Where angels fear to tread, Squire Blaska rushes in with a list of impertinent questions. Two weeks ago, upon the death of a contractor named Chris Kneubuehl during an armed robbery at a Culver’s restaurant, we asked this question:
Madison’s elected alders recently awarded $75,000 to address “racial disparities, violence, and division between communities.” The money was ear-marked for funeral arrangements, temporary housing, bus passes, food cards, smartphones and counseling. Will the Kneubuehl family be the first to benefit? Or don’t they qualify?
We posed that question to Madison’s elected leaders. Instead of responding, they organized a stonewall. Ald. McKinney told her fellow alders:
Email from David Blaska: So it begins!!! This was not unexpected. I ask that if any response comes forth that it is coordinated so as not to further divide our community.
Evidently, the alders decided on No Response. Don’t want to “divide the community.” Not when everyone who counts agrees.
In the meantime, I sat down with Michael Johnson of the Boys and Girls Clubs and Anthony Cooper of Focused Interruption. Their hearts are in the right place and they may even do some good. Still digesting our conversation but I can pass along that Michael Johnson says his group did reach out to help the Kneubuehl family but that Culver’s is doing its own thing. Which is this:
On Saturday, July 15, these Culver’s restaurants will donate 100% of their sales to the Kneubuehl family.
- 2102 W. Beltline Hwy. (Todd Drive), Madison
- 4401 Cottage Grove Rd., Madison
- 4700 Farwell St., McFarland
The intrepid Paula Fitzsimmons — a major force in the police support movement — pressed the issue with Mayor Soglin. She wrote this on July 10:
… I’m requesting that the city match the amount Culver’s raises that day. We have money for police “studies,” a 15-point plan, and to compensate the family of someone who attacked a police officer and was tragically, albeit consequently shot. The least we can do is to compensate the family of someone who was killed, through no fault of his own (while providing for his family) in our city.
I’d like to know your plans for doing this, including possible compensation for the other victims from that evening. If you don’t plan to compensate, I’d like to know why not.
Lo (and behold!) Paula was copied in this e-mail today:
From: Soglin, Paul [mailto:PRSoglin@cityofmadison.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2017 3:03 PM
To: ‘Paula Fitzsimmons’ <xxxxx>
Subject: RE: Compensating the Culver Victim’s Family
Paul R. Soglin, Mayor
City of Madison
“Gloria” would be Gloria Reyes, deputy mayor for public safety, civil rights, and community services.
It would be the smart move but (as the former FBI director would say) Lordy, does it open Pandora’s Box! Every one whose smart phone was ever snatched is going to line up. But then, that box was opened when the city committed money to Focused Interruption.
Add your voices. Tell Hizzoner to start paying attention to the victims of crime.