Good morning, Madison!
It's Thursday, it's December 2, it's Britney Spears' birthday. Happy birthday, Britney.
In case you missed it, we announced to big news yesterday: We'll be partnering with the lovely people of Tone Madison on our events coverage. No one knows the ins and outs of Madison's music and art scenes quite like they do and we're excited for the opportunity to collaborate with another local outlet.
Don't worry, our weekly events post isn't going anywhere, it's just getting better.
⚖️ The Wisconsin Elections Commission met yesterday. Here's what you need to know.
- The bipartisan group criticized a nonpartisan audit of the 2020 election, saying the report contains several errors and misled the public about how Wisconsin's elections are run. The audit itself found there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the state's 2020 election but offered dozens of recommendations for updating state policies and laws related to elections.
- The commission voted unanimously to draft a response to the audit that will include all inaccuracies in the report.
- The commission also unanimously approved several of the aforementioned audit's recommendations, including creating rules for regulating the use of ballot dropboxes and drafting rules for what missing information election clerks can fill in on absentee ballot envelopes.
- Related: Michael Gableman reveals review staff at hearing on Wisconsin’s 2020 election (Cap Times)
🍂 Last call for leaf collection is coming up.
- The city's Streets Division is giving you one more chance to put your leaves and yard waste out for collection. The last collection will be Monday, Dec. 6 but the city says you should put your leaves out no later than Dec. 5.
- If you miss the last chance pickup, you'll need to take your leaves to a drop-off site. But remember, those sites will be operating on reduced hours starting Dec. 3.
🚰 Madison's water utility is eyeing a rate increase.
- The utility is asking the Public Service Commission to approve an additional $12.3 million in revenue next year to replace aging pipes and pay down debt. This would result in a $5 monthly bill increase for most people. With the increase, however, the State Journal reports the utility is also proposing the creation of a customer assistance program that would help pay the bills of households earning less than half the median income.
🎿 Hoofers is hosting their 57th annual ski and snowboard resale this weekend.
- What's a Hoofer? The Wisconsin Hoofers is the University of Wisconsin's outdoors club. They're one of the largest student organizations on campus and offer six specialty clubs: mountaineering, riding, outing, sailing, scuba, and ski & snowboard.
- After a year-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hoofers Ski and Snowboard Resale will return Dec. 4 and 5. According to the group, the event is the largest ski swap in the Midwest. Attendees will have the chance to snag gear, apparel, and more at discounted prices. The Daily Cardinal also reports the Hoofers Alpine and Nordic teams will offer waxing and sharpening services for skis and snowboards at the event.
- The details: The resale will take place at Union South’s Varsity Hall. It's open to all members of the Madison community. The sale will run from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. Sunday.
🗳️ Amy Loudenbeck is running for secretary of state.
- Who is she? Loudenbeck is a Republican state representative from Clinton. She's been a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly since 2011.
- Loudenbeck launched her campaign Wednesday and is seeking to unseat longtime Democratic incumbent Doug La Follette.
- In Wisconsin, the secretary of state doesn't hold much in terms of power. According to WPR, the secretary of state is responsible for some elements of general state record keeping, as well as serving on the state’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. Loudenbeck wants the office to do more, including taking over partial control of state election administration.
- Four others have also already announced campaigns for the office, including Republicans Jay Schroeder, Dmitry Becker, Daniel Schmidtka, and Libertarian Neil Harmon.
📱 MPD wants your feedback via text.
- The Madison Police Department has announced the launch of SPIDR Tech, a service that sends text messages to smartphone users who call 911 or the department’s non-emergency line. MPD is the first agency in Wisconsin to use the technology.
- The automated system will send callers a survey after their initial interaction. According to the city, messages won't be sent if they could put the caller or officer in danger, like in the example of calls covering sexual assaults and domestic disturbances. 911-hang-ups will not trigger a notification.
🌲 2022 Wisconsin state park and forest passes are now on sale.
- You can purchase your annual park, forest, or trail pass for next year on the DNR's website or at state park and forest properties through drive-up windows or by phone, if you're into that.
- According to the DNR, all 2022 vehicle admission stickers and trail passes will be honored immediately upon purchase and valid through Dec. 31, 2022.
🇦🇫 Your lunchtime read: Dane County doing its ‘small part’ to help support, welcome arriving Afghan refugees.
- From the Wisconsin State Journal: "As Afghan refugees continue to arrive in Madison to start their new lives, Dane County is doing its “small part” to help with their transition, providing tens of thousands of dollars to local organizations to help the newcomers get resettled."
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 56.1%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 72.6%
Here's where to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.
Need a COVID-19 test? PHMDC has you covered.
Do you still need your flu shot? Start here.
📅 Events: Thursday, Dec. 2
- Dane Arts Holiday Pop Up at StartingBlock. Several local artists and entrepreneurs. 4:30-7:30 p.m. Free.
- Chelsea Handler at the Orpheum. Doors at 5:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $49.50.
- The Nielson Trust featuring Rick Nelson of Cheap Trick at the Majestic. Doors 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. $20 advance, $25 at door.
- San Holo at the Sylvee. Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $25.
- Fireside Chat with John & Tashia Morgridge, who just committed $175 million to support the UW School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences. 7 p.m. Virtual. Free.