I can relate to Andy Moore ("Bummerfest," 7/20/07). I have had many bad experiences at Milwaukee's Summerfest. I've been caught in the middle of gaggles of drunken patrons, straining to hear my favorite band. I've seen a whole range of drink-fueled antisocial behavior on the Summerfest grounds.
But I've had great times as well. As with any regional attraction that draws several hundred thousand on a given day, the Summerfest experience can be glorious or disgusting, depending on a range of uncontrollable factors, including weather and the behavior of our fellow human beings.
Mr. Moore seems to think that drunken, idiotic behavior is something endemic to Milwaukeeans. What he fails to realize that the drunks he so colorfully described were as likely to be from Chicago, Madison or elsewhere as from Milwaukee.
In fact, the people arrested at Summerfest for the worst behavior are from out of town. Through day eight of the festival this year, Milwaukee police arrested 298 people for lewd or other illegal conduct - 177, or 59%, lived outside of the five-county Milwaukee metropolitan area.
Which makes it all the more mystifying is that Mr. Moore chooses to use his "Bummerfest" experience to paint all Milwaukeeans as boorish drunks. Dancing drunk is a "Milwaukee talent"? Encountering a brawl started by a woman is more likely in Milwaukee? Hardly.
Mr. Moore thinks he's penned a witty critique of the quintessential Milwaukee. What he in fact has done is revealed his own ignorance of the many facets of his state's biggest city.
Dave Steele, Milwaukee
I always enjoy Andy Moore's columns. Oddly, he and I both seem to find ourselves in the middle of situations that involve unpleasant bodily functions. His Summerfest experience with vomit and the drunks who produce it reminds me of a similar episode he wrote about at a Wisconsin Dells whirlpool several years ago. I clipped that column and sent it to many friends and relatives with the caption: "See, I'm not the only one who runs into this stuff!"
Richard Krause, Stoughton
Regarding Bill Lueders' column on Ronald Brandon ("Another Tragic Police Shooting," 7/27/07): What was the hurry? Another man is dead. He called 911. His ex-wife called 911. Yet less than two minutes later he is shot to death by a Madison police officer.
Ronald Brandon was depressed and unable to get his medication. He had recently been hospitalized. He called for help; his ex-wife called again, to let the MPD know that he was holding a toy gun. Unfortunately, dispatch did not get the information to the officers.
This is the second time in just over a year that information was not received before police began shooting. Given that we've had two people with mental health problems shot and killed, we need to look deeper into why this happens. A positive resolution does not leave an innocent man dead at the scene of the intervention.
Bonne Loughran, LCSW, LPC
National Alliance On Mental Illness-Dane
The Nordic walker
Regarding your recent piece on Nordic walking (Health Beauty Fitness, 8/24/07): You failed to give credit to its inventor, our lifelong Madison resident Tom Rutlin. Since Isthmus encourages eating local food, listening to local music, etc., we are surprised that you would mention Nordic walking without a word about him.
Tom invented the exercise of walking with poles more than 20 years ago. He calls this original version of Nordic walking "Exerstriding".
Ironically he was invited to speak and give instruction in his method at a conference on Nordic walking in Germany, where 10 to 15 million people Nordic walk. Tom is internationally recognized as the "Father of Nordic Walking."
Don Vincent, Patty McCormick
I for one am very happy to learn that Charter is adding more channels in the faith category (Watchdog, 8/3/07) because I signed petitions asking that more faith-based programming be added to Charter's cable service. Now I can finally watch some Casting Crowns and Jeremy Camp music videos.
Sammy Edwards, Verona