Sign Petition About Anti-Gay Actions Of Bishop Morlino Against Deceased People

This should be the easiest thing you do all week since the actions by Bishop Robert Morlino against deceased gay people are so disgusting.

Tell Bishop Morlino that gay and lesbian Catholics deserve full funerals.  I can not even believe that in 2017 one needs to even argue the point!  Share this petition with friends and encourage them to sign too.

Thank you!

The Other Story Concerning 10-Year-Old Girl With Cerebral Palsy And ICE

This afternoon on a website, which is an off-shoot of a radio show I listened to for many years on WGN radio, the sad topic from this past week was raised about the 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who was stopped while in an ambulance by ICE.

I still find it hard to believe that CBP, and, ICE, zealous in finding, and, deporting “undocumented aliens” as President Trump has directed them to be, could be so seemingly heartless. A 10 year old girl, with cerebral palsy, who was undergoing surgery, was treated like a criminal. This has to be a black eye for these agencies, and, the cabinet department (Homeland Security) they belong to. I’d love to see these departments’ directors, much less the Secretary of Homeland Security, or, even the President, defend these actions.

That is so correct.

As a response I offered a larger view which needs to be considered as to why these types of stories do not get the traction they deserve from the public.  Or the responses that need to be given by our government.   Here is what I wrote.

“Let me speak to this matter of the girl and at the same time address a larger concern—both are related.  There is a determined undertaking by this administration to create so much chaos in the form of tweets and fact-less statements that reporters are left to chase and respond to a degree, and in such volume, as we have ever seen.  As a result far too many stories—such as the girl of this thread—are then left in the dust because the next day there is a whole new series of chaos to chase and report.  This is done by design to overload the ability of the citizenry to engage on the weighty topics that deserve all-out attention.  Recall that most here are old enough to think a news cycle was between the morning newspaper and ‘Uncle Walter’, but now most newspapers online update their stories two or three times a day,  News cycles now happen in minutes.  The rush of events—often contrived–has outpaced reporters from doing their job fully and then our ability to gather information and ponder it with the degree of fullness which a democracy requires.”

And so it goes.

Two Thumbs Up For Madison’s First-Ever Historic Preservation Plan

Longtime readers are much aware of my desire to see historical sites maintained in Madison.  Being connected to our past allows for a smarter and more reasoned approach moving forward with development and land use.  As the Wisconsin State Journal so correctly stated in their lead sentence of the story above the fold in this morning’s newspaper, “So much of Madison’s culturally diverse history is uncelebrated, unrecognized, unnoticed.”

It is from that point which I much applaud the efforts now taking place to create a first-ever Historic Preservation Plan.

As the news story noted there are now 182 landmarks and five historic districts, but those sites have not necessarily taken into account historically underrepresented communities — African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, LGBT people and women.  The effort now under way will help preserve their stories and places as part of the city’s collective history.

“We’re trying to discover history,” city historic preservation planner Amy Scanlon said. “We want this to be a community-driven plan.”

At the end of the two-year effort, the plan will recommend strategies to better weave historic preservation into public policy, apply land-use and zoning tools, use economic-development and financial incentives, and encourage heritage tourism.

In some cases, it could mean more landmarks or adding historic districts, but it could also simply mean better identification, education opportunities, signage, financial incentives, or letting property owners know the significance of the site.

“As the city grows and changes, what will be the places that will be important to our kids and grandkids so they will feel connected to it?” city principal planner Bill Fruhling said. “I think people will care about this because it’s personal for them. People want to be connected to a place.”

Living in one of the city’s designated historic districts has cemented my passions about history since childhood to my now day-to-day life.  Continually I speak with folks who walk through this neighborhood about the need for old homes to have strong advocates.  I share insights about square nails which made our 1892 Victorian home, or the first cemetery in Madison just down the street where soldiers from both sides of the Civil War were once buried.   (The cemetery and the remains were removed in 1877.)  Over and over I speak with grad students, who live in the area as they write their dissertations, about where the Lutheran Seminary once stood, or the bottling company,  or the orphanage where children from the Civil War were placed.   I speak fondly of the carriage stones–which I had a hand in making sure were preserved on my street–and on it goes.

As with the neighborhood where I live, and have learned from, so there are numerous other such places in the city where the buildings tell a story, the streets hold historical meaning, and the fabric of who we are all combine to add to the narrative of this place we proudly call home.

I am so pleased with the mission of the Historic Preservation Plan and will be following its success.

Cheers To Simpson Street Free Press For Calling Attention to ‘Imagination’

I absolutely applaud and endorse the work and spirit which takes place at Simpson Street Free Press.  Bless those who make a space and provide funding for this undertaking as well as the bright curious minds who write the stories.

Today in the Wisconsin State Journal one of those stories appeared and hit on a great love of mine–books–and the placing of books into the hands of youngsters.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library has gained popularity across the country and around the world. The Imagination Library, gives young children exposure to books, and is a practical and fun way to support youth literacy. 

Parton founded the program for children in Sevier County, Tennessee, where she grew up. Her goal was to spread the love of reading to children. Parton decided to expand the program after its success in Tennessee.

A United Way donor plans to bring that success to Dane County.

“We have a donor, who wishes to be anonymous, and is making this gift, who wants all Dane County’s children to love reading and enjoy the magic of books, and encourages parents to snuggle and read to their babies and children every day,” said Deedra Atkinson of United Way.

The program works this way in Dane County: Parents register their children up to 5 years of age for the Imagination Library online at by entering basic information such as the address and birthday of the child. Every month, an age-appropriate book will be shipped to that child, bringing an enriching literary experience for the intended child.