Earth Day in Madison

Tomorrow is Earth Day, which in Madison is an especially special day.

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Earth Day in Madison
Photo via Flickr user Michael Leland

Good morning, Madison!

Tomorrow is Earth Day, which in Madison is an especially special day. Why? Well, the day has Wisconsin roots.

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, thanks to Gaylord Nelson, who represented Wisconsin in the Senate from 1963 to 1981. Nelson earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where the School of Environmental Studies is now named after him.

If you're looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day in Madison, the city is looking for you. Madison Parks is hosting its 25th annual Earth Day Challenge tomorrow and needs more than 900 volunteers to help clean up area parks.

Are you up to the challenge?

— Hayley


🌪️ Are you tornado ready?

  • Wisconsin will hold statewide tornado drills at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. today. This means the National Weather Service will conduct radio tests, some municipalities will sound sirens, and radio and TV stations will briefly cut programming. Schools and businesses are encouraged to hold drills today.
  • Related: Dane County recently announced a $3 million upgrade to its siren control system. There are 141 outdoor warning sirens across the county.
  • Dig deeper: Be informed and prepared for any and all severe weather events with these tips from Ready Wisconsin.
Photo by Sam Hoisington

📚 Lake City Books is here.

  • The downtown bookstore will have its grand opening this weekend. Lake City Books is located at 107 N. Hamilton Street, across the street from the Madison Children’s Museum. It has a large selection of kids’ books and will offer a discount to museum visitors.
  • Looking for a deal? About 25% of the inventory is used books. “I love used books, but I also want the newest releases,” owner Molly Fish said. “We’re creating a cycle of recycled and community-sourced books.”
  • Fish has experience working at several bookstores and was part of the launch team for Leopold's.

🍎 Madison Teachers Inc. and the district are not on the same page about raises.

  • Madison Metropolitan School District officials and Madison Teachers Inc. — the union that represents district staff — have outlined their initial proposals for staff raises in the next budget. MTI is asking for an 8% raise while the district has proposed a 3.5% increase, according to Cap Times.
  • The district, like many schools across the country, is facing a serious staffing shortage and union representatives argue higher wages will be key to hiring and retaining staff. A 3.5% increase would cost $9.1 million, while 8% would cost $20.8 million, according to the newspaper.
  • The process: The district will officially release its 2023-24 budget proposal Monday. A preliminary budget will be approved in the summer, and the final budget will be approved in October.
  • Dig deeper: MMSD leaders face difficult 2023-24 budget development (Cap Times)
Photo via UW-Madison

🎓Meet UW's spring commencement speaker.

  • University of Wisconsin spring graduates will hear from the nation’s first Black attorney general Eric Holder, Jr.
  • "Attorney General Holder is a trailblazer whose drive for excellence and humanity as a public servant aligns perfectly with our values as a university to shape a better world than the one we found," UW's senior class president said in a statement.
  • This year's commencement ceremony will be May 13 at Camp Randall Stadium (mark your calendars for traffic).

🥐 Your lunchtime read: For Madison Sourdough, a union offers protection and certainty.

  • Via Tone Madison: "The arguments against the Madison Sourdough effort, albeit in the minority of public opinion, demonstrate that some believe unions are necessary to protect workers against ‘bad’ working conditions. But many at Madison Sourdough say they love their jobs, adore their colleagues, and see a union as a way to ensure their working conditions stay positive and that workers have a voice to steer their future."
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🎙️ Today on City Cast Madison

Photo via Dane County

Solar Farms, Car Bans and Teacher Pay

Happy Earth Week, everyone. Dane County is now the first county in the state to have government facilities 100% powered by renewable energy. The airport, the courthouse, the Alliant Energy Center… their energy use is now completely offset by local renewable energy production. The Yahara Solar farm is online.

In other news, the State Assembly would like to ban anyone from banning gasoline engines. Not that anyone was doing that. But, you know, California.

And Madison teachers are fighting for cost-of-living raises.

The whole City Cast Madison team’s here to rustle up the news. Bianca Martin, Dylan Brogan and Molly Stentz bring you the highs and lows of the week.


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🏦 Finances 101

This is a sponsored column from Bank of Sun Prairie.

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📅 Events

Friday, April 21

Saturday, April 22

Sunday, April 23

Check out even more events on our community calendar.

🐶 Friday Floof

In need of a little pick me up? Look no further. This week's Friday Floof(s) are Patch and Red. These two boys were found on the street in front of their soon-to-be human's home four years ago and the rest is history. From the looks of it, they've acclimated to the luxury of an indoor lifestyle pretty well.

😸 Do you have a floof to share with the Madison Minutes community? Fill out this form for the opportunity to be featured.

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