Mel, I appreciate your input, and for the record, I wasn't trying to be all down on the idea, just a little apprehensive based on things that I've seen. My personal interactions with the concept in Chicago are responsible for this, and were echoed by massimo's experiences in Seattle. I'm sure Madison vendors will be much more civil. I wish you the best of luck and will buy the first copy (and probably each successive one) asap.
The way I understood it to work was that it was an income source designed to replace panhandling altogether. I wasn't aware that it would be a few-days-per-month thing. It might make sense to do regular day hours for only a couple of days per month, but also to focus on event stuff, like big shows at the Overture or Kohl centers, maybe football games. That way you're not hitting the same folks over and over and ignoring the out of towners.
My thing about competing newspapers was kind of a joke, though.
Is there any way to get the City Council to adopt a resolution allowing the sale of this newspaper in this way? It doesn't sound like the vendor license thing will be a big issue, but I can't imagine the CC saying "no" to something like this.
I also like BobArctor's idea of the lapel pin.