Madison, the first week of September, 1969.
The showdown between Mayor William Dyke and the Common Council over how to provide bus service is averted – temporarily at least — when aldermanic advocates of public ownership realize they don’t have the 17 votes needed to override Dyke’s threatened veto, and agree with the mayor to continue the longstanding city subsidy under terms Dyke negotiated with the Madison Bus company – but only for one year, not the three years the company had agreed to. Dyke accepts the compromise – now the city has to hope the company will as well, in time for the decision deadline on September 10.
Fire Captain Ed Durkin, serving a six-month suspension for taking Firefighters Union Local 311 out on an illegal 3-day strike in March, resigns as local union president. He says it’s because of his new duties as a Vice-President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, and not Fire Chief Ralph McGraw’s order barring captains and lieutenants from serving as union officers — an order Durkin never honored and McGraw never enforced. Appeals of the order and discipline are pending.
The university’s affirmative action to increase the number of black students on campus bears some fruit at 180 students have their orientation in the special program for financial and tutorial assistance. Each student will have an upperclassman tutor for each course, and a graduate student counselor to coordinate work load. Students will take the regular accredited university courses but reduced class loads, and some, due to poor early education and preparation, will have to work on basic skills and fundamentals through some non-credit remedial courses. Hence the program’s designation as the Five-Year Program. The program, which Mrs. Ruth Doyle started in 1965, pays for room, board, tuition and books, and provides $600 in expense money, with students holding work-study jobs for about five hours a week. It’s funded by the federal government and private donors, and uses no state money. Increased black enrollment was one of the 13 Demands at the heart of the Black Studies Strike in February, which new program director James Baugh acknowledges “acted as a catalyst” for the university’s better outreach this year. Ironically, though, the strike actually hurt recruitment – Baugh says parents don’t want to send their children to a school where they “could get arrested or beat up by cops.”
From the ‘why-do-you-think-they-call-it-dope? File. Friday night, a local teenager and a friend from Chicago are drying a large quantity of marijuana in the oven in their apartment at 15 N Webster. It gets so smoky the kids pass out. Firefighters have to pull them to safety. After they’re revived, police arrest the youth for possession and use of marijuana. Criminal Court judge William Buenzli sets a preliminary hearing for later this month.
The Mifflin Street Community Co-Op grocery announces a 6% discount on all groceries sold to people on welfare or pensions, and says it will start providing transportation to the store on Saturdays and weekday evenings for those otherwise unable to make it to the corner of Bassett and Mifflin Streets.
The year’s first school-bell rings in change for Madison’s 34 thousand or so pupils. There’s a new “transitional” grade between kindergarten and first grade for pupils who aren’t ready to advance, but shouldn’t be forced to repeat kindergarten. Elementary school enrollment is down. Middle schools for sixth seventh and eighth grades open at La Follette and Schenk schools. There’s a new elective course in Negro history, offered in all four city high schools. And it’s the first school year without Central-University High School, which closed in June after a centennial of educational service.
Dr. Nathaniel O Calloway, president of the Madison chapter of the NAACP, sues the Madison Board of Education to stop it from using St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for elementary school classes while Aldo Leopold School is being built. Calloway has a young daughter at Silver Spring school, which is being closed. Calloway claims using the church classrooms violates the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom and constitutional ban on public support of churches. Calloway is represented by former alderman and mayoral candidate Robert Toby Reynolds.
And a sad transition in Madison’s educational family. Dr. Raymond W. Huegel, 1829 Van Hise Ave., former president of the Board of Education, and the Wisconsin Dental Society, dies on September 3 at age seventy-eight after a long illness. A Madison native, Huegel served on the school board from 1934 to 1968 and headed the building committee for fifteen years; the “school in the round” on Post Road was named in his honor during his presidency. Winner of six varsity letters at Marquette University, Huegel also officiated Big Ten Conference football games for twenty-three years, including working a Rose Bowl; a former coach at Central High School, he was instrumental in creating the recreation program in the public schools. A practicing dentist from 1912 to 1966, Huegel also served on the Madison Board of Health for five years. Huegel was a 32nd degree Mason and member of First Congregational Church, and a charter member of several organizations, including Downtown Kiwanis, Blackhawk Country Club and the Madison Curling Club.