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Topics of Discussion

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Allied Learning Center - 2005

An old picture I found of one of our landmarks, the Allied Learning Center from 2005 ...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Allied Drive Courtyard in the Backyard of New Single Family Homes

My puppy, Max, likes to play in the courtyard of our Allied Drive apartment. I am often in the courtyard playing with her, and as I looked at this picture I took of her when she was about 4 months, I realized how we are right in the backyards of the single family houses up on Red Arrow.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Losing Walgreens is a Matter of Time

As residents of the Allied community, there are many things that we know without having to look at statistics or data. We know that there are a lot of people out here that depend on the number 18 bus and if service on that line went down, many people would be out of jobs. We don’t have to look at a study to analyze the findings to know that. This is our community, we just know.

Similarly, we know that a lot of people steal from the Walgreens on the head of Allied Drive. It is a sad truth that we all just know. And I am sure that it is no surprise to the rest of Madison. There are a lot of perceptions about those of us living on Allied Drive, and one of them is that none of us have any money. Therefore it is a no-brainer that the stores over here most likely have a hard time staying profitable due to all the losses resulting from theft.

However, I know from going to Walgreens almost on a daily basis, that many of the thefts that take place are not acts of desperation. The rest of Madison must know that we are not all impoverished human beings over here that steal eggs and milk in order to feed our children. Ever since the weather broke, I go to Walgreens and I see kids bored out of their mind going into Walgreens for some quick thrills. Some of these kids are like six years old and they will all run into Walgreens, grab a King-Size chocolate bar and run out laughing and giggling, and I think in my mind, those boys will be in prison by the time they’re fourteen. We are in Wisconsin where half of the prison population is locked up over what Def Jam would call a DWB (driving while black).

These kids need to quit playing and find something to do. And maybe it is up to some of us to offer some guidance. There are many ways that we can incorporate children into our lives. I have adopted a little sister down the street from me (who I am guilty of neglecting at times, but I try to make up for it when we are together), and if everyone did the same, maybe that would have an impact on our community.

It’s not like we go anywhere fancy to spend time together. We make cookies and watch a movie, or play with Max (my puppy) and when we are together, we talk about real life things and I think that has an impact somewhere. We have a lot of kids in our neighborhood, and they all have mothers that are struggling. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, we have a lot of children here, and not a whole lot of village, so if we want a healthy community, we need to all pitch in. I think a little investment of time with our children will go a long way. And then maybe we can count on Walgreens to stay.

This column was originally published in Madison Voices, Allied Drive's community newspaper. Visit their Web site at: