A solution may be in sight for the crisis gripping Madison’s mass transit system. With the city contract subsidizing the Madison Bus Company set to expire on November 10, the company had proposed a three-year extension, with the city buying the company at the end of the contract; Mayor William Dyke supported that deal, but council liberals who favor city ownership coming sooner turned it down, voting instead for a one-year contract, with the city buying the company at any time within that period. That wasn’t acceptable to the company. Now, liberals and company executives have agreed on a five-month extension of the current contract, with the city committing to buying the company by April 10, 1970. But with 17 votes needed for approval, a block of seven conservatives, opposed to the city making that commitment before it receives word on federal support to help pay for the purchase, vow to kill the deal when it comes to the council next week. And they’ve got Mayor Dyke’s support to do so. Meanwhile, the November 10 deadline draws ever closer.
In a stunning reversal, the council fences in student renters in the already-overcrowded downtown by adopting an ordinance banning more than two unrelated persons renting in an area zoned for single-family dwellings and duplexes unless the owner of the building lives on premises. The measure failed by two votes last week, but after chief sponsor Ald. Ricard Landgraf, from the Vilas Area 13th Ward, agreed to allow existing uses to continue, it easily passes, 18-3. The State Journal applauds the new restrictions as an appropriate way to restrain absentee landlords from creating what it calls overcrowded slums of student ghettos
The Police and Fire Commission certifies the first black man for appointment to the Madison Police Department. He’s Air Force Sgt Johnny E Winston, recently returned from Vietnam, currently an Air Policeman at Tyndell AF Base in Panama City, FL. He’s scheduled for release next June, but may be discharged early due to the job offer. Winston enlisted in the AF a week after graduating from High School in South Bend IN, and was stationed for nearly two years at Truax Air Base. That’s when he met and married Mona Adams, daughter of Mrs. Adreena Adams, 15 lakeshore ct. They have a year-old son, John Jr
Commuter traffic — 8,000 cars a day using Spaight and Jenifer streets as a shortcut to and from downtown– is killing the Marquette neighborhood, leaders of the MNA tell the city traffic commission in an extraordinary two-hour session. “We’re not going to lie down and get paved over,” association officer David Mollenhoff says as he presents several ideas on how to divert non-local traffic from the neighborhood streets. City traffic engineer Don Theobald says most of the association’s proposals have already been budgeted for, just not as quickly as the neighborhood wants.
Draft resister Ken Vogel, indicted for refusing induction into the Armed Services, takes sanctuary in the First Congregational Church, on Breese Terrace. Although the US attorney says the arrest warrant for the former seminary student from Manitowoc County, won’t be executed for a week or so, about fifty other young white men join him, vowing to peacefully assist him resist arrest. They all wear name tags that read, “Hello, I’m Ken Vogel.” That first night, unidentified persons throw rocks at the Naval ROTC armory across the street from the church, shattering several large windows. Vogel and his supporters remain at the church throughout the week, without any attempt made to arrest him.
The semester’s first “monster meeting” of Madison SDS features a failed attempt to take over the meeting by SDS national secretary Jeff Jones and a half-dozen members of the militant Weatherman faction. Jones prances about and berates the Great Hall crowd with revolutionary rhetoric for about fifteen minutes until most of the eight hundred or so attendees turn their chairs around to proceed with the real business of the meeting—adopting the “Three Demands,” as formulated by the “Woody Guthrie Collective” leadership group: kicking ROTC off campus and closing both the Army Mathematics Research Center, and the Land Tenure Center.
The largest discount department store chain in the world opens two stores in Madison. K Mart, a subsidiary of S.S. Kresge Company, holds ribbon cutting ceremonies for stores out East Washington Avenue and down on Ann Street, off the west beltline.
Madison gets a new mini-movie theater, the Stage Door, formerly the back stage area for the Orpheum theater. The 1968 black and white British cult film noir The Committee, featuring about 20 minutes of original music by Pink Floyd, and starring the singer from the band Manfred Mann, is the opening night feature.
And Army Specialist 4 Dennis W. Shew, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Shew, 1101 Mendotta St., is killed in a non-combat vehicle crash in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. The native Madisonian graduated from East High School in 1966 and entered the Army in March, 1968. He had been in country since March of this year. The family requests that memorials be made to St Paul’s Lutheran Church.
And that’s this week’s Madison in the Sixties. For the award-winning WORT news team, I’m Stu Levitan.