Good morning, Madison!
Happy Thursday, y'all. We're almost to the weekend but before we get there, there's a lot of news to talk about. So let's get right to it.
😷 Mask up, kiddos.
- Madison Metropolitan School District announced that students and staff in elementary and middle school must wear masks both inside and outside (playground included) for the first quarter of the school year.
- “This decision comes after recent collaborative discussions on local COVID conditions, and to stay ahead of evolving risks associated with the Delta variant on unvaccinated children,” the district’s announcement said.
- The requirement does not apply to Madison high schools.
🐎 Sen. Ron Johnson is pushing the paste.
- The Republican senator continues to "tout unproven treatments for COVID-19, including the much-maligned use of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin, even after federal health authorities warned against unauthorized use of the drug to treat the disease," the State Journal reports.
- Don't take horse medicine. Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19.
- Related: Western Wisconsin health officials warn of 'imminent' COVID-19 surge, rising hospitalizations (via WPR)
💰 Inside the mayor's proposed $355 million capital budget.
- Some context: the city's capital budget provides funding for large-scale projects and programs, while the operating budget funds services. The operating budget is set to be released in October.
- Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway unveiled her proposed budget earlier this week. Its main focuses include "investments in housing, small business recovery and sustainability and uses federal pandemic relief aid for ongoing needs in the city," the Cap Times reports.
- $142 million of the proposed budget relies on borrowing — to be repaid through property taxes. Highlights of the budget include:
- $42 million to increase affordable housing
- $20 million for consumer lender programs
- $4 million for the North-South Bus Rapid Transit line
🩺 UW Health nurses want a union and city officials want to help.
- Alds. Patrick Heck, District 2, and Lindsay Lemmer, District 3, have spearheaded the effort to support a nurses union. They moved to make the city's support official by introducing a resolution at this week's earlier City Council meeting (it's expected to get a vote Sept. 21, Wisconsin Examiner reports).
- Local officials will gather today in front of the City-County Building in support of the proposed resolution and have urged the hospital’s board to hold a union election by the end of the year.
♀️ The uncertain future of abortion in Wisconsin following the Supreme Court's Texas ruling.
- For the record: Abortion is legal in Wisconsin. But it's not particularly easy to get one.
- Many have argued that Texas law SB8 was put forward specifically to provide a path forward to overturning Roe v. Wade. State Sen. Kelda Roys (D-Madison) told Wisconsin Examiner that Wisconsin women are particularly vulnerable if Roe is ever overturned because the state still has an 1849 law on the books that criminalizes abortion, turning anyone who gets one into a felon.
- Related: Donate to abortion funds in Wisconsin and beyond (via Tone Madison)
🌊 Your lunchtime read: On the dredge: Dane County project clears Yahara River sediment to improve water flow and prevent flooding
- The Cap Times' Abigail Becker takes a look into Madison's river dredging, a practice born out of necessity after historic rainfall caused $154 million in damage in 2018.
🎭 New Overture Center lineup dropped.
- The second half of the Overture's lineup includes a wide range of performances.
- Highlights include:
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: Time Bubble Tour (Dec. 9)
- An Evening with C.S. Lewis (Jan. 14-16)
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Classics (March 12)
- Stomp (April 1-3)
- Afrique en Cirque (April 29)
- Check out the full list here.
📻 Say hello to WSUM's new General Manger.
- Kelsey Brannan is a WSUM alumna and has previously worked as the assistant program at The Current and as the afternoon show manager at KEXP.
- Kelsey takes over for Dave Black, who retired this month after 26 years at the station.
📅 Events: Thursday, September 2
- Vineyard Walk at West Madison Agricultural Research Station. Walk through the vineyards with UW-Madison experts and learn about grape varieties, disease resistance evaluations, insect monitoring efforts, and general vineyard management. 1-3 p.m. Free.
- “Bodega” outdoor market at Breese Stevens Field. 4-8 p.m. Free.
- Petphoria + bartaco pup night. Plus Dog tacos + bone broth muttgaritas for the dogs (with any purchase). Hilldale. 5:30-7 p.m.
- Presentations in the Park - Scaly Friends in Your Backyard: Wisconsin's Native Reptiles at The Lussier Family Heritage Center. 6 p.m. Bring your own chairs. $10.
- “The Honey Pies” at Monona Terrace. Part of Live @ Lake Vista music series. 6-9 p.m. Free but they say you should still get a ticket online due to limited capacity.
- “Old school dance party” w/ DJ Nick Nice at Memorial Union. 7-10 p.m. Free.
- #ExtraAFComedy Online! by Lady Laughs Comedy. 7:30 p.m. Free.
🥺👉👈 They're holding hands.