Categotry Archives: Important


2014 Annual Meeting and Picnic

Categories: Entertainment, Important, Informative, Park Activities

Drawing by John Pickle

Hey, folks! Come to the annual meeting/picnic tomorrow. We’re pressing apples for fresh cider, grilling a bit of food, and generally enjoying what should be a beautiful day. (There’s a whisper about some Ale Asylum Ambergeddon, too!)

Bring some park play stuff, bring the kids, bring sides or something for the grill (it’s a potluck), BRING MORE APPLES! It’d be nice to see you 😉

Thurber Park (Fair Oaks at the tracks)
Saturday, Oct 11th

Special thanks to the Hatcher family, Adam Haen at FEED Kitchens, 4 & 20, Pickle Jar BBQ, Chris Moyer, John Minnick, Zion Lutheran Church, and our tireless board members!


Mayor Meeting Update

Categories: General, Important, Informative

Last Friday, I had another opportunity to meet with Mayor Soglin and staff to discuss the neighborhood. That time, however, I was pleased to have join me Sue Weaver, who’s on the WPNA Board, and Jonathan Hunter of Underground Food Collective. Since we had a culinary powerhouse in the room much of the conversation was about food—access, quality, service, training, etc—and the topic was far from exhausted at the meeting’s end. There was just enough time to mention Internet access and tech skill building but that’s a long conversation for another day, hopefully soon.

Y’know, things are tough. It may seem we just can’t shake the ills of modern society but many of us in this community believe that being savvy stewards with creative new approaches will help treat the issues to an end that reveals a higher quality of life for all our neighbors. It’s good to know that food and tech are high priorities with the city and Soglin, and we think we’ll have some support behind Worthington Park initiatives as time goes on.



Identity Crisis

Categories: Important


We in the Worthington Park neighborhood embrace diversity, improvement and movement that encourages communication and fosters beneficial relationships. Recently, residents voiced opinions that the association needed a sharper logo, one that nodded to the area’s history and looks ahead to realize its potential. What surfaced took most of us by surprise but it was so simple, elegant, yet striking, that soon after a few iterations of its concept were offered a final decision was made.

Ben Koca is a resident of Worthington Park and designer, currently working for American Family. Ben has increased his involvement in the neighborhood significantly over the short time he’s lived here and the extension of his design talent has made a large impact. We’re thrilled to have a fresh new logo and we already have business cards sporting our new look.


Thanks, Ben!



Categories: Important, Informative

Yes, WPNA has become too legit. That is, most definitely, too legit to quit.

wpna-newacctI’m really happy to say that, today, I opened WPNA’s first bank account in… um… well, a long, long time, and did so at Heartland Credit Union. Big thanks to Erin Rose at Heartland on Willy for taking it right to the five o’clock buzzer dotting the t’s and crossing the i’s (I’m tired) to get our account finalized.

An even bigger thanks to the troopers, new and old, of WPNA, who’ve weaved themselves together to strengthen our community’s organization to the point of being able to reinstate its corporate status, which happened three weeks ago, thus enabling today’s step forward. What’s on the horizon? 501(c)3, baby.

“Hey, Alfonso, what money did you open an account with?” you ask. It’s pretty cool, actually. We received a grant from Dane County Bicycle Association to help fund this year’s bike repair series. Cooler than that, there are additional funds and in-kind donations on the way thanks to other community partners who believe in our neighborhood and association as much as we residents do.

Big things, folks. Big things.


Union Corners, Darbo and a Future

Categories: Critical, Important, Informative

Today, I read an article that resonated with points Madison residents are making regarding the Union Corners project, and the seemingly apparent greed or plain lack of foresight of Gorman USA, current steward of the 11-acre parcel. Attention to the long-term financial and social benefits to the city and existing and future residents must be paid but it has been given shamefully short consideration by Gorman and anchor tenant, or so the phrase has been used, UW Health. The clinic may be an anchor for Gorman, or an anchor (read: only) tenant for Phase I, but it will hardly carry the whole site, especially as its building and parking lots are currently drawn.

Back to the article, the last bit left unwritten the need for creative solutions to reduce poverty, and so, locally, the necessity to establish a cooperative economic growth model for Darbo/Worthington. An inclusive quality of life improvement agenda can do this. What can’t, and only perpetuates the societal infirmity, is the long-held tradition of displacement. We can do better.

Give it a read.


Homeless Campus in Darbo, City Says No

Categories: Entertainment, Important, Informative

Did y’all already know this?

Well, it’s evidence that I’m behind on my e-mails but I finally thoroughly read minutes from the Neighborhood Resource Team meeting earlier in January. For a relatively contentious issue I’m surprised notice didn’t go out widely—maybe I missed it—but here it is anyway: The City will not approve the homeless facility the Salvation Army had a boner about building at 3030 Darbo. I’m sure City staff didn’t use the word boner but Salvation Army was rather excited about cashing in their hot downtown real estate and royally screwing our neighborhood.

As Salvation Army complains it barely has funds to run its limited programs, it seems appropriate to start discussing alternatives. Maybe they’ve run their course, maybe their hierarchy is convoluted or unnavigable, or maybe their international organization is too archaic and removed to encourage the needed advancement of Darbo/Worthington. I don’t know. Whatever the reasons for underperforming, maybe there’s a different group to take it from here, to shape 3030 Darbo into a high-functioning community center, one that appeals first to the diversity of our neighborhood then beyond its modest boundaries.

I’m far from demonizing Salvation Army. I know their food programs and other services fill a need. What I’m doing instead is asking the question: Who else could do the same or better or offer more? Looking around Dane County you’ll see organizations involved in similar work. Maybe a few could come together under one roof to provide the current services at Darbo, maybe they’d expand services into the evening, maybe they’d have child care, or maybe they’d have weekends chock-full of entertaining and educational and physical activities. Well, maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about. But, at least I’m talking, and I would love to hear feedback.


2013 Park Improvements Meeting

Categories: Important, Informative, Park Activities

A mailer should have gone out for this special meeting discussing park improvements slated for this year and beyond. For instance, happening later this year, the basketball courts are getting replaced, the fence is coming out, and the playground equipment is getting updated. All this needs your input!

6PM ~ Wednesday, May 8
Community Room in Hawthorne Library
2707 E Washington Ave


May 8, 2013 Meeting for the Park


Youth Services: Update

Categories: Important, Informative

Youth Services of Southern Wisconsin announced last month to reopen their real estate search and stated they will not pursue the purchase of 3051 East Washington Avenue, the former location of McDonald’s.

We wish Casey Behrend, the Youth Services board, and all staff the best in finding a site for their headquarters, and we thoroughly appreciate their reevaluating locating in Darbo after the voices of residents and community stakeholders were heard.


May as an Operative Word

Categories: Important, Informative

As seen in the Cap Times, the article Study says homeless facilities may up value of nearby property and the study it draws upon will probably be mentioned in the future by supporters of the Youth Services and Salvation Army proposals.

Without citing more than one study from one major metropolitan city, in this instance Philadelphia, a case can hardly be made for increasing property values but it is an interesting place to start. Studying that impact is precisely what Youth Services and Salvation Army could do before approaching the Darbo community and looking to our Neighborhood Resource Team for support. Also referenced should be third-party analyses of how these agencies have offered and operated their services in the past. Regarding Salvation Army’s intention to build a homeless and transitional housing campus on Darbo, it would be helpful knowing how communities in other cities were affected by a Salvation Army expansion of this size.

The value increase mentioned in the article relies on bulky conditions—access to capital, resources, effective management, education, after care—and values are still subject to throes of economic contraction. With the seriousness of what’s at stake, I fail to see how a substantial argument can hinge on the word may.


Reminder: The listening meeting for Youth Services proposal is January 16 at 6:30 in the Salvation Army basement.


Youth Services, Alder Rummel Listening Meeting

Categories: Important, Informative

Alder Marsha Rummel Listening Meeting scheduled to discuss Youth Services of Southern Wisconsin’s desire to relocate to 3051 East Wash (McDonald’s).  A new 18,000 sq ft facility is being proposed for their new headquarters, including an 8-bed homeless shelter for at-risk youth so come hear details and ask questions.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Basement of The Salvation Army
3030 Darbo Drive

View Meeting Flyer

Also see:
Cap Times Article
Neighborhood Update

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