Downtown development needs to accept reality
I would like to thank the village for inviting the Department of Transportation (DOT) to the Public Works meeting on July 30, and certainly, I appreciate their attendance.
I think the purpose of my request was misunderstood. I had hoped the DOT and the village could discuss village’s vision for downtown redevelopment and for the public and village to understand what DOT is willing to do to accommodate these goals.
Why? In my understanding from the planning documents, the village wishes to create a destination shopping, dining, and living district with the attendant dense housing to support the retail side of things. The village continues to suggest that individuals living in the apartments will give up their cars and become pedestrians. Given that I understand DOT’s goal to move traffic as quickly as possible to be in direct opposition to lots of stops for pedestrians, I thought the fairest way to begin community discussions around redevelopment in this area would be for everyone to understand the planning limitations created by DOT.
Unfortunately, the discussion centered on a single pedestrian indicator at Water Street. The broader issues of the recent traffic study conducted by DOT with traffic counts was not discussed. The concern that Main Street is perceived as unsafe for children to cross for school remains unaddressed. The issue of left turns and ease of access was dismissed, an especially concerning turn of events since the ease of commuting is a selling point for Waunakee and the region. The willingness of DOT and the village to collaboratively work with the Rail Authority to identify potential alternative east/west routes remains outstanding. The impact of the perception that downtown is an unsafe for pedestrians also remains nagging thought as we move forward with consideration of amending our ordinances for parking stalls downtown. While these issues are most acute for those living downtown, the reality is they impact many parts of the village.
All I want is for the village to set reasonable expectations for citizens and developers. What reasonable steps can be taken to minimize the surprises associated with these projects? What is the current infrastructure and to what extent can we modify it for new uses? If it is unchangeable, can we redirect developers to locations where the infrastructure can accommodate them? These are the questions I want answered.
Poem celebrates wildflowers
Just two weeks ago, I included one of my aunt’s home-spun verses in a letter I wrote to the Tribune. Many have contacted me to say that they really loved Florence Harwood’s writings. Now that summer is in full bloom, it is so beautiful. Even the roadsides are festooned with wildflowers in a variety of colors. Aunt Florence wrote about one of these:
Queen Anne’s Lace
Queen Anne had wasted her precious laces
and spread them out to dry
in a green a sunny meadow
beneath a deep blue sky.
Magician Merlin who was passing
was enchanted with their grace
transformed them into flowers
and called them Queen Anne’s lace.
James P. Koltes
Emergency Services Academy well worth it
Following the tragic events of the Sun Prairie explosion recently, I felt compelled to promote an opportunity that every person who works or lives in Waunakee should give serious consideration to participate in. The Waunakee Emergency Services Academy gives members an inside look at the Emergency Services Waunakee provides.
The Academy is designed to increase understanding between citizens and our emergency responders by having participants be introduced to emergency services operations and participate in many of the same training sessions that our emergency responders go through.
The Waunakee Emergency Services Academy this year will be held every Wednesday from 6-8:30 p.m. Sept. 5-Oct. 30 (Note: Oct. 30 is a Tuesday due to Halloween.).
Included in the hands-on Citizen’s Academy nine-week program is:
•Police defense and arrest tactics/taser demonstration.
•Participation in Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) where participants can drive a squad car on a race track course.
•Police Simunitions – response to active shooter scenarios utilizing simunition rounds.
•Drug investigations, alcohol investigations, accident investigations, crime scene investigations and K-9 demonstration.
•Fire department equipment demos and building tour.
•Basic EMS skills, CCR training, equipment demos and building tour.
Participant requirement for the Citizen’s Academy must meet the following criteria:
•Live or work in Waunakee.
•18 years of age or older.
•Have no felony convictions.
Just as I try to extend a “thank you” to anyone I meet who has served in our military, the same gratitude I feel goes out to those in our Emergency Services, which include our Police Department, Fire Department all of our EMS personnel. Part of the gratitude that we all should show to those in our Emergency Services is also the support that they need financially, whether that be for equipment, training or hiring of personnel so that they can best serve and protect us.
If you would be interested in getting an insight into Waunakee’s Emergency Services and participate in the Waunakee Emergency Services Academy 2018, applications can be picked up at the Waunakee Police Department at 205 N. Klein Dr. in Waunakee.
Questions can be answered by contacting Sgt. Asher Torbeck at (608) 849-4523.
The Trumpeter trumps
Donald toots his trumpet, telling all of his greatness, trump, trump..
The tweeter tweets chirp, chirp…
He may fool some of the people some of the time, but he can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
Donald reminds of the story of the “Emporer’s New Clothes.” A top-notch tailor made a mighty man new clothes. The tailor told the emperor the clothes were spun of gold and made of the finest cloth. The good citizens of the kingdom wouldn’t tell the emporer he didn’t have a stitch on. Not a single person spoke the truth. The emporer was told he looked exquisite in his new clothes.
An innocent young child yelled, “He is naked.” The truth came out.
Will today’s politicians do what’s necessary to protect democracy and the people of this country, or will they ignore the truth to remain in favor with a man who is delusional? Will Ryan and Johnson speak the truth or allow Trump to continue his assault on this country and the people in it? Time will tell, and the Trumpeter trumps.
Help was appreciated
I am writing to express my thanks to Tribune readers who sent me on my journey.
To those who thought I was imposing, I can and do understand.
God bless, and remember me in your prayers.
With a grateful heart I am.