Lots To Cover

All kinds of interesting things going on, so let’s cover some ground this morning.

Muldrow Makes Sense

Last night the Madison School Board was its usual opaque self. The Board was supposed to rule on the appeal of his dismissal by former Sennett Middle School Principal Jeffrey Copeland. After a brief closed session meeting, the Board members left without comment. The district then issued a press release saying that they didn’t act because of some technical glitch in the meeting notice without bothering to explain what that glitch was. It’s another example of this district being ludicrously secretive about things that should be simple.

Ali Muldrow’s comments were encouraging.

In any event, there appears to be hope for Copeland, who was fired because he allegedly violated the districts “anti-racist” policies. Board President Ali Muldrow made a lot of sense when she told the Wisconsin State Journal:

“I don’t think anti-racism and zero tolerance are compatible. I think if you want to have an anti-racist school district, then you have to embrace things like restorative justice, you have to understand that people are going to make mistakes, that people say things that are insensitive. You have to have an ability not just to eliminate or dispose anybody who’s ever had a racist idea or said something in a way that could be interpreted as racist, but you have to have an ability to repair harm when those things come up, as they inevitably will.”

Copeland had been credited by teachers and parents with bringing much-needed order to the school. We can only hope that the Board will fix it’s meeting notice and put Copeland back to work.

Six More Years of This

Credit Sen. Tammy Baldwin for helping to engineer an encouraging bipartisan vote to protect marriage equality. Yesterday a bill requiring states to recognize marriages performed in other states passed the Senate with all the Democrats and 12 Republicans voting for it. It’s intended to be a bulwark against a potential Supreme Court decision that would reverse a 2015 decision that struck down laws prohibiting same sex marriage. Among the 12 Republicans was not our own Sen. Ron Johnson. Johnson indicated he would vote for it until he decided he wouldn’t. Six more years of this guy.

Yet Another Shooting

When are Madison’s leaders going to discover a sense of urgency about the bullets flying in our city? Yesterday a man was shot at point blank range at least five times on the 100 block of State Street at 3:30 in the afternoon. Earlier this month a man was shot and killed on Lakeside Street a couple blocks from Franklin Elementary School, also in broad daylight. No comment from the mayor’s office and the comments on crime from her challenger are indecipherable.

On the Same Track

Madison is asking for input on where a train station should be located should the Federal government fund new passenger rail service to our city. You may remember seeing this movie before. About a decade ago, with $810 million in Federal support assured, Madison decided that its station would be downtown at the site of the DOA building. Then Scott Walker got elected and it all went away. Now, the city is revisiting all the same sites we looked at back then. It’s probably the thing to do. Development patterns have changed a lot in ten years and so it’s worth a fresh look. For what it’s worth, I still think the train should come downtown.

It Only Gets More Ridiculous

The UW will pay new football coach Luke Fickell an average of $7.8 million in each of the next seven years. That’s fine by me. Fickell looks to be a catch and he’s just demanding what the market will bear. Meantime, his players get virtually nothing. Sure, the high-profile players can make some money by pitching products and most players get a scholarship, free meals and the like. But let’s put that in perspective. Even if we value a scholarship with all the add-ons at $50,000 a year, which is generous, Fickell will be making 156 times more than his players. Fickell is just taking everything the market will allow, so why not allow the players to do the same? NIL is fine. Scholarships are fine. But the university should pay them a salary commensurate with what the free market would demand. Just like their coach.

The Greatest Game Ever

I mocked soccer the other day and, whoa, I heard from soccer fans. I’m told that at least one reader unsubscribed because of it. Another said that I didn’t know what I was talking about — which I both admitted in my piece and which is not unusual for me on any subject. So let me acknowledge for the record that the United States beat Iran yesterday to advance to the next round of the World Cup in soccer, a game that defines what it is to be human, an endeavor that is the most significant undertaking in the history of our species. I did happen to miss all the excitement, but in my own defense, it was played during my regularly scheduled nap.


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

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