Morning Update: Wednesday, Oct. 27
School board update + bike theft + non-stop flights
Good morning Madison.
Let's just dive right into today's stories!
🎒 The Madison School Board said no more detentions for kids in 4k-5 grade.
- The board unanimously approved a resolution to create a suspension moratorium for students in grades 4K-5.
- For more: Scott Girard of the Cap Times has a nice explainer that covers everything the board did and approved at its Monday meeting.
🚴♀️ Lock up your bike and check it twice.
- Madison police are investigating a string of more than a dozen bike robberies downtown. Bikes have allegedly been stolen from apartment complex garages in the city’s Central District.
✈️ Now boarding non-stop flights from Madison to Washington, D.C.
- Delta Airlines is bringing back non-stop flights between the Dane County Regional Airport and Reagan National Airport in Washington.
- According to Delta, the flights will run Sunday through Friday, departing Washington at 3:47 p.m. and arriving in Madison at 5:10 p.m., and departing Madison at 5:35 p.m. and arriving in Washington at 8:29 p.m.
🚧 The University of Wisconsin is looking to the real estate development world as a source of funding.
- The UW Board of Regents recently approved a general agreement that will allow UW-Madison to sell some of its land to University Research Park, who would in turn lease the space out to developers. Revenue from rent would go to an endowment, a percentage of which the university would receive annually for operations. This process has the potential to be replicated at other UW campuses.
- The State Journal reports that leased land could be used for housing, retail, or commercial space. The move is part of a long-term approach to diversify the university's revenue streams as it receives less and less in state funding — a pattern that is likely to continue in the future.
👮 The city rejected a move to cut the police department's budget in order to help fund the newly launched emergency mental health response team.
- Some context: The Community Alternative Response for Emergency Services (CARES) launched at the beginning of September. The service sends a paramedic and trained mental health professional to address nonviolent 911 calls, with the goal of keeping police out of the situation unless necessary.
- Madison's Finance Committee rejected three budget amendments that would have cut a total of $795,000 from MPD's budget. The amendments proposed using that funding for CARES.
- Let's break down that number: The State Journal reports that cutting $795,000 from MPD's budget would have resulted in the elimination of 11 new police recruits, as well as a new position focused on police reform. Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway initially proposed a $358.6 million operating budget. Almost a quarter of that, about $84 million, is allocated to MPD.
🍕 Paisan's and the rest of 131 W. Wilson is back open for business — but at what cost?
- Paisan's Restaurant owner Wally Borowski told WKOW that he and other tenants of 131 W. Wilson are looking to sue the building's owners for damages incurred during the 40-day building shutdown. Several tenants plan on leaving the building for good.
🛒 Expect construction: The city broke ground on a $43 million S. Park Street project.
- The project will include 150 mixed-income apartments and a 24,000 square foot grocery store. As WORT puts it, the development is the city's latest attempt to mitigate its growing struggle with food accessibility. The Pick ‘N Save on S. Park Street plans to shut down in 2022, meaning for some residents, the nearest grocery store would be three miles away.
- The project is headed by Black-owned developer Rule Enterprises.
🏊 Dive right in, the water is fully funded.
- Madison West High School has successfully fundraised $1.6 million to upgrade and expand its pool, Cap Times reports. The school board unanimously approved the expansion Monday. The project will expand the pool from six lanes to eight, add a diving well, and spectator space.
🚄 Your lunchtime read: Madison critical for high-speed rail service between Chicago, Twin Cities, feds say.
- From the Wisconsin State Journal: "Madison and Milwaukee will be critical markets in any high-speed passenger rail corridor between Chicago and the Twin Cities should the project go forward, a new federal study says. In the long term, the corridor could see train speeds of at least 125 mph, electric-powered engines, dedicated tracks and 99% on-time performance, the Federal Railroad Administration’s long-term plan for the Midwest through 2055 says."
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 55%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 71.8%
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.
📅 Events: Wednesday, Oct. 27
- Panel: Clean Air, climate, and equity organized by the Wisconsin Energy Institute. Learn about the major sources of air pollution in Wisconsin, the communities most affected, and the potential for a multi-solving approach to address air quality, climate, and equity concerns. 4:30 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- “Casper” screening on the 100 Block of State Street. 5:30 p.m. Free.
- “Decoding the News” with David Wallace, former business/tech reporter. Learn how to go beyond the headlines and skip the bias, hype and noise with effective tools and tactics. Hosted by Dreambank. 6-7:30 p.m. Free.
- Mad City Story Slam at State Line Distillery. A night of drinks and spooky stories. 6 p.m. Free.
- Public Information Meeting: Fire Station 6 Remodel and Addition. 6 p.m. Virtual.
- Bleachers at The Sylvee. Doors at 6:30 p.m., show: 8:00 p.m.Tickets start at $36.
- Speaker: David Brooks of The New York Times hosted by the La Follette School of Public Affairs. 7 p.m. In-person tickets sold out. Virtual option available for free.