Becky's leaving + workers striking + bears chillin'

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Good Tuesday, Madison.

It's hard to believe that Madison Minutes has only been around for six months. In a way, it feels like a lifetime, yet at the same time these months have passed by in the blink of an eye.

Why am I getting so sappy and sentimental? First, because it's true! And second,  because I'd like to show you a little "family portrait" we had made for the newsletter.

🥺 Clockwise from top left: Sam, Hayley, Ozzy, Phillip, Billie Jo. AKA Hoisington, Sperling & Sons (that's our official LLC name).

How freaking cute is this?! Thanks to our friends at Top Hat (they designed our logo and a few other things) for bringing our silly little idea to life. But beyond this, thanks to all of YOU who support us every day through opening emails, sharing links, and becoming members. You are all quite literally helping this dream come to life.

Ok, I promise I'm done now. Let's get to the news.

— Hayley

P.S. You might notice that our divider graphics look a little different today. I'm playing around with some new design concepts. Send me an email to tell me what you think!


🎓 Becky Blank is doing what every good Badger does after graduating: moving to Chicago.

  • Blank announced Monday she will leave the University of Wisconsin at the end of the 2021-22 academic year to become Northwestern University's first female president.
  • Blank has served as the UW chancellor since 2013 and is the longest-serving chancellor since 1986, according to The Badger Herald. Prior to coming to UW, Blank was an accomplished economist, having served in three presidential administrations: Bush Sr., Clinton, and Obama
  • Why Northwestern? Blank has deep ties to the Evanston university. From 1989 to 1999, Blank served as Northwestern's first tenured woman in the school's economic department. Her daughter also attended the university. On top of the nostalgia factor, there's also the fact that this new position will likely mean a massive pay increase for Blank, whose current salary is $606,154. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Northwestern's last president Morton Schapiro had a nearly $1.2 million salary in 2018 and made close to $700,000 in additional compensations.
  • What's next for UW? UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone told the Herald Blank left the university with ample planning time for finding a replacement. But Blank's departure comes at an interesting time — the UW System is already looking for a new president, which the State Journal reports could be announced this winter. The Regents have yet to say whether an official replacement will step in after Blank steps down in the summer of 2022 or if an interim chancellor would step in. Either way, the hunt for UW's next chancellor will be the story to watch this year and next.

✊ Hundreds marched in yesterday's “Day Without Latinxs and Immigrants” strike.

🚘 A newly proposed law could mean jail time for catalytic converter thieves.

  • Some context: To put it simply, catalytic converters are car parts that contain precious metals, making them highly desirable to thieves. The theft of catalytic converters has increased across Wisconsin and the Midwest in recent months. For further detail on catalytic converters, check out this Cap Times explainer.
  • The legislative details, from WPR: "Assembly Bill 415, and the identical Senate Bill 408, would add catalytic converters to a list of 'proprietary articles' whose sales are regulated by law — things like copper and aluminum conductors and wires, railroad ties, metal grave markers, manhole covers and metal beer kegs. Under the new law, anyone selling a catalytic converter to a scrap dealer would need to be 18 years of age and would be required to show personal identification and proof of lawful ownership."
  • Similar legislation has been passed in Minnesota, driving would-be thieves across state lines to steal from Wisconsinites. The Assembly Bill was authored by Rep. Clint Moses, R-Menomonie, in June. State Sens. including Kathleen Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, and Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, among others quickly followed suit and introduced an identical bill in the Senate. Since the legislation has bipartisan support in both chambers, it's likely the bills will be headed to Gov. Tony Evers' desk for signing soon.

🐻 A quick hello from a friendly bear at Henry Vilas Zoo.

📣 A couple of PSAs:

  • Airport drills: If you live near the airport or are planning on traveling through MSN this Thursday, you might notice an increase in flashing lights and sounds. The airport will be running a live drill that day, so expect an increased police presence.
  • Skatepark closure: The Skatepark at McPike Park will close for two days this week for repairs. The city parks department says the closure will likely be Thursday and Friday, (Oct. 14 and 15) but that could change depending on the weather.

⚾ The Brewers are down but not out.

  • The Milwaukee baseballers got shut out 0-3 in yesterday's matchup with the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta now leads 2-1 in the series but the two will face off again today, so there's always time for a comeback!

📚 Madison Public Library is welcoming its first Native American Storyteller-in-Residence.

  • Ho-Chunk Nation storyteller Andi Cloud will participate in a three-month residency (which started yesterday) that will include both in-person and virtual events.
    • “I think this residency is vital, and a great way to celebrate culture in our state. My hope is for the community, young and old, to embrace and engage in Ho-Chunk culture and life," Cloud said in a statement.

🎭 Capital City Theatre is back after an 18-month hiatus.

  • The troupe will be back on stage with “And The World Goes Round,” which, according to Madison Magazine will feature "songs of Broadway impresarios John Kander and Fred Ebb." The show opens Friday and runs through Oct. 24 in the Overture Center for the Arts’ Playhouse.

👀 Your lunchtime read: Please endure a Room Tax Commission meeting.

  • From Tone Madison: "The body steers much of Madison's public arts funding, but who's watching?"

🦠 Covid-19 Resources

Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 54.4%

Dane County Vaccination Rate: 71.4%

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: Tuesday, Oct. 12