Apartment life, Capitol Centre Foods, Capitol Centre Market, City Life, Madison WI, Metropolitan Place, New Construction, Real Estate Development, Weather, Willy Street Co-op, WISC-TV, WISCONSIN, WKOW, WMTV

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Liberal Scorned. Dick Gregory (1932 – )

As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.

George Washington (1732 – 1799)

What a beautiful day in the neighborhood it is today, folks! WISC-TV Channel3000.com Weather and WKOW Channel 27 Weather Central agree that the temperature is 27* but the sun is shining brightly and I’m inclined to believe WMTV-15 Trueview Weather’s optimistic belief that we will see temperatures of 30* by 2:00 pm has arrived here in the Capitol Square neighborhood. I just had the dog out for a walk and made a run to the store and I tell ya’, compared to last weeks deep freeze, it feels downright balmy out there.

I heard on channel 15 this morning that we got another 1/2 inch accumulation bringing our season total up to over 55 inches! Whoa… After the years of green winters we have had, that is quite a blessing. Of course now it is going to warm up so much rain is forecast and we will lose all that snow coverage which we really need for snowmobiling tourist dollars and farmland health.

Speaking of the store, it’s probably common knowledge by now that Capitol Centre Foods has changed owners. Within the last couple of weeks they have also changed their name to Capitol Centre Market. They’ve also spiffed the place up a bit and are offering a line of wine. I wonder what other changes are in store for when The Willy Street Co-op moves in across the street.

Speaking of the Willy Street Co-op there appears to be a sticky widget or two. and we won’t be seeing Willy Street II opening up here in the neighborhood anytime soon.  Apparently the landlord isn’t holding up his end of the bargain. Might there be a problem with cash flow there?  Rumor has it that Buckingham LLC hasn’t sold many of its pricey condos nor rented out much of the retail space.

You can’t blame the homeless for these problems Mr. Fisher You might be able to blame your lousy attitude and greedy heart.

The people who are going to want to live in downtown Madison are going to be young and upwardly mobile or empty nesters but they will also be lefty liberal, uber socially conscious in this writer’s opinion. Most likely, they’ll want to live downtown because they work downtown and walking to work will be more about their concern about the environment and their commitment to burning fewer carbon emitting fossil fuels than it will be about their convenience. They’ll enjoy the luxuries you’re providing but they’re probably also going to want a landlord who reflects their values.

Just because you build it they don’t always come. Liberals are notoriously picky about who they give their dollars to.

Just my two cents…

B

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Alcoholism, City Life, Downtown Madison, Drug Addiction, Family, gentrification, Homeless, Homeless Shelter, Madison WI, Real Estate Development, WISCONSIN

Gentrification Redux Take II

Goodness gracious, another person responds with real dialogue about an issue! Wonderful!

Christopher Patton wrote in response to Gentrification Redux:

I don’t think urging people to use the police force as a proxy to handle ‘bad apples’ really solves the problem of homelessness or drug addiction. It is merely another attempt to push societal problems out of sight instead of trying to confront them on a personal, interactive level (Cliff Fisher and you might have more in common after all). If you truly value your community than you won’t relegate it’s policing to a group that upholds the power structure by treating already disadvantaged people unfairly.

I’ve dealt with alcoholics and drug addicts my whole life. I am, in fact, what I would consider a non-addicted alcoholic who made the decision early in life that I would not go down that path because the way I drank and the effects of alcohol on me WHEN I drank could too easily have led to addiction.

I was lucky because I became educated before the booze took over my life. Many of my family members and my children’s father’s family members did not have that advantage. Alcoholism and drug addiction claimed their lives. Some of them were homeless as well.

The one thing I know about an addict and had to learn through painful demonstration over many years of trying to save the alcoholics and drug addicts I have loved is that they will not give up their addiction until they become convicted that they have no other choice. They have to hit their own personal rock bottom.

People hit bottom when they have to suffer the consequences of their behavior. You may believe that involving the police in curtailing the abusive behavior of people who are drunk and strung out on drugs is treating an already disadvantaged person unfairly. I happen to believe holding everyone to certain standards of civil behavior is more than fair. It may be the best thing that could ever happen to an addict.

I’ve learned that the only kind of love that truly helps an addict or alcoholic is tough love. It’s the same kind of love a good parent gives their child. The best present I ever got from my son is a kitschy little plaque that begins “I had the meanest Mother in the world…She loved me enough to say no.”

I’m more than willing to interact with the homeless and would agree that there are definitely social issues that need to be addressed to solve the problem. I’m not advocating that the homeless be thrown in jail wholesale but I know better than to try to confront alcoholics and addicts “on a personal interactive level” while they are using.

They don’t have an interactive level in that state. It’s a waste ot time. Basically there is no one home because they aren’t going to remember the interaction the next day anyway.

B

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Apartment life, Capitol Square, Chiropractor, City Life, City of Trees, Crime, Homeless, Homeless Shelter, Isthmus Daily Page, Madison WI, Metropolitan Place, Panhandling, Personal Health Issues, Police, Poverty, Real Estate Development, State Street, The Isthmus

Gentrification Redux

However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.

Henry David Thoreau

Some time ago I asked whether or not gentrification was a good thing. Frankly, I think it’s a mixed bag. Our neighborhood is becoming more “foot-friendly” and there are more and more daily services moving into downtown Madison. Gentrification does have its pluses if it is done judiciously.

I recently visited Dr Aaron Abplanalp who has opened up shop at Life City in one of the Metropolitan Place retail spaces. He’s a fine addition to the neighborhood and since I need the services of a chiropractor frequently due to some serious injuries to my back, the convenience of having a good doctor within walking distance is a treasure.

At the same time this kind of rhetoric on the part of developers in the downtown area reported on in “The Isthmus Daily Page in late September just smacks classicism and possibly racism since many of these people are people of color:

Teen center eyed as homeless shelter

Developer calls for moving homeless men off the Square
Vikki Kratz on Wednesday 09/26/2007

Madison developer Cliff Fisher is bothered to see homeless men on the Capitol Square. He wishes they were somewhere else.

“People come here and all they see is people standing around, begging for money,” says Fisher, who owns more than a dozen downtown properties. “We have the most beautiful Capitol, and you see people panhandling.”

Granted it isn’t pleasant to be harassed by homeless people for money but I live in Mr Fisher’s neighborhood. I walk the streets past his developments and I interact with these homeless people. For the most part I don’t see them harassing anyone when they’re turned down politely.

What I HAVE seen are people who are publicly intoxicated or strung out on drugs harassing people. That is a different matter entirely. That is a law enforcement problem.

That they also happen to be homeless is incidental. Those people could be removed from the scene if the police were properly enforcing the law.  If people called and reported the fact that someone who was publicly intoxicated was being a public nuisance the police would have to go out there and do their jobs.  I doubt the Madison Police would have a problem doing that.

For the most part, the Police do take care of the public nuisances as they walk their beat in the downtown area but they can’t be everywhere at once and like naughty children the bad apples in the barrel will wait until the Police have their back turned to act out. When you are being harassed, call the police. Hang around in the vicinity until the cops arrive and point out the bad apple. Take the risk.

Moving the homeless shelters off the square and away from the ritzy condos isn’t going to solve the problem. Do you think these people are stupid? State Street and the Square are their bread and butter. They’ll just walk eight blocks or however far you push them out to get back up here where the cash and the foot traffic is.

Don’t be absurd and think you can get rid of a social problem by trying to hide it, Mr Fisher. Don’t be part of the problem; be part of the solution and help create jobs for these people so they have no need of shelters or begging on the streets of this beautiful city of ours. And don’t be so presumptuous that you forget it is their city too!

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