Vol. 6    No. 20
OCTOBER 6, 2011

The Capital City Hues
(608) 241-2000
gramling@capitalcityhues.com


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The Capital City Hues
PO Box 259712
Madison, WI 53725
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Contact Number:
(608) 241-2000
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EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang
Kenneth Haynes, Eileen Cecille
Hocker, Heidi Pascual, &
Martinez White
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling   
                    Randomly Thinking
I’m sitting here early on Friday morning, desperately writing articles and trying to meet my press
time, wondering how two weeks could have passed so quickly. Wasn’t I just doing this the
other day? Is this some version of Groundhog Day and I don’t have a clue to what I have to do to
make everything begin again in a nice, slow real time? I know something must have happened
during the intervening two weeks, but there are times when I am hard-pressed to tell you what it
was. I guess if I read the articles in this issue of The Hues, I will remember.

The other day, I had someone in their 30’s tell me how time was just slipping by fast. I told her
that she hadn’t seen anything yet. The high-speed train of life is just cranking up for her. Wait
until she gets on the bullet train of life that I am on, speeding along at unimaginable speeds. I
guess one good use of retirement is to futilely try to slow that train down by taking note of the life
that is happening around us.

The fall has certainly slipped away fast. Here it is only October 6th and already one-fourth of the
NFL season has been played. And aren’t the trees turning color awfully fast? Leaves are already
falling to the ground. According to my internal clock, this shouldn’t be happening for 2-3 weeks. I
thought a lot of the leaves hung around until the Halloween season when the bare branches
would give Trick-or-Treat night an eerie feel.

I went to the funeral of a friend last Saturday. She died much too young at age 62. She and her
husband had just built their dream home in New Mexico and were planning to join the “snow
birds” crowd. Life is so precious and we just don’t know when it is our time. She was a great
person and with the world  the way it is, I hate to see one of the good ones pass so early in her
life.

Fall means that we are in the giving season with United Way of Dane County and Community
Shares of Wisconsin in the midst of raising money for local charities and causes through payroll
giving campaigns. I am wondering how the actions of Governor Walker and the state legislature
are going to affect this year’s campaigns. State, county, municipal and public school employees
are paying more of their pension and health insurance costs. As they are trying to adjust to the
new economic reality and in some cases, trying to save their homes from foreclosure, I wonder
how that is going to impact these combined campaigns. There are a whole lot of public
employees living in Dane County. Will they be able to contribute to these campaigns at the same
giving levels as some of them are probably forced to use more of the services that they have
traditionally given to? I hope so, but we will have to wait and see. And will the private sector
pick up the slack?

Last Thursday, I had the privilege of attending the Voices Beyond Bars banquet at Monona
Terrace. It was a pretty cool event. Voices Beyond Bars offers support to people who are
transitioning out of correctional institutions and is run by formerly incarcerated individuals.
The room was filled with law enforcement, judges, community activists, business people and
formerly incarcerated people, all of us dressed up in our Sunday best. Unless you knew them
from experience, you couldn’t tell who was who. Everyone was there to lend support and to
recognize those who were being honored that night, for the most part, formerly incarcerated
individuals who had done something with their lives. Some work in Corrections. One owns his
own business. All of them remember from where they came and are offering support to those
who are just beginning the first day of the rest of their lives as formerly incarcerated individuals.

This event gave me hope and I pray that it gave hope to those members of the audience who
might be struggling a little bit on the outside of the correctional institutions. My hat is off to
Jerome Dillard and the rest of the folks at Voices Beyond Bars. They truly are making a
difference in the lives of formerly incarcerated individuals and their loved ones. And it also
gave me hope that a broad range of people from the criminal justice community, Republican and
Democrat, were there to be part of the solution. As Gary Hamblin, the keynote speaker for the
event, noted, it will take everyone working together to make a difference in these people’s
lives. And as Jerome Dillard noted, the difference has to begin with the formerly incarcerated
individuals.