and forcing shelter residents to move) saw much of this from the construction of the first condo. Condo residents moved into the downtown and now want to transform it to their urban vision!
Well, in most cities there are homeless shelters downtown with supporting services because the need exists. Our need is growing! Let's open our eyes.
Maybe we don't need more condos. We do need to keep in mind that student spending (including on alcohol) keeps our economy moving, and that as long as the gap between rich and poor grows, we will have more homeless men and women and children. These families are our neighbors too!
Whine, whine, whine. I'm sick of hearing complaints about Madison Metro's Miller bus (Letters, 10/12/07). I love it! It's awesome-looking - the sleek black and gold, the "drink responsibly" warning - as it rolls down city streets.
Don't like the Miller or DeJope buses? Tough! Those wrapped buses pull in a lot of revenue for Metro and help keep the price of bus fares and passes from rising. For every one of you who whines, I can find three of us who love the wrapped buses.