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Sep 29, 201601:48 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Madison has food; we want safety

(page 1 of 2)

Madison city government is frustrating. Mayor Paul Soglin really gets it about preserving public spaces. He is absolutely correct about vagrants commandeering sidewalks to sleep off their hangovers. The Common Council, on the other hand, defeated his proposed ordinance banning the practice between the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (notice: no ban overnight!) on an 11–7 vote.

“If we have rules and responsibility to go along with our compassion it will get more people to make themselves avail[able] to the services we have,” Soglin said Tuesday.

Ya think?! So why can’t the mayor understand the importance of policing? He continues to sandbag the MidTown police station, which is designed to alleviate the overworked west side station house. In its stead, he favors a pie-in-the-sky public food market.

Isthmus’ Dylan Brogan has a good report here.

Can we have a grand compromise: Mandate respectful conduct in our public spaces (Is that too much to ask?) AND back that up with investing in our police. Put the $13 million public market off a year. Where and from whom comes the clamor for this boondoggle? (Peanut Gallery, stand and deliver!)

From what I can tell, this so-called public market is just a big farmer’s market under one roof, with some supposed spinoffs. It would be located just southeast of the former Fiore Shopping Center on East Washington Avenue. (Can’t wait for their January offerings.) Here is Alderman Larry Palm:

Unlike many public markets, we have worked extensively so that it supports our community and those interested in food entrepreneurship. The public market is a capstone to the Northside Food Innovation Corridor, directly connecting producers with consumers and beyond. … Agriculture is a major business in Dane County and the development of food aggregation, retailing, and distribution will greatly enhance our local economy.

(Details on the proposal here.) This is a city government that couldn’t keep Oscar Mayer. Well, maybe no one could. Ironically, the new north side Willy Street Co-op grocery store just opened without any government assistance. (“Willy Street Co-op aims to become heart of the north side.”)

‘Things are unsafe’ in the Big City

You can get food downtown, too. Lots of restaurants and food carts. Farmers market on Saturday. If you feel safe. Here is Marty of Ian’s Pizza on the State Street/Carroll Street side of the Square, in a communication with city officials:

I’m sorry you are all on this email, I just simply don’t know how to make sure people know about these issues. I try to only send out the worst of the examples, otherwise I would be emailing you daily. I was gone last week, and these are just two of the issues my staff had to deal with:

Around 10 o’clock a Caucasian woman in her fifties with a walker came in and asked to use our bathroom. I felt bad saying no, so I said yes. About 30 minutes later maybe, I was about to hit the road for a quick delivery to the Hyatt, when Al came running in back:

“You can’t go on that delivery, there is a woman dying in the bathroom.”

The woman was unconscious on the toilet with her pants all the way off, a burnt spoon on the baby changer, and a needle hanging out of her arm. She did not appear to be breathing; 9-1-1 told me I should lay [her] flat on the floor. I told them that I did not think I had the strength to do it by myself and I was concerned about getting poked by a needle or something I did not see. As a compromise they instructed me to lean her back and open her mouth looking for anything that might be obstructing her airway. There was some vomit in her mouth so I got what I could out and she began to breath in sporadic deep gasps. A couple minutes later the paramedics arrived and I dipped and delivered that cheese pizza to the Hyatt.

Had a lady from the non-customer corner we all love so much come in today telling me that her and her man had received some cold pizza the night before. I asked why she didn’t ask to get some new slices last night when she was in the store [and] she told me the store was already closed. When I asked her to leave, she spit in my face and walked out of the store yelling. I called the cops; they knew her by first and last name without me having to say more than blue hair, so I’m sure they have had run-ins with her before.

Also reports Saturday night of cases of beer, empty beer cans, and general trash everywhere up in that top-of-State area.

We really need some help. Things are unsafe [boldface in the original email], and my staff shouldn’t have to deal with this but I don’t know how to help them. Please let me know if there is any assistance I can offer. I’m at a loss. — Marty

That’s on top of the latest shooting on the south side. “There may have been a target but a lot of the bullets were not hitting the target.”

Your to-do list

•  Contact your alderoids and the mayor; tell them yes to the Sidewalk Sleeping Ban. It will come up again. Special attention to the 11 alderoids who voted no: Ledell Zellers, Amanda Hall, Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Marsha Rummel, Zach Wood, Maurice Cheeks, Larry Palm, Sara Eskrich, Rebecca Kemble, Mark Clear, and Matthew Phair.

•  While you’re at it, tell them to vote yes to the MidTown police station and delay the public market. And no to the $400,000 contract for the police proctology.

•  What do YOU think of our Madison police? Take this survey

•  Chief Koval will conduct three more listening sessions starting Oct. 3.

•  The “We Support the Madison Police” grassroots group is hosting an open house to honor the men and women of the West Police District on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Details here.


Old to new | New to old
Sep 29, 2016 02:28 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Actually, compared to most of the world we are doing pretty well here in Madison. Perhaps you should get out of your dungeon once in awhile and take a look.

Oh wait, you are afraid of those scary Muslims or Mexicans Indians, etc.

Pathetic excuse of 'journalism'

Sep 29, 2016 02:47 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Blaska wants to mandate respectful conduct in public spaces and excuses Trump's disrespectful gasbaggery on our public airwaves. Respect for all, por favor!

Sep 29, 2016 02:59 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

The police study has already passed. And should again, especially if the Midtown Station does. I'm in favor of both.

Big expenditures without oversight? What kind of conservative are you? Trust but verify is the Reagan way.

Sep 29, 2016 03:39 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

No mystery here. Follow the money. All of Madison's Five-Year Plans to Nowhere are devices for shoveling statewide taxpayer dollars to loyal party apparatchiks ("progressives"), and those who are guaranteed to vote for the "progressive" elites who run the City. You'll have to look past the official budgets, since they, like truck driver logs, are more appropriately viewed as "liar sheets." "Progressive" entities with very high-minded sounding names are the grantees; they are mere money laundering mechanism for the corruption machine. Once upon a time, "Progressives" were people who knew these systems of corruption very thoroughly and publicized them relentlessly. Now, "Progressives" run the corrupt machines, and actively suppress any reporting on it. The University of Wisconsin's jumbo slush fund was a classic - hundreds of millions of dollars hidden from the legislature and state auditors, all done with premeditation and designed to thwart auditors. Who faced criminal charges? Nobody. Who was punished? Nobody. Did the Madison ruling class launch a full-scale tirade about the evils of auditing of the August elites of Madison? Yes it did. Who are legislators to question the U. of W. about hiding hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer revenue? Many, many people employed by governments, at every level, have gone to prison for much tinier peccadillos than this. But they were not of the August Progressive Elits, to whom rules are for peasants only. A disgusting farce, but hardly surprising.

Sep 30, 2016 06:34 am
 Posted by  madisonexpat


Right on. You make a good local exposition of why Trump is ascendant. The global elite got Brexit because of the same mentality.
The Progressives are hunkered down on the status quo and bound to the most corrupt, lying candidate imaginable.
They are in for more surprises.
Madison is a company town. The government payroll never diminishes and all it has to produce are words; studies, legislation,tenure, pensions.
Anywhere else that must yield tangible goods is not doing well and not getting better.
That is why Trump.

Sep 30, 2016 09:42 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

If there is a more transparent process than the Madison city government's budget approval each year, please point it out to me, 03:39 pm.

Sep 30, 2016 11:48 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Expat, please let us know when you'll be appearing at open mic night at the local comedy club, because that's one of the funniest things I've heard in a long time. Hillary is the "most corrupt, lying candidate imaginable"? I don't know any liberal who thinks she's perfect, but good god man take your blinders off. If you're really so desperate for things to be shaken up that you can't see Trump is everything you claim Hillary to be, you're every bit the fool we've all taken you for all these years.
I know you don't believe in fact checks because they're rarely convenient to your argument, but once again Trump was bedeviled by facts during Monday's debate. Hillary? Far more accurate and honest (and a lot less self-promotional and arrogant).

Oct 3, 2016 06:29 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

The city of Madison couldn't save Oscar Mayer? Are you for real? WEDC and walker didn't wake up till the moving trucks pulled into the driveway. Just one more thing; today was the day I wrote off anyone from the republican party. Trump said that vets with PTSD get that way because they are weak. And said it in front of a bunch of retired generals living off the public teat. Not one protested the comment. Johnson has voted no on every single vet bill. L. Olson skipped a scheduled tour of a VA facility to judge a pie eating contest. Stuffing his fat face with pie is more important than our vets? Attack a gold star family, attack John McCain for being captured. There's an old saying; "I spit on your grave."

Oct 4, 2016 11:57 am
 Posted by  madisonexpat

Mouse 6:29

Who died?
When Hillary is coughing, look closely.
Its Chris Stevens standing behind her.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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