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.