Morning Update: Wednesday, August 25
An academic interest in shrooms
Good Morning, Madison.
I keep forgetting to say something, but you can expect Covid-19 vaccination stats to make their way back to the newsletter soon.
I've been talking to a few public health experts about how we can improve that section. There's a lot of data available and it's hard to know what to keep an eye on.
🏫 The leader of the University of Wisconsin system says he won't submit to legislative control of the system's Covid-19 safety protocols.
- Republicans in the state legislature have attempted to force universities to secure their approval in order to implement mask or vaccine mandates.
- UW system president Tommy Thompson said he refuses to cede control over safety measures and that the university system would fight lawmakers in court if needed.
- His exact words: "I’m not a virgin to litigation whatsoever. If they want to sue me, fine. We will answer it. We will be in circuit court, we’ll be in supreme court, we’ll be in federal court: wherever they want to go."
- Thompson, who is a former governor and cabinet secretary, took the job on an interim basis in 2020. He's one of the only prominent Republicans in the state who has promoted mask-wearing and vaccinations throughout the pandemic.
☕ Colectivo Coffee, which has several locations in the Madison area, is unionizing.
- Employees voted 106 to 99 in favor of unionizing, The Cap Times reports.
- Unionization remains relatively rare in the restaurant industry, but organizers say Colectivo's unionization could open the door for similar efforts.
- Here's what one organizer told WPR: "I think once you see it can be done, especially at the scale we just did it, it’s an easy conversation started at the worksite. Saying 'Oh my God, did you see Colectivo just organized,' and then relating what we’re doing to their specific situation.'"
🍄 The UW is opening a new center for the study of psychedelics.
- Big, fancy name alert: It's going to be called The Transdisciplinary Center for Research in Psychoactive Substances.
- The center will be focused on shrooms and MDMA, The Cap Times reports.
💉 Milwaukee city employees are now required to be vaccinated by September 1.
- Madison and Dane County announced earlier this month that city and county employees will have to get vaccinated.
📺 A must-watch: "Black men trust their barbers. A Madison barbershop is using that to improve their health" (Frontline via PBS Wisconsin)
- The Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association, a wellness clinic focused on Black men, is attached to J.P. Hair Design barbershop in Madison.
- The center's services include free blood pressure screenings, flu shots and diabetes testing.
🗓️ Looking for stuff to do? Here are a few things to check out today:
- Red Cross Blood Drive at Central Library. 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Webinar: “Forgetting: What it is and Why it Helps Us Remember” with UW psychology professor Dr. Haley Vlach. 7 p.m. Free.
- Movie Night at Breese Stevens Field. "Movies will be voted on by you, the fans!" 6:30 p.m. Free.
- Conversation with the filmmakers of "Can You Hear Us Now?" Stream the documentary about gerrymandering for free before the discussion. 7 p.m. Virtual.