Madison’s Mifflin Street Party Fills Detox Center

There is no way that anyone can be proud of the news tonight from the booze fest, better known as the Mifflin Street Party, that is taking placing on Madison’s isthmus.  Madison’s newly elected Mayor Paul Soglin should be the last one smiling about this news in light of his remarks about the new approach to the party he termed as an “improved effort”.

Joel DeSpain, Public Information Officer for the Madison Police Department told WISC-TV that the detox center was filling as the result of the party.  That should concern everyone.  Parents, city residents, taxpayers.  Mayor Soglin.

Lets be honest about what is happening today.

This is nothing more than a reason to drink to pure excess.  I understand this is Wisconsin, and somehow that is supposed to make it all more palatable when hearing about. 

But not here at CP.

This is not something we should watch unfold and smile about.  Filling the detox center as a result of young people drinking to excess is more proof that we have a problem in our society with alcohol.

That anyone reading this blog could walk down to the event and ask those attending why the Mifflin Street event started decades ago, and get no accurate response from those chugging away, speaks volumes about is happening today.  The party began as a celebration of activism against the Vietnam War in 1969.

I strongly opposed the lifting of the ban on open alcoholic beverages in the streets within the event zone for the party this year.  That’s a big change from past years, when police had been ticketing people who had open containers of alcohol anywhere off private property. Anything that encourages more alcohol consumption at this event should be discouraged.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin thought the new ideas for more music and fun was a grand idea for this year’s event.

“Just when we thought there were no new ways of having a block party, we’ve found a new way,” Soglin said. “This is a rather different and much improved effort to celebrate spring.”

“Celebrate spring”!

Really?

Filling the detox center is just not the way I envision celebrating spring!

Call me whatever you wish, but there is a serious problem with alcohol in this state, and what we are witnessing today in Madison is proof of that.

While I applaud Soglin’s efforts to curb poverty in the city I hope he might find an interest in curbing excessive drinking too.

Madison Mayor Cieslewicz Questions Walker About Turning “Peaceful Protests Into Something Ugly”

All of official Madison is rightly upset Wisconsin Governor Walker was thinking about planting “troublemakers” into the peaceful crowds that have filled the State Capitol and the Square.   The purpose would have been to create chaos, and in so doing make Walker’s bill to strip collective bargaining rights easier to pass.  For Walker to even think such a thing…..even ONCE!…is absolotely unconscionable.  It makes me think of how Richard Nixon acted when in office.

Now Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz weighs in on the issue and strikes to the heart of the matter.  It is easy to see why so many admire and support Mayor Dave. 

But I find it disturbing that Governor Walker apparently considered disrupting the protests. A transcript of a faux call to the Governor from a man he believed was conservative icon and top Walker donor David Koch finds “Koch” offering to help Walker out by, “planting some troublemakers” among the demonstrators. Walker’s reply:

“We thought about that….”

Really, Governor, you thought about that? The Governor of Wisconsin actually thought about planting people in the crowds who might turn these peaceful protests into something ugly?

The Madison Police Department, the Dane County Sherriff, the Capitol Police, UW Police, State Patrol and dozens of police departments from around the state deserve credit for acting so responsibly, as do the protestors who have been incredibly well organized. The tone has been just right. For the governor of our state to suggest that he even considered disrupting these peaceful protests is a serious thing. We need to hear more from him on exactly what he meant. I hope the media will keep after it.

Madison Police Chief Wants Answers From Gov. Walker Over Thinking Of Placing “Troublemakers” In Capitol Protests

As noted on this blog last night I am very upset that Governor Scott Walker would have considered placing “troublemakers” into the peaceful protesters in an attempt to help out passage of his bill assaulting collective bargaining.

To be honest, I am appalled that Walker said “we thought about that”.  Who is the “we”?  This is serious.

Now the Madison Police Chief steps in and makes points that connects with mine.

Madison Police Chief Noble Wray said he wants some answers from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

This comes after a prank phone call was released online on Wednesday, during which the caller, posing as conservative businessman and Walker supporter David Koch, asked Walker if he had thought about the possibility of planting people in the crowd to cause trouble during peaceful protests at the state Capitol during the past two weeks.

 In response to prankster’s question, Walker said: “You know, well the — the only problem — because we thought about that … My only fear would be is that if there was a ruckus caused is that would scare the public into thinking the governor’s got to settle to avoid all these problems. Where I’ve said, ‘We can handle this. This is Madison, full of the ’60s liberals. Let ’em protest.'”

 Walker’s office confirmed on Wednesday he was one of the two voices on the phone call.

 In a statement released on Thursday, Wray expressed concern over the governor’s remarks during the call.

 “I spent a good deal of time overnight thinking about Governor Walker’s response, during his news conference yesterday, to the suggestion that his administration ‘thought about’ planting troublemakers among those who are peacefully protesting his bill. I would like to hear more of an explanation from Governor Walker as to what exactly was being considered, and to what degree it was discussed by his cabinet members. I find it very unsettling and troubling that anyone would consider creating safety risks for our citizens and law enforcement officers. Our department works hard dialoging with those who are exercising their First Amendment right, those from both sides of the issue, to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure they can demonstrate safely. I am concerned that anyone would try to undermine these relationships. I have a responsibility to the community, and to the men and women of this department – who are working long hours protecting and serving this community – to find out more about what was being considered by state leaders,” Wray said in a statement.

 In addition, the Madison Police Department also released a separate statement, praising the preparedness of its officers, saying they are “trained for crowd situations where an agitator or provocateur may try to create safety risks for citizens and officers.” The department also commended all protesters for being peaceful during their rallies at the Capitol.Madison

Madison Ald. Brian Solomon Under Investigation For Sexual Assault Complaint

This story popped off the news page today. 

I find it sad as I knew and liked  Brian Solomon’s wife Lynn, who I worked with for a couple of years.  For her sake one can only hope the allegations are not true. 

The state Department of Justice is investigating a sexual assault complaint by a female city employee against Madison Ald. Brian Solomon.

Solomon, a state employee who has represented the 10th District on the Southwest Side since 2007, said he was good friends with the woman and strongly denied the allegation.

The woman initially filed a complaint with the Madison Police Department in September about an April incident, but the police determined they lacked jurisdiction because the alleged incident happened outside the city and referred the complaint to the Department of Justice.

Solomon said that he, the woman and four council members were at a Downtown bar after an April council meeting, and that he drove the woman home that night.

Solomon said he stayed at the woman’s apartment for a while at her request and that “nothing happened that wasn’t completely consensual.” He said he was unaware of any objections to his conduct that night until he was contacted by investigators several weeks ago.

Solomon said he and the woman became friends around February. He had surgery in May, he said, and she greeted him warmly when they saw each other again in July. But after that they drifted apart, he said.

City Council President Mark Clear and Alds. Tim Bruer, Marsha Rummel and Chris Schmidt, who were with Solomon and the woman at the bar in April, said they have been interviewed by state investigators related to the complaint.