Whose State Street?
I see that a few half-truths persist in "Will Major Development Change the Character of State Street?" (6/21/2013):
The Frautschi's "gift" of Overture continues to cost Madison taxpayers millions of dollars per year, roughly as predicted by Gene Parks way back when. It would be generous of local media to acknowledge that Mr. Parks was largely right.
Buses on State Street are annoying. But if you're on State Street between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m., you've surely noticed the endless streams of delivery vans, food and beer trucks. Perhaps future development should include alleys, or some other way to reduce the truck traffic.
We are in desperate need of low-cost housing; not so much for luxury apartments and condos. Many of the companies currently developing downtown, or with development proposals pending, also own a lot of apartment complexes. Since nobody's willing to build new low-cost housing, make approval of new projects contingent on freezing or lowering rents in existing projects.
There are many downtown residents who are neither students nor Epic employees. But we're never included, it seems, in anyone's "vision" for State Street and downtown.
The real "new economy" is that of part-time, low-income service workers; young people with massive debts and useless degrees; and aging boomers often considered unemployable, our skills considered outdated. The high-tech economy of booster fantasy depends on the real economy of the working poor. A genuine vision for State Street and downtown development will acknowledge all of us, and not push the poor out into the boondocks.
After reading "The Gay Rights Fight" (5/3/2013), I was inspired to share my story.
For many years I have worked at the former Department of Regulation and Licensing, now the Department of Safety and Professional Services. Since new department secretary Dave Ross has been at DSPS, gays and lesbians are finally able to advance in the agency. DSPS is a great example of equality and diversity in the workplace, and should be acknowledged for its fairness. Ross should be applauded for his efforts to promote gays and lesbians.
Nytu Sung, Fitchburg