Presidential Posts

Saturday, March 20, 2010

DM e-News - many topics

Dunns Marsh Neighborhood e-News  
                                                   Regular Issue                               March 20, 2010

The DMN e-News and an occasional hard copy DMN News are published by the Dunn
s Marsh Neighborhood Association (DMNA) on an as-needed schedule.  The Dunns Marsh Neighborhood Association, Inc. has been working to unite neighbors to solve mutual problems and promote fellowship among neighbors since 1973.
                President, Jeff Glazer, 277-1778
                News contact, Mary Mullen,, 298-0843
Sorry that this issue falls right on the heels of the special Verona Road edition of the e-News.  This regular edition has everything in it BUT the Verona Road articles.  

Monday, March 22
, 6:30-8:30 pm – Marlborough Community Garden registration, Boys & Girls Club

Tuesday, March 23
, 6:30-8:00 pm – Talk on “Cars, Trucks & Your Health,” plus letter-writing about Verona Road project, Head Start, 2069 Red Arrow Trail.
Tuesday, April 6 – 7 am - 8 pm. Election Day.  Check article 4 for locations.
Saturday, April 10, 1:30-3:30 pm – Marlborough Community Garden registration, Boys & Girls Club
Tuesday, April 20, 7:00 pm – DMNA Council meeting, Prairie UU Society, corner of Crawford & Whenona.  Contact Jeff Glazer, above, if you plan to attend. (Attachment – 1 Council 3-17-19.jpg)
Saturday, April 17, starting around noon, DMNA Chili Fest, at New Beginnings Pre-School, behind MacDonald’s.

Getting “Ours”

1 - Your Internet Vote Can Put an Orchard in Marlborough Park

Marlborough Park is one of five locations in Madison that could receive a free fruit orchard that comes with free training on how to nurture it. The preliminaries have been taken care of by people in the Dunn’s Marsh neighborhood who went to meetings and helped with the application.  
BUT whether we actually get this grant depends on how many people will actually get on the Internet and vote for the orchard in our neighborhood. And guess what?   It’s perfectly permissible to “stuff the ballot box.”  The rules say you can vote once every day to help put the Marlborough Park orchard over the top.  
Go to <> right now and vote.  You’ll find our location in the Wisconsin listings under the title “Allied Wellness Center,” the entity that wrote the grant for the orchard.   If you have a thirst for more information first, read on.
Program Overview: The “Communities Take Root” program (the “Program”) is a cooperative effort between the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (“FTPF”) and Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc. (“Sponsor”).  The Program will cause twenty-five (25) fruit tree orchards to be planted in various locations in the United States by May 31, 2011. Deciding where the orchards will be planted will be determined by public voting, which will occur at <> (“Webpage”). The sponsor has selected up to 100 communities across the country as potential orchard recipients.
Timing: The voting will begin on March 15, 2010 at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time ("PT"), and end on August 31, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. PT. The voting will be divided into five (5) rounds:   (1) March 15-April 30,
(2) May 1-May 31, (3) June 1-30, (4) July 1-31, and (5) August 1-31.
How to Participate: You may vote for any community listed on the Webpage, but you may vote only one (1) time per day.  Votes accumulate for communities from Round to Round if they do not win. The use of any script, macro or any other automated system to vote for communities is prohibited.
Community Selection: At the close of each Round of the Program, Sponsor will award an orchard to the five (5) communities that have the most votes at that time.  The winning communities will be prohibited from accumulating further votes, but may remain listed on the Webpage to showcase the winners of orchards.  In the event of a tie the winner will be awarded to the community that achieved the tied vote total first.
OK, time to vote if you haven’t already!  Go to Go <> > today, tomorrow, and everyday until we win!
                                                                                                by Mary Mullen

2 - April 1, 2010 is Census Day!!!

We’re not “fooling.”  April 1, 2010 is Census Day.  Your Census questionnaire responses should reflect your living situation on this day.  However, you do not have to wait until Census Day to complete and return your Census form. 10 Questions.  10 Minutes.  Make a difference in Madison.
Learn more online at:
Help spread the word!  Please forward this information to family and friends so we can achieve
a complete count.  
                                                            from Madison & Dane County Complete Count Committee (CCC)

3 - Help Madison and Fitchburg Get Their Fair Share

Each year, more than $400 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities.  Census data helps determine the amount of money distributed to each community. This funding goes towards things such as education, housing, transportation and community services. Our community loses out on approximately $1,000 in federal funding for each person that is not counted. To help Madison get the funding it deserves, simply complete and return your Census questionnaire.
Census forms will start arriving this week. You may have received yours already.  Fill out your form and return it by mail!
Learn more online at: <> <>
Help spread the word!  Please forward information to family and friends so we can achieve a
complete count.
                                                from Madison & Dane County Complete Count Committee (CCC)

4 - Spring  Election:  Tuesday, April 6

It may not seem all that sexy to vote, but the people we elect do make a difference in how things go for us.
Remember to vote on Tuesday, April 3.  Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.   
Fitchburg voters in the neighborhood go to their polls at
Fire Station #2 <> , 5415 King James Way, Fitchburg WI 53719. If you live and Fitchburg and will be out of town, get your absentee ballot at the Fitchburg
City Clerk's Office, 5520 Lacy Road, Fitchburg WI 53711, (608) 270-4200.
Neighborhood voters who live in Madison vote at the Head Start Building on Red Arrow Trail near MacDonalds.  If you need an absentee ballot, either visit the Madison City Clerk’s Office in the City- County Building or make a request for a ballot online at


5 - Make Sure Your Absentee Vote is Counted
Ten to 15 percent* of absentee ballots do not get counted.  Absentee ballots are rejected for the following reasons:
o      Ballot has not been received by the Clerk’s Office until after Election Day.
o      Voter has not signed absentee certificate envelope.
o      Voter has not had a witness sign the absentee certificate envelope.
o      Voter has not registered to vote at their current address.
o      Voter has not sealed the absentee certificate envelope.
  • Voter has not sent original absentee request to Clerk's Office after submitting   request by fax or e-mail.

from City of Madison website

6 - Watch Candidate Forums On-Line Now

Maybe you don’t have a chance to meet the people who are running for public office, but the next best thing  might be to bring them into your home online.  You can do just that for three races that are on the ballot for voters from this neighborhood on April 6.  The races are for (1) Court of Appeals, District 4, (2) County Board, District 7, and (3) Madison School Board, Seat 4
Go to  Just click on the proper forum, and voila!  there they are right there in front of you
Fitchburg voters will want to watch County Board District 7 challenger Mike Thomsen and incumbent Matt Veldran as they are interviewed by a League of Women Voters moderator. (The County Board Supervisor for the Madison area of the neighborhood, Carousel Bayrd is running unopposed.)
Madison voters will want to check out the Madison School Board candidates for District 4. Tom Farley and James Howard are vying for the seat in this non-partisan election.
Both parts of the neighborhood have the opportunity to vote for Edward E. Leineweber or Brian Blanchard, candidates for judge for the District 4 Court of Appeals.
                                                                        Information from League of Women Voters website

7 - League of Women Voters Candidates’ Answers Available March 25
The League of Women Voters of Dane County's Candidates' Answers supplement to the Isthmus will be on newsstands March 25, 2010. The Web site edition should be available at approximately the same time.
Green and Gardening

8 -Wood is Ready to Go on Crescent (Attachment: 2 Transformations 19&20)
NRC finished up with their work on the Apache Drive wet pond tree and shrub removal March 17. All the logs 5" and larger were brought to the curb and are available for interested parties to take as long as proper safety precautions are being taken.  When I visited during the final portion of the work, a couple of guys with a pick-up truck had already removed 5 loads.  There were many logs, but those wood hogs are “busy beavers.”

9 - Go Green.  Sign Up Now for Green Power

Just a reminder that YOU – yes, YOU – can help put the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood over the top in our quest to win $1000 for being the greenest neighborhood in terms of signing up for Green Power Tomorrow from Madison Gas and Electric.  
If you are ready sign now, just click on <file://localhost/my_mge/ServiceForms/WindPowerRes.htm> .
If you’re still on the fence, here are some Q&As that might set your mind at ease about what it means to sign up.

Q:  What is Green Power Tomorrow?
A: Green Power Tomorrow is a sign-up to buy green power – mostly wind power - for your home to offset a portion or all of your electricity-generated carbon dioxide emissions.  In short, it’s a way to lower your carbon footprint and help lower the amount of green-house gases put into the atmosphere.
Q: Does it cost anything to sign up?
A:  There is not a registrations fee, but you do pay more for green power.  There are 3 choices, ranging from a $3.75 per month for a 300 kWh block to an average of $7.50 a month for an average household if you want all of your power to be green power.  If your electricity use is over the average, the cost could be a little more. Users pay 1 ¼ cents more per kWh for green power.
Q: How can I find out more precisely what it would cost?
A: Go to <file://localhost/my_mge/ServiceForms/WindPowerRes.htm>
At that website you can find out your own average cost for electricity and then determine whether you want to sign up for a 300 kWh block, for 50% or 100% of your usage at the Green Power rate.  
Q:  Can you give some real life example of the impact of signing up for o a 50% or 100% share?
A:  My average use - 2-person household, small house - is 468 kWh a month.  At 50% signup my average cost would be $2.93 extra and for 100% signup $5.85 extra.  Another neighbor with 4 in the family has about the same use.  By contrast, still another neighbor with a 3-person household uses 952 kWh on average and would pay $5.95 extra at 50% and $11.90 extra per month for 100%.  It all depends on how much electricity your household uses.

Q:  How can I sign up?
A:  When you go to the website given above, the signup form is right in the box that gives the usage and cost to you for signing up at one of the 3 levels
If you do sign up, it would be great to hear from you so that we can both congratulate you and encourage others to do the same.  Spread the word!                                        by Mary Mullen

10 - Garden Plot Registration March 22 and April 10

Registration for community garden plots in Marlborough Park is set for two dates this year: Monday, March 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 10, 1:30-3:30 p.m.  The location of the registration is the Boys and Girls Club on Jenewein Drive.  Anyone who wishes to rent a garden plot may sign up and pay for the plot at that time.
Gardeners do not have to live in the neighborhood to garden in Marlborough Park.  And if you can’t get to either registration, contact Nicole Craig (contact information below.)
Be prepared when you go to register.  Know whether you want a plot in the plowed garden (plots designated A through E, the “big garden”) or in the no-till plots (F thru I and J thru M). Also come prepared to fill out the form about your household income and size.  Plot fees are based on a combination of these 2 factors, and it will be suggested that you pay $10, $35, or $65 depending on where you fit in the table.
However, you will not be turned away if you don’t pay the suggested fee.  For the past 3 years some Marlborough Park gardeners have decided to protest the steep sliding fee scale instituted by the City of Madison. Some have done this by paying an “equal share” payment of $16 per plot which would be the fee if actual costs of the garden were equally shared among all plots.  Others have used some other principle such as paying double the lowest plot fee.
Hmong, Khmer, and Spanish translators will be available at the registration.  Gardeners can also pick up free seeds.
The garden management is still looking for volunteers to help with registration.  Volunteers staff tables where registrants fill out forms, review the rules of the garden and sign up for workshops and leadership positions.  
To volunteer, contact Community Action Coalition Gardens Specialist Nicole Craig, 608-246-4730 ext. 208, Nicole has already sent out postcards to past gardeners and to new interested gardeners to let them know about the registration days.
                                                                                                            by Mary Mullen

11 - Neighbors Needed to Haul Brush April 24 & May 1.  It’s Good Exercise!

Fitchburg’s Environmental Engineer Rick Eilertson sent us this message:
 “I'd like to organize a couple neighborhood work parties on the mornings of April 24th and/or May 1st where volunteers can help me drag brush from the wetter areas of lots 19 and 20 up to a location that we can grind it up at a later date.  If you are interested or available to help with this, I'd love to hear from you.  I'd be happy to give a short presentation at the end on the purpose of the proposed wet pond as well as discuss other ideas that neighbors have for future improvements to the area.”  
Contact Fitchburg Environmental Engineer Rick Eilertson at 270-4264 or if you could do this service for the neighborhood.  Alternatively, contact DMNA Marsh Protection Chair Brooke Norsted at 271-2155 or
Wouldn’t it be great to have a dozen or more strong men and women including a few teenagers wrestling the brush up to the curb?


12 - Liquor Licenses Postponed Again
Alder Brian Solomon again be referred (postponed) the liquor license applications for 4245 and 4265 West Beltline, the two proposed restaurant/bars on the Frontage Road between Danbury and Seminole Highway.  Since neither applicant has come through with plans to meet with the DMNA and the neighborhood, Solomon referred them to the May meeting of the Alcohol License Review Committee (ALRC).
In a note to interested neighbors, Solomon agreed that he too was getting impatient with this process. He said:  “This month by month thing is getting annoying. If the applicants have not met with the neighborhood by the May meeting, I’ll probably make a three month referral or recommend placing on file (basically terminating the applications) with the expectation that the applicants not reapply until they are ready to sit down with the neighborhood.”
                                                                                    by Mary Mullen

13 - Alder Brian Solomon’s District 10 Update (From March 10)

Greetings District 10 Residents and happy almost-spring. Sorry its been a few months since my last update; I’ve just been swamped. Anyway, here is a sampling of some of the activities going on. My apologies for the long break between updates.
Be well, Brian
Edgewater: This continues to be a difficult process but, in my mind, an important one. I was one of five alders who opposed overturning the Landmarks Commission ruling but DID support referral so that we could continue forward progress and the developer could address some of the many concerns that were raised. I’m very pleased with the progress since then – many of the conerns have been addressed and I do think we have a much better proposal at this time. This project continues to evolve and I continue to believe the most important thing is that we respect all voices, continue to improve the plan, and, hopefully, find a way to make this project happen. Here is my latest blog entry, peripherally related to the Edgewater but more focused on a trip to the Dentist: <> .
Dispatch: Obviously there have been some pretty big problems with Dane County dispatch, but I do believe the county is working diligently on fixing these. The county conducted a comprehensive review which offered a number of strategies, including reducing nonemergency calls. But some of these calls are the result of long sought regional efficiencies and moving forward must include and increase regional cooperation, not the opposite. The Mayor has been pushing the county hard for a 311 system to handle non-emergency dispatch and I agree with him. Hopefully a newly improved 911 dispatch and a newly formed 311 dispatch will help our whole region move forward with these critical services being provided as efficiently and effectively as possible. Dane County’s report, if interested, is available here: <>

Resident Satisfaction: The second annual resident satisfaction survey results were released in January and came in once again showing most Madisonians are pretty enthused about city services and quality of life. Here are the results of the survey and comparisons to 2008: I am very encouraged by these results because Madison IS a great city, but I also maintain that there are many Madisonians among us who remain completely isolated from the high quality of life most of us enjoy. Our mission of equal justice and equal opportunity for ALL Madisonians remains an urgent one, regardless of survey results.
Ordinance Drafting Authority: I am the lead sponsor on an ordinance that would allow the city’s Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), Committee on People with Disabilities (CPD), and Affirmative Action Commission (AAC) to, after passage by the committee, request an ordinance be drafted and brought before the Common Council, even if the committee was unsuccessful in securing a single alder sponsor. This ordinance change was defeated last week at the Common Council Organizational Committee (over my objections) but will still come before the full council. I am sponsoring this ordinance because these committees are charged with protecting the civil rights of Madisonians and there should be no barriers to ensuring that civil rights issues are debated in the light of day. It doesn’t mean the Council has to pass the ordinance, merely defend a no vote before our constituents. An ordinance like this also empowers our citizen committees, an important statement given the recent hammering our citizen committees have taken (especially Transit Parking Commission and Landmarks).
WILCO: I co-sponsored the resolution to make members of the band Wilco honorary citizens of the City of Madison. If you’ve ever seen them play live, you’ll know why. J

RTA: Most of you probably know by now that the Dane County Regional Transit Authority (DCRTA) held its first meeting last week and elected Dick Wagner its first Chair. Dick is a wonderful Madisonian with years of experience working on transportation issues. He is a great leader and will do a wonderful job. There are several issues that the RTA needs to take up, including:
  • When to hold a referendum on a potential sales tax,
  • How the high speed rail system currently being proposed (the intercity route connecting Madison with Milwaukee and Chicago) will fit in with our long term desire to bring commuter rail to Dane County (an internal train system helping commuters in Dane County get to, from, and around Madison),
  • Where to place the high speed rail stop (airport or downtown), and
  • Whether Madison Metro will be part of the RTA

There are other issues as well, but these are some of the big ones. I’ll give you my quick perspective right now: Yes, we need a sales tax to fund the RTA. This will alleviate property taxes and make a firm statement on behalf of our regional transportation needs for years to come. The high speed rail plans DEFINITELY need to take into account our long term desire for commuter rail. While we’ll build our transportation system one piece at a time, each piece needs to fit a plan for an integrated transportation plan in the future. There is absolutely no question that the high speed rail stop needs to be near downtown. I’m going to work with other alders to create a resolution to that effect. Who from Chicago or Milwaukee wants to go to the Dane County Regional Airport? And finally, yes, Madison Metro needs to be part of the RTA.
Verona Road Expansion: WisDOT has been holding meetings throughout the effected communities (in district 10, this is primarily the Allied Drive and Dunns Marsh areas). I think DOT did a pretty good job responding to the concerns over accessibility and I think in many ways, accessibility will be improved from the current situation. However, unfortunately, that’s where the positives seem to end. Neighbors continue to have major concerns about the plans for Britta Parkway, the long term plans for the project (Phase 2 is not scheduled for 20 more years but it will definitely have major community impacts), and short and long term noise, environmental, and public health impacts. I have emailed WisDOT about these ongoing concerns and I know the neighborhoods have had several meetings with WisDOT and our state assembly representative, Terese Berceau. Obviously, something needs to be done with this intersection. But I’m hopeful the communities most impacted will have a stronger voice in the final design.
Allied Drive Update: Phase one of the CDA housing redevelopment has been very successful, with all 48 units rented and a large waiting list. Approximately 50% of the renters came from the Allied area which is exactly what we’d hoped. The CDA has been meeting with the Allied Task Force to begin planning for phase two, which includes home ownership opportunities. I am very excited to see phase two move forward. The neighborhood association is planning a retreat and looking at ways it can better serve the neighborhood and build stronger ties between neighbors. The Allied Wellness Center has formed a co-op board to look into the notion of a Wellness Co-operative to provide vital services, create community space, and integrate some of the wonderful programs already in existence (the neighborhood association, the wellness center, the MAP program, and the Dane County Timebank). I’m also hoping we can build some employment and training, entrepreneurial space, green jobs training, and/or urban agriculture functions into this design). It is very exciting and things continue to move forward.
Monroe Street Merchants: Our local businesses up and down Monroe Street continue to serve as a crown jewel for the northern part of district 10. They are already hard at work planning some spring and early summer events for the area (rumor has it that one of these events even involves chocolate!) and I’ll be sure to help get the word out when they do. Until then, don’t forget to support your Monroe Street Merchants whenever you can.
Dane County Task Force on Racial Disparities: You are all probably aware by now that Dane County has one of the worst racial incarceration disparities in the entire country. Blacks are about 100 times more likely to be arrested for drug offenses than whites (2nd highest in the nation) and 23 times more likely for a non-drug offense (highest in nation). This should be an absolute atrocity to anyone who cares about equality in our county. Dane County put together a Task Force which issued a final report, including over 80 recommendations, last fall. The county is looking to create an implementation team to figure out how to move forward on some of the recommendations, and I will be lead sponsor on a resolution for Madison to issue the strongest support possible for the recommendations and the work of the implementation team. For more information on the task force, please visit this site: <> .

Helping Hand
14 - Art Show and Raffle at Alliant Energy Center March 27

The first annual ArtWorks: Madison event will take place on March 27, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Alliant Energy Center – Exhibition Center, Hall C. Fine art and fine crafts have been juried into this indoor event. Local artists from Central Wisconsin and Northern Illinois will join together to show you their latest art work. A few of these artists are exhibiting their creations for the first time in a public venue. Various media will be shown including ceramics, painting, jewelry, fiber, photography, glass, mixed media and wood. This is a great opportunity to find the perfect piece for your home or gift.
Check Out the RAFFLE benefiting the UW Hospital “Start With Art …” Program. The “Start with Art …” program, adds a valuable dimension to the promotion of healing and wellness in patients by stimulating creativity and self-expression and by introducing a variety of hands-on exploration of art materials. The artist-in-residence program is supported by the Ira & Ineva Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment, 2009-2012. Fundraising in partnership with ArtWorks:Madison will provide us an opportunity to replenish our art supplies and expand our programming.
Admission is free. Parking is $5.50. Check out the web site for more information at <> or contact Colin at 608-712-344 or

15 - Facing Foreclosure?  Some Hints on What to Do (Attachment: 3 Foreclosure brochures.pdf)

Are you facing foreclosure and don’t know the first thing about what to do?  A first step might be to click on the attachment “Foreclosure brochures.pdf” to get some practical hints.  Ignore the first page of the pdf document which is a flyer for a workshop that is past.

16 - Know of a Foreclosure in the Neighborhood?  Tell the Dane Co. Foreclosure Task Force.

The Dane County Foreclosure Prevention Task Force was formed to develop and implement a coordinated response to the current foreclosure problem in Dane County through prevention, intervention and neighborhood stabilization efforts.  The task force has developed 3 work groups to address this need.  

One strategy of the stabilization group is to identify foreclosed properties in neighborhoods.  To achieve this goal we are talking to lenders, realtors, neighborhood associations and other stakeholders to identify these properties.
At this time we would like to ask for your help in identifying foreclosed properties in your neighborhood. This information will help us understand the depth of this issue and it will also allow us to develop a more detailed plan on how to address this concern in our community.  
Please send your information to:
Pam Rood
City of Madison
215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Madison, WI 53701

17 - HospiceCare to hold Three Question-and-Answer Seminars in April

HospiceCare Inc. will hold three question-and-answer seminars in April. The seminars are free, open to the public and will be held at the Don & Marilyn Anderson HospiceCare Center, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, in Madison. “Making the Hospice Choice” will be held on Monday, April 12, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. as well as Thursday, April 15, from 9:00 a.m. to10:30 a.m. “Help for Your Aging Parents…and You” will be held Tuesday, April 13, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Pre-registration is requested; please call Carrie Glantz, HospiceCare public affairs, at (608) 327-7202.

18 - HospiceCare Grief Support Groups for April

In April, HospiceCare Inc. will begin two grief support group series and offer three recurring support groups for those grieving the death of a loved one. HospiceCare will also offer an informational seminar for caregivers. All groups are open to the public and free of charge. All groups require pre-registration and are held at the Don & Marilyn Anderson HospiceCare Center, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, unless otherwise noted.
·       Spouse/Partner Loss Support Group will be held Tuesdays, April 6 – May 4, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
·       Family Series will be held Mondays, April 12 – May 24, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
·       Bridges Weekly Support Group is held every Wednesday, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
·       Introduction to Grief is held the first Wednesday of every month, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
·       Young Widows Group Is held the first Thursday of every month, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at San Damiano’s, 4123 Monona Drive in Madison.
·       Understanding the Dying Process will be held Tuesday, April 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This seminar is for those caring for someone with a progressive or terminal illness.
To register, call HospiceCare at (608) 276-4660 and ask to speak with a grief counselor.

19 - Advance Calendar of Spring “Green” Events – DM Neighborhood & Fitchburg
For those who like to plan a month or more ahead, here are some cool events to put on your calendar.  Some are happening in the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood.  Others are elsewhere in Fitchbur.

Sat., April 24, 2010
- 8am to 11am - Electronics Recycling and Shred Day Events - map and further details can be viewed at:

Sat., April 24, 2010 - 9am to Noon - Volunteer Work Party and Presentation at the Proposed Apache Drive Wet Pond near Dunn's Marsh - Contact Rick Eilertson for more details or to sign up
Sat., April 24, 2010 - 1pm to 4pm - Biking Tour of Nine Springs Creek Watershed - meet and end at Dawley Conservancy Parking Lot - Contact Rick Eilertson for more details or to sign up
Thurs., April 29, 2010 - 4pm to 8pm - Fitchburg Green Expo at BTCI - Final schedule and format to be posted at soon - Contact Rick Eilertson for more details or to sign up
Sat., May 1, 2010 - 8:30am to 11:30am - Annual Waterway Cleanup of Fitchburg's stormwater facilities and creeks - We currently have group leaders for the E. Lacy Rd Neighborhood, Swan Creek of Nine Springs Neighborhood, and Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood.  If you're interested in leading a cleanup group in your neighborhood please contact Rick Eilertson.  Maps and guidelines will be posted at prior to the event. - Contact Rick Eilertson for more details or to sign up
Sat., May 1, 2010 - 8:30am to 11:30am - Arbor Day/Earth Day Celebration and Spring Community Cleanup Day Event - Headquarters is at McKee Farms Park Shelter - see attached pdf for more details.  Contact Ed Bartell at 270-4289 or or Scott Endl at 270-4288 or for more details or to sign up.
------  end of the March 20, 2010 issue of the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News ----------    
                                                   Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Special Verona Rd. issue of DM e-News

Dunns Marsh Neighborhood e-News  
                       Special Issue
                       Verona Road Reconstruction                      March 19, 2010     
The DMN e-News and an occasional hard copy DMN News are published by the Dunn
s Marsh Neighborhood Association (DMNA) on an as-needed schedule.  The Dunns Marsh Neighborhood Association, Inc. has been working to unite neighbors to solve mutual problems and promote fellowship among neighbors since 1973.
                President, Jeff Glazer, 277-1778
                News contact, Mary Mullen,, 298-0843

As always, please look over the article list to see which ones will be most useful for YOU to read.  The Verona Road/Beltline reconstruction plans will have far-reaching consequences.  Learning about them is an incremental process.  But even if you know a little, now is the time to get involved and start expressing your concerns to the Department of Transportation.
Feel totally uninformed? (1) Read this entire e-News and the attachments. You might want to start with Article 11 which lists some impacts and gives the URL to the DOT website which has maps and a PowerPoint presentation.  (2) Consider attending the March 23 meeting (Article 2).  
Already know plenty?  Then try Articles 4-6 which offer addresses and hints for writing an e-mail or letter.
                                                                                   Mary Mullen, editor

                                               Article list

            The Issue in Perspective
1 - An Introduction to this special issue of the e-News
2 - Cars, Trucks & Your Health Talk & Letter Writing Session, Tues. Mar. 23, 6:30-8:00 pm
(Attachment – 1 March 23 flyer.doc)
3 - Baker’s Dozen Vow to Get 500 Letters Opposing Verona Road Project:  You May Join Too!

           Help for Writing Your Letter
4 - Do It By e-Mail!  
5 - Four Steps to a Hardcopy Letter to the DOT
(Attachment - 2 Sample ltr form.doc)
6 – In a Hurry?  15 Ready-Made Short Letters.  Pick Your Favorite.
(Attachment - 3 Verona Rd sample ltrs.doc)

A Compendium of Concerns
7 - Concerns About Verona Road/Beltline Construction Noted
8 - DMNA Statement Given at Verona Road Environmental Justice Meeting, March 4
9 - First Hand Report from the March 4, 2010 Environmental Justice meeting, B&G Club
10 - DMNA President’s Letter to the Wisconsin State Journal

Project Information
11 – Where to Get More Detailed Information


The Issue in Perspective

1 - An Introduction to this special issue of the e-News

Are you stirred up about the proposed reconstruction of Verona Road and the Beltline and the frontage roads in the neighborhood?  Then you will want to go to the March 23 meeting about health effects of traffic, read about what your neighbors are doing about it, and then fire off a letter to the powers that be.
This special edition of the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News will give you lots of information. If you do want to write a letter – and the neighborhood Verona Road Committee hopes you will – check on the attachments:
o      a flyer about the March 23 meeting at Head Start (You can write your letter there among friends),
o      a sample letter form, and
o      some ideas for a short letter (only if you are having trouble thinking of just what to say).

A couple of the articles give suggestions about who to write to as well as their addresses. E-mails are just fine.  If you do write a letter, write to one of the DOT (Department of Transportation) officials and please send a copy (hardcopy or e-mail copy) to Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association representative Donna Sarafin.  (See articles 3 & 4).
This road construction project is a VERY big thing that will affect our neighborhood forever afterward. The neighborhood Verona Road Committee, the other organizations sponsoring the March 23 meeting, and the DMNA Council urge you to get involved in whatever small or big way that you can.  Will you take a few minutes to invest in future of the neighborhoods impacted by Verona Road and the Beltline?

2 - Cars, Trucks & Your Health Talk & Letter Writing Session, Tues. Mar. 23, 6:30-8:00 pm
(Attachment – 1 March 23 flyer.doc)
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) Verona Road Project will bring more cars and trucks into our neighborhood.  Just exactly how will people be affected by this traffic and the pollution it brings?
To help our community understand “how bad air from cars and trucks leads to bad health for you and me,” a coalition of organizations is sponsoring an informational meeting on Tuesday, March 23.  The presentation, by Dr. Maria Powell from the Madison Environmental Justice Organization, is called “Cars, Trucks & Your Health.”  The meeting will be at the Head Start Building, 2069 Red Arrow Trail (where Madison residents vote), starting at 6:30 pm, Tuesday, March 23.
A letter-writing session will follow the presentation.  The Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association will provide letter-writing materials, envelopes, stamps, writing utensils, and any help needed to write an effective letter to the DOT.  Residents are urged to come and bring as many family members and friends as possible.  Teenagers are very welcome.
This informative meeting is sponsored by the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association, the Allied-Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association, the Allied-Dunn’s Marsh Landlord Association, and the Jamestown Neighborhood Association
For more information, please contact Jo Kelley at 445-5981, 276-8010, or
                                                                                                            by Mary Mullen

3 - Baker’s Dozen Vow to Get 500 Letters Opposing Verona Road Project:  You May Join Too!

Meeting at MacDonalds on March 10, a dozen people, mostly residents of the Dunn’s Marsh neighborhood, vowed to do everything they could to stop the Verona Road/Beltline construction project. The group included people of African-American, European, and American Indian background.
The over 2-hour meeting started with a round-robin where every person gave voice to their concerns.  It ended with a collective vow to get 500 people to write letters of opposition to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) by the end of March.  The idea is to “build a record” of opposition including the reasons for opposing and the DOT’s response to letters.
To that end, resident and meeting organizer Jo Kelley promised to arrange for two health-information meetings that will support letters of opposition on health grounds. Others took on additional tasks such as making a list of bullet points that could be used by letter writers, providing a letter format, a sample letter, and even finished form letters that people could sign.  Some people will be going door-to-door or soliciting letters from people they come in contact with.
The group is urging one and all who think the DOT’s plans will cause harm to this neighborhood to join the growing opposition.
Anyone interested in receiving a packet of information with the bullet points, sample letter, and additional information, please contact Donna Sarafin, or  273-0437.   
People attending the meeting besides those already mentioned are Bill McCarthy, Carol Brown, Connie Roderick, Gigi Miller Solari, Jim Lyne, Kim Zinski, Mary Mullen, Nathan Franklin, Selena Pettigrew, Sina Davis, and Ted Collins,
                                                                                                            by Mary Mullen

Help for Writing Your Letter
4 - Do It By e-Mail!  
E-mail is the easy way to get your opinion to the people who need to change their minds about the Verona Road Project. Write it once and just put the addresses into the “To” and “cc” lines.   The idea is to “build a record” of opposition with the Department of Transportation and to also let the neighborhood Verona Road Committee know what your opinions and concerns are.
The committee recommends that you write your e-mail to Larry Barta of the DOT and Tom Lynch at Strand Associates, the engineering consultant for this project.

Please copy (cc) the letter to the following neighborhood representatives:

DMNA & Verona Road Committee:  Donna Sarafin,  
ADMNA:  Florenzo Cribbs

Also copy your e-mail to the decision-makers below.  They need to know just how much we care about our neighborhood and all the people in it.
Ald. Brian Solomon: (for Madison residents)
Co. Supervisor Carousel Bayrd (for Madison residents)
Ald. Carol Poole: \ (for Belmar - Fitchburg -residents)
Ald. Andrew Potts: \ (for Belmar - Fitchburg residents)
Co. Supervisor Matt Veldran  (for Belmar - Fitchburg residents)
"Rep. Therese Berceau"

Governor Doyle.   Use contact form at <;CW_WF_target_dest=GV&amp;CW_WF_body_id=CUSTOM&amp;CW_WF_order=-1>
MPO (Madison Metropolitan Planning Organization)  Use contact form at

5 - Four Steps to a Hardcopy Letter to the DOT
(Attachment - 2 Sample ltr form.doc)
Using the attached sample letter form, write you original hardcopy letter to Larry Barta and Tom Lynch
Mr. Larry Barta                               Mr. Tom Lynch            
Wisconsin DOT                                Strand Associates
2101 Wright Street                         910 W. Wingra Drive
Madison, WI 53704                         Madison, WI 53715

At the bottom of your letter, cc it to the people on the list below (first line only)
STEP 3 (optional,  only if you have time)
Address an envelope to Mr. Larry Barta (above).  Put your name and return address on the top left side.
Send or give your hard copy letter and addressed envelope to Donna Sarafin or another member of the Verona Road Committee who will see to it that Donna gets it.  
Donna Sarfin, DMNA                                              
4338 Windflower Way
Madison, WI 53711
Donna will make copies of your letters and send them on to the following people.
Governor Jim Doyle
115 East State Capitol
Madison, WI 53702
DOT Secretary Frank Busalacchi
4802 Sheboygan Avenue
Madison, WI 53705
Madison Metro. Planning Organization  
121 S. Pinckney Street, Suite 400
Madison, WI 53703
Alder Brian Solomon
(Madison residents)              Co. Sup. Carousel Bayrd (Madison residents)
2148 West Lawn Ave.                                           4901 Sherwood Rd.                                    
Madison, WI 53711                                               Madison, WI 53711
Alder Andrew Pottts     
(Fitchburg residents)          Co. Supervisor Matt Veldran  (Fitchburg residents)
2564 Chesapeake Drive                                         5738 Kroncke Dr. Fitchburg, WI 53719                                              Madison, WI 53711
Alder Carol Poole      
(Fitchburg residents)
4518 Crescent Rd.
Fitchburg, WI 53711

A Compendium of Concerns

7 - Concerns About Verona Road/Beltline Construction Noted

Many concerns were expressed about the proposed Verona Road reconstruction project by the baker’s dozen of people who met March 10 at MacDonald’s.  That’s the meeting where the committee vowed to get 500 letters to the DOT.
Concerns, questions, and comments included:
  • Making Britta into the Frontage Road
  • Sacrificing the Montessori School
  • Moving traffic into our community
  • Health issues – noise, exhaust fumes
  • 7000 cars per day on the Frontage Road
  • Lowering property values
  • Feeling that Allied isn’t having a say
  • Traffic on Carling Drive which is proposed to connect to Allied Drive
  • Safety of kids going from one part of the neighborhood to another
  • Concern about pedestrians in general
  • Relocation of the pedestrian overpass so that users would have to cross the Frontage Road to get to it
  • How pedestrians & bicyclists will be able to get across the Beltline during pedestrian overpass destruction/re-construction
  • Source, date, and accuracy of the data being used by the DOT and Strand Associates to sell the project
  • Since Beltline is already at capacity, why is Verona Road being rebuilt to send more traffic onto the Beltline?
  • Allowing Stage 1 to go through makes Stage 3  - which will encroach even more on the neighborhood – inevitable.

8 - DMNA Statement Given at Verona Road Environmental Justice Meeting, March 4
At its March 2 meeting, the DMNA Neighborhood Council took the bull by the horns.  It approved speaking out to express neighborhood residents’ grave concern about planned construction on and along Verona Road and the Beltline.
Council members Gigi Miller and Donna Sarafin composed the following statement and presented it to Strand Associates and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation at the Environmental Justice Public Meeting on March 4.
The Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association would like to express its grave concern over the proposed 151/Verona Road Plan.  The DMNA feels that this project concentrates the harm from over 60,000 trucks and cars right into our neighborhood!  
This type of high speed interchange takes space.  The only way to gain space for a freeway is to encroach on space where people live. We feel the DOT’s plan to funnel all this traffic through our neighborhood is going to distress an already distressed area.  The concern is that this encroachment will cause blight further into our neighborhood.
The Dunn’s Marsh neighborhood needs businesses.  The DMNA is concerned that this plan obstructs our efforts to grow and nourish businesses in our neighborhood.
The freeway as planned increases both the amount of traffic as well as the speed of traffic.  Each of these factors increases the amount of noise and pollution we will experience in our neighborhood.  All of the factors together will make the level of noise and pollution unacceptable.
DMNA members are very concerned about what will happen to property values in our neighborhood as we support the burgeoning needs of the DOT.

9 - First Hand Report from the March 4, 2010 Environmental Justice meeting, B&G Club
A neighbor who could not attend the March 4 meeting presented by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Strand Associates asked me for a “report.”  This is the e-mail I wrote to her the next day.

I counted 50 people at one point.  At least 18 were people I knew from the neighborhood, including Allied. Since I actually got there early, the presentation started late, and they attempted to address some of the questions that had been raised in the previous session, I got a more complete idea of the plans.

Of the 2 people who spoke about what should happen to the Frontage Road in Phase 3, one favored locating it further south and right in front of the apartments on the south side of Britta so as to save the park area.  The other favored keeping the road as distant from the main residential area as possible which would mean cutting the Britta park area in half.  I think I would go with staying as far north and close to the Beltline as possible.  I guess the Frontage Road has about 7000 vehicles per day.  (Compare that to 60,000 on Verona.) Do you have an opinion?

The DOT also talked about “compensating” for reducing the size of the Britta park area by putting play equipment in the open space on De Volis Parkway.

I thought it was interesting that they said it was due to public input that they are staging the construction and that adding a lane to each side of Verona Road in Stage 1 was allowing them to put off making it into a sunken freeway for 20 or 30 years.  They also said that only “moderate” traffic increases were expected making me wonder why they were doing this at all.  
A scary thing is that while today a person crossing Verona Road from our part of the neighborhood to get to Home Depot has to go across 11 lanes of traffic, after Phase 1 is complete, we’ll have 18 lanes to cross. Maybe that is at the crossing close to the Beltline. But if you use the “jug handle” up by MacDonalds, you’ll cross a frontage road, then go underneath the main lanes of Verona, and then across more frontage road lanes.  I’m not sure how much faster, if it all, it will be in a car to get across to Home Depot since there will be 3 sets of signals related to that.  Now there’s just one set.

Another thing that concerns me, other than just the sheer magnitude of this project and the noise, exhaust, and 2 1/2 years of construction dust, noise, and inconvenience, is the fact that they will be raising the elevation of the Beltline by about 5 feet where it crosses Verona Road and raising Verona Road by about 11 feet where it crosses the “jug handle.”   My guess is that that will allow the sound to carry into the neighborhood more than it does now.  They also pointed out that very little in the way of sound barriers would be put up because they have to meet the criteria of reducing the sound by 8 decibels at the cost of no more than $30,000 per “receptor.” A “receptor” is a housing unit that is right next to the road, not one that is in a second row of houses or apartment even though people in them can hear the traffic.  Only the first floor of an apartment “counts.”

In Phase 1 they plan to add a sound barrier on the north side of the Beltline.  They said it would be an “absorptive” sound wall rather than reflective so it should not be adding to the noise we will hear.

Again, nobody spoke in favor of the project.  In one-to-one discussion later, one of the consultants said that when Phase 2 is done (the PD portion of the construction), there will no longer be a stop light there or at the crossing to Home Depot (because of the jughandle underpass), but there will be one at Jamestown and also at the Beltline.  The consultant thought that would cut in half the waiting time at stop lights if you were in a vehicle coming from Verona to the Beltline.
                                                                                                                       by Mary Mullen

10 -  DMNA President’s Letter to the Wisconsin State Journal

After reading the Wisconsin State Journal’s coverage of the February 18 Public Information Meeting regarding the Verona Road reconstruction project, DMNA President Jeff Glazer was outraged.  The paper’s coverage focused on the meal provided to participants and didn’t bother to mention any of the concerns expressed by residents of the neighborhood.  Jeff immediately fired off a letter to the editor.
The Journal printed his letter in it February 20, 2010 issue, as follows.

Verona Road Project
will do great harm
  The state Department of Transportation
held a farce of a meeting this week on its
redesign of the Verona Road interchange
with the Beltline.  Our public officials
proclaim to listen to, and incorporate,
neighborhood concerns into their project
plans – only to turn around and choose the
options that suit themselves.
   The reality is that despite neighborhood
concerns about this project’s increase in
traffic, pollution, noise levels and this
project’s destruction of community homes,
businesses and public space, the DOT has
selected a project design that does the most
possible harm to this already struggling
neighbor!  It will remove families from
their homes and remove businesses that
provide tax dollars to our city.
      -Jeff Glazer, president, Dunn’s Marsh
                        Neighborhood Association


11 – Where to Get More Detailed Information

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has a webpage all about the Verona Road/West Beltine Project.   Go to
Under the second headline, Public Information Meetings (PIM), look at Past Meetings.   The PowerPoint presentation made by DOT and Strand Associates on March 4 is available for viewing and printing.  
Special maps are available too. Look at the sidebar and click on Maps. Scroll down to 3 stage solution alternative (March 10, 2010).
Stage 1 is scheduled to start in 2013, with construction going on for 2 ½ years!!! It involves
  • adding lanes to Verona Road and the Beltline,
  • raising both above their present levels,
  • reworking the frontage roads of both highways, pushing some right up against residences on Britta and in Avalon Village,
  • making 2 underpasses of Verona Road
  • tearing down the pedestrian overpass of the Beltline at Whenona and rebuilding it on a slightly different alignment and destroying a newly remodeled business building in the process,
  • demolishing 29 dwelling units, 1 school, and 4 business buildings, some with more than one business in them
  • connecting the Verona Road end of Carling Drive to Allied Drive.

Here’s a summary of what the DOT calls “relocations” (Stage 1) and what any citizen might simply call destruction.

On the Beltline frontage road, starting just west of the motel and going east:  David Sisson Orthotics business which looks much like a house, two 4-unit apartment buildings on Niemannn Place, the Montessori School, Winner’s Circle Hair Restoration which also holds a branch of The Vinery, the Burr Oak center which has just been very nicely remodeled and holds several businesses.
On the north side of the Beltline where the pedestrian overpass comes down, the 2 single-family houses on either side of Whenona.
On Midvale, where the westbound exit of the Beltline empties out, 17 units of Midvale Town Homes    
On Hammersley on the north side of the Beltline just west of Upper Iowa University, 2 single family homes
On the west side of Verona Road, Kentucky Fried Chicken.
                                                                                                by Mary Mullen

------  end of the Verona Rd. special issue of the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News, 3-19-10  ----------    
                                                   Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Verona Rd. meeting Thurs./ Garden Registration

Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood e-News  
                                                                  March 2, 2010                                        
The DMN e-News and an occasional hard copy DMN News are published by the Dunn
's Marsh Neighborhood Association (DMNA) on an "as-needed" schedule.  The Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood Association, Inc. has been working to unite neighbors to solve mutual problems and promote fellowship among neighbors since 1973.
                President, Jeff Glazer, 277-1778
                News contact, Mary Mullen,, 298-0843
This newsletter is mostly about the Verona Rd./ Beltline reconstruction plans, but don't miss the gardening news.


Neighborhood Calendar

Thursday, March 4, 6;00-8:30 pm - Public Information meeting on plans for changes at Beltline/Verona Road intersection and frontage roads. Boys & Girls Club, Jenewein Rd.

Tuesday, March 16, 7 p.m. - Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood Association Council Meeting, Prairie UU Society, 2010 Whenona Drive (corner of Whenona & Crawford). Residents welcome, but only Council members vote.  Inform DMNA president (above) if you plan to attend.
Monday, March 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m. – Marlborough Community Garden Registration, Boys & Girls Club, Jenewein Rd.  
Saturday, April 10, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Marlborough Community Garden Registration, Boys & Girls Club, Jenewein Rd.  


                                    Article List
           Verona Road/Beltline Reconstruction
1 - Thursday, March 4:  Last Verona Road Environmental Justice Outreach Meeting
(Attachment 1 – Verona mtg flyer.pdf)
2 - Verona Road Meeting Draws Large Crowd and Critical Comments
3 - The Message Should Have Been What People Said, Not About the Food
4 - An e-Mail From a Resident and a Reply from DOT – About Britta Plans
5 - DMNA Council to Develop a Written Position on Verona Rd./Beltline Plans
6 - Alder Solomon Voices Concerns About Verona Road Interchange Plans
7 - See the Verona Road Presentation on Computer:   Links to the DOT website that shows new Britta/Frontage Road alignment (and everything else
                       Gardening News
8 - Community Garden Registration Dates Set
9 - Opportunity to Participate in Garden Research

                       Odds 'N Ends
10 - Correction:  Telephone number for Fitchburg Environmental Engineer
11 - Fitchburg Public Library to Break Ground April 12 Plus Many Other Events Sponsored by Friends of Fitchburg Library

Verona Road/Beltline Reconstruction

1 - Thursday, March 4:  Last Verona Road Environmental Justice Outreach Meeting
(Attachment 1 – Verona mtg flyer.pdf)
WisDOT [Department of Transportation] will be holding the last Environmental Justice Outreach meeting about Verona Road reconstruction plans at the Boys & Girls Club in the Dunn's Marsh neighborhood on Thursday, March 4th, at 6:00 p.m. [See the flyer for details. It is in both English and Spanish.]
As before, the general public, including you and your neighbors, are invited to attend, though personal invitations are being mailed to just the residential tenants in the southeast quadrant of the project area.
                        from Stephanie Thomsen, Strand Associates, consultant on this project
[If you prefer to read short articles about the February 18 meeting before reading the more lengthy summary just below, skip ahead to article 3.]

2 - Verona Road Meeting Draws Large Crowd and Critical Comments

The parking lot of the Boys and Girls Club was crammed with vehicles. The overflow of cars lined Jenewein and Rosenberry.   Inside, the gym was abuzz with neighborhood folks who turned out for the public meeting on February 18 to learn about and protest reconstruction plans for Verona Road and the Beltline.

This meeting was the third in a series of four sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation [DOT] in the neighborhood.  The first two, one on January 21 and the other on February 4, drew meager attendance because they were not widely publicized. And, to the dismay of people who attended the February 18 meeting and had wanted their voices to be heard, the lead story of Channel 3's TV news coverage emphasized the free meal offered to attendees rather than the main course of the evening:  residents' almost uniform distress over the plans.

A large share of the meeting was devoted to a PowerPoint presentation on the plans.  They showed frontage roads and access roads that would reach into the residential areas of the Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood.   Particularly affected for the first stage of construction in 2013-2015 would be the north end of Carling Drive and Allied Drive, Avalon Village and the interchange to Home Depot, and the Britta Parkway area. This stage would involve raising a portion of Verona Road above its current elevation and cutting off the direct access across Verona Road to Home Depot.

Eventually, if all goes as expected by DOT, by 2030 Verona Road will be sunk down below grade with "bridges" to cross over to the Home Depot area, and half of the park on Britta Parkway will be taken in order to accommodate a realigned Frontage Road.  At that time, the commercial area of the Frontage Road between Whenona and Seminole will be wiped out.

[NOTE:  To get a better idea of the plans, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that readers attend the March 4 informational meeting, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m., at the Boys and Girls Club.  A public hearing will be conducted in April.]
Only about 10 people had a chance to speak after the presentation.  Not one favored the project.  Most had very specific objections to it that could be summed up as:  This project is nothing but bad for our neighborhood, both during and after construction.  
Perhaps the most damning and angry testimony came from former 10th District Alder Ken Golden.  He said:

  • At one time DOT conducted a stellar process.  But the input from back then has been ignored.
  • Even though DOT will be holding a public hearing, it will mean nothing because DOT "will have all the answers."
  • Something needs to be done, but [with these plans] the DOT has created a scar and isolated the neighborhood and destroyed the quality of life in the neighborhood.
  • There will be some less pollution at first [because traffic will be able to flow more smoothly], but the ease of use will attract more traffic and in the end create much more pollution.

Golden promised to do his very best to change the plans.  "I know where the buttons are…" he said, implying that he would be pushing every button he could to fight against the worst aspects of the plans.
Neighborhood resident and DMNA Council member Jo Kelley suggested that all people in the neighborhood need to band together to speak as one voice to oppose the plans. She asked interested people to talk to her on the spot or contact her later (276-8010 or

Other speakers made these specific points:
  • The plan really only accommodates traffic.  It isn't good for people.  It's very bad for children.  (Pollution, noise, roads bringing traffic closer to residences)
  • It impacts the residential areas too much, specifically Avalon Village, the Carling Drive area, and Britta Parkway.  The best tenants will leave because of these impacts, lowering the quality of life in the neighborhood even more.
  • Can neighborhood residents be targeted for employment in the construction?
  • This project will cause property values to plummet.
  • Traffic should be routed away from the Verona Road/Beltline intersection rather than accommodated.  What about an outer Beltline for traffic without a specific Madison destination.
  • Seminole Highway will be greatly impacted as people avoid Verona Road and Fish Hatchery Road during construction.  This is a big problem.
  • People who were involved in the past have not been involved by DOT in recent years.
  • Reconstruction at this location is like a square peg in a round hole.  It's a bad place for an intersection.
  • We don't want more streets into the neighborhood.  They will bring more cars.  We don't want that.
  • No barriers are shown/planned to protect the Dunn's Marsh side of Verona Road.
  • Did not get a mailing about the meeting.  (Several complained of this.)

The final meeting in this round of informational meetings will be held from 6:00-8:30 p.m. this Thursday, March 4, at the Boys and Girls Club.
Channel 3 reported that about 80 people attended the February 18 meeting. At least 30 people known by sight by this reporter were spotted in the audience including 6 of the 12 DMNA Council members.
                                                                                                                        by Mary Mullen

3 - The Message Should Have Been What People Said, Not About the Food

It was great to see TV cameras covering last night's meeting [February 28] about the DOT's 151/18 Project.  I thought our message to the DOT that the project HARMS our neighborhood would reach more people through their news report.  
But that is not what the TV cameras were covering.  The TV news reports were about the Fish Fry.  The breaking news story was that the DOT was spending $500 for food and it is against their policy.
The breaking news should have been that the DOT was presenting their recommended Alternative for the Verona Road interchange, and they picked the alternative that does the MOST HARM to our neighborhood.  More homes will be destroyed, more businesses loss, more noise, more air pollution than all of the other options.  The DOT got neighborhood input but IGNORED our basic concerns.
The real story is that the DOT showed us their recommended alternative and it does the MOST HARM to our neighborhood.  The real story is the Environmental Justice issue!
                                                                                    from Jo Kelley, Crawford Resident
4 - An e-Mail From a Resident and a Reply from DOT – About Britta Plans

The e-mail:
I must say I was surprised to see how the Frontage Rd. had migrated to Britta.  I attended meetings in 2008 and  the map in the  LINK below  was presented with the Frontage Road of 2 possibilities.  As I recall, the WI DOT reps at the meeting were echoing back to us that DOT using of Britta as a frontage Rd was coming through loud and clear.

Tom, from DOT, last night indicated that the decision to keep the businesses and go behind them w/ the Frontage Rd. involved some City of Madison decisions.   I would hope working w/ our Alderman and Neighborhood Associations will change the outcome of what I saw last night on this part of the project.

Britta is a neighborhood street used for walking, riding bikes, and the church.  Green spaces are playgrounds, and occasionally kids and play equipment run out in the street.   Using Britta would greatly negatively impact safety, noise and pollution and quality of life.  
                                                                                                           Connie, Crawford Dr.
The answer, from DOT
Hello, Connie: Thanks for taking the time to come to the meeting and for this follow-up.
Your memory serves you well – the frontage road alignment we are now showing as the preferred change is a blend of the 2 versions we brought out to the public in 2008. And you are correct that WisDOT responded to the feedback by eliminating it from further consideration. The blended version was indeed put together with the intent of reducing business buy-outs. One other plus is the buildings provide a small amount of noise blockage and quite a bit of visual blockage of the Beltline. We know the downside you point to is a concern but we weighed it against another frequently noted criticism that this project is impacting too much private property. A difficult set of circumstances to weigh against one another to be sure.
We will take your feedback and that of several others that agree with you into consideration in the final evaluation of the frontage road. We will also see what additional input we receive after the environmental document is published and a Public Hearing is conducted. We will take a final look at this detail at that point and be as objective as possible in determining which is the better solution.
Thanks again and have a fine day.
                        from Larry J. Barta, Project Manager - Planning Unit,Southwest Region - Madison Office
                                 Work Phone = (608)246-3884

5 - DMNA Council to Develop a Written Position on Verona Rd./Beltline Plans
At its February 16 meeting, the Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood Council supported the concept of developing a statement regarding plans for the Verona Road/West Beltline reconstruction. Council member Jo Kelley had presented a draft statement that could be signed on to by organizations and individuals in the neighborhood.  She promised to circulate it in electronic form to the Council for suggested revisions in hopes that it would be ready to go for the March 4, 2010 informational meeting to be held by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
In brief, the draft statement expresses opposition to the Freeway Concept and then lists demands to be met if that alternative is approved and enacted anyway.  Among the demands would be that
·   residential buildings be made eligible for state-funded weatherization/energy efficiency programs at no cost to the building owners.  (This would protect homes against the noise of increased traffic that will be closer to homes.)
·   the State of Wisconsin will fund air monitoring, and
·   Phase 3 will not be approved or implemented until a comprehensive study on the "south reliever" [a "Beltline" located much further south of the present Beltline] is completed along with its potential to affect traffic

It goes on to list demands for all construction alternatives.  
·   prohibition of engine braking
·   prohibition of nighttime construction
·   provision of additional bike and pedestrian connectors that are visually public and well lit
·   no additional road connectors to the neighborhood

For more information on this statement, contact Jo Kelley (276-8010 or
                                                                                                            by Mary Mullen

6 - Alder Solomon Voices Concerns About Verona Road Interchange Plans
In a March 1, 2010 e-mail to Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials and the DOT's consultant, Strand Associates, Madison 10th District Alder Brian Solomon expressed the negative feedback he had received about the Verona Road/West Beltline reconstruction plans.  Due to conflicts, he had to miss both the February 18 and the March 4 informational meetings.
Alder Solomon said:

I have a conflict Thursday and will unfortunately miss this meeting as I did the last one. But I do want you to know that I received very negative feedback from the last meeting. People are EXTREMELY concerned about four things:
·      The plans for Britta Parkway,
·      The long term plans (phase 3) and its impacts on the community,
·      Short and long term noise, environmental, and public health impacts, and
·      The strong belief that all decisions have already been made and that dissent or even discussion is fruitless

The good news is that most people believe that you have listened well on the access issues and that many of those concerns have been addressed. However, there are some substantial concerns in both the Allied and broader Dunn's Marsh community about the items I've listed above. There may be other concerns as well, but the above ones are definitely the loudest and most frequent that I've been hearing.
I'd really like your thoughts on how to address these concerns in a meaningful way that once again empowers the neighborhood to believe its voices are being heard.
Also, again, my apologies for not being able to make the meeting Thursday.
Thanks so much, Brian
                                                     Quoted comments from e-mail by Alder Brian Solomon


7 - See the Verona Road Presentation on Computer:   Links to the DOT website that shows new Britta/Frontage Road alignment (and everything else)

Here is the link to the WI DOT web site that has the meeting information and new Britta Rd/Frontage Rd map:  It is listed toward the bottom of the web page as "Updated Newsletter/other... Click on "Presentation to city of Madison Plan Commission, Dec 14 2009 complete document."  Then find pages 11,13, 14 etc.  
Gardening News

8 - Community Garden Registration Dates Set

Ready! Set!  Go!  If you are a person with a yen to garden in the Marlborough Park community garden, it's time to put a couple of dates on your calendar.
Registration is set for two dates this year: Monday, March 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 10, 1:30-3:30 p.m.  The location for both dates is Rooms A and B of the Boys and Girls Club on Jenewein Drive.  Anyone who wishes to rent a garden plot may sign up and pay for the plot at that time.

The garden management is looking for volunteers to help with registration.  Volunteers staff tables where registrants fill out forms, review the rules of the garden and sign up for workshops and leadership positions.  
Hmong, Khmer, and Spanish translators will be available at the registration.  Gardeners can also pick up free seeds.
To volunteer, contact Community Action Coalition Gardens Specialist Nicole Craig, 608-246-4730 ext. 208, Nicole will be sending out postcards to past gardeners and to new interested gardeners to let them know about the registration days.
                                                                                    by Mary Mullen

9 - Opportunity to Participate in Garden Research

UW PhD student Vincent Smith is looking for gardeners to assist with a doctoral study related to gardening.  Check out his request below.  If you are interested in participating, please contact Vincent directly. He's looking for people who can commit to the entire project, which will span the growing season this year.
I am a doctoral student at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison searching for gardeners willing to assist in a study this summer.  I am currently conducting research on the socioeconomic value of gardening in the Madison area. My research attempts to capture both the economic value of food generated in gardens throughout the area as well as the social and or personal value of gardens to those who keep them. I am looking for gardeners who would be willing to collect data on their garden this summer.  I am requesting the following information from participating gardeners:
   1. Track garden related expenses
   2. Track garden related time
   3. Record the weight of everything harvested
Gardeners chosen to assist in the study will be provided a digital scale for weighing all food crops generated.  While I can provide no compensation for helping with the study (I have no compensation myself), I can provide you with the scale to keep, and can offer you the opportunity to help share your passion for gardening with a larger audience.  I sincerely hope this research will improve what we know about gardens and their potential as places of food production.  While I am especially in need of gardeners willing to help collect data this summer, if you have a garden that you are willing to have me look at this summer, but do not feel you have the time to weigh your bounty, please let me know as well.
If you would be willing to assist with this research this summer or have additional questions, please contact me via email at (preference) or cell at 608-852-7774 and let me know as soon as possible.  Thank you.
                        Vincent M. Smith, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
                        25 Agricultural Hall, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Odds 'N Ends

10 - Correction:  Telephone number for Fitchburg Environmental Engineer

Sometime the finger just slips and makes a typo.   If you are interested in obtaining some of the wood to be cut from Lots 19 and 20 below Crescent Road at Apache Drive, the correct number to reach Rick Eilertson is 270-4264.  Or e-mail him at
11 - Fitchburg Public Library to Break Ground April 12 Plus Many Other Events Sponsored by Friends of Fitchburg Library

Fitchburg Public Library and the Friends of Fitchburg Library have some events coming up that I'd like to share.

Monday April 12, 2:00 p.m.
Official Groundbreaking followed by celebratory reception at City Hall.

Monday April 12, 6:30 p.m.
Award Ceremony and reception for bookmark contest winners.
Council Chambers, City Hall

Wednesday April 14, 7:00 p.m.
Family Pajama Party Storytime - wear your jammies!
Fitchburg Room, Fitchburg Community Center

Thursday April 15, 7:00 p.m.
Friends of Fitchburg Library and FPL Present
Author and Artist Jeff Hagen
Fitchburg Room, Fitchburg Community Center

Friday April 16, 7:00 p.m.
Teen Gaming Night
Oak Hall Room, Fitchburg Community Center

Saturday April 17, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Friends of Fitchburg Library Used Booksale
2690 Research Park Drive
(This event re-occurs every third Saturday of the month)
                                                                       from  City of Fitchburg
----------------------- end of March 2, 2010 Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood e-News -----------
                                                         Thanks for reading!