Peace Park should honor war dead
I'm sure the renovation of Lisa Link Peace Park ("Madison.gov, 4/24/09) will draw a large number of views on what should be changed. I believe a tribute of balance and honor should include the names of the 30 service members from Madison whose names are on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C.
No doubt they had different feelings about serving in Vietnam, but all paid the highest price, and in Madison they are quietly forgotten. When the Traveling Wall came to Madison a few years ago, it touched many lives - especially of family members, some barely able to walk or wheelchair down a sloped hill to visit the Wall, grateful to see their loved ones' names.
John Hofer, Chair, Dane County Veterans Service Commission, Cross Plains
Gayer than ever
Let me offer a follow-up to the "20 Years Ago" feature "We're So Gay!" (5/1/09).
In 1989, I calculated that about a quarter of Madison city residents were represented by openly lesbian and gay elected officials. Nine years later, that became 100% with the election of Tammy Baldwin to Congress, and remains so.
Mark Pocan was also elected to the state Assembly in 1998. His large 78th District includes Madison's core and the village of Maple Bluff. The tradition of openly LGBT people serving on Madison's city council and the Dane County Board also continues.
Back in 1989, it seemed important to note that many open gays and lesbians were standing for office, getting elected and enjoying the trust of their constituents. Since then, bigotry has been pushed to the margins in local elections - at least for gays and lesbians.
Congratulations on the great May Day issue (5/1/09), with articles on torture, the strange death of Mike Connell, and Matt Rothschild of The Progressive. One small but important bone to pick: Robert Redford says Matt Rothschild "stood tall" after 9/11, and since, as "an investigative journalist."
Unfortunately, Rothschild has resisted investigating 9/11 itself. A few years back, I bumped into Matt and asked why The Progressive hadn't done an investigative report on the "collapse" of World Trade Center Building 7. "Building 7? What's that?" was Matt's befuddled reply.
WTC-7, a 47-story building that served as the CIA's New York headquarters, collapsed shortly before 5:30 p.m. on 9/11, after a demolition countdown was overheard by witnesses.
Rothschild ought to consider doing a seven-years-overdue investigative piece on WTC-7.
Kevin Barrett, Lone Rock
Other theater pros
Jay Rath's recent article ("Pro-Am Theater," 5/1/09) states, "Four Seasons is the closest thing to a professional theater Madison has." I understand the intent: Four Seasons does big shows that are professional looking and high quality.No question.
Yet Encore has been part of "Theatre Wisconsin" for seven years and has paid its staff and actors since our inception almost nine years ago. Also, Music Theatre of Madison, from what I understand, pays its actors as well as produces quality musical theater.
Kelsy A. Schoenhaar, executive director, Encore Studio for the Performing Arts
Hands off WCCA!
I continue to be alarmed by the efforts of politicians to eliminate WCCA (Wisconsin Circuit Court Access) online ("Crimes of Omission," 5/8/09). I'm tired of hearing the urban legends used by legislators to justify curtailing WCCA, such as that it is mainly used at bar time to check out potential "hook-ups," or about the teenager who was denied a summer job supposedly because of some very minor offense posted on WCCA.
What is needed is not to remove WCCA, but rather to impose stiffer penalties on landlords, employers, etc., who ignore the explanatory instructions provided online, and thus misuse or misinterpret the information provided on WCCA.
Michael S. Goodman
For the birds
It's true. Wind turbines kill birds ("Is the Answer Blowing in the Wind?," 5/8/09). But so do pesticides, autos, windows, power lines, global warming and cats. In fact, each of these causes thousands of times more bird deaths than wind turbines. Windows alone are estimated to kill 16,000 birds for each bird killed by a turbine.
While visiting a Toronto wind turbine, I asked how many birds died per year at this turbine. Three or four a year came the reply. My cat killed more birds in a week.