In this Issue…

Volunteers Needed for July 4th Celebration

Planning for Rail to trail conversion underway

Pedestrian Zone Campaign

Friends of Lake Wingra

Bird Watching on Mothers' Day

Notes from the Chase Journal

Little Green Aliens

Zoning Update

Aldernotes

Monroe Street Librarian Retires


Jazz in the Park Sponsors
Affordable Futons
Associated Bank
Atlas Pasta
Bill Paul Studio
Bluephies
Breadsmith
Calabash Gifts
Dardanelles
El Charro 
The Fiore Companies
George’s Flowers
Gulliver’s Travels
Indigo Moon
Ken Kopps Fine Foods 
The Laurel Tavern
Mallatt’s Pharmacy
McMillan Gallery
Michael’s Frozen Custard
Monroe Street Framing
Mozes
Neuhauser Pharmacy
Orange Tree Imports
Pasquals
Restaino Bunbury & Associates Realtors
Zander’s Interiors 

 

Jazz in the Park, Lake Clean-Up, Garden Tour Set for June 20

 

Come kick off the summer with the DMNA! Great neighborhood activities are scheduled to last all day and into the evening on Saturday, June 20.

In the morning, you can tour a dozen neighborhood gardens, designed and cultivated by their owners. Each garden will have a host/interpreter. Throughout the day there will be speakers on a variety of gardening topics. The tour is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets, including a map and speaker schedule, may be purchased for $5 in the Laurel Tavern parking lot at 1505 Monroe Street for and at all garden tour sites.

Join us in the afternoon for the seventh annual Jazz in the Park festival at Wingra Park. Activities begin at 1:00 p.m. with a lake clean-up (wear work clothes and gloves) followed by canoe races. Bring your own canoe (for the clean-up) or rent one at the park concession. Be ready for a fun-filled race! Prizes donated by neighborhood businesses will be awarded.

Children’s activities will start at 1 p.m. when artists from the Monroe Street Fine Arts Center will lead kids in instrument making and other projects. Kids are also encouraged to help clean the lake and shoreline. Bags will be available and Michael’s Frozen Custard will donate cones as an incentive.

The music starts at 2 p.m. Jazz West, a West High ensemble, will play from 2 to 3 p.m. Harmonious Wail will play from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Harmonious Wail is sponsored by a generous donation from the Laurel Tavern. Back by popular demand is The Blue Monday Band, featuring Clyde Stubblefield, our neighbor-hood’s own Steve Skaggs, Mel Ford, Andy Linderman and Ronnie Gilbert, who will perform from 5:30 to 8:30.

Bring your canoe, blanket, lawn chairs, food, friends, sunscreen and don’t forget your dancing shoes!

DMNA will hold a raffle to help raise money for Jazz in the Park. Prizes include a night at the Arbor House, and gift certificates from area merchants, including Studio You, Atlas Pasta and Urban Pizza. Also, T-shirts with a new Jazz in the Park design by local artist Judy Fiken will be available in child and adult sizes.

Join us for the fun, rain or shine! Enjoy some or all of these free events. Browse the neighborhood and shop at our sponsors’ establishments. For more information, contact Steve Nadler and Jane Bernstein at 238-9426.

  

Boats for the clean-up can be rented from the park
concession.

 

Volunteers Needed for July 4th Celebration

Come celebrate the Fourth of July with your neighbors and friends!
 

Festivities will be held at Wingra Park following the kids’ bike and pets parade at Terry Place at 10:30 a.m. Kids may decorate their bikes and/or pets at home or at the Monroe Street Fine Arts Center (2526 Monroe Street - next to Pasqual’s). There will be a $2.00 fee to cover the cost of streamers and supplies.

Band Members Needed: If you can read music and blow a horn of some sort, play marching drums, bells, etc., you’ll make a great band member! Three rehearsals will be held Tuesday evenings: June 16, 23, and 30 from 7:30-8:30 at the Monroe Street Fine Arts Center. Join us even if you are unable to make all of the rehearsals. If you have your own instrument, please bring it. If you don’t, we’ll find you one. All ages welcome. Music provided. Call Ann McDermott at 233-6273

Schedule:

9:15 Bike and or pet decorating at the Monroe Street Fine Arts Center parking lot.

10:30 Kids’ Bike and Pet Parade on Terry Place (Please don’t park on Terry Place.)

11:30 Neighborhood band concert at Wingra Park.

11:30 - 3:00 Brats, hot dogs, and pop for sale; games for kids

1:00 Egg toss

1:30 Anyone-can-play softball

  


 

Planning for Rail to trail conversion underway

A city-sponsored planning process is leading toward the conversion of the abandoned Illinois Central rail corridor to a pedestrian/bicycle path. The path would reach from the UW campus to a planned pedestrian/bicycle bridge to be built over the beltline highway at Hammersley Road in fall, 1998. South of the beltline, the path would join E Way and Military Ridge recreational trails and could ultimately connect to the Sugar River trail and Illinois border.

With its gentle grade, limited street crossings and few legal encumbrances the corridor is considered nearly ideal for a bike and pedestrian path. As conceived by the city, the path would have a paved, 10-foot-wide surface with painted centerline. It would be maintained for winter use and might include lighting. The recently constructed east rail-corridor path provides a model.

The city expects a response to its application for federal funds for the project by August. City engineer Christy Bachman estimates construction could begin as soon as 2000.

Mayor Bauman has appointed a 19 member Advisory Committee for the Design of the Southwest Commuter Bike and Pedestrian Path. It is divided into East-of-Midvale, and West-of-Midvale subcommittees, and is comprised of residents of the neighborhoods through which the corridor passes. The subcommittees are charged with garnering and representing neighborhood opinion; developing an inventory of concerns, issues and problems; helping to rank priorities; and vetting design options and ideas.

The East-of-Midvale subcommittee has developed a vision statement: "The trail corridor should safely meet the needs of bicycle commuters, recreational bikers, walkers, skaters, disabled users, and dog owners while being aesthetically pleasing to users and neighbors. The corridor should be designed and operated to minimize and alleviate undesirable impacts, preserve compatible uses, and be an asset to adjacent land owners and neighbors."

The subcommittee feels that particular attention and priority must be given to the concerns and interests of adjacent homeowners, with negative impacts minimized. Likewise, high priority is given to maximizing benefits to a wide range of user groups (besides commuter bicyclists), and to maintaining the corridor’s natural beauty.

At its April 8 meeting, the DMNA Council (with Alder Ken Golden) agreed to organize a DMNA public meeting in May or June. DMNA representatives on the subcommittee are Kurt Kiefer (Fox Avenue, 233-8661), Paul Beckett (Gregory Street, 238-2580) and Carol Gosenheimer. Tony Fernandez (Knickerbocker Street, 233-5449) participates as an interested neighborhood resident. E-mail subcommittee members at "bikesw-east@gcg.com".


 

Monroe Street Pedestrian Zone Campaign

Traffic volume and speed around DMNA are a constant concern. Monroe Street, as the major thoroughfare, has seen steady increases in traffic volume and speeding is common. Parents are concerned about their children walking to school and residents have difficulty crossing. These and other concerns prompted a study by the Department of Transportation which offered some possible solutions.

Residents, considered and debated these recommendations. Specific strategies have been identified and are being implemented by volunteers and city staff.

Volunteers are organizing a Pedestrian Zone Campaign to be held August 31-September 4. Part of the effort involves a media compaign. Local celebrities and neighborhood residents will drive "pace cars" at the speed limit along Monroe Street. In and effort to reduce the speed limit between Woodrow Street and Knickerbocker Street to 25 mph, the campaign will post DRIVE 25 signs, a speedboard (a sign displaying traffic speeds), improved crosswalk markings, and request additional traffic enforcement by the police department.

There are also plans to involve local businesses and schools. The goal is to increase awareness of pedestrian concerns, increase the observance of traffic laws, and in so doing make the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood safer and more pleasant to live in.

What can you do to help make the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood safer? First, if you are driving a car, drive the speed limit. The success of the campaign depends on the support of residents making a personal commitment to slow down. Enough people in the neighborhood drive Monroe Street to make a real difference in the speed of traffic. Second, yield to pedestrians crossing the street. Third, if you see reckless, speeding motorists, make a note of their license plate, the date, time, and location,and report them to the speeding hotline, 266-4624.

If you’d like to get involved with the Pedestrian Zone Campaign, whether to volunteer to drive a pace car, assist with the speedboard, or have a DRIVE 25 sign placed in your yard, call Bill Putnam at 233-8569 for more information.


 

Lake Wingra is Looking for a Few Good Friends

Do you consider yourself a friend of Lake Wingra? Then become a part of a whole new community called "Friends of Lake Wingra." These friends share the common purpose of promoting a healthy Lake Wingra through an active watershed community.

After four meetings the Friends have:

organized mini-study groups summarizing lake history, pollutant sources, lake organisms and the lake as a system. The groups will organize information and prepare to share it.

formed a group to explore how to best organize, find resources and grant money, and include the entire watershed community.

talked about creating a watershed vision that is supported by the whole community.

compiled a list of groups, agencies, and people interested in, affected by, or affect the lake and its watershed. We’ll continue to build this to make sure that our outreach is complete.

discussed immediate goals to involve people this summer as part of events such as Jazz in the Park, the Monroe Street Festival, and other gatherings around the watershed.

We’d like your help! We need lots more folks to help shape the group’s work and ensure that it’s creative, colorful and fun. Our next meetings are set for April 13, May 11, and June 8, 1998 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Mazzuchelli Biological Station, Edgewood College. To join the list for mail or e-mail, call Jim Lorman (663-3234) or Jim Leverance (275-3329)

 

We were surprised to learn that the watershed is shaped a bit like a fish, with the tail reaching as far west as the Odana ponds and Westgate area. Surface water exits the watershed via Wingra Creek at the eastern tip of the above map, and eventually reaches Lake Monona (not shown here).


 

 

From One Mother to Another

By Kathy Miner

Birdwatching on Mother’s Day, the gift was ... redstarts. But I get ahead of myself. I made it out before dawn, although with the overcast conditions one couldn’t tell the sun was coming up. The "pink glow" came up, that’s all. 

As I head toward Monroe Street, thermal mug and binoculars in hand, a good-sized bird with a white stripe on the underside of each wing flies erratically above the rooftops of Knickerbocker Place. The white stripes define it as a "common" nighthawk. Since I have only seen this species once before, the adjective seems mistaken to me.

 

At the council ring, a gray catbird speaks first, from deep in a bush. I think catbirds are underrated. Their song is so interesting, so multi-textured. This one lets me watch him for a long time.

I can hear a towhee announcing himself from somewhere to my right. "Drink your . . . tea!" And I spot a rose-breasted grosbeak high atop a cottonwood, though only briefly.

Just as I contemplate leaving, the warblers begin to show up. I see a black-and-white, a Wilson’s, a "common" yellowthroat, and probably a black-throated green and a chestnut-sided. But the stars of the show are the male redstarts! They are truly lovely, with their velvety black heads and patches of varied orange. They flit about in the bush near the spring, seemingly oblivious to me. I stand and marvel. All this beauty, and it’s been here every spring free of cost for time immemorial. It took me 20 years of living in the neighborhood to find it. I am washed with gratitude that it did not take longer.

The two women who have recently arrived and are watching with me spot a flash of pure white high in an oak tree and locate a redheaded woodpecker! Downies and hairies are common, and I have discovered redbellied, but have not seen the full red head in many years. Finally . I too find him through the branches. We also catch a glimpse of a Northern oriole couple in another oak to our right. He is radiant orange, she a duller yellow. Both are distinctively marked.

By this time I have a decided crick in my neck from all this looking upwards, and what little is left of my coffee is undrinkably cold. I do not wear a watch these Sunday mornings, so I have no idea what time it is or if my family is likely to be up. Reluctantly, I leave my colorful feathered acquaintances and head for home.

Kathy Miner is a longtime DMNA resident and a watcher of birds and other wildlife.


 

Meddling with Lake Wingra, 1908-1917

By Douglas W. Evans
From Walter Chase’s hunting journal of 1873-1896, we know that Lake Wingra was a wild area and a duck hunter’s paradise. It seems that the original lake was held in place by a low ridge on the northeast end. This natural dam was crudely maintained more or less in 1886 by an outlet into Wingra (Murphy) Creek.

In 1904, William F. Vilas gave 63 acres to the city for a park, of which only 25 were high and dry - an offer the reluctant city could not refuse. (Accepting the donation resulted in a $500,000 park tax. In 1908, dredging began for the Vilas Park lagoon. By 1914, there was a park with band concerts and baseball games on Sundays. Apparently the dredging and filling did not hurt the clarity of the ice being harvested by the Knickerbocker Ice Company. Over a spur line from the Illinois Central Railroad, carloads of ice were sent to Chicago and far beyond.

In 1917, the Lake Forest Land Company began dredging for the "Lost City" which was to be a premier subdivision. The company straightened and deepened Wingra Creek by three feet. The expensive Vilas Park lagoon was nearly drained . Marsh vegetation rotted and gave off a terrible stench. Irate residents, through the Wisconsin Railroad Commission, forced the company to restore the lake to within a foot of its original level. Concrete paving in the marshy subdivision sank in the ooze. The company went bankrupt in 1922.

Luckily for those who like natural areas, a group led by Michael Olbrich campaigned to keep the area natural, resulting in the U.W. Arboretum.

In 1918, Lake Wingra was described as clear of the algae that was plaguing sewage enriched Monona. Joe Wojta, a lifelong resident of the area, remembers that in the 1920s it was muddy and weedy at the edges. One had to go well out into the lake to swim. In fact, it was called mud lake by some. Fishing was good, including pickerel and sturgeon. (But carp were a problem. The lake was drawn down on 1913 to try to control them.) There was little or no hunting.

Today’s Lake Wingra is 345 acres, maximum depth is 21 feet. It may now be 6 to 10 percent larger than before the dam (just guessing). The lake seems about 31/2 feet above the creek at the spillway (in November). Although somewhat battered by all this, Wingra has survived much better than many lakes in southern Wisconsin.

Where did the name Lake Wingra come from? The government surveyors in 1834 simply named the lakes one through four as they moved north from the Illinois border. In 1854, Leonard Farwell was promoting Madison nationwide. He had 10,000 maps printed with the lakes having Indian names: the 4th lake became Mendota, meaning "great;" the 3rd lake became Monona, meaning "beautiful;" etc. The names were supplied by Frank Hudson, a surveyor and student of Indian lore, and others.


 

INVASION! Help Needed to Exterminate Little Green Aliens

Attention, neighbors! Wingra Park is being invaded by little green aliens...sort of. Garlic mustard is staging an outbreak in our territory. It is an invasive, non-native biennial which spreads quickly and crowds out other types of plants, including wildflowers. It has been spotted in the wooded area behind the Wingra Park Boathouse and will soon threaten research areas in the Arboretum.
 
 Left unchecked, garlic mustard can wipe out all other plant species in an area within ten years. There are a variety of strategies for control. The best time for hand-pulling is in April and May, before it flowers. Once it has begun to bloom, nearly any manipulation will only serve to spread the seed.

If you are interested in helping to stop this plant pest, please call Kathy Miner at 233-2425 for more information. Please note that you must be authorized by the UW Arboretum to leave marked trails or remove any plant material.
 



 

R2 Zoning Work Continues

The mayor-appointed R2 Zoning Advisory Committee, which is evaluating ways to ease the R2 zoning code, continued its work over the Winter and Spring. No recommendations have been issued, but two subcommittees?"Neighborhood Character" and "Process" have begun to consider specific options. The subcommittees are considering both the R2 zoning code itself?which governs much of the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood?as well as the process by which variance requests are reviewed and approved. The Committee is seeking to alleviate the difficulties many homeowners experience when pursuing variances to remodel and/or expand their homes. At the same time, committee members ? which include representatives of several neighborhood associations as well as the architectural community are cognizant of the need to preserve neighborhood character and protect the interests of adjoining property owners. Look for continuing updates in the next Hornblower, or call Priscilla Arsove, DMNA Zoning Chair, at 233-0798 for additional information.


 

Alder-notes

by Ken Golden
The articles in this Hornblower offered me an opportunity to comment on issues that I could not refuse.

Rail Corridor Bike Path: This is an important issue for our neighborhood and our city. People are strongly interested in knowing and influencing the outcome of current discussions. I made sure that the City’s advisory committee would be representative of different views and responsive to the neighborhood’s interest in this project. I was very successful in recommending appointments to the committee, and I’m satisfied the membership represents balanced points of view. While their recommendation will be influential, there will also be ample opportunity for public input, through both neighborhood meetings and the city’s official decision-making process.

Zoning: The committee studying potential modifications to the R2 Zoning Code is working diligently. Hopefully by next year’s construction season we will see a reduced need for zoning variances in our neighborhood. I remain exceedingly disappointed in the performance of the Zoning Board of Appeals in dealing with our neighborhood. They are not doing a good job reflecting our community’s values. Nor am I impressed with their fairness or objectivity. They have acted arbitrarily and inconsistently, hurting some of your neighbors. The problem is not only with the R2 code, but with the Board. I am looking into ways to rectify that.

Spooner Street Bridge: Preliminary discussions have begun regarding the replacement of the deteriorated Spooner Street Bridge. I intend to design a process for advising the City on how to accomplish this which will involve both the Regent and Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood Associations and the property owners who live close to the bridge. Perhaps we will be able to correct some of the traffic-related problems that have historically occurred on this bridge.

Race Relations and Intolerance: I am a member of the Task Force on Race Relations. I see anger and rising levels of intolerance in Madison based on race and other factors, all of which call our community’s values into question.

Discussions regarding the rights of low-income persons to housing and the siting of group homes and correctional facilities have raised issues of tolerance. In fact, land use discussions during the Vision 2020 process are related.

The lack of affordable, multi-family housing in suburban communities concentrates people with higher service needs and the facilities to serve them in Madison. This leads to suggestions of quotas of people with special needs. I am not comfortable with this. I think these issues warrant public discussion.

Achieving positive outcomes on the Task Force on Race Relations will be challenging. We have a community that is poorly integrated based on income and race. Achieving greater social integration and tolerance will require a heroic effort.

Please share your comments and ideas. 238-4370 E-mail district10@council.ci.madison.wi.us


 

Monroe Street Librarian Retires

Dorothy Batt, Monroe Street’s favorite librarian for nearly twenty years has retired. She grew up in a small town in Nebraska in a house right next door to the public library. Fond memories of the world of imagination and information "next door" inspired Dorothy’s career and her very special friendly and caring service. Dorothy was honored by her patrons and colleagues at a gala reception on April 18 at the Library. Dorothy’s future plans include spending more time with her family and her pets, reading, bird watching, and travel.
   


DMNA Directory Information Specialist Needed. Neighborhood resident with experience in data entry and desktop publishing to check, enter and cross reference membership information and perform other tasks for DMNA Directory. Must be accurate, detail-oriented, and organized. $10 per hour for 100 to 150 hours, November through January. Send letter and resume to Kay Hendon, 1934 W. Lawn. Respond by July 1.