Thank a librarian
Jessica Steinhoff's article on Lost Madison (7/18/2014) contains some terrific photos. However, lost in the article itself is the fact that most of them are already available online and routinely posted on other, often hilarious Facebook pages such as UW Digital Collections and the State Historical Society. Lost Madison aggregates photos from these sites, which exist because of a public commitment to digitize the content and the diligent efforts of librarians, archivists and other staff. And long after Lost Madison is gone, these collections will hopefully still be around to keep this history free and online.
Former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's recent column on Gov. Scott Walker is -- like the John Doe case itself -- 90% innuendo and 10% serious analysis ("More Bad News for Scott Walker," 6/27/2014).
The one valid observation was challenging the governor for falling short on a fundamental campaign employment promise -- a hard goal to realize in a weak Obama-led economy with a minus 3% national growth in the most recent quarter.
The system's broken
Although it was nice to see Isthmus deliver a bipartisan gallery of blowhards, hatemongers and such ("America's Worst Politicians," 7/4/2014), it was sad that there was no commentary on how this sociopathic behavior runs far deeper through our political system. After having two presidents of supposedly opposing parties who have completely shilled for Wall Street, multinationals and the 1%, gone back on nearly every campaign promise, routinely killed innocents abroad, and destroyed the legal fabric of our country by ushering in an increasingly unconstitutional surveillance state, we are now faced with the reality that the entire system is broken.
For Isthmus not to connect this into an overarching and damning indictment of our entire political system seems to miss the mark on a rather easy target.
Thank you for shedding light on the puppy mill problem that still exists in Wisconsin despite passage of the "Puppy Mill Law" in 2009 ("Is Wisconsin Licensing Puppy Mills?," 6/27/2014). This is another example of government's good intentions gone awry through inadequate oversight because of inadequate funding, lack of enforcement and minuscule penalties for those caught violating. Why comply with the law when given what amount to small slaps on the hand? Just sell one or two more dogs and the fine is covered.
Prospective buyers: Don't buy your dog from a vendor without visiting and observing their operation. Don't believe what you see on their website. Or better yet, visit your local shelter and for less than half the price adopt a dog looking for a new home that has been behaviorally and medically assessed, vaccinated, spayed or neutered.
Kudos to Linda Falkenstein for exposing the state's dismal attempts at regulating dog breeders. However, her article neglected to address the larger philosophical issue: Is it ethical to bring more dogs into this world while millions languish in shelters (and are often euthanized) across the nation? Even the most conscientious, caring breeder is still guilty of exacerbating the issue of pet overpopulation. If people would simply turn to their local animal shelters when looking for a dog instead of purchasing a purebred or "designer" dog, we could solve this problem overnight.
In Ben Munson's article "Musical Rendezvous at Central Park" (7/11/2014), the author credits Bob Queen as the "festival organizer." Not to downplay the amazing work that Bob does for La Fête and other downtown music festivals, but he is the "music coordinator" for this particular event. "Festival organizer" credit must be duly given to Gary Kallas (not to mention the year-long efforts of Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center staff, board of directors and volunteers), and emphasis should be placed on the fact that La Fête de Marquette is the primary fundraiser for the Neighborhood Center.