Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Letters to the Editor

State Street redesign will enhance diversity

Talking with one of my friends about the plan to redesign State Street, it’s obvious there is a perception the city is trying to change what makes State Street, State Street.

Specifically, I think this friend worries we won’t see the diversity of the city and that we will be shutting our eyes to homelessness and poverty. These are all legitimate concerns, but what she misunderstands is that redesigning State Street doesn’t mean we are shutting our eyes.

Does anyone truly believe that just because sidewalks are wider and there are fewer benches that fewer homeless people will be on State Street? Of course not. That is because State Street is in the middle of the city.

There is an irony when it comes to people being concerned about the redesign reducing diversity. The plan should actually increase diversity. How? By making it even more attractive than it is now.

For example, recommendations call for widening sidewalks with a buffer between sidewalks and the roadways, better signage and expansion of Lisa Link “Peace” Park. Better signage would make it easier for those not familiar with State Street to find their way around, while expansion of the park would allow more people to relax and enjoy activities that could take place in a bigger park. Finally, wider sidewalks would allow for, among other things, more curbside dining.

Homelessness is an issue that we can’t and shouldn’t close our eyes to.

There are ways for people to help those in need. But let’s not confuse the issues; leaving State Street unchanged will only hurt.

Jeff Erlanger, Madison, Wis.

SB 110 gets it right

Senate Bill 110, State Senator Gwendolynne Moore’s elections-reform bill, currently awaits consideration by the State Assembly. As Moore said herself, “SB 110 furthers Wisconsin’s progressive tradition by offering workable and effective solutions to the actual problems we have experienced in the past without restricting access to the polls.”

A few of the highlighted changes SB 110 proposes are: instituting uniform polling hours of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., requiring the Elections Board to study the feasibility of a statewide voter registration list, increasing the education poll workers receive on voter eligibility for immigrants and felons and establishing a Special Legislative Committee to study the voting needs of multilingual and physically disabled voters.

SB 110 targets problems that have been identified by poll workers and voters alike, and provides solutions that only enhance the voting experience, verses other measures, which inhibit the access to vote.


Legislative Affairs Committee, Associated Students of Madison

Support Powell

With the unmitigated bashing of Ald. Tom Powell, it is clear the Badger Herald Editorial Board has finally strapped on their pair of conservative blinders.

How else could the Herald ignore everything just to attack a hard-working representative like Powell just because he is progressive? For students and other tenants, Powell is the most loyal and effective voice on the council.

And how could anyone ignore Powell’s support? He’s been twice elected by students, beating Republican-funder Joe Alexander, who the Herald backed and hired, 70 percent to 30 percent?

How could you ignore Powell’s work increasing funding for services students need, his strong support for affordable housing and his authoring and passing new tenant rights? And how could the Herald ignore the fact that they backed Republican Governor Tommy Thompson, who broke his promise not to run again?

We are used to the Herald’s ranting and the slants of their upwardly mobile Republican party editors, but when students risk losing services and rights due to intellectually dishonest attacks it has gone too far.

People who work for tenant resources know Powell is the best tenant advocate we have on a council that is split on affordable housing and tenant rights.

It would be a mistake to sell students and tenants out for partisanship. It would be a failure to continue to avoid the pressing issues because of a youthful, and increasingly predictable, obsession with conservative rhetoric.

Vance Gathing, UW alumnus

Landlord horrors

After one year, three months, two weeks and four days of dealing with my current landlord, I hit the breaking point. He walked into our apartment unannounced and definitely without the 24-hour notice that is the law. Either he is totally clueless about Madison’s ordinances or he chooses to ignore them. I think it is a combination of the two.

Roger Kubly manages multiple apartment buildings on West Dayton Street. The only things in this world he cares about are collecting our rent money and trying to spread the word of God to all of his student tenants. He is slow and lazy in his repairs.

For example, we had a hole in our closet wall that exposed it to the outside. We know how many squirrels there are in Madison, but you would be surprised at how many have spent a free night in our house. Instead of boarding up the hole, Kubly partitioned off that corner of the closet with insulation. So now squirrels can still get in, but they’ll stay warmer.

Another episode included giving us a $140 water bill and telling us it was due the next day. Now he is trying to bribe us with $25 if we “cooperate” in letting him show our apartment before the Dec. 15 legal date.

I encourage all students facing similar problems to stand up for yourselves and find out what your landlord’s record is like before signing a lease. If you are already stuck in a lease, get to know your rights as a renter.

Janice Buechel, UW student

Southworth merely advancing conservative agenda

Scott Southworth proposed in his latest tirade against the UW seg fee system (“Common Sense and the First Amendment”) that in order to achieve viewpoint-neutrality, money should be allocated based only on the number of members in a group. Otherwise, he says, students should be allowed to opt out of paying seg fees.

Southworth seems to be missing some crucial points here. First, the Associated Students of Madison is the elected student government. Governments have the right to levy taxes and allocate the resulting funds as they choose. Secondly, the purpose of a government’s spending is to provide services for the taxpayers. Thus, the money allocated to an organization must correspond with the service provided to, in this case, UW-Madison students. These are the criteria ASM should use in allocating funds, not the number of members a group has.

How could Southworth overlook these principles? The answer is apparent in his writing. First he equates “environmental radicalism” with “pornographic films.” Southworth is clearly not crusading for viewpoint-neutrality, but against the progressive groups and projects ASM tends to fund. Realizing his conservative agenda will never win a fair election at UW, he seeks to disadvantage liberals by enforcing a false equality in funding. Let’s hope the democratic seg-fee system survives his partisan attacks.

Beth Wilson, UW senior

AB 360 endangers women

“It is about time we take a step back and look at the larger picture,” Anna Gould wrote yesterday in her editorial (“America shows no respect for the unborn”). On this point, I agree it is true we need to look at the larger picture — the picture that for women, restrictive reproductive legislation is another form of repression.

Our freedom needs to include reproductive freedom. Currently in Wisconsin, legislators have proposed AB 360, which would allow a doctor to withhold medical information from their patient. In respect to the abortion situation, the passage of AB 360 would make it legal for doctors to withhold information if they believed the patient would then get an abortion, even if the mother’s life was endangered.

AB 360 and other similar legislation are limiting women’s freedom while also endangering women’s lives. That is why we need to ensure that this and other legislation is met with opposition.
As far as the larger picture goes, the larger question is: who do we want to control a woman’s body?
Sarah Langford
UW student

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