Archive for October, 2010

Madison Voting on Medical Marijuana

Posted: October 29, 2010 in Politics

Michael Stock

On November 2, all Dane County mid-term election ballots will include the following referendum: “Should the Wisconsin Legislature enact legislation allowing residents with debilitating medical conditions to acquire and possess marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their physician?”

Supporters of the medical marijuana bill gathered downtown for Harvest Fest the first weekend of October.  The annual event includes music and speeches and culminates in a march up State Street from Library Mall to the state capitol.

Students from all of Madison’s campuses as well as from out of town were represented at the event.  Edgewood sophomore Kayla Stetzel, who witnessed the parade, said, “If it helps people with medical conditions, I don’t see why not.”

Asked about the referendum, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin said, “We still see arrests and prosecutions when I think there are so many other higher priorities.  Even if you just limit the discussion to drugs, there are certainly drugs that are very highly addictive and have no similar benefits that medical marijuana does in alleviating suffering, pain, and nausea.”

Supporters of the bill march up State Street

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Groups Push Peers to the Polls

Posted: October 23, 2010 in Politics

Lisa Kaminski

With mid-term elections quickly approaching, Edgewood’s political student organizations are preparing to get people to the polls.

With less than two weeks until Election Day, the Edgewood College Democrats are working to get students to vote.

“There’s an enthusiasm gap right now,” said Nicki Ley, treasurer for the organization.  With this in mind, the group has been working to get  students registered and to the polls.  In the coming days, the College Democrats will be in the Wingra Commons to provide information on how to register and offering to send reminders to vote.  The group also worked with Beth John, Director of Student Activities, to have shuttles run resident students to the polls on November 2.

The Edgewood College Republicans also want to see a strong student presence come Election Day, but due to poor member turnout and busy schedules, they have failed to make any substantial plans to get others involved.  Despite the organization’s lack of formal activity, president Brittany Remmington believes that voting “is important for people our age.  These are the people that are going to be in charge when we graduate.”

Although these students organizations tend to be most active during major elections, bot plan on staying busy after votes are cast.  “We want to keep the momentum going,” Ley said.

Back Porch Reading

Posted: October 22, 2010 in Arts and Culture

Brianna Fiene

“Back Porch Reading” featured local poets and short story writers for a series of enthralling readings.

As promised the performances were on a spacious back porch where eager listeners gathered on chairs and blankets to hear the authors recite their own words. The yellow glow of a back alley light shone on each reader like a spotlight. It was a treat to have a plethora of works from published authors all in one venue.

Christine Holm started out the night with a series of poems that had spot-on quirky imagery easily accessible to the mind and had the audience laughing in recognition. Edgewood’s own Meg Johnson continued with humorous and enthusiastic readings of her poems.

Nineteen-year-old, Zozie Beatrice shared some of her published poems. She cites her favorite poets as Ezra Pound and Sylvia Plath. Beatrice read a poem she wrote during an inspirational  “morality kick”.

“I write when something hits me. Like people in the grocery store check-out line, I just pull something out and jot it all down,” she said.

Amanda Hemer-Viviani was the one short story reader. Both of her stories were highly observational pieces that seemed to be inspired by childhood relationships. Charlie Campbell, local M.C performed slam poetry. His delivery was intense, and he mixed it up with a funny song about a crush.

The night was interesting and provided an atmosphere where writers of all levels could comfortably converse after the featured readings. Complete with some very cozy and necessary baked goods, snacks and beer.

So what is your story, when did you know you wanted to do what you do?

The earliest I can trace my interest in public service to is middle school, believe it or not. The “A-ha!” moment wasn’t running or winning the student council race, but it was some of the work I was involved with once I was elected. It was just that light-bulb moment for me that a small group of people could make a difference in others’ lives. Our school had a sister school in Nicaragua. There was a huge earthquake and the school there was heavily damaged, so we raised pennies, nickels quarters and dimes, and got letters back from those children thanking us, saying they were able to buy books. So here we were, pre-teens in Wisconsin, making a difference halfway across the world.

There was also an issue that brought me to public service, which is my belief that everyone should have comprehensive healthcare coverage that’s affordable. When I was nine years old I had a very serious childhood illness and was hospitalized for a long time. I know that my grandparents who raised me weren’t able to get insurance coverage for me after that. I just thought that shouldn’t happen to families, having to pay out of pocket and not being able to get insurance. It became a life-long goal.

How have you seen Madison change culturally and politically since you grew up here? How do you see it continuing to change, it what direction?

I remember Hildale being the periphery of the city, and when they opened West Town you had to travel through farm fields to get there. Watching the city grow has been interesting. The economy has become a lot more diverse, which is great because it has really helped a city like Madison weather the recession better than some communities where they’re really dependent on one sector of the economy; in particular, manufacturing towns like Milwaukee, Janesville and Beloit.

My mother was an undergrad here when I was born, and she was really involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement. I remember as a child all the demonstrations on campus, not violent ones, but students saying, “If we unify our voices we can really make a difference”, just by sit-ins, teach-ins, marches, etc. I think that really did make a difference. I think that has remained a tradition here, but has been strong or weak at various points in time. Obviously there are many campuses in the area and lots of opportunities for young people to engage both on campus and their larger community. (more…)

Michael Stock

The Obama Rally in Madison on Tuesday, September 28th, succeeded in sending one message: “vote during the mid-term elections.” Not a half-bad idea. Vote! Be a part of this experiment in democracy! If the lunatic, extremist fringes of the Republican Party take over congress, it won’t be because the sexist, racist, homophobic, anti-Muslim, anti-working-class, scientifically inaccurate balderdash they spew on a day-to-day basis appeals to the majority of Americans. It would be a sign of voter apathy.

And you don’t even need to vote for a Democrat. Vote for one of the intelligent, not bigoted,fiscally conservative Republicans. Vote for the Green Party—they seem to be, consistently, the lesser of the evils that comprise our partisan system. But keep in mind, that though a couple Greens might get into congress, there will likely never be a Green Party U.S. presidency (Cynthia McKinney was robbed of any reasonable media coverage in 2008). Or, if you’re still disillusioned, read some Trotsky or some Kate Richards O’Hare. (more…)

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Pop Secret #2 by Ruthie Rolfsmeyer

Obama Rally Coverage

Posted: October 1, 2010 in Politics

-The Secret Service confused us with what they referred to as the “renegade press.” The day was long, but overall moderately successful.

Lisa and Michael at the Press Check-In