During my 23 years as a subscriber, the Wisconsin State Journal has been dumbed down. Significantly. The current paper routinely runs big color photos on the front page. ('Ellen Foley's State Journal,' 9/8/06). That's nice, but 21 column-inch photos of yellow jackets or melting ice cream cones reduces the space available for REAL news.
As a news junkie, I now get my local news from the Fitchburg Star, my local investigative news from Isthmus, my state news from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and my international and national news from other sources.
Imagine if a visionary ran the Wisconsin State Journal. Ellen Foley's ideas would be incorporated into the paper's front page to increase reader interest, and the paper's tradition of irritating liberals and outraging conservatives would continue on the inside. Please introduce Ellen Foley into 'both/and' thinking instead of her 'This way or I will HESSELBERG you' tyranny. The result is pabulum.
My response to the outrageous innuendo besmirching the character of Doug La Follette, founder of Wisconsin's Environmental Decade, one of the clearest thinkers on the Wisconsin environment next only to former Sen. Gaylord Nelson, who held the same views on unlimited immigration and sustainability with which I fully agree, is to send La Follette a belated check of support to help his campaign for re-election as secretary of State ('Sierra Club Dust-Up Draws Fresh Flak,' 09/08/06).
It was wonderful to see John Tuschen remembered in 20 Years Ago ('Poetry's Hard Work,' 9/15/06). For those of us who came of literary age in Madison during the late 1960s, John was our Spirit Guide. Every Thursday night, we would gather at the 602 Club and John ' part Walt Whitman, part Allen Ginsberg, part Bob Dylan ' would teach us what poetry could be. His bardic incantations were set to every kind of music. John kicked open Aldous Huxley's Doors of Perception and for small-town Wisconsin kids, like myself, life would never be the same.
Poetry, of course, does matter. It is the rhythm of our lives. I sensed that since childhood, but it was John who showed me how to name it.
The nostalgia of your piece was all the more moving as it was our shaman, George Vukelich, who recorded John's words. In those days, it was called Tuschenetrics; it was then, and is today, a celebration of language and life.
Mark E. Lefebvre
Try my coffee
Unfortunately, the Isthmus Annual Manual [reader's poll] (8/25/06) failed to include one of the things that makes downtown Madison special.
We'd like to challenge your readers (especially those who voted Starbucks Coffee the #3 Coffeehouse in Madison): The next time you're downtown, stop by Two Degrees Coffeeshop and support an independent, local, union-owned business that is 100% committed to fair trade.
Next time you need a caffeine fix, think about these facts. Starbucks has 6,495 locations. We have only one (in A Room of One's Own bookstore, on Johnson Street at State Street). The money you spend at Starbucks does not stay in Wisconsin. With Two Degrees you know the milk you get in your lattÃ came from a Wisconsin cow, and your money is supporting a local farmer. Not to mention that the milk is organic and free of harmful additives.
H. Dite Bray member-owner Two Degrees Coffeeshop