Saturday, February 18, 2023

The Standard: Multi-family/commercial mixed-use development at East Wash and First Street in Madison WI (February 2023 construction site visit)

Photos by Retiring Guy

Studio floor plan (490-499 square feet/$1350-$1630)

2 bed/den/2 bath (1241 square feet/$3380-$3715)

10/2/2022 update starts here

Photos by Retiring Guy

9/20/2022 update starts here 

Photos by Retiring Guy

Rendering:  JLA Architects

5/9/2022 update starts here

Photo and video by Retiring Guy

View of site before redevelopment

Original 3/3/2022 post starts here

Photo and video by Retiring Guy

Google Maps (red box added to show location of redevelopment)

On this day in 1982: Letter to parents (Oshkosh WI)

Dick's inept administration as director of the Oshkosh Public Library appears to be coming to an end. No formal announcement has been made, but the library board met in an executive session two days ago and, according to the administrative secretary, who was in muffled earshot of the board members' discussion, the two votes taken then concerned "when" rather than "if". I won't be able to breathe a sigh of relief until Dick walks out the door for the last time. 
In the meantime, his increasingly bizarre behavior has kept us on our toes. 

To protect ourselves and to keep track of his ongoing machinations, Rick and Julie and I have been monitoring Dick's activities very closely. We know that he is actively looking for another job, and last week the director of personnel at the Dallas Public Library conducted a preliminary telephone interview with him. I was not in my office at the time, but Julie was able to hear every word that Dick spoke. We learned that the reason he is looking to change jobs is the overwhelming censorship crisis that has gripped all of Wisconsin. A total fabrication. 

We also learned that the reason Dick was unable to keep a January appointment for a personal interview was due to financial difficulties brought on by helping his son through law school.  A move to Dallas, he said, would provide an opportunity to live closer to him and his wife in San Antonio.  

All hogwash.  In reality, Dick has one son who lives in Oshkosh and is a sophomore at UW-O. 

Shortly before I went out to get some lunch that same day, I noticed that Dick was in his office with the door closed. 

Some clandestine phone conversation? I wondered. 

Without giving myself away, I tiptoed toward his office until I could clearly make out Dick's end of the conversation. When I began my eavesdropping, he was in the middle of a series of disparaging remarks about the Head of Information Services. Then he launched into a character assassination of me. To prick his conscience, I opened his door a crack and gave him a look as if to say, "Excuse my interruption, but just what are you doing?" and closed the door immediately. He continued his litany of paranoia for another ten minutes with hardly a pause to breathe. I stood transfixed, listening to the fascinating babble of a potentially dangerous psychopath. 

Sitting at my desk when he emerged from his office, I calmly waited for Dick's inquiry. 

"Did you want to see me?"  he asked.

"Sorry to barge in on you like that, but I just wanted to know if we're having a department head meeting this afternoon." 

His hands trembling visibly as he fumbled with the buttons on his overcoat, he made some feeble excuse about a last-minute book talk he had to prepare for. 

 On Thursday, the day before the library board meeting, we discovered that a petition supporting the administration of the present director was making the rounds of the library.  Not too many people had signed, and of the majority who did, most do not know what is going on or wanted to avoid making waves. Rick made a copy, after which I suggested to Julie that she make a copy of it using Dick's typewriter. Sure enough, the man had authored his own petition of support. 

He had also typed an anonymous letter which he dropped in front of the office door of a former board member.  What an opening: 

Dear Carl, (the board member's name), How could you put the screws to your good friend Dick Miller? 

 Rick read as much of the letter as he could over Dick's shoulder when Carl paid a surprise visit to library to show Dick the letter.. Rick said it included conscious misspellings and grammatical errors, as if the writer as attempting to disguise his identity. He described Dick shaking from head to toe as he was holding the letter and pretending to read it. 

Maybe all of this isn't making sense to you the way I am putting it down on paper.  I am so disgusted and bored with what I do here that I find it very difficult to maintain sufficient attention span to deal with anything library related. I hope that I can experience a feeling of renewal once Dick finally leaves. Otherwise, nothing is going to help, not even a move to another library job.  Until I regain my enthusiasm, OPL is going to be nothing but a dead end. Sometimes I feel as uncomfortable and frustrated here as I did during my last six months at G. & C. Merriam. 

I am still playing the piano regularly but feel that I am quickly approaching the point where it is necessary for me to take lessons so that I can work toward a series of specific and immediate goals. Right now I seem to be meandering, though I do spend quite a bit of time memorizing old pieces, a total of nine so far, with three to work on this weekend. I'm sure that there is more to write about, but my mind hasn't been too sharp lately. 

Maybe it's just the February blahs. The temperature is supposed to reach the mid-forties this weekend. If the wind isn't too strong, I'll have to take a frenzied bike ride. Clean out the tubes, get the blood moving at a summertime flow. 

Winter has been little appreciated this season. I am ready for an early spring.

Related posts:

Photos on this day from past years


Photos by Retiring Guy

Florida souvenir (2022)

Pheasant Branch Corridor Trail, Middleton WI (2021)

Keeping tabs on authors in LINKcat: Donald Spoto



New York Times, 2/17/2023
Although Mr. Spoto wrote more than two dozen books, being a biographer was a sort of second career for him. Before that, he had held several teaching positions, including in the theology department at Fairfield University in Connecticut and the department of religion at the College of New Rochelle in Westchester County, north of New York City. But he always had a fondness for movies, especially those directed by Hitchcock, whose work he first encountered when he was 10 and saw “Strangers on a Train” at the RKO Proctor’s Theater in New Rochelle.

Related posts:
Russell Banks.  (1/11)
Ted Bell.  (2/8)
David Harris.  (2/8)
Paul Johnson.  (1/15)
Charles Simic.  (1/16)
Fay Weldon.  (2/2)

Roger Angell.  (5/24)
Melissa Bank.  (8/7)
Raymond Briggs.  (8/20)
Thomas Cahill. (11/16)
Philip K. Dick.  (11/20)
Bruce Duffy,  (3/13)
Todd Gitlin.  (2/8)
Rebecca Godfrey.  (11/11)
Ron Goulart.  (2/7)
Doris Grumbach.  (11/10)
Robert Hicks.  (3/8)
Thomas Hoving.  (12/19)
Maureen Howard.  (3/19)
Hilary Mantel.  (9/26)
Nancy Mitford.  (4/4)
P. J. O'Rourke.  (2/24)
Julie Powell.  (11/5)
Thomas Pynchon.  (12/17)
Dennis Smith.  (1/27)
Susie Steiner.  (7/27)
Larry Woiwode.  (5/19)

F. Lee Bailey.  (6/11)
Kim Chernin.  (1/10)
Angelo Codevilla.  (10/10)
Stephen Dunn.  (6/29)
James R. Flynn.  (1/30)
Larry Flynt.  (2/12)
Lucinda Franks.  (5/11)
Joseph Galloway.  (8/25)
Norman Golb.  (2/22)
Charles Grodin.  (5/20)
Maria Guarnascheilli, book editor.  (2/18)
James Gunn.  (2/21)
Tony Hendra.  (3/7)
Donald Kagan.  (8/20)
Hans Kung.  (4/9)
Lyn Macdonald.  (5/15)
Janet Malcolm.  (6/18)
Peter Manso,  (4/10)
Ved Mehta.  (1/12)
Marie Mongan.  (3/22)
Deborah Rhode.  (1/28)
James Ridgeway.  (2/16)
David Swensen.  (5/13)
Bryan Sykes.  (1/14)
Athan Theoharis.  (6/14/)
Ed Ward.  (5/16)
Michael Thomas.  (8/19)
Adam Zagajewski.  (3/27)

Ben Bova.  (12/17)
Clive Cussler.  (2/29)
Betty Dodson  (11/11)
Pete Hamill.  (8/6)
Shere Hite. (9/13)
A, E, Hotchner.  (2/18)
Roger Kahn.  (2/15)
Randall Kenan.  (9/29)
John Le Carre. (12/23/2020)
Johanna Lindsey.  (1/15)
Barry Lopez.  (12/29)
Alison Lurie.  (12/7)
Charlers Portis.  (2/19)
Julia Reed.  (9/8)
John Rothchild.  (1/22)
Gail Sheehy.  (9/3)
Jill Paton Walsh.  (11/29)
Charles Webb.  (6/30)

Warren Adler.  (4/23)
Kate Braverman.  (10/28)
Stephen Dixon.  (11/12)
Dan Jenkins.  (3/10)
Judith Krantz.  (6/27)
Paule Marshall.  (8/27)
Martin Mayer.  (8/3)
Wright Morris.  (7/25)
Toni Morrison.  (8/12)
Anthony Price.  (6/17)
John Simon.  (12/1)
Sol Stein.  (9/30)
Brad Watson.  (8/2)
Lonnie Wheeler.  (7/15)
Herman Wouk.  (5/20)

Neal Thompson.  (6/17)

Kit Reed.  (10/1)

E. M. Nathanson.  (4/10)




Actually, Alan Shaw, a lot of people are noticing Norfolk Southern Railroad now

Photo: credit  Wikipedia

Related reading:
New York Times, 2/17/2023
The accidents were a stark reminder that, even as freight railroad companies have become much more profitable in recent years, accidents, some serious, still regularly occur on the 140,000 miles of track that make up their networks. The rate of accidents on Norfolk Southern’s railway increased in each of the last four years, according to a recent company presentation. 
The record has worsened as executives at Norfolk Southern and other railroads have been telling investors on Wall Street that they can bolster their profit margins by keeping a lid on costs. At the same time, railway companies have lobbied against new rules aimed at making trains safer[emphasis added]

GET ME REWRITE: GOP fights crime and inflation by prying into people's personal lives

Top headline:  NBC, 10/16/2022
Bottom headline:  The Guardian, 2/17/2023
The bills are part of a post-Roe nationwide strategy by the religious wing of the Republican party, now that federal abortion rights have fallen. They range from banning all businesses that sell sex-related goods to anti-drag queen bills. Tyler Dees, an Arkansas state senator who wrote an anti-porn bill said: “I would love to outlaw it all,” referring to porn.

GET ME REWRITE: Virginia GOP fights crime and inflation by maintaining antiquated constitutional ban on same-sex marriage

Top headline:  NBC, 10/16/2022
Bottom headline:  Virginia Mercury, 2/17/2023

From the Virginia Mercury:
Same-sex marriage has been recognized in Virginia for years, and the ban voters approved in 2006 doesn’t currently carry any legal weight. But after the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion last year, LGBTQ advocates say the issue of marriage equality looks less settled than it once did. 
Just prior to Friday’s vote in a House Rules subcommittee set up to hear proposals for constitutional amendments, a representative of the socially conservative Family Foundation raised the prospect of the Supreme Court overturning the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationally. “ 
If and when it does, Virginia's constitution should continue to reflect the truth about marriage,” said Family Foundation lobbyist Todd Gathje.

GET ME REWRITE: After 24 years, fences dramatically reduce suicides at Florida's Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Photo creditWikipedia

That was then:  New York Times, 5/9/1999
(from Retiring Guy's clippings file)

This is now:  Spectrum News, 6/5/2022
For decades, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge has been one of Tampa Bay’s most iconic landmarks. But the 190 foot-high peak has also drawn hundreds of people wanting to take their own life. Most who have jumped from the top of span have died. Each time, witnesses, first responders and loved ones are left traumatized. 
Now, nearly a year since fences along the top of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay were completed, suicide rates have decreased dramatically.

GET ME REWRITE: 24 years later, Miami is one of the worst cities in the world for traffic congestion

Photo creditWikimedia Commons

That was then:  New York Times, 8/1/1999
(from Retiring Guy's clippings files)

This is now:  CBS News, 1/10/2023
INRIX a transportation data based out of Washington tabulated the rankings, and the results didn't surprise many drivers in Miami-Dade County. 
"From exit 9 Homestead, to over here in Doral it takes almost an hour when there's traffic than on the way leaving work going back it takes even longer," Isaac David, a commuter said. 
By comparison, INRIX estimates the typical American only lost 51 hours in traffic. Not only that, Miami's top speeds during the peak is slower. In 2021 it was 34 miles per hour, then in 2022, it was 25 miles per hour.

GUN CRAZY USA: More guns, more carnage (Wisconsin edition)

Top headline:   Wisconsin State Journal, 2/17/2023
Bottom headline:  Giffords Law Center,  5/4/2022

From  Gifford Law Center:
Each day, hundreds of lives like these are lost or irrevocably changed as this crisis rages on. 
But in the last two years, the tempo of this beat has gotten faster. Gun violence has skyrocketed in cities and towns across the country, leaving more devastation and more trauma in its wake. 
More than 45,000 Americans were killed in acts of gun violence in 2020—a 15% increase over the previous year. This increase was primarily driven by an unprecedented 35% rise in gun homicides. In fact, more people were lost to gun violence in 2020 than any other year on record, and although final data is not yet available, the gun death total in 2021 is likely to surpass these records.

Related posts: 
More guns, more carnage (Kansas City edition).  (1/3)

GUN CRAZY collage: More guns, more gun violence.  (series)
GUN CRAZY collage: More gun sales = more gun deaths.  (8/13)
Gun crazy in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin: Library board votes to allow guns inside the building.  (7/17)
Look in the mirror, Janel; you're the problem.  (4/5)

Sunday doubleheader: (Gun Nonsense League)  (6/6)
USA!!! USA!!! USA!!! We're boogying our way to doomsday.  (5/30)

Friday, February 17, 2023

GET ME REWRITE: 24 years later, Silicon Valley commuter traffic is still a nightmare

Photo credit: The Living New Deal

That was then:  New York Times, 8/22/1999
(from Retiring Guy's clipping file)

This is now:  San Jose Spotlight, 1/23/2023
Residents are seeing their daily trips between work and home extended by more than 17 minutes each day because of rush-hour traffic—nearly 7 minutes in the morning and more than 10 in the evening. That translates to an additional 72 hours annually, according to a study conducted by retail auto information website CoPilot
The study examines 80 U.S. metro areas to determine where commuters lost the most time in traffic. The San Jose metro area, which also includes Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, lands at No. 28, tying with the Orlando metro area. San Francisco is the only Bay Area region with more time lost due to rush-hour traffic congestion at No. 7—commuters spend more than 94 extra hours in traffic annually. The national average for extra commute time is 60 hours annually. The study used traffic data from Tomtom, a geolocation technology specialist, and the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American community survey.