Downtown businesses crumble in liberal cities

And feckless local leaders twiddle around.

Construction workers boarded up broken windows Wednesday along Gorham Street and University Avenue after a third night of unrest in Downtown Madison.

John Theisen said security cameras showed several people smashing the windows of his Domino’s Pizza shop on Gorham Street and then leaving after finding nothing to steal.

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Tuesday night’s destruction came just as shopkeepers and building owners had largely removed plywood that covered windows along State Street and its offshoots since protests earlier this summer after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Now virtually every window on Capitol Square, State Street and part of University Avenue is boarded just as UW-Madison students return to campus.

Tiffany Kenney, executive director of the Central Business Improvement District, said it could be months before business owners feel comfortable without protection over their windows.

“This is a giant setback for us,” Kenney said. “They are fearful. There has been damage, there’s been violence and we’re back, way, way back.”

Kenney said many are worried about the November elections and may leave their boards in place through the end of the year, which “could be devastating for our Downtown.”