Morning Update: Thursday, Nov. 11
BRT update + Nurses fight for union + Local magic
Madison Minutes is a free daily morning newsletter. Sign up here to get the scoop on news and events in our community.
Good morning, Madison.
Happy Thursday and happy Veterans Day.
From 6-10 a.m. the Hy-Vee on East Washington is offering complimentary breakfast for veterans and their families. NBC15 reports more than 600 people came out for breakfast last year, and the store is preparing for large numbers again today. You can dine in or take food to go. Happy eating!
One quick note: You may have received two emails from us yesterday. This was a mistake. We experienced some technical difficulties with Bulletin, the platform we use to send this email, but hope the problems have since been resolved. If for some reason you didn't get yesterday's email, you can still read it here.
We're one of the first publishers to use Bulletin so some hiccups are to be expected from time to time (that's the fun part of being a beta tester!). But thank you for being patient with us as we work through the kinks. If you ever have feedback, questions, or general comments about the newsletter, please always feel free to reach out by sending an email to email@example.com.
🚌 City Council failed to pass an amendment that would have considered alternate BRT stations downtown.
- Some context: Alders previously proposed an amendment to withhold funding for the city's Bus Rapid Transit project (BRT) until they evaluated an alternate route through downtown and considered a broader network redesign. This amendment was ultimately not considered by the council Instead, a scaled-back version that only focused on station locations went to a vote.
- The council voted 10-9 in favor of the amendment, which would have directed city staff to evaluate the feasibility of putting BRT stations on the 300 blocks of West Gorham and West Johnson streets instead of State Street, the State Journal reports.
- The council requires at least 11 votes to pass anything, so this proposal ultimately failed.
- Related: Public comments mixed as Madison City Council considers BRT route (Cap Times)
🏥 Tensions are rising between nurses fighting for unionization and UW Health.
- Some context: UW Health nurses have been struggling with budget cuts, critically low staff numbers, and getting their concerns heard by administrators. For years, UW Health nurses had a strong union but after the passage of Act 10 and the failure to re-negotiate their contract in 2014, the union dissolved. A majority of nurses signed cards in support of re-establishing a union in 2019, but administrators refused to recognize them. Now, they're revitalizing the effort and fighting for a new union and contracts. Madison's City Council has formally voiced their support for the union efforts.
- Two Madison alders recently sounded the alarm on anti-union campaigns at UW Health. Alders Lindsay Lemmer and Patrick Heck learned UW Health is working with known anti-union consultants Axley Brynelson, LLP and Chicago-based Chessboard Consulting.
- As WORT reports, the UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority board (UW Health's governing body) maintains that Act 10 prevents them from recognizing a union. But nurses, labor leaders, and some legal experts refute this claim, nothing UWHCA has always had the power to voluntarily recognize the union.
- Dive deeper: Tensions rise in nurses’ union campaign at UW Health (Wisconsin Examiner)
🦃 Madison College chefs are cooking up 2,500 Thanksgiving meals for River Food Pantry.
- The recipe calls for 70 roasted turkeys, 50 gallons of gravy, and 800 pounds of Yukon Gold smashed potatoes. Yummmmm.
- Related: 10 donation, Thanksgiving meal resources for the Dane County community (Madison Magazine)
🏗️ Madison Property Management is eyeing the 500 block of West Washington for their next development.
- The local property developer is hoping to tear down nine vintage buildings for a six-story housing project between 519 and 547 W. Washington Ave.
- The building would provide "132 to 140 housing units and about 160 underground parking stalls and 13 exterior guest parking spaces," the State Journal reports.
🚗 Local governments are increasingly leaning on wheel taxes to generate revenue and Madison is no exception.
- A new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum shows wheel tax revenues tripled between 2017 and 2021. If you live in Madison — and don't drive an electric vehicle — you paid $85 to the state, $40 to the city, and $28 to Dane County in wheel taxes this year, WORT reports.
🔮 Your lunchtime read: Madison magician makes national TV debut, earns praise from Penn & Teller.
- From Madison365: "When Matthew Teague was 12, a trick with coins sent him “through the rabbit hole” of magic — which led to him becoming a world-class professional magician who just last week made his national television debut."
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 55.1%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 71.7%
Here's where to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.
Need a COVID-19 test? PHMDC has you covered.
Are you eligible for a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna? Find out here.
NEW: Do you still need your flu shot? Start here.
📅 Events: Thursday, Nov. 11
- Veteran’s Day.
- Veterans Day Tribute at Madison Senior Citizen Center. 10 a.m. special guests include Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Representative Francesca Hong, and Senator Kelda Roys.
- Chris Garcia at Comedy on State. Students $5, regular admission $15.
- Roman Alexander and Levi Hummon at High Noon Saloon. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $12 advance, $15 at door.
- Panel: Indigenous & Community Resistance to Mining in Wisconsin. Organized by Sierra Club of Wisconsin. 7 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- Author talk: “Nice White Ladies” author Jessie Daniels. Organized by the Wisconsin Book Festival. Daniels addresses the unintended complicity of even well-meaning white women. 7 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- The story of Corporal Mitchell Redcloud, Jr. as told by Ho-Chunk Nation's Eric Logan. Part of the Ho-Chunk Through Story: The Origin, The Wayz, and The Life residency. 7 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” film screening with director Ken Kwapis at Union South. From IMDb: “Four best girlfriends hatch a plan to stay connected with one another as their lives start off in different directions: they pass around a pair of secondhand jeans that fits each of their bodies perfectly.” 7 p.m. Free.
- Two Friends at the Sylvee. Show at 8 p.m. Free.