Letter to the People - January 2014

Publisher's Commentary
by Rökker

Lizzie in her Zombie Pom Pom outfit for a basketball game halftime performance - photo by Allison Rocker

Lizzie in her Zombie Pom Pom outfit for a basketball game halftime performance
photo by Allison Rocker

Hey Everybody!

Willy Wash: Willy Wash is a movement of people who stand behind the idea that the area from the Yahara River to the Capitol, from Willy Street to E. Washington, be re-developed with the consideration of a music zone, a musical Yahara if you will…

It all started with a group meeting at the Memorial Union over a few beers wondering what Madison would be like with a world class music zone, bringing economic prosperity to a very old area while paying homage to Madison’s musical history as well as the city’s strong values of arts, culture, and education.

Now it has grown to a movement, putting investors, politicians, developers, city planners, and business leaders together to re-forge an area into a zone that the public and music community can live, work, and play in a city loved around the world.

There has never been a time in Madison’s history that an area so large, and so prime, be on the table for redevelopment. It is almost our fortune that early settlers of Madison turned the east part of the isthmus into an industrial area that now leaves many locations up for development. The elephant in the room is “What will the area be redeveloped into?” We have a choice, we can do nothing and just let the forces be as they may and redevelop, or we could come up with ideas that the public, government, and developers can get behind and realize. If you would like to find out more about Willy Wash, or better yet, join the cause, come to our next CITIZEN PARLOR happening at the Goodman Center on Thursday, February 13th at 6:30pm. You can see more at the new website, www.willywash.org, or find the group on Facebook, send an email to contact@willywash.org to receive info or stay tuned here, I’ll have a few more details for you next month.

Launchpad: The 10th annual Launchpad is upon us. Launchpad is still the only statewide school music competition in the nation for high school garage bands of all music genres. 60 bands compete in regional competitions for a chance to go to the finals where they will compete for the prestigious Les Paul Launchpad Award as well as recording time at Madison’s Blast House Studios, a 2014 Summerfest gig, and an interview in Maximum Ink! Band application period ends February 7, so get to LaunchpadWisconsin.org and get your high school band signed up!

Adventures with Lizzie & Nikko: The gods must be crazy! Two days of school called off at the end of winter break, and during my press week! Oy! We had a great staycation… we’ve been to Family Video so much they know who we are.

There was a Star Wars Lego marathon, then all six movies, Alien, Princess Bride (yes, I sat through the Princess Bride), and a ton of other movies I can’t remember at three in the morning. The best part was Lizzie picking up “Shadows of the Empire”, the book between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. She finished it in a day, and now finished another.

She’s hooked, but wait ‘til she finds out there are more than 85 Star Wars books in my library!

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