Vikki Kratz

The morning after the Republicans stripped me of my rights, I stood in the hallway of my school, watching my four-year-olds stream in. They gave me hugs. They ran up to show me things: a new shirt, an extra pretty hair ribbon, a silly band. They wanted to know if it was chocolate milk day. They pointed out that one of their classmates, who had been out sick for a few days, had come finally come back! more

Mar 10, 2011 9:25 PM News

I am a second-year teacher. I work in a rural school district in Wisconsin. Many of my students come from poor families. Some of them live in the trailer park near our school or down the street in the subsidized apartments. A significant percentage get free or reduced lunch. This winter, we provided snow pants and coats to children whose families couldn't afford them. The people who live here are hard workers and proud. more

Feb 14, 2011 3:20 PM Opinion

Mary was four years old when she entered the pre-kindergarten program in Marshall. Her parents were struggling with her behavior. She had a significant speech delay. She didn't like snuggling with them. She didn't want to read books. And she refused to let her parents touch her hair. "What are we doing wrong?" her parents wondered. more

Jan 27, 2011 3:00 PM , Opinion

A few weeks ago, President Obama floated the idea of adding time to the school day or extending the school year. I was delighted. So were most of the teachers I know. In my district, teachers and administrators work hard to provide students with the best education possible. But there's simply not enough time in the day to get to everything they'll need to succeed in a global economy. more

Oct 15, 2009 2:00 PM Opinion

After eight months, the state of Wisconsin has finally released its report on Dane County's actions in a child protection case that ended in six-year-old Deshaunsay Sykes-Crowder being brutally murdered. Not surprisingly, the state found something to criticize in Dane County's handling of the case. more

Apr 2, 2009 2:00 PM Opinion


Craig Wilson

Before Paula Brotski left for work on a sunny morning last October, she paused to admire the view outside her living room windows. Her condo faced a stand of oak trees bordering the Drumlin gardens. When she got back home that afternoon, the trees were gone. more

Jan 23, 2009 3:00 PM Isthmus Cover Stories


Vikki Kratz

In January 2001, at the inauguration of George W. Bush, which I attended, the city of Washington, D.C., felt subdued. There was an undercurrent of anger and disappointment among Democrats, who felt the election was stolen. And there was joy verging on arrogance among Republicans, whose candidate prevailed. more

Jan 22, 2009 3:00 PM Scenes

This spring, the Madison school board has one contested race: Donald Gors versus board president Arlene Silveira. Gors, a 58-year-old father of three, has no beef with Silveira's performance. "I don't really know anything about the people on the board or where they stand," he admits. He chose to run against Silveira because she's in Seat 1, which was at the top of the list of incumbents. more

Jan 15, 2009 3:00 PM News

Count the city of Madison's Odana Hills golf course among the potential casualties of the American Transmission Company's proposal to build a 345-kilovolt power line along the Beltline. The city says the plan would force it to move seven holes. more

Jan 15, 2009 3:00 PM News

Mayor Cieslewicz has been pressuring the Transit and Parking Commission to reconsider its decision last month not to raise Metro's cash fares by 50 cents, to $2. The TPC rejected the fare increase by a 7-2 vote and, so far, no TPC member has said publicly that they'll move reconsideration at Tuesday's meeting. more

Jan 12, 2009 6:25 PM News

The Madison school board holds two meetings to discuss possible changes in the district's math curriculum. A task force, which recently completed a one-year study, recommends that the district have full-time math teachers for grades 5-8 and dramatically increase the training of math teachers. more

Jan 5, 2009 6:30 PM News

On Dec. 1, Dane County's new ordinance mandating its contracted agencies provide employees with domestic partner benefits went into effect. Human Services' Green was braced for a backlash, but it never came. more

Dec 31, 2008 3:18 PM News

The state of Wisconsin is facing a projected $5.4 billion budget deficit. So plans to expand Family Care, the state's new long-term care program for the elderly and disabled, may be put on hold. more

Dec 31, 2008 3:17 PM News

Dane County also doesn't have any grand plans for the new year. County Executive Kathleen Falk says she has a lot of unfinished work to do, which is why she's running for re-election this spring. more

Dec 31, 2008 3:14 PM News

The dismal economy may mean the city of Madison will face a quiet year in 2009. "It will have to be a year of basics," says Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. The city will seek to maintain current services and identify further efficiencies. "People need to know city government will operate as efficiently as possible." more

Dec 31, 2008 3:00 PM News

Fitchburg Mayor Tom Clauder's recent announcement that he will not seek re-election in April sparked immediate speculation that he'll take on Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. But Clauder is not running against Falk, either. more

Dec 18, 2008 3:00 PM News

Last week, as Madison endured its first major winter storm, Daniel Knoetke stood outside the west-side Wal-Mart, ringing a bell for the Salvation Army. "It was the night all the snow dropped," says Knoetke, a Madison resident. "Hardly anyone was out there. The wind was blowing like hell." more

Dec 18, 2008 3:00 PM News

Following the Madison Transit and Parking Commission's recent vote against his proposal to raise cash bus fares 50 cents, to $2, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz sent out a memo listing steps Metro must now take, such as identifying service cuts. more

Dec 18, 2008 3:00 PM News