I appreciated the timebanking article ("Timebank Idea Travels to Allied Drive," 8/1/08). I have been a Dane County Timebank member for over a year and had the great opportunity of attending the 2007 International Timebanking Conference in Madison.
Timebanking is an exceptional way to meet needs and fulfill wishes. I have driven people to grocery stores and to medical appointments. In return, I got help cleaning my basement and part of my conference fee. I earned many hours by housing two out-of-state guests for the conference.
The trick to timebanking is understanding that we are taught to think of giving as noble. We should also allow ourselves to be recipients. We would bake a casserole for a neighbor during a crisis, but most of us would never ask a neighbor if they could bring us some dinner when we need it.
Thank you for writing "Madison Rapped for Preschool Gap" (7/25/08). I am the mother of a 4-year-old boy with high-functioning autism who, by all expert accounts, has his greatest deficits in socialization. He would benefit greatly from the social-learning environment of 4-year-old kindergarten.
Your article can only strengthen our insistence that the Madison school district provide some sort of social-learning situation for our son and others like him.
Regarding your column on the vintage Paul Soglin campaign sticker ("Souvenir Keeps On Truckin'," 8/22/08): In the late '60s, I was driving uptown when I came up to the rear of a city bus at a stoplight. There in my face was an Edward Ben Elson campaign sticker with him holding a pile of crap. The sticker read "Tired of the same old shit? Vote Edward Ben Elson."
Perhaps that inappropriate sticker is appropriate for the current presidential race.
More on Hainstock
Eric Hainstock's story "Free At Last" (7/31/08) speaks volumes to the sad state of Wisconsin's social services.Why was his father allowed to refuse treatment and counseling for his son?Why were abuse claims not substantiated?How was his father able to regain custody even after he had been charged with child abuse? Why, when Eric complained of bullying, did no one listen?
Unfortunately, cases like these are common.Social services hasan annoying tendency to criminalize the victims while rewarding the abusers.In the case of Eric, they ignored signs of abuse and neglect, and they saw to it that Eric had the book thrown at him when he finally snapped.
Lee Nichols, Rockford, Ill.