EASING THE BURDEN IN A BAD ECONOMY The recession-sturdy Madison beneﬁts from strong corps of resources for homeless FEATURES
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Complete campus coverage since 1892
units MPM owns
MPM spokesperson said the majority of their tenants are satisﬁed with how the properties are managed
Seven target MPM and three target other landlords of the 10 repair cases investigated
A UW-Madison student said MPM waited four months to take care of a raccoon and squirrel problem
DANNY MARCHEWKA/THE DAILY CARDINAL
THE CARDINAL INVESTIGATES... MADISON PROPERTY MANAGEMENT An in-depth look into MPM’s housing repair practices By Ryan Hebel THE DAILY CARDINAL
The ﬁrst two parts of this Madison landlord series looked closely at MPM’s subtle accounting ﬂaws, photo ordinance omissions and controversial interpretations of “normal wear and tear.” These problems can be tricky for tenants to spot. Maintenance problems are a different story. Of the ten maintenance complaints investigated, seven targeted MPM. Maintenance complaints also targeted Apex Property Management, JSM Properties and Wisconsin Management Company. However, the strongest evidence came from those complaints against MPM. Sewage Backup Sours Trust Earlier this year, The Daily Cardinal reported a story about UW
graduate Nate Lustig, who said MPM had ignored a sewage backup in the basement of his West Washington Avenue home. Lustig said after winter break he and his four roommates alerted an MPM representative to a terrible stench in parts of the house. According to Lustig, the representative initially brushed off their concerns and told Lustig the smell was probably from not cleaning. Two weeks later, Lustig discovered that “over 50 percent of the basement was covered” in sewage backup. Lustig decided to contact the actual property owner, Dan Rigney, who called a plumber to ﬁx the problem almost immediately, Lustig said. One week later, Rigney said he called MPM, asking them to smooth things over with Lustig to change his mind about approaching media outlets. Fifteen minutes later, Rigney said Lustig called him to say that MPM had just threatened to sue Lustig if he relayed false information to the media. Soon after the article came out,
Rigney e-mailed MPM to say he would be marketing the property himself for the coming fall to avoid tensions between MPM and the tenants. Days later, Rigney said a big snowstorm hit and Lustig called him to say MPM had plowed the surrounding two driveways, but not his. “At ﬁrst, I was almost wondering if it was in retaliation or something,” Rigney said. Instead, MPM told Rigney they thought he had ﬁred them. Although it was not his original intention, Rigney said he decided to “sever all ties” with MPM after the conversation, at least for this and next year. He said that, though he respects MPM President James Stopple as an “accessible owner” and “straightshooter,” he doesn’t think the rest of MPM’s staff shares Stopple’s vision. “Sometimes [MPM’s staff] comes across, I don’t want to say arrogant but ... they do,” Rigney said.
PART 3 OF 3
mpm page 3
ASM passes partial endorsement of chancellor’s new initiative By Rory Linnane THE DAILY CARDINAL
The Associated Students of Madison partially endorsed of the Wisconsin Initiative for Undergraduates Wednesday and resolved to create a shared governance committee to oversee the allocation of the funds if the initiative passes. “We are hemorrhaging faculty. It’s directly impacting the quality of edu-
cation,” ASM representative Jeffrey Wright said. “Something’s got to give. Students on this campus who can be giving more should be giving more.” While ASM supports the initiative’s vision, the group has lingering questions about how the initiative will operate if passed by the UW System Board of Regents in May. ASM Chair Brittany Wiegand said she hopes the partial endorse-
BY THE NUMBERS
Madison Property Management responds to investigative series
ment will allow ASM to wield leverage as Chancellor Biddy Martin, who drafted the plan, continues discussion about the initiative. “If I was in her position and I had one group’s full support and another group with questions, I would pay more attention to the group with questions,” Wiegand said. asm page 3
Weekend, April 9-12, 2009
Peterson cellmate charged with assisting in suicide Joshua Walters, the cellmate of Adam Peterson, was charged with contributing to Peterson’s suicide in the Dodge Correctional Institution in January 2009, according to a complaint ﬁled Tuesday. Peterson, 22 at the time of his death, was convicted of killing former UWMadison student Joel Marino Jan. 28, 2008 and was serving a life sentence in jail at the time of his death. An inmate at the facility identiﬁed as “JGQ” came forward to detectives after the incident, indicating Walters told him about Peterson’s suicide. According to the complaint, Walters, 20, told JGQ he convinced Peterson to commit suicide. He told Peterson he would also commit suicide after Peterson did. The defendant said Peterson had not planned on com-
mitting suicide because his family was planning to visit the next weekend. The defendant told JGQ he helped Peterson tie the sheet to the bed, but that Peterson administered the noose around his neck on his own. According to the complaint, following Peterson’s hanging, the defendant wrapped a towel around Peterson’s neck to help him pass out. One hour after Peterson hung himself, the defendant called an ofﬁcer to inform them of Peterson’s death. JGQ told detectives the defendant was “nervous” on the night of Peterson’s death and asked, “Can you get in trouble for helping someone kill themselves?” Walters faces a $10,000 dollar ﬁne and 6 years in prison if convicted. —Erin Banco
KYLE BURSAW/THE DAILY CARDINAL
Megan Sallomi of WUD’s Society and Politics Committee speaks to people on Library Mall Wednesday about combating sexual assault.
UW students participate in Sexual Assault Day of Action By Brandice Altﬁllisch THE DAILY CARDINAL
Tables and volunteers encircled Library Mall Wednesday for Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment’s Sexual Assault Day of Action. According to PAVE member Kari Mickelson, the main objective of the event was to promote awareness and collect pledges encouraging sexual assault awareness. “We’re just trying to get as many people as we can to sign these little pledges saying that they’ll do whatever they can to stop sexual violence, and ... get the word out and get people motivated,” she said. In addition to handing out pledges, table workers offered sexual assault awareness ribbons, informational pamphlets and free condoms. Representatives from groups including Sex Out Loud, Rape Crisis Center, Students for Social Welfare and Campus Women’s Center showed up to show their support. “I think it’s a wonderful event,” Michele Totoni, member of Students for Social Welfare, said. “I do know people who have experienced sexual
assault, so when you know somebody ... it makes all of this a little bit more personal to you.” Recommendations for students interested in becoming more involved included attending one of Sexual Assault Awareness Month’s featured events, donating time or money to the Rape Crisis Center and supporting sexual assault victims and allies. Society and Politics Committee table worker Megan Sallomi said sexual assault awareness is an issue all students should take part in. “I think that [Sexual Assault Day of Action] has signiﬁcance for everyone because, whether or not you know it, we probably all know someone who’s been affected by it,” Sallomi said. “It’s a big part of our society and it doesn’t get as much attention as it should get.” According to Kelly Anderson, director of the Dane County Rape Crisis Center, coordinators of this month’s events have been “thrilled” with the campus’ student initiative thus far. Students interested in more information about future Sexual Assault Awareness Month events can visit www.danecountyrcc.org.
“…the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.”
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Weekend, April 9-12, 2009
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MATT HUNZIKER his dark matterials
f a thought occurs to you ﬁrst thing after waking up, it’s always best to write it down immediately. Is it good? Is it bad? Where does it come from? Those are questions to ask later, when you know for certain that you’re awake, since it’s a fact there’s no use asking questions if you’re still in a dream—no one ever has the decency to give a straight answer, that is, if they’re talking at all. “I’m going to invent the next great pink ball character,” I thought when I got out of bed this morning, not sure whether or not this was important but taking care to write it down just the same. But then, looking down at what I’d just written, I became frightened, because I knew it meant that I must still be asleep—a thought like that simply has no place on a weekday morning. Why so frightened? Awake, getting your feet on the bedroom ﬂoor means being ﬁve minutes from a hot shower, or you could go straight to breakfast.
Asleep, there’s no choice at all. One second you’re sitting on the edge of the bed and the next you’re tumbling down a mountainside or drunkenly cavorting on the back of an antelope, without anyone bothering to ask what your preference might be. It’s terrible going to the effort of getting out of bed ,only to realize that you haven’t gotten out of bed at all. Annoyed with this circumstance, I stalled for a minute, knowing that it wouldn’t do me any good. “Pink ball character, indeed,” I sniffed. “What do I need with this or any other of your ideas?” “It goes back to Plato and the simple perfection of the world of ideal forms itself,” I answered, sounding like I was getting ready to go on and on for a long time. He’s always so pompous! Drawling on about God knows what while I’m in agony, wondering if I’m about to be hurled out of this conversation and into a Moscow train wreck. “...the lineage of the commercially viable pink-hued spheroid, traceable back through Jigglypuff and Kirby to...” I rambled on somewhere—the blowhard! I’ll just have to wait until he runs out of steam, I thought, still sitting on the edge of the bed, or more likely, fast
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asleep yet and concentrating on ignoring myself. Oh, confusion! “Leave me alone,” I said, cutting him off. “If I’m really awake, let me get up for a bowl of cereal and I’ll think about this pink ball nonsense later. And if I’m really asleep and dreaming, where’s the Archangel Gabriel from earlier, and why didn’t he mention anything about ‘spheroids?’ This shut him up, but now the old Archangel, who’d been silent up until that point, started growling at me. Aha, I thought, still a dream then. “Growl if you like,” I said. “But where were you earlier when I was forced to sit through that idiotic lecture about dead Greeks and Japanese anthromorphs?” I tried to sound conﬁdent, but the whole while I was thinking, “Matt, you shouldn’t browbeat the angels. People say they’re so nice, but they can give a horrible tongue lashing if they’re feeling low, and then you’ll wish you really were in a ﬂipped-over train rather than sitting, disheveled, in your underwear while the heralds of heaven stand over you raining abuse.” Nevertheless, I kept scolding Gabriel, thinking, “If this really is a dream I don’t have a choice in the matter anyway.” “It’s cruel for you angels to sit back and
watch a person torture themselves with these questions when they should be properly asleep or on a train somewhere on the way to a collision.” At that the angel stopped his growling, clicked a few times and walked off. Then a new, softer voice started in: “That’s alright, Matt, about the confusion. If you’re awake or asleep, who knows? But either way, you’ll be up for certain before you know it with a hot shower waiting for you.” “And the yogurt and the grapefruit?” I asked. “Those too.” Oh, I got terribly excited. “Thanks!” I told them. Of course you’ll say, “Yes, yes, Matt. But who was it?” But I don’t have any idea. Or if I did, I didn’t think to write it down, since I was still so sure it was a dream, and then it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, who it was talking about the grapefruit, or if the horrible pink ball idea was mine or the angel’s, or whether I was right when I said that if a thought occurs to you ﬁrst thing after waking up it’s always best to write it down immediately. 800 grams of sherry? E-mail Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Beer Thursday Sierra Nevada Torpedo extra IPA Way long ago, when India was part of the British Empire, the Brits tried their best to get a beer to retain its hoppy flavor during the long journey from England to South Asia. The only solution was to double the hops and then send it over, hence the name India Pale Ale. So when you’re drinking an IPA, it’s because you don’t want the flavor to diminish on its trip from Britain to India. Sierra Nevada has done IPAs and the like for years and always produced a quality product. Now, they’ve achieved the pinnacle of
IPAs. The new Torpedo Extra IPA is the perfect beer. It’s smooth, rich and has an excellent balance of bitter hops and sweet malts for an IPA. At 7.2 percent a.b.v., it can cut the edge off of a tough day of classes, and doesn’t cost a fortune. A simply delicious beer—there’s nothing more I could ask for from an IPA.
Sierra Nevada • Torpedo extra IPA $7.99 at Riley’s Wines of the World
Sexual Assault Awareness Month Fact of the Day: In one year, over 4,000 incidents of rape or other types of sexual assault occurred in public schools across the country. Weekend, April 9-12, 2009
Nonﬁscal items cut from budget By Grace Urban THE DAILY CARDINAL
In a memo released Tuesday, Joint Finance Committee co-chairs state Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, and state Rep. Mark Pocan, DMadison identiﬁed 45 nonﬁscal items they plan to pull from the 2009-’11 state budget, but did not remove the statewide smoking ban or domestic-partner beneﬁts from the budget. The recommendations follow a list of policy items within the budget released by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Items removed will be introduced as separate bills. “The co-chairs of the committee believe there are ﬁscal ramiﬁcations with both of those items,” said John Anderson, spokesperson for Miller. According to Chris Daniels, LGBTQ issues director of the
United Council of UW Students, domestic-partner beneﬁts have been included in a number of previous budgets, but have yet to remain through the ﬁnal vote. Daniels believes the lack of domestic-partner beneﬁts in the state is driving faculty and staff away from the UW System and toward better offers, often reluctantly. “That’s why this is really exciting that the Joint Finance Committee has kept this and has said this is really a priority,” Daniels said. With the implementation of domestic-partner beneﬁts, health care could go up as little as 0.5 percent, Daniels said. State Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, a staunch supporter of the statewide smoking ban, is equally pleased the smoking regulations are remaining within the budget.
“It would save millions of dollars if we kept it in,” Risser said. “It will reduce the state’s health-care costs and taxpayers’ costs.” JFC member state Rep. Robin Vos, R-Racine, said he thinks the list of items the JFC removed was too short and the smoking ban and domestic-partner beneﬁts have no ﬁscal impact. He said the list compiled by the LFB was much longer. “The co-chairs agreed to take out most of the things that were not controversial that were policy items,” Vos said. “Anything that they thought might have a problem passing, they left in.” He added that leaving nonﬁscal items in the budget can lead to the enactment of bad policies because “bad ideas don’t get the scrutiny in the light of day that they would as a separate bill.”
Student arrested over beer pong table dispute Tuesday night A UW senior was arrested Tuesday after his roommate called the police about a broken beer pong table and a messy apartment. Police were dispatched to Lucky Apartments, 777 University Ave., around 7:30 p.m. after a civil complaint call was made. Ofﬁcers attempted to resolve a dispute between the two roommates about where to store a $140 beer pong table and responsibilities for cleaning up trash in the residence. Ofﬁcers left the apartment after they thought
mpm from page 1 Home sweet home… for rodents While Lustig was complaining about sewage, UW senior Ian Viney was having his own issues with MPM’s response to a squirrel and raccoon infestation in his house, which was just two houses down from Lustig. Viney said when he and his six roommates returned from winter break he remembered hearing a sound above his closet “like something chewing through two-by-fours.” Viney called MPM, who soon discovered a one-foot square hole in the roof, patched it, and told Viney they placed traps in attic. Viney said this was strange because he had told the maintenance crew the noises were coming exclusively from between the second and third ﬂoor, not the attic. Eventually, a neighbor told his roommate she saw two raccoons climb onto the roof and “disappear” into the house one night in early March. Viney said there is a large tree near his house that the raccoons could have used to get to the roof. By March, not only had the attic traps not worked, Viney said an entire family had moved in, judging by the nocturnal clamor above his bedroom. “It usually starts at around 10 or 11 at night and doesn’t stop until … well I’ve been woken up at three in the morning because the raccoons were ﬁghting,” Viney said. Later in March, Viney e-mailed MPM and told them he still had a problem. Viney said the sounds were more like squirrels “scurrying” than “ﬁghting” raccoons by then. An MPM property agent said Viney needed to set up an appointment with MPM’s maintenance crew to solve the problem and locate the rodents, though Viney said he already relayed the information when MPM set their traps. MPM attorney Rachel Govin said
the issues were resolved. According to a police report, two hours later the 911 center received another call from the 21year-old complainant who said the beer pong table was pushed in front of his door with trash stacked on top by his roommate. The roommate also allegedly threw a garbage can full of trash on top of the table owned by the complainant, creating a hole in the center of the table. Ofﬁcers arrived back at the
apartment to ﬁnd that “tempers had escalated,” according to Ofﬁcer Howard Payne. When the roommate was asked whether he had damaged the table, he responded, “Anything is possible.” “The possibility of arrest signiﬁcantly increased with ofﬁcers on scene after that statement,” Ofﬁcer Payne said. Jeffrey Klein, 22, was arrested and charged with intentional damage to property and a probationhold violation.
in a recent e-mail she doubted the animals were still living, though Viney’s previous e-mail to MPM indicated he could still hear the noises from the same area of his house. On Monday, MPM maintenance crews climbed Viney’s roof and later told him they had seen a squirrel crawl out from a hole in his roof. Although MPM had insisted on meeting with Viney before taking care of the situation, he said they patched the holes without telling him, and spoke to him for “about 30 seconds” afterwards. Viney said he gives MPM credit for doing something, but he wishes they would have be more “proactive.” Viney said the last time he heard the noises was April 2, and that the warming spring temperatures may have solved his problem before MPM.
Solutions for landlord accountability Ald. Eli Judge, Dist. 8, is no stranger to tenant complaints in his two years on the Common Council, especially around security deposit time and “particularly in the ﬁeld of repairs and cleaning.” Recognizing the need for more tenant resources to boost education, Judge recently unveiled his plan for a “Rate My Landlord” website. Students might recognize the basic concept from professor-rating websites, but Judge said “Rate My Landlord” will be more professional and impartial, with opportunities for landlords to respond to tenant complaints. “We want to make sure it has credibility and legitimacy not only among tenants, but also among the property owner community,” Judge said. He said the website’s goal is two-fold: rewarding responsible landlords and protecting tenants from bad apples. Judge expects the site to be ready for the 2009 August turnover period. State Rep. Gordon Hintz, DOshkosh, and Chair of the Assembly Committee on Consumer Protection, said landlord accountability is more important now than ever. “One of the things we see in a down economy is more people vulnerable to being taken advantage of,” Hintz said. Whether addressing problems with security deposit deductions, accounting practices or maintenance issues, District 2 Alder and Tenant Resource Center Director Brenda Konkel, stressed education as the ﬁrst step toward empowering student tenants. “The lack of knowledge is absolutely huge … I really think that there needs to be more funding for outreach for students,” Konkel said. Check out the Opinion section of The Daily Cardinal today for a response by Madison Property Management to this three-part series.
“Tenants can take advantage of their landlords as well” Although the strongest evidence of maintenance problems came from complaints against MPM, Madison’s Building Inspector Director George Hank said he had not noticed any particular agencies with comparatively high complaints in the campus area. He said areas of inexpensive, high-turnover housing are exploited more often than student areas. MPM Operations Manager Nicky Snarski recognized MPM makes occasional maintenance mistakes but said it received “just as many compliments.” Apex owner Brian Bosben agreed, adding that one of the reasons he is shifting away from managing downtown properties is because student tenants can take advantage of their landlords as well. “We have found that students do far more damage to their units and have less respect for the neighborhood and neighbors,” Bosben said. “The amount of time and repairs spent on student units is about four times that of our other residential apartments.”
Outside groups quiet in court election, likely to resurface By Megan Orear THE DAILY CARDINAL
Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson’s victory Tuesday ended a Supreme Court race mostly free of the special-interest involvement that overwhelmed the previous two elections for the state’s high court. However, watchdog groups warn Supreme Court elections are still in need of reform. In 2007 and 2008, Supreme Court Justices Annette Ziegler and Michael Gableman, respectively, defeated their opponents in races inundated with “issue” ads from outside groups, which ended up spending more than the candidates during the campaigns. Tuesday’s election is not a sign that Supreme Court races are moving away from the trend of being “hijacked” by outside interest groups, according to Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. “I think what happened this year has a lot to do with the strength of the incumbent chief justice,” McCabe said. “She was seen as such a formidable candidate and was really seen as unbeatable. A lot of interest groups that would have been inclined to jump into this race didn’t see it as a good investment of their time or money.”
asm from page 1 Wiegand said ASM will fully endorse the initiative if representatives feel their questions have been addressed. Representative Dakota Kaiser, who voted against the resolution, said the plan could backﬁre by turning away low-income students who see the rise in tuition and are unaware of the aid. “I don’t know how I could tell the next generation of students that I voted on this without seeing a contingency plan to communicate the ﬁnancial aid to students,” Kaiser said. The resolution calls for ASM and the chancellor to cooperate in creating a shared governance committee made up of students, faculty and staff to oversee the initiative’s operations. ASM Chair Brittany Wiegand said she will ask the chancellor
The Greater Wisconsin Committee, the one interest group visible in this election, ran an ad in favor of Abrahamson, but McCabe said they probably did not affect the outcome. Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, agreed court elections are still vulnerable to the inﬂuence of outside groups. He said there is hope for substantial reform, citing a measure to disclose the spending of interest groups that is already before the state Legislature. Heck also lauded the possibility of public ﬁnancing for all elections, a measure he said leaders of both houses of the Legislature support. Abrahamson raised close to $1.5 million, and her opponent, Jefferson County Judge Randy Koschnick, raised under $200,000. According to McCabe, her immense fundraising advantage “short-changed” voters because they only heard from one candidate. “I think that’s a sign that our Supreme Court elections are far from being in good health,” McCabe said. According to UW-Madison professor of political science Charles Franklin, special interests will likely play a part in the gubernatorial, congressional and Supreme Court elections in 2010 and 2011. to allow ASM to establish the committee, which would allow students to have a majority. Martin said she supported the idea of a student majority on the committee. ASM also resolved to create a subcommittee of the shared governance committee to look particularly at the allocation of funds to student support services. This committee would be all students. The chancellor will make ﬁnal decisions, but ASM representatives were conﬁdent the student committees would have a large impact. “[The committee does not] have ﬁnal say, but like in a lot of shared governance committees, in the end the work that goes in on the back end is so much that you kind of have to take the proposals,” Academic Affairs Chair Chris Tiernan said.
featureshomelessness 4 Weekend, April 9-12, 2009
Lending a helping hand Even amid a recession, Madison-area resources have helped cushion the fall for the homeless and poverty stricken Story by Liana Bratton
LORENZO ZEMELLA/THE DAILY CARDINAL
Porchlight has provided shelter, housing and support for the homeless population in Madison since 2004.
ingle mother of four “Susan” doesn’t know what to do. If she continues working her third job, she will fall into a slightly higher income bracket and no longer qualify for government assistance. If she quits her third job, she will be dependent on welfare just to feed her family. This hitch in poverty legislation is just one of many obstacles people in the lowest income bracket face every day that further perpetuate the cycle of poverty and subsequent dependence on government aid. Poverty statistics and service organizations throughout Madison conﬁrm that the weak economy is not increasing the number of homeless people in the city. According to Major Paul Moore of the Salvation Army in Madison, although the number of homeless people is more than ten years ago, the number peaked in 2006. Fortunately, there are many organizations in Madison dedicated to lessening the suffering that accompanies poverty. One such organization, Porchlight, offers emergency shelter and help with the search for transitional and permanent housing. Executive Director of Porchlight Steven Schooler commented that so far the number of people needing to be served has not increased and his volunteer staff remains very committed to its inhabitants. “We aren’t here to analyze where the poverty stems from, we are a responsive organization dedicated to meeting
whatever need is in the community,” Schooler said. Will Workman, editor of Street Pulse, a newspaper written and sold by low-income individuals, believes it is only a matter of time before the people of Madison begin to feel the full force of the bad economy. “There may not be an increased number of homeless right now, but the question is what is going to happen in the next few months,” Workman said. According to Workman, there are a lot of people in Madison on the brink of becoming homeless. The only thing keeping these people from living on the streets are safety nets such as staying with family or friends, but these arrangements are often not permanent housing solutions. “It’s just a matter of time before those safety nets exhaust themselves and then we will really be in trouble,” Workman said. Street Pulse is written by lowincome individuals in Madison and then sold at different locations throughout Madison, such as State Street. The writers also sell the paper in hopes of turning a small profit. It is a muchneeded resource for the homeless in today’s economy. “Just talk to any of the homeless and they will tell you this is the worst economy any of them have ever seen,” Workman said. “There are no job openings.” The paper provides a public forum for the homeless and gives a voice
to the oftentimes marginalized voices of the low-income residents in the Madison community. “We have a very good product with high-caliber stories and writing,” Workman said regarding Street Pulse. “There may not be an increased number of homeless right now, but the question is what is going to happen in the next few months.” Will Workman editor Street Pulse
The newspaper provides a sense of community and a source of revenue for its writers. Moore said the number of people needing food and shelter has been stable throughout 2008 and into 2009. Madison appears to have a more cushioned safety net than the rest of the country. Director of the Institute for the Research on Poverty Timothy Smeeding explains Madison’s good fortune in a sea of economic mayhem. “We are one of the most recession-proof communities in the United States,” Smeeding said. “A majority of the employment is with the university, which hasn’t seen a lot of cutbacks, and there are no major failing corporations here.” One contributor to the safety net,
the Wisconsin Student Public Interest Research Group, runs a Hunger and Homelessness campaign every year. UW-Madison freshman and intern for WISPIRG Mariana Berbert is passionate about the work her organization is doing to alleviate poverty. In the last few months, the Hunger and Homelessness campaign has called Wisconsin state lawmakers to push bills beneﬁcial to low-income individuals and also raised money through Box City, an event to raise awareness and an understanding of the harsh realities that come with sleeping on the streets. The campaign’s mission is to help alleviate and prevent poverty through education, legislation and service. “We live in a country where the standard of living is so high, and it can be really hard to know that there is that percentage living in poverty—but
that’s not just a number, it’s people,” Berbert said. With all the discussion of the stimulus package passing, it may be easy to think the increased amount of money allotted to unemployment insurance will ﬁx a lot of the problems caused by recession. Laura Dresser, the research director for the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, an economic policy organization, said this will not be the case, since just over half of unemployed people currently receive unemployment insurance. According to Dresser, the stimulus bill will provide insurance to a few more people by covering part-time workers. “I think the ﬁrst step to alleviating poverty is awareness,” Berbert said. “When you walk past people begging for money on State Street, even if you don’t want to give them money, they are people. Look at them. Don’t take away a person’s humanity.”
How one homeless shelter operates Porchlight A drop-in homeless shelter established in 2004. Seeing similar trends as other shelters in Madison. Overbooked? Serves about 65,000 meals per year and no signiﬁcant increase in the past year. Overworked? Staff of between 120 and 140 workers and a stable volunteer service. No signiﬁcant increase in demand.
Weekend, April 9-12, 2009
A PG-13 rating will not be this Terminator’s ‘Salvation’ KEVIN SLANE citizen slane
PHOTO COURTESY SUBPOP
The Thermals have been underappreciated to the point of having to record their album from this supply closet. However, each great new album brings more fans, and Now We Can See should be no different.
Thermals ‘Can See’ you By Kyle Sparks THE DAILY CARDINAL
The Thermals’ criminally underappreciated concept album, The Body, The Blood, The Machine, stole directly from George Orwell’s “1984,” tweaking things just enough to make it a clear response to the Bush administration. Three years and a president later, Now We Can See is a refreshing return to form. Speciﬁcally, lead single “Now We Can See” is the inversion of their previous perspective. Instead of following the conﬂicted victim, “Now We Can See” proﬁles the powerful and corrupt and how our self-exaggerated nerves hold us back from better judgment and a more fruitful existence. “Now that our vision is strong / We don’t need to admit we were wrong,” lead singer Hutch Harris sings before asserting, “Our enemies lay dead on the ground and still we kick.” The biggest difference between this album and older Thermals is the production. The Body featured a sharp, in-your-face, guitardriven sound, but here the guitar blends in with the background, putting more focus on Harris’ vocals. Although the production’s shift of emphasis takes away from the power of some tracks, it puts “Now We Can See” over the top. The infectious “oh-way-oh-ohwhoa” hook bursts through the guitars and hand claps to become
the Thermals’ most accessible, luring song to date, not to mention one of their most optimistic. Likewise, the ﬁrst song, “When I Died,” exhibits the same guitarintensive rock while pushing the focus on lyrics like, “When I died, my head did swell / I said to myself, ‘Nature sure took her sweet time / I was already losing my spine.’”
Now We Can See The Thermals The fact that they don’t put all their eggs in the guitar basket makes Now We Can See a more conservative effort, which in turn makes it more accessible. As a sort of catch-22, though, the conservative and accessible guitars make this album a grower. The hooks don’t forcefully grab you, they wait for you to come to them. Even when they fall short, like on the ploddingly melodic “Liquid In, Liquid Out,” they still manufacture enough interesting riffs to keep the listener entertained until the next song. Now We Can See could be the ﬁrst time a Thermals record hasn’t
bested its predecessor. Although Now We Can See lacks some of the lyrical profundity and ear-pounding guitars of The Body, The Blood, The Machine, songs like “We Were Sick,” “When We Were Alive,” “When I Was Afraid” and “How We Fade” make it a deeper, more consistent record, ﬁlling the conceptual void with an abundance of melody. The Thermals are probably never going to receive enough critical acclaim. They’re not ready to headline an MTV special or get their own rock opera, but we should be thankful. In the end, that means the Thermals won’t become another Green Day, but more like another Ted Leo & the Pharmacists. And the world could always use more Ted Leo & the Pharmacists. That dichotomy is arguably deﬁned by purpose. Many bands only take a stab at politics because of a perceived demand for insightful opposition to the injustices in government. But today’s media has far surpassed that of the ’70s, so when modern bands try to recreate the Clash, they just come off as redundant, like they’re force-feeding our ears partisan interpretations of what we already read on the news ticker. Instead, the demand is for a more existential depiction of humanity’s plight in the nation’s current state of affairs. Regardless, the Thermals are most deﬁnitely worth listening to, whether or not you care about politics.
o this point, “Terminator Salvation” is probably most famous for the Christian Bale tirade that swept the Internet a few months ago. Now, “Salvation” will soon hit theaters and become more famous for something else: Being the ﬁrst ﬁlm to be affected by “Watchmen” syndrome. With all the studio controversy over ownership of the “Watchmen” franchise, the hype for the graphic novel adaptation could not have been higher. Graphic novel enthusiasts and casual fans alike lined up to see the ﬁlm that many great directors had called “unﬁlmable.” But did they really line up? The ﬁlm made a little over 55 million in its ﬁrst weekend. This seems like a lot, but it was well below expectations. In all, “Watchmen” has made signiﬁcantly less than studio preestimates, and many executives are blaming the ﬁlm’s R rating. As a result, Warner Bros. began to re-examine “Terminator Salvation” to see what kind of rating it might receive. The ﬁlm hadn’t been rated yet, so producers were able to tinker without much notice. Now, rumors say the ﬁnal cut of “Salvation” has received a PG-13 rating, a victory for Warner Bros. executives. Tinkering with a ﬁlm like “Salvation” to allow it to reach the maximum potential audience is a wise move ﬁnancially. Yet slapping a PG-13 rating on a “Terminator” movie is like slapping Arnold Schwarzenegger directly in the face. Each of the previous three ﬁlms have received R ratings, and for good reason. There is graphic violence, language, nudity and general feelings of doom. Part of what makes the “Terminator” series so fun is the gratuitous violence. The news of the “Salvation” rating reminded me of another neutering of a classic ﬁlm series from a few years back. “Live Free
or Die Hard” brought a lot of things to the table: the return of Bruce Willis’ smart-talking hero John McClane, the introduction of whiny, yet enjoyable Justin Long and a PG-13 rating, the ﬁrst in the movie series. Although the ﬁlm was enjoyable, it lacked the charm of the earlier ﬁlms. McClane was always known as a callous ﬁgure, particularly notable for his colorful language. With “Live Free or Die Hard” having a PG-13 rating, however, this language was toned down.
Part of what makes the “Terminator” series so fun is the gratuitous violence.
Perhaps most offensive was the omission of McClane’s famous catchphrase, “Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.” This catchphrase is the iconic line of the movie and one of the great movie quotes of American cinema. Yet the only reference in “Live Free or Die Hard” is a cableTV moment when McClane’s “yippee-ki-yay” is followed by a burst of sound and action rather than a profanity. Swearing in movies isn’t necessary for audience enjoyment, but taking the “motherfucker” away from its “yippee-ki-yay” is like having a “shaken” without its pal “stirred.” I don’t want to condemn “Terminator Salvation” before it even hits theaters. Christian Bale is a capable actor, and director McG knows action like the back of his hand, given that his hand is CGI and is constantly exploding. But Warner Bros. shouldn’t tone down a classic movie series just for the money. After all, by doing that, the movie loses its soul. I guess movie executives already know a little bit about sacriﬁcing souls for money, though. Selling your soul? E-mail Kevin at email@example.com, he’ll give you a great price.
Silly babies. About one in ﬁve toddlers can open child-proof tops. dailycardinal.com/comics
Weekend, April 9-12, 2009
Escaping a playpen
By Eric Wigdahl firstname.lastname@example.org
© Puzzles by Pappocom
Angel Hair Pasta
By Todd Stevens email@example.com
Sid and Phil
By Alex Lewein firstname.lastname@example.org
Solution, tips and computer program available at www.sudoku.com.
Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.
Today’s Crossword Puzzle
The Graph Giraffe
Evil Bird Answer key available at www.dailycardinal.com IHOP TO IT
1 6 10 14 15 16 17 19 20 21 22 24 25 26 29 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 44
Santa Fe brick Inexperienced one Waggish individual Ofﬁcially sanctioned “Pure ___” (1950 jazz album) Shawm descendant Dogﬁght maneuver Big cheese in Greece? Pig and Whistle order “I ___ My Love a Cherry” Collarless robe Allowance for weight Word before and after “against” Clip joints? Court’s dishonor Unexpected pleasure Consider, as in a high court Elevated row Analysis subjects Honeybun Toon panda Stubborn person’s word “Don’t rush into anything!” Radio-active truckers? Steers out of control? Awkward fellow
45 Well-ventilated 46 The Swiss Guards serve him 47 Minor memory failures 50 Operatic performance 51 In the style of, on a menu 54 Noteworthy sign 55 Famously connected actor 58 “Anything ___?” 59 Slathered frosting on 60 Maximum bet 61 Place for cowards? 62 Wine quality 63 Idyllic gardens 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Provencal love song Trafﬁc (in) Beastly bloke “A guy walks into a ___ ...” Tastefully luxurious Daredevil’s asset Lily relative Prepared introduction? Sport involving birds Spot for alarge picture book Assist nefariously Membership list Wormer in “Animal House,” e.g.
18 Swedish form of Lawrence 23 Well-put 24 After-dinner speaker 25 Gray with age 26 Irish and beef, for two 27 Specialized vocabulary 28 Hotelier Helmsley 29 Desist partner 30 Sal of “Rebel Without a Cause” 31 Cy Young award winner Martinez 32 Lovers’ engagement 34 Intoxicating, as wine 37 Hide among pioneers? 41 Up to the task 43 It may have a ﬁlling ﬁlling 44 Enter 46 “The ___ of the Yankees” 47 Eye lewdly 48 Type of grease 49 Site of a famous campanile 50 Roman greetings 51 High point 52 Cut of beef 53 Nonhuman carpenters 56 “The Name of the Rose” writer Umberto 57 Band follower?
By Yosef Lerner email@example.com
By Caitlin Kirihara firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekend, April 9-12, 2009
view Cardinal View editorials represent The Daily Cardinal’s organizational opinion. Each editorial is crafted independent of news coverage.
ad restrictions a proactive measure
he Wisconsin Government Accountability Board voted March 30 to amend state policies so political “issue ads” would be better regulated by the state. The amendment must be passed by the state Legislature before being enacted. It would seek to close the loophole in state law that allows groups to ﬁnance political advertisements without being regulated if the group avoids using the so-called “magic words.” These words include “vote for,” “elect,” “defeat,” “support” and “vote against” among others, but the GAB admits groups can easily bypass state law if they simply do not use the speciﬁc phrases listed. The new rule would impose restrictions on any group that runs advertisements that “clearly identify a speciﬁc candidate for ofﬁce and contain language which suggests support or opposition for the candidate.” “This is a big step toward leveling the playing ﬁeld and creating greater transparency in elections in Wisconsin,” GAB Director Kevin Kennedy said in a statement. Such a change would force interest groups to disclose donors
and contribution amounts, restrictions already imposed on state political parties. The change could not come sooner. Although the recent state Supreme Court election did not see the cascade of special interest group activity that many were expecting, groups such as the Greater Wisconsin Committee and the powerful teachers’ union the Wisconsin Education Association Council ran ads promoting their favored candidates. WEAC spent over $550,000 to help superintendent candidate Tony Evers and chief justice Shirley Abrahamson, yet even that pales in comparison to the over $1.45 million the business group Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce spent in 2008 to unseat former Justice Louis Butler. Both cases show how well-ﬁnanced interests can inﬂuence elections in the state, with many groups avoiding restrictions by sidestepping arcane rules like the “magic words” law. The proposal by the GAB is a common-sense answer that makes interest groups more accountable to public scrutiny, something sorely needed as the state looks toward the upcoming and likely contentious 2010 race for governor.
Martin’s initiative will beneﬁt every student By Mike Knetter and Paul Peercy UW-MADISON FACULTY
UW-Madison Chancellor Carolyn “Biddy” Martin has proposed a new initiative to provide additional investment in the undergraduate experience at UW-Madison through a premium tuition applied only on the Madison campus. We support this initiative for the following reasons: • We believe there are important investments that need to be made in undergraduate education on our campus. We believe these investments will boost the quality of the experience and student outcomes (which accrue over a lifetime) by more than the increase in cost. • This plan directs the proceeds of the new tuition toward areas of critical need. The proceeds will be used to hire faculty in highdemand areas; put faculty in closer contact with our students; provide other forms of instructional support (including technologyenhanced learning); enhance academic and career advising across the campus; and enable us to attract the best students without
regard to their financial need. • Given the price of UWMadison tuition relative to our Big Ten peers and the other system campuses, it is reasonable to ask students to take the first step in financing investments of this type at this time. Even after this plan, our tuition will remain below the median in the Big Ten. We will also be enlisting private financial support for many of these same initiatives as we move forward.
This new initiative will enhance the value of all degrees granted by the campus.
It is important to clarify that this campuswide initiative does not affect the tuition differential paid by business and engineering students. These differentials have been and will continue to be used exclusively for the benefit of majors and certificate students in these two colleges. Most of our peer business and engineering
schools around the Big Ten also use a differential tuition, so we are no different. And even with the Madison Initiative, the base rate of tuition paid by UW-Madison students will remain below the median in the Big Ten. All undergraduate students will benefit from the Madison Initiative. These benefits will accrue to business and engineering students directly through whatever share of new faculty, instructional and student services flow to our schools as a highdemand major. Business and engineering students will also benefit indirectly because many of the classes they take to meet degree requirements are offered in the College of Letters and Science, which is likely to receive the majority of this new funding. We believe that a business or engineering degree from UWMadison remains a great value, and this new initiative will enhance the value of all degrees granted by the campus. Mike Knetter is the dean of the School of Business, and Paul Peercy is the dean of the College of Engineering. Please send responses to email@example.com.
Obama’s bowing sign of weakness By Michael Seaman COLLEGE REPUBLICANS
Last week, President Obama bowed—practically groveling—to Saudi King Abdullah. As president of a country, especially this great country, the president should bow to no one. Many have seen this as a sign of Obama’s weakness, and I am no different. At ﬁrst, I thought he was bending down for some coins on the ﬂoor, but that is not the kind of change Obama was going for. He is changing us to be a poorer, weaker country at home, and now he is spreading it abroad. Obama was instructed that bowing was not necessary or even appropriate unless one is a loyal subject. And he did it? Am I missing something here? So does Obama not pay attention to what is going on around him, or is he just stupid? He has insulted our great country and shown the Saudis his vulnerability. This simple concept goes back to grade school. If you ﬁght back with a bully, the bully backs down. If you cower from and cry to a bully, the
bully does not stop. Well, Obama has cowered and cried and in doing so has given these bullies, and our enemies, power... and hope. But I thought that hope was for Americans, not their enemies? Obama holds the highest ofﬁce in the free world and should stand strong at all times, especially in the face of hostile countries and our enemies. Rainbows, unicorns and bowing will not protect our country and keep us safe. All of us have been told at one point in our lives that actions speak louder than words. Well, Obama’s actions have been yelled across the world, and if he thinks he can talk to these countries on the same terms as them after he bows to them, he needs his head examined. The kings of these countries, such as Abdullah, will view themselves on a higher level than Obama and not care about the hot air coming out of his mouth. If you compare a video of Obama’s meeting with Queen Elizabeth to the video of his meeting with Abdullah, he
clearly bows farther for Abdullah than he does for Queen Elizabeth. Maybe Obama should rethink his actions and maybe America should rethink Obama. If this keeps up much longer, he may soon be on the ﬂoor kissing feet. When that happens, the United States is no longer the boxer—we become the punching bag. The president of the United States should never bow, nor should he or she expect to be bowed to. They should never look up to another leader, but rather look everyone in the eye. This is an exit quotation from a 1994 edition of the New York Times, contemplating the prospect of Clinton bowing to Japan’s emperor: “Canadians still bow to England’s Queen; so do Australians. Americans shake hands. If not to stand eye-to-eye with royalty, what else were 1776 and all that about?” But, in the end, perhaps America is lucky—at least he did not curtsy. Michael Seaman is a senior and the College Republicans alumni outreach chair. Please send responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Article neglects satisﬁed MPM tenants’ views Madison Property Management manages signiﬁcantly more downtown Madison units than any other management company and has had thousands of very happy residents over the past 20 years in business. Many of the units managed by MPM are older homes and ﬂats that require extra attention and pose unique challenges relative to utility charges and the allocation between landlord and tenant. The vocal minority who are displeased with their interactions with MPM will always speak louder than the nonvocal majority with nothing but praise.
MPM prides itself on treating all tenants fairly and with respect. We respond to and investigate each and every complaint or issue raised by our tenants. Unfortunately, as with any type of business, mistakes are made, and when they occur, MPM acknowledges the mistake and learns from it. Every year a signiﬁcant portion of our residents are so satisﬁed with their experience that they choose to renew their lease for another year or transfer to a different property managed by MPM. This renewal and transfer rate is the true measure of tenant satisfaction.
In our opinion the author of this article (editor’s note: The series “The Cardinal investigates ... Madison Property Management”) went to great lengths to research all possible ways to discredit MPM rather than do an independent investigation and look at both sides of each tenant’s story. In addition, many of the instances in this report have been exaggerated or embellished for the beneﬁt of creating a more controversial article. —Madison Property Management
Weekend, April 9-12, 2009
Badgers shut out twice by Northern Iowa Wisconsin held to ﬁve hits by strong Panther pitching By Joe Skurzewski THE DAILY CARDINAL
The Wisconsin softball team (15 Big Ten, 12-26 overall) dropped a pair of games to the Northern Iowa Panthers (8-5 Missouri Valley, 26-13 overall) at the Goodman Softball Complex Wednesday. The Badgers failed to plate a run in either game, as the Panthers shut Wisconsin out 9-0 in a five-inning game one and 8-0 in game two. “The mental game is a huge aspect of any sport, and if you let that get the best of you, you’ll produce what we did.” Theresa Boruta inﬁelder UW Softball
In game one, Badger senior Leah Vanevenhoven faced off against Panther junior Jen Larsen, the ace of the Northern Iowa pitching staff. The Panthers began scoring in the top of the second inning, cap-
italizing on errors in the field and rough pitching from the Badgers. Northern Iowa senior Brittney Balduf hit an opposite field solo home run off Vanevenhoven to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. The Panthers nearly batted around in the third inning, with seven of their nine hitters making it to the plate. After a couple of singles by Larsen and freshman Mackenzie Daigh, junior Rachel Gerking singled to center, scoring both runners and pushing the lead to 3-0. A fourth inning run by the Panthers forced Wisconsin head coach Chandelle Schulte to replace Vanevenhoven in the circle with sophomore Kristyn Hansen. But Hansen struggled herself, giving up three runs in the fourth and two more in the ﬁfth. The Badgers also could not get their offense going in game one, recording only four hits against Larsen. “We just want to set the tone from the first inning, and we’ve been doing that,” Larsen said. She admitted that the run support from her teammates in game one helped her relax. “Whenever we get big leads, it’s so much easier as a pitcher,” she said. Wisconsin junior pitcher Letty Olivarez managed to pitch a complete game in the second half of the doubleheader, facing off with
LORENZO ZEMELLA/CARDINAL FILE PHOTO
Sophomore Jennifer Krueger provided the Badgers’ only hit during the second game of Wisconsin’s series against Northern Iowa, and provided one of the team’s four hits in the first. Panther freshman Melissa Tillett. But Tillett stifled the Badger offense, recording three outs on three Wisconsin batters in five of the seven innings of the game, holding the Badgers to zero runs on only one hit. The game was scoreless through four innings, but Northern Iowa plated multiple runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh. Daigh and senior Kelly Papesh each homered off Olivarez. Olivarez said it was frustrating
to give up multiple runs on a few bad pitches. “It is just always at the wrong time,” she said. “I feel like we can never just get cut a break.” Badger senior Theresa Boruta said the Badgers had the components to make a run in game two, but could not put them together. “You have to bring all aspects of the game: defense, offense and pitching,” she said. Boruta attributed the team’s struggles at the plate to over-
thinking and getting away from the basics of hitting. “When you have so many thoughts in your head, it is not going to go well,” she said. “The mental game is a huge aspect of any sport, and if you let that get the best of you, you’ll produce what we did.” The Badgers must now prepare for an in-conference road series against Penn State April 11-12, where Wisconsin will look to improve its 1-5 Big Ten record