The already-dim prospects for a civic auditorium and convention center at Law Park fade even further as Mayor Bill Dyke says the city doesn’t have the hotel rooms to support a convention center or the money to build a first-class auditorium there. “We as much need a new dump as we need an auditorium,” the mayor tells the Civic Music Association. Dyke, who strongly supported a comprehensive facility modeled on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Monona Terrace during his unsuccessful mayoral campaign in 1965, suggests the city build what he calls “a high class park and amusement center” instead, something like the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. “It’s time we faced the facts of life,” Dyke says, declaring that building an auditorium “is not the prime responsibility of my administration.”
The special 3-man commission Dyke appointed to study the Mifflin Street Block Party Riots of early May ends six weeks of often conflicting public testimony about who did what to whom during the disturbance. Among the final witnesses, Rabbi Richard Winograd, director of the Hillel Foundation on Langdon Street, who tells the commission that police repeatedly threw tear gas cannisters at the building for no apparent reason. Clinical psychologist Edward Burdulis, a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission, tells the panel both kids and cops need to be more sensitive to each other; he suggests a policeman be stationed at the Mifflin Street Co-Op, “just so students could come up and talk to him, and he could get advance information about what was planned.” The commissioners – retired Supreme Court Justices George Currie and Emmert Wingert and flamboyant attorney Ken Hur – have not yet set a timeframe for writing their report.
The city plan department has prepared a walking tour of downtown’s historic buildings, including St Raphael’s Cathedral, the magnificent homes of Mansion Hill and the former Gates of Heaven synagogue on West Washington Avenue, now vacant. And the city may do more for historic preservation – Mayor Dyke has directed City Attorney Edwin Conrad to look into the city’s authority to create a zoning category for historic districts and buildings.
The Republican-dominated UW board of regents condemns the Republican-controlled state Assembly for approving a budget that gives the university 13% less than the Republican-controlled State Senate. Regent vice president Bernard Ziegler, longtime GOP party chair in the 6th Congressional District, accuses the Republican representatives of “playing politics” with the university budget. The 1969-1971 budget which has already passed the State Senate and is supported by Republican governor Warren Knowles, increases taxpayer support for the university from 183 million to more than $226 million; the Assembly version provides a flat $200 million. Madison attorney Maurice Pasch – the only remaining regent appointed by former Democratic governor Gaylord Nelson– calls the Assembly budget “sad and sordid, with a clear anti-Madison bias.” The two local Republican representatives – Robert Uehling of Madison and Russ Weisensel of Sun Prairie – both support the Assembly budget, which the Senate quickly rejects, and sends to a conference committee.
UW Chancellor Edwin Young has some advice for his fellow university administrators – never agree with student demands to never call city police to campus. “Don’t give in,” he says in the current issue of School Management magazine. “If you do, the radicals will run all over you and ultimately force you to go back on your word.” Young, who welcomed the National Guard to campus during the Black Studies Strike in February, calls the typical student body “mostly well-behaved young people with a handful of revolutionaries.” And he said protesters were sometimes right in challenging the status quo. “Why not change some of the things we’ve been doing for years,” he asks, adding, “don’t get mad, don’t worry too much about your dignity, and above all, don’t get frozen in a position from which you can’t move or change.”
Changing a position is something State Senator Fred Risser is thinking of doing, as he reveals he is seriously considering running for lieutenant governor in next year’s Democratic primary. Risser, currently the Senate’s minority leader, was elected to the Assembly in 1956 and to the upper house in 1962, to fill the unexpired term of Horace Wilkie, who had been appointed to the state Supreme Court. Risser was elected to full terms in 1964 and 68, and does not face reelection until 1972. 1970 will mark the first time Wisconsin candidates for governor and lieutenant governor will run on the same ticket for a four-year term.
The longstanding grape boycott in support of organizing efforts by the United Farm Workers is not getting much support from Madison stores or shoppers. The only stores honoring the boycott are two campus-area Kroger stores and the local A&P outlets, in keeping with a policy throughout the A&P’s entire Midwest region.
TV singing sensations the Monkees delight a Dane County Coliseum full of screaming teens at the Dane County Junior Fair. The pre-fab four, now down to a trio with Peter Tork’s departure for a solo career, perform such hits as “I’m A Believer” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday” before they encore with a true rock classic – Chuck Berry’s anthem from 1957, Johnny B Goode.
And Mrs. Milo Kittleson, widow of a former three-term mayor and a civic leader in her own right, dies at a Verona nursing home at age 89. The former Ida Johnson was a co-founder and longtime president of the Madison Kiddie Camp, an open air facility designed to combat tuberculosis and rheumatic fever among the children of Madison’s poor and underprivileged. A graduate of the Madison Business College, Mrs Kittleson was also a cofounder and longtime president of the Dane County Human Society, and active in other groups. Milo Kittleson, in office from 1920 to 1926, was one of the most important and influential mayors in Madison’s first century as a city. He died in 1958.
And that’s this week’s Madison in the Sixties. For the award-winning WORT news team, I’m Stu Levitan.