Presidential Posts

Thursday, March 31, 2016

DM e-News: VOTE, lots of news

                                                           March 31, 2016 (2016 issue #2)

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.  Our neighborhood is in Madison & Fitchburg.
               President & News contact:  Mary Mullen,  298-0843
               Website: <>
              On Facebook:   
Type Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association into the Facebook search box.
VOTE April 5 (#1-5), get your garden plot or compost bin, free tree, etc. (#6-12), learn about a host of n’hood activities(#13-24), take some money management hints (#25-26).  Above all, don’t pass up your chance to help pick the next US president and Wisconsin Supreme Court justice (#1 & #2).
Every Thursday,  9 am - Coffee with a Cop, Steep & Brew, 6656 Odana Rd.
Tues., April 5, 7 am-8 pm - Election Day, different locations for Madison & Fitchburg voters, #1-5
Tuesdays & Thursdays, noon - Senior lunch at Meadwood Neighborhood Ctr, 5740 Raymond Rd
Sat., April 9 or 23, 6 pm - DMNA Book Club w potluck, #14
Thur., April 14, 6 pm - DMNA N’hood Council, Prairie UU Society, 2010 Whenona Dr.
Sat., April 16, 12 noon - Allied Community Co-op mtg, Boys & Girls Club, 4619 Jenewein Dr.
Sat., April 23, 10 am-12 pm - Opening Day for no-till section of Marlborough Community Garden
Sat., May 7,
10 am-12 pm - Opening Day for gardeners in tilled section of Marlborough Garden
Sat., May 7, 10 am-2 pm - Compost Bin and Rain Barrel Sale, Alliant Energy Center, #7
Thur., May 12, 6 pm  - DMNA N’hood Council, Prairie UU Society, 2010 Whenona Dr.
Wed., June 15 & next  8 Wednesdays, 5-7:30 pm - Let’s Eat Out, lower end of  Revival Ridge street
Sat., June 18, 10 am-12 pm - Workday for Marlborough Community Garden
Thur., June 23, 5:30-7:30 pm - Verona Rd. Open House, Fitchburg Fire Station #2, #22
Unless otherwise noted in a by-line, articles are written by Mary Mullen.  All photos in the attachments are by Mary.

           ELECTION APRIL 5
1 - Who’s on the Ballot for Madison Voters?
2 - Who’s on the Ballot for Fitchburg Voters?
3 - Voting Location Depends on Your Address in the N’hood

4 - Need Work?  Become a Poll Worker @ $12/Hour
5 - Do All Politicians Lie?

6 - Garden Plots Still Available
(Attachment:  “1 garden harvest chart.jpg”)
7 - Compost Bin and Rain Barrel Sale, May 7
8 - Spring Comes to the Neighborhood
(Attachment: “2 pics winter2spring.jpg”)
9 - Fitchburg Draft Park and Open Space Plan Favors Urban Ag and Community Gardens
10 - Municipal Emerald Ash Borer Response
11 - Urban Tree Alliance Offers Free Trees in 2016
12 - Is Radon a Problem in Your House?

13 - Spring Brings Buzz of Activities to Neighborhood
(Attachment: “3 pics busy n’hood.jpg”)
14 - It’s The Girls from Ames for the DMNA Book Club for April
15 - More About the Book Club
16 - Hold a Green Madison House Party:  Get Benefits
17 - Litter Cleanup Is a Priority for 2016
(Attachment:  “4 pics litter story.jpg”)
18 - Neighbors Hear about Progress Toward the Grocery Store
19 - Neighborhood Buying Club Tested
20 - Thanks to Those Working for the Grocery Store
21 - Verona Road Project Work Plans
22 - Quarterly Verona Road Open House Dates Announced  
23 - Notes from Chief Koval Community Forum
24 - Former Resident’s Article in Journal of Comparative Politics

25 - Mayor Soglin Urges Families to Claim Their Earned Income Tax Credit
26 - Hotel Credit Card Scam Explained



1 - Who’s on the Ballot for Madison Voters?

Madison voters, do you know who’s on the April 5 ballot where you might have to think before you enter the polling booth?  That’s easy - just the presidential candidates and the Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates.  
The other 11 races offer just one person, unless, of course, you want to write in someone who isn’t officially running.
For President, the Democrats offer Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, or an “Uninstructed Delegation.”  
For Rupublicans even though just 3 candidates are still running, there’s an even dozen names to consider plus “Uninstructed Delegation:”  Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Jim Gilmore, Chris Christie, Donald J. Trump, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, John R. Kasich, Jeb Bush, or Ted Cruz.  The 3 Republican candidates who are still running are John Kasich, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump.
For Wisconsin Supreme Court, the two candidates are JoAnne F. Kloppenburg or Rebecca G. Bradley.
To see all the other races, go to the website <file://localhost/Home.aspx>   For state and local candidates, the League of Women Voters’ Candidates’ Answers can give you a window into their views. Go to
When you go to vote, be certain to take you Wisconsin driver license or other valid picture ID.

2 - Who’s on the Ballot for Fitchburg Voters?

Fitchburg voters in the neighborhood will have to think a tiny bit more when they look at the ballot on April 5.  They have contested races for the President, Wisconsin Supreme Court, and the Verona Area School District at Large Board member.
The candidates for U.S. President and Wisconsin Supreme Court are identical to those on the Madison ballot. (See above.)   The two candidates for the Verona at Large School Board member are Noah Robers and Charyn Grandau.
To see all the other races, go to the website <file://localhost/Home.aspx>   For state and local candidates, the League of Women Voters’ Candidates’ Answers can give you a window into their views. Go to
When you go to vote, be certain to take you Wisconsin driver license or other valid picture ID.
3 - Voting Location Depends on Your Address in the N’hood  (repeated from 2/9/16 e-News)

New to the neighborhood?   Didn’t vote in the last election even though you’ve lived here awhile?  A new voter regardless of your age?
BE AWARE.   The polling place may not be where you expect it to be.

WHY?  Because, for those living in the Madison part of the neighborhood, the polling place location changed in 2014.  Because, if you live in the Fitchburg part of the neighborhood, the polling place is not within the neighborhood.
Those who live in the Madison part of the neighborhood vote in the Revival Ridge community room. The address is 2313 Allied Drive. But, again, be aware.  You can’t park on Allied Drive, and the entrance to the community room is actually on the plaza of the Revival Ridge apartments, accessible from Jenewein Drive.
The trick is to park on Jenewein close to Allied Drive and walk into the plaza where the hands sculpture reaches to the sky. Enter the doors next to the Madison Police shield.  They actually face out to Jenewein.  
If there’s not space to park on Jenewein, parking in the Boys & Girls Club lot is OK.  In that case, just walk up Jenewein to the plaza entrance.  Or go the back way by walking to the left on Revival Ridge, then right on Frida Kahlo Crest and into the plaza that way.

Those who live in the Fitchburg (BELMAR)  part of the neighborhood face another hardship.   Fitchburg residents vote at Fitchburg Fire Station #2, at 5415 King James Way.  This is way down Verona Road to PD, then right at the PDQ.   Here’s a map showing that voting location.


4 - Need Work?  Become a Poll Worker @ $12/Hour

As a current poll worker for Madison elections, I learned about the need for additional poll workers to handle the extra workload of checking picture ID’s at the first big election in which voters must show an ID.   Other municipal clerks will also need poll workers on Tuesday, April 5.
You don’t need to work the entire day — you can take the 6 am - 1 pm shift or the 1 pm to close shift.
For Madison residents, see Madison is now accepting poll workers who do not live within the City of Madison, but all workers must live in Dane County.  For residents of other municipalities, contact your local clerk.  For clerk phone numbers, see <file://localhost/election/clerks.aspx>
Poll workers must attend a 1-hour training session prior to the April 5 election.
5 - Do All Politicians Lie?

During a time of heightened interest in politicians, one often hears that all politicians lie.  Politifact checks some of the statements made by politicians.  
The organization did find that politicians lie, but some do so way more than others.   Results were published in the 12/13/15 issue of the New York Times.
The article did not discuss whether the lies were on purpose or simply because the politicians don’t know the difference between the truth and the lies they stated.
To see how your favorite or most unfavorite national politician has been found to be truthful or untruthful, go to the URL mentioned below.  It is an interactive chart where you can also see the statements that were checked for each politician.
Want a hint?  One of the most  dishonest current presidential candidates is running highest in the popularity polls, and two of the most honest candidates are front-runners in the other party.  Here’s the URL for the interactive chart:  From there you can access the article itself.
The “pants on fire” statements, those that are ridiculously untrue, are pretty interesting to read (as are all the rest).
In case you are wondering what Politifact is, here’s a brief description from Politifact’s website.
PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. PolitiFact is run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida, as is PunditFact, a site devoted to fact-checking pundits. The PolitiFact state sites are run by news organizations that have partnered with the Times. The state sites and PunditFact follow the same principles as the national site.

PolitiFact staffers research statements and rate their accuracy on the Truth-O-Meter, from True to False. The most ridiculous falsehoods get the lowest rating, Pants on Fire


6 - Garden Plots Still Available (Attachment:  “1 garden harvest chart.jpg”)

Marlborough Community Garden, in Marlborough Park, still has some garden plots available.  New gardeners may sign up for a full plot which is about 20x20 feet square or for half a plot, 10x20'.
Some plots will be plowed and rototilled by tractor while others are “no-till” which means the gardeners is responsible for tilling by shovel or by personal rototiller.  The price is the same regardless of which part of the garden they are in.
For more information or to sign up for a plot, English speakers may contact
·      Micah Kloppenburg, (608) 609-0349, <>  or
·      Mary Mullen, (608) 298-0843, <>  
Spanish speakers should contact Angélica Muñoz, (608) 332-4832 <>
Rental fees vary depending on household income and number of people in the household.
Marlborough Garden has operated since 1970 and has 160 plots.  It is a multi-cultural garden with many Latinos, a large contingent of English-speaking gardeners, and some Southeast Asians.   The garden is managed by a committee of gardeners, and all gardeners are invited to be a part of the committee.
For a chart showing when you might get a harvest of various crops you plant, click on the attachment.
7 - Compost Bin and Rain Barrel Sale, May 7
              from City of Madison

Spring is here - and that means it's time to quench your thirst for gardening at the City of Madison Compost Bin And Rain Barrel Truckload Sale on Saturday May 7th at the Alliant Energy Center, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Discounted compost bins will be sold for only $69.99 and 50 gallon mosquito resistant RainReserve rain barrels with a diverter are on sale for just $119.99.
It is estimated that our urban communities contribute about 30% of the total phosphorus that enter in lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, Kegonsa, and Wingra from runoff. Did you know that 600 gallons of water can be harvested from a 1000 square foot roof in every one inch rain event? By harvesting rainwater for your indoor and outdoor plants and putting clippings and leaves into a backyard composters, you don’t just make plants healthier; you’re also reducing run-off and the phosphorus that feeds our algae problem.
By participating, you’ll be joining the tens of thousands of homeowners in Madison already composting and harvesting rainwater. Rain barrels and compost bins also make a great gift for Mother’s Day. Individuals who pre-order rain barrels and compost bins before by April 25th will save an additional $10 off.  For more information and to pre-order your rain barrel and compost bin, supplies are limited, visit <> .
This event is open to both Madison residents and non-residents.

8 - Spring Comes to the Neighborhood (Attachment: “2 pics winter2spring.jpg”)

Day to day one might wonder if winter has given up its grip and given in to spring.  Birds don’t lie.  The robins have been back for weeks, sandhill cranes call high overhead, and hooded mergansers have been seen on Dunn’s Marsh.  Sunsets are colorful any time of year, but with the evergreens trading the red-browns of winter for their brighter spring dress, the world is turning technicolor.
Look at the last of winter’s tracks and watch the season morph to spring on the attached collage of photos .
9 - Fitchburg Draft Park and Open Space Plan Favors Urban Ag and Community Gardens

The City of Madison has promoted community gardens for some time, but I believe the statements in the new Fitchburg Park and Open Sapce Plan are the first from that municipality to give a lengthy rationale for supporting urban agriculture and community gardens.  Here are a few quotes from the draft plan.
Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens
Urban agriculture, including community gardens, offers an opportunity for development of a local food system, social interaction, green neighborhoods, and outdoor recreation. Community gardening, typically organized by non-profit organizations or volunteers, utilize a parcel of land divided into separate garden plots and gardened by individuals or groups. Various regional municipalities, including the City of Madison and Village of DeForest, currently allow community gardens on their parklands. Similarly, Fitchburg does allow community gardens in all of its zoning districts. Furthermore, the Gardens Network is a regional organization that provides various services for area community gardens and gardeners. This Plan’s stakeholder participation process indicated system users are interested in the potential of community gardens at system properties.
The document goes on to list the various benefits and case studies related to community gardens.  Listed are environmental benefits, health benefits, and economic benefits.
Health benefits are many, in fact, “a huge array of health benefits for people at all stages of life.”  Any gardener could probably name at least a few of them.  
The Fitchburg document says:  
From a standpoint of physical well-being, community gardens are areas for leisure-time physical activity, and are often major community resources for fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables. Gardens provide a unique opportunity for children to learn healthy eating and physical activity habits at early stages of development, reflected in a strong negative association between community gardening and childhood obesity. Research has also shown a positive relationship between gardening and respiratory health.

Similarly, gardening can be used as a vehicle for treatment and recovery outside of the clinical setting. People with hypertension and arthritis, in particular, have seen their health improve thanks to the physical and psychosocial benefits of gardening. Individuals under stress often report that gardening enhances their sense of purpose, autonomy, and ownership.
Combining all of the individual health benefits that gardening provides shows that gardening enhances overall community well-being….
Also at the community level, gardens have been shown to promote social capital and collective efficacy. These community health benefits speak to the strengthened social connections that community gardening can bring about. Communities with high levels of trust and interaction see less blight and less crime.

Economic benefits are the third category of benefits of community gardening, in fact, according to the Fitchburg document, “myriad economic benefits” including positive effects on surrounding property values, supported by research.
The conclusion is that “The City [of Fitchburg] should explore locating urban agriculture elements, including community gardens, at designated City system properties, serving to expand the user profile of the system, and attracting users from throughout the region.”
It should be noted that since the Marlborough Community Garden serves people from both Madison and Fitchburg, and each new season there is always space for new gardeners, it would seem that gardens would not be necessary in Fitchburg’s Belmar Park.
If you or anyone you know is interested in gardening in Marlborough Park, read article #6 where contact information is noted.  Do it now.  Plots are being assigned as we speak.

10 - Municipal Emerald Ash Borer Response
           Source of this information has been lost
The Emerald Ash Boer (EAB) has been in the region for several years, and cities are now well into executing EAB management plans. A diverse array of large-scale strategies has developed. At the tree-level, responses include removal and replacement, a pesticide treatment that lasts two years, and simply doing nothing.
Here’s brief run-down of the ways some cities are responding:
Minneapolis is removing and replacing  100% of its Ash trees
Milwaukee is treating 100% of its Ash trees.
Madison is removing and replacing 60% of its Ash trees, and treating the remaining 40%.
Fitchburg is implementing a “triage” of treatment and removal based on individual tree quality.
Sun Praire is re-assessing its policy of 100% removal and replacement.

11 - Urban Tree Alliance Offers Free Trees in 2016

The Urban Tree Alliance is continuing to offer free trees to people in our entire neighborhood regardless of location in Madison or Fitchburg.
If you are interested in getting a free tree, visit their web page on the Madison Canopy Project:
Last year the UTA planted about 28 trees on private property in the neighborhood and 10 trees in Marlborough Park.  The trees are 2 ½ to 7 feet tall.
12 - Is Radon a Problem in Your House?

Radon is a radioactive gas that can get into your basement.  It can cause lung cancer.
Recent discussions on the online group NextDoor Dunn’s Marsh revealed that some homes near us have radon levels above the danger level of 4.0 pCi/L (Picocuries per liter).    Some respondents had tested their homes and found levels both above and below that level.
The State of Wisconsin all-purpose website about radon  - <file://localhost/radon/index.htm> - notes that elevated radon levels are found in 5-10% of homes in Wisconsin, but a map shows that in our area 42-58% of homes have levels above the danger limit.  This would probably be a measurement taken in the basement.
Homeowners can purchase kits to measure radon or hire a contractor to do check the level.  Home use kits cost about $20.  The state website suggests measuring radon on the lowest level of the home where you spend 7 or more hours a week.

Systems can be installed to lower the level of radon.  That state website noted above lists contractors who can measure radon and install mitigation systems.  Respondents on the NextDoor Dunn’s Marsh site had used the following businesses to install a mitigation system, and most mentioned that the system cost them $750 or more:
·      Zander Solutions in Verona
·     Radon Specialists of WI
·      Eric Mikkelson @ Fresh Aire Systems (608) 835-7669
·     Radon Remediation Specialists (262)684-4400
The following information about radon is on the website.

Radon is an odorless, tasteless, invisible radioactive gas created when elements like uranium, radium and thorium decompose underground, states the National Cancer Institute. Outdoors, it is too diffuse to be harmful, but when it seeps into buildings through cracks in the foundations and walls, concentrations of radon gas build up, especially in lower levels. When people inhale the gas, radioactive particles attack tissue lining the lungs. Cigarette smoking exacerbates the risk of lung cancer death after radon exposure, but radon gas is also the leading cause of lung cancer affecting non-smokers, as reported by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Testing the atmosphere in homes, schools and commercial buildings is the only way to detect dangerous levels of radon, according to the EPA. Tests are performed through do-it-yourself home kits or by trained contractors. One of the most effective methods of reducing radon methods in buildings is soil suction, which involves installing one or more pipes beneath the foundation that vent radon away from the building's interior. This is often accompanied by the sealing of cracks through which radon can flow into the building.


13 - Spring Brings Buzz of Activities to Neighborhood (Attachment: “3 pics busy n’hood.jpg”)

People in the neighborhood haven’t been hibernating all winter and into the spring.  To the contrary, things have been abuzz ever since the last e-News, February 9, 2016.
A glance at the attached picture collage of neighborhood doings (3 pics busy n’hood.jpg) - or within the text of this e-News  - covers just a few:
·      February 11 - The DMNA Council met and listened to our upcoming County Supervisor Richard Kilmer.  A lively discussion ensued.  Twelve people attended.
·      February 13 - John and Thea Bach hosted the DMNA Book Club at their home for a discussion of Seasbiscuit and a showing of the movie by the same name.  Eight people attended.
·      February 16 - The Spring Primary election drew hundreds of people to the polls at the Revival Ridge community room where our neighborhood residents of Madison vote (Ward 76).  Five poll workers from the neighborhood are shown in the photo.
·      March 10 - The DMNA Council met and worked out how to implement two major priorities of the  DMNA this year:  getting rid of litter along the frontage roads and how to partner with businesses to increase DMNA membership.  Six Council members and 2 other people attended.
·      March 12 and 16 - About 60 families signed up for garden plots in Marlborough Community Garden.  There’s space for more, so if you know anyone who wants to garden, read article 6 - Garden Plots Still Available.
·      March 17 - The Cole family hosted a Green Madison presentation as described to the DMNA Council some months earlier.  Nearly a dozen people were present to learn about how a home energy assessment is done and to sign up for one if desired.  For more information about the program, read article 16 - Hold a Green Madison House Party:  Get Benefits.
·      March 19 - The Allied Community Co-op Town meeting at the Boys and Girls Club drew 9 people from the neighborhood.  Photo is in the text of the e-News with article 18 - Neighbors Hear about Progress Toward the Grocery Store.
·      March 20 - The first day of spring was a good day for heading down to the Cannonball Path to search Dunn’s Marsh for migrating waterfowl.  Any number of people took advantage of this bright and sunny day.  Gulls, ducks and geese were enjoying the marsh.  See also “pics winter2spring.jpg.”
·      March 24 and every Tuesday and Thursday - Meadowood Neighborhood Center hosts Senior Meals at noon at the cost of $4 for those 60 and older.  Two neighborhood residents participate in the Thursday meal.  It’s a great bargain and you meet interesting seniors there.  Last Thursday we met Chuck Ward, the man who invented the  “sonic sifter,” a device used in nuclear energy facilities.  (Pictures below.)
·      March 24 - The Verona Road Project Open House, held at Fitchburg Fire Station #2, drew at least 2 neighborhood residents plus one of the organizers of the neighborhood association that is forming on the north side of the Beltline.  (Pictures below.)
14 - It’s The Girls from Ames for the DMNA Book Club for April
information from Thea Bach
The April meeting date for the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association’s Book and Movie Club is not firmly set yet, but the book is.  It is The Girls from Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow, a journalist at the  Wall Street Journal. The story is about 11 childhood friends who grew up in Ames, Iowa, and then maintained an enduring friendship over 40 years even though they eventually lived in 8 different states.
Book and Movie Club members meet at the home of hosts John and Thea Bach.  The evening starts with a potluck at 6:00 p.m.  Discussion begins about 6:30.  The movie - if one is available - is cued up about 7:30.
Contact John or Thea Bach to learn the date and location of the meeting.  Call 274-7730 to talk to one of the hosts or leave a message to contact you about the details.  All neighborhood residents are welcome to join.
15 - More About the Book Club
from Thea Bach

Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association’s Book and Movie Club is a social club that is open to interested residents and meets at the home of John and Thea Bach in the Marlborough section of the neighborhood.
There are currently about 8-10 in the club. This, of course, varies according to interest and personal schedules.   It rarely happens that everyone comes all the time. So, for now, our little humble home is adequate for the club:  however, we have room for more.  
So far we have done the following books and movies: Life of Pi, The Maltese Falcon, The Book Thief, Gone Girl, Orphan Train, I am Malala, Seabiscuit, and the Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian.  
We  are using book club kits from the Madison Public Library.  The list of kits can be found on their website: <>    When you get to the site, you will want to click on book club kits by title. Book club members are urged o look through the list and let Thea know their picks.

We have ruled out some on the list for various reasons, i.e. some have read the book already and feel it is not worth reading again, or ones we knew had too much graphic violence.  We decide together on what we wish to do.  Thea lists who picked what and reports to the group any books that 3 or more have picked.
Books we may read in the future that have been picked by 3 or more at this time are as follows:  The Lowland, My Sister’s Keeper, The Strength That Remains, and The World Without Us.

For meetings, we all bring a dish to share in order to make a complete meal.  If your birthday is near to one of the book club’s meeting dates, let us know so we can have you pick your favorite meal and have a coordinated meal.
Contact Thea at 274-7730 if you want to join the club and receive notices about upcoming books and dates.
16 - Hold a Green Madison House Party:  Get Benefits

Host an energy house party! Invite friends, family, and neighbors to your home, and a local energy expert will use your house to demonstrate efficiency concepts and conduct a simple energy assessment. You don’t need to provide anything, just your home (single family homes or residential buildings with one to three units) and a few guests! Watch the video of a house party! <> <>
Hosting a party entitles the host to a free energy assessment.  Attendees at the party are eligible to sign up for a discounted energy assessment.  

17 - Litter Cleanup Is a Priority for 2016 (Attachment:  “4 pics litter story.jpg”)

Does it make you sick to see the accumlation of litter along the frontage roads and on Britta Parkway?  It definitely gripes the DMNA Council to the point where at the March 10 meeting, we brainstormed 3 ways to try to take care of this problem.
One way is the partnership with the Subway proprietor Scott Cleveland who has the franchise with the Subway restaurant at 4522 Verona Road.  
You may have noticed the poster that asks “Are you homeless or hungry?”  The poster publicizes the program that will provide free meals at Subway in return for helping pick up litter in the neighborhood.  Interested people can call Pastor Tony at (608) 440-0319 or (608) 669-1034.
Those who do call can make a date to pick up litter along the frontage roads.  For each hour of work, the volunteer will get a voucher for a free meal of a 6” sub, a fountain soft drink, and a bag of chips.   A DMNA member will accompany the volunteer worker. The DMNA member works for free. The DMNA is funding this initiative.
A second effort will be more informal.  Whenever a Council member or anyone else in the neighborhood has some free time and wants to clean up the frontage roads, they are highly encouraged to find another neighborhood partner and go to it. At this Council meeting, Yannette Cole, Mary Mullen, and Faith Cholvin vowed to do this.  Tony Williliams also promised to get help from the brotherhood of his church, Second Baptist Church.
In addition, Faith Chovin is to call the City of Madison to ask for recycling bins at the bus stops.
Picking up the litter is not a thankless job. While Mary Mullen did pick up a garbage bin full of litter from a short stretch of the Beltline frontage road on March 28 - including 34 alcohol bottles and cans,  26 non-alcoholic bottles and cans, 5 tiny dope bags, countless fast food plastic and paper cups, sweet and salty snack trash, Swisher cigarillo wrappers, cardboard, and miscellaneous other junk - the prize of all prizes was a $20 bill!!!!   Click on the attachment “pics litter story.jpg” to see the story in pictures.
The other reward is a clean stretch along the Beltline frontage road.  No need to feel like puking every time you leave the neighborhood.
 18 - Neighbors Hear about Progress Toward the Grocery Store

About a dozen people turned out to attend the Allied Community Co-op’s “Town Hall Meeting” on March 19 to learn about progress toward a neighborhood grocery store.  
ACC Chair Cassandra Sonko, standing in the photo below, made the report.   She emphasized that the grant from the City of Madison requires a market analysis before anything happens on the ground.  A grocery store committee is seeing to it that the ACC follows the RFP - Request for Proposal - that was granted to the ACC along with $300,000 in funding over a 3-year period.  The committee will recommend a company to do the market analysis, and assuming the result is positive, a project manager will be hired to help implement the store.  An accounting firm will also be necessary to monitor expenditures related to the grocery store grant.  The ACC Board makes the actual decisions.
It should be noted that the grocery store in the works will be a small “mom and pop”-sized operation.  It won’t compete with large stores like HyVee, Copps, or Woodmans, but is meant to provide a convenient place for residents to get groceries.
Cassandra  pointed out that being a member of the ACC is easy - $1- but buying membership in the cooperative grocery store will require a much bigger outlay.  Of course, that amount hasn’t been decided yet.  That would be getting the cart before the horse.
Cassandra and others had recently attended a co-op convention in Bloomington, IN, where they went to workshops and brought back a DVD of all the workshops.
Meanwhile, a buying club is being developed to bring healthy food now to residents who wish to participate.  To find out more about this, go to  Click on the “Links” in the menu bar and choose Allied Community Coop to see what might be available for ordering.  One needs to set up an account.  As I understand it, the buying club is not operational yet, but may be in the (near?) future.

19 - Neighborhood Buying Club Tested

Tuesday, March 1, marked the trial run of the grocery-buying club in the neighborhood.  
A computer order site was set up.  Interested people could set up an account and make an order.  Robert Rink DaVee of Shooting Star Farm set up the system.
If you are interested in ordering groceries in this way, contact Stephanie Rearick to get on the mailing list to learn about additional order times.  Also, see the URL for Shooting Star Farm, mentioned in article #18 about the grocery store.
20 - Thanks to Those Working for the Grocery Store
                       by Thea Bach
I would like to express gratitude to good neighbors of Dunn’s Marsh - neighbors who are working to cause a grocery store to happen in our neighborhood.  
First of all those who worked with Dane County Time Bank, UW-Extension for Cooperatives, Willy Street Co-op , and the City of Madison:  Cassandra Sonko, Alice Howard, Janie Tompkins, Minnie Rogers, Sina Davis, Selena Pettigrew, Gloria Manadier-Farr, Willie Mae Conklin, Stephanie Rearick, John Murphy, Andrea Hatley, Kristen Moore, Anya Firszt, Mark Woulf, Anne Reynolds, Ruth Rohlich, and Carmella Harris.  
These people saw our need to have accessible and affordable food in our neighborhood.  They are the people who cared enough to write a grant and see it through.  
Our Alder Maurice Cheeks, Mayor Soglin, Sunshine Jones, Jim Lyne, Mary Mullen, Susan Watson, Cindy Harrington, John & Thea Bach, Elvice McAlpine, Linda Miess, Sina Davis, Cassandra Sonko, Selena Pettigrew, Carmella Harris, Gloria Farr, Anya Firszt, Kristen Moore, Paige Wickline, and possibly more I might have missed, all came to city meetings to encourage the process.
Please understand, my neighbor, good communities do not just happen:  people  make the effort to make them happen!  
To all those trying to inform and encourage participation, a big and bold THANK YOU!    Mary Mullen via Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News and flyers, and  those who get the information out by delivering flyers to encourage participation:  Vernon Harrison, Velma Jackson, Jesus Morales, Carmella Harris, Donna Waller, Daphne Maymon, Laura President-Brown, John & Thea Bach, Tommy Pettis, Regina Nance, Kim Zinski, Jim & Julie Lyne, Isabel Becerril & Ruben Ruiz, Rachel Potter, Elvice McAlpine, Susan Watson, Sharon Grant, Jackie Ennerbach, Renee Rice, Donna Sarafin, and Co-op members.
When neighbors work cooperatively for the good of the community, it is marvelous!  Thank you.
I am a Metro rider.  I see neighbors from every area of Dunn’s Marsh gorcery shopping, using the bus.  We all need good food; but a lot of us need a grocery store we can walk to.  My heart-felt gratitude is for our good neighbors who are working to make this happen.
                                                                        Thea Bach, for our grocery store
                                                                        Allied Community Cooperative - Outreadh
21 - Verona Road Project Work Plans
(These are excerpts from the most recent WisDOT e-mail about work plans for the Verona Road Project.)
This past week, crews began removing the existing Beltline bridge over Verona Road (US 18/151).  Due to the recent inclement weather, this nighttime demolition work (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) will continue through Thursday morning (March 28-31). Also, starting Monday night (March 28), traffic on Midvale Blvd. will be shifted west to accommodate the work zone to build the eastern section of the new Midvale Blvd.

Please be alert for construction crews in the area and slow down in all work zones. Read the latest construction update on the upcoming construction work, lane closures and traffic impacts related to the Verona Road Project.  Bad weather may delay some of the schedules mentioned here.
Westbound and eastbound Beltline, Whitney Way to Seminole Highway
  • Updated: Nightly Beltline bridge demolition to continue Monday night through Thursday morning (March 28-31).
    • View the nightly closure (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) of Verona Road/Midvale Boulevard at the Beltline < <> >  during the demolition.
    • Noise is anticipated, but it should be less disruptive than earlier this week.
  • Updated: Read the westbound Beltline construction activities < <> > .
  • NEW RAMP MOVEMENTS: Learn about the temporary ramp exit locations from the westbound Beltline to Verona Road and to Whitney Way < <> > .
  • View the construction staging plans for the Beltline, Whitney Way to Seminole Highway < <> > .
    • Note: You will need to zoom in to see details.
Verona Road, Midvale Boulevard and Mohawk Drive
  • Updated: Nightly full closure of Verona Road/Midvale Boulevard between the westbound and eastbound Beltline ramps < <> >  (under the existing bridge for bridge demolition).
    • 9 p.m. ˆ 5 a.m. (March 28-31)
    • Only right turns permitted in this area. Signed detour routes to be provided for closed movements.
  • Daytime single lane closure on southbound Midvale Blvd. between Nakoma Road and the Beltline. No time restrictions; please be alert for construction crews.
  • Updated: Mohawk Drive CLOSED to through traffic until late May 2016; no detour posted. Access to local businesses to be maintained.
    • Work will begin on new water main, storm sewer and pavement in this area.
  • Updated: Bridge construction to start with grading for new east and west abutments and center pier. Daytime piling operations to begin late in the week.
  • View the pedestrian accommodations along Midvale Blvd. and Verona Road < <> > .
For more information, contact:
Steven Theisen, Verona Road Project Communications Manager, (608) 884-1230

22 - Quarterly Verona Road Open House Dates Announced  
                                   from Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation

Back by popular demand, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) will host quarterly open house meetings in 2016 to discuss design and construction activities for the Verona Road (US 18/151) reconstruction project, from the Madison Beltline south to County PD (McKee Road) in Fitchburg as well as the remaining westbound Beltline expansion, between Seminole Highway and Whitney Way.
When: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the following dates*:
  • Thursday, June 23, 2016
  • Thursday, September 22, 2016
  • Thursday, December 15, 2016
*No formal presentations are scheduled; stop by at your convenience.

Where: City of Fitchburg Fire Station No. 2 (5415 King James Way, Fitchburg)

Maps and exhibits of the Verona Road improvements will be on display. WisDOT representatives will be available at these meetings to discuss the project on an individual basis.

Forward this information to family, friends and co-workers and encourage them to sign up for project email updates < <> > !

STAY INFORMED: Verona Road Project website < <> >  | Project Facebook page < <> >

For more information contact:
Mark Vesperman, P.E.
Verona Road Design Project Manager
(608) 884-1227 | < <> >

Steven Theisen
Verona Road Project Communications Manager
(608) 884-1230 | < <> >

WisDOT and the Verona Road Project Team
  < <> > Follow us on Facebook: < <> >

23 - Notes from Chief Koval Community Forum

On February 29, Madison Police Chief Koval held a community forum at the Meadowood Community Center.  These are notes from his talk and that of West District Captain Vic Wahl.
Midtown Police Station - Building plans underway now. Construction in 2017. District lines realignment: Midtown Station will serve us and will include some areas now in South District.
Coffee With A Cop, Thursdays, 9 am, Steep and Brew, 6656 Odana Road
Why DA’s Office doesn’t concentrate on burglaries - 1/3 fewer prosecuters since the State of Wisconsin, under current administration and Republican control, has cut funding drastically.  Triage to get violent people out of the community as contrasted to concentrating on property crimes.
Policing philosophy - Shift from warrior model to guardian model.  Neighborhood officers are not
“call-driven” but are more involved in quality of life matters and trying to steer kids in right direction. Relational policing.  Some “restorative justice” emphasis for 12-16-year-olds.  Talked about how if a cop is too long on the night shift, they start getting jaded and developing a different culture and attitude, get tunnel vision  - after midnight nearly everyone they encounter is drunk, high.  Culture is hard to change.
How we can help
“Drive-by altruism” isn’t very helpful (backpacks, community meals, Thanksgiving turkeys).  What’s needed is day-by-day tutoring and mentoring. We have more drop-outs than Milwaukee does, and only 500-700 Black kids are reading at grade level.  50% of school children are living in poverty. Poverty and lack of education are what’s making for neighborhoods that “need help.”  
Lock cars, lock doors, don’t leave garage doors open when you are not right in the yard watching.  Arrange that your mail and papers are taken in when you are away.  Know your neighbors. Knock on the door if papers/mail is piling up

Lawsuit to get mental health commitments back to Mendota -
Now 2 police officers are occupied for about 8 hours taking people that need to be committed to Winnebago.  One day there were 4 Madison squads there (8 officers), which was 1/3 of the shift’s work force.  Lawsuit failed.
Ratio of police to population - 1.87/1000.  Nationwide ratio is 2.6/1000, Midwest is 3/1000, Minneapolis is 2.87/1000, Baltimore is 4.46/1000.  Koval feels we should be at 2/1000
Drugs - Got grant for another 600 doses of Noxalone to conteract heroin, but now other drugs are added to heroin which means that several doses of Noxalone are needed to conteract an overdose.
This is not the Madison of the 1960s - 30 shots fired in Madison in 35 days. 17% of calls using multiple units are due to mental health issues.
Police force make-up - Average age of 29.  18% people of color, 31% women.  Need more Latino and Hmong officers.
Homeless - Housing first.  About 2 dozen people downtown appear not to want help.  He is in favor of the new ordinance that was passed barring homeless from City-County building.
Gangs - He estimates 200 active in gang life.  Philosophy is prevention, intervention, and finally suppression.

24 - Former Resident’s Article in Journal of Comparative Politics

“Pride Versus Prejudice:  Ethnicity, National Identity, and Xenophobia in Russia” is the title of an article by former neighborhood resident Nicole M. Butkovich Kraus and her research partner Yoshiko M. Herrera.  It is published in the April 2016 issue of Journal of Comparative Politics.
Nicole, who until last year lived on Sheffield Road with her husband Andy and their young 3 young children, is now an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Rutgers in the Newark College of Arts and Sciences, University College-Newark (New Jersey).
Are you curious about what the two authors found in their research?  Here’s the summary.
This article examines the relationship between ethnicity, national identity, and xenophobia in Russia. Using survey data we analyze three hypotheses that might explain xenophobia toward five different groups: Roma, Chechens, Azerbaijanis, Muslims, and Americans. We find support for social dominance theory in a positive relationship between Slavic ethnicity and xenophobia. We then go beyond ethnicity to analyze Russian national identity content, and we find that pride does not simply equal prejudice: particular types of national identity content predicted greater or lesser xenophobia depending on the target group. Finally, we analyze theories of economic threat and xenophobia, and the findings are unexpected: higher income is associated with greater hostility toward most groups, and, for most target groups, economic vulnerability does not increase xenophobia.

By the way, xenophobia is the fear or hatred of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange, particularly of foreigners or strangers or of their politics or culture.
The website for the journal in which this article is published describes itself as follows:
Comparative Politics, an international journal presenting scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and processes, communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, students, and public and NGO officials. The journal is indispensable to experts in universities, research organizations, foundations, embassies, and policymaking agencies throughout the world.

Nicole Kraus is not the first Universtiy of Wisconsin Ph.D candidate who has spent graduate years living in the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood.  Another who comes to mind is Chris Lowry, now an Assistant Professor of Geology at the University at Buffalo, New York.  Read about his work in sustainability at <file://localhost/sustainability/research/faculty-q-a/chris-lowry.html>   
Chris was a member of the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Council  some years ago and was instrumental in the establishment of the rain garden in Marlborough Park.
Personally, I wish these folks could have stayed in our neighborhood forever.


25 - Mayor Soglin Urges Families to Claim Their Earned Income Tax Credit
   excerpts from a press release from Mayor Soglin

Mayor Soglin reminded Madison residents who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to take the steps necessary to claim their benefits.  The Credit can provide significant cash payments to eligible residents.  However, each year millions of dollars are forfeited because residents fail to submit their claims.
The Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal benefit designed to boost the incomes of lower-wage workers.  It provides a payment to qualified single workers who earn as much as $47,747, or married couples earning up to $53,267.  The amount of the credit, which can reach as high was $6,242 for a household with three or more children, depends on the amount of income that is earned and the number of children in the household. …

“The first thing people need to understand is that they need to file a federal tax return in order to get the EITC credit,” said the Mayor.  “That is true even if a person isn’t required to file a return because they don’t make enough money or owe any taxes.  This fact probably causes the most confusion about the EITC.  If you don’t file a federal income tax return and claim the Credit, you won’t get the benefit,” he said.  “It’s as simple as that.”
Individuals and families in Madison [or elsewhere] that have questions about the EITC, or need help claliming it, are encouraged to take advantage of free assistance that is available…
Free tax assistance is available at the Richard Dilley Tax Center located in the Villager Mall, at 2300 South Park Street. This volunteer site, provided through a partnership between the Dane Councty UW-Extension financial Education Center and AARP, is open every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday through April 16, without appointment.  Help is also available from trained volunteers at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites throughout Madison, including the Senior Center, the Central Library, and several library branches.  A complete list of all locations offering free tax preparation… can be accessed by contacting 2-1-1 or the Dane County UW- Extension Financial Education Center at (608) 261-5077, or by using their website:

26 - Hotel Credit Card Scam Explained
           from SAIL, Supporting Active Independent Lives

Unfortunately scammers are continuing to find new ways to get your credit card information! If you travel and stay in hotels, please read this:

Typically when you arrive at a hotel and check in at the front desk you leave a credit card for incidental charges.

Scammers have figured out how to call hotel rooms and look like they are calling from the front desk. The scammer will say something like "this is the front desk and we came across a problem with your charge card information. Please re-read me your credit card number and verify the last 3 digits numbers on the reverse side of your card." They may even ask you to verify your personal information like spelling of your name, address, etc. They sound so professional, that you think you are talking to the front desk.

If you ever encounter this scenario on your travels, tell the caller that you will go down to the front desk to clear up any problems. Then, go to the front desk or call directly and ask if there was a problem and inform the manager of the hotel that someone tried to scam you of your credit card information, acting like a front desk employee.

ANYONE traveling should be aware of this one.
-------------  End of the 3/31/16 Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News --------------
                                              Thanks for reading.