Good morning, everyone!
This year has been a whirlwind, to say the least.
In April, we celebrated one whole year of Madison Minutes (!!!). In June, I came on as our first full-time staff member. And just last month, we helped launch a new podcast. Whew!
When we first launched Madison Minutes in April 2021, we didn’t know what to expect. We had an idea and funding from Sam’s retirement account. Now, we have a full-fledged business, a product people love, and a vibrant community (that’s you!) that cares deeply about each other.
We’re so proud of all that we have built together this year. And you better believe we’ve got some big plans for 2023.
But we need help getting there. That’s where you come in.
Today we’re launching a membership campaign to reach 500 paying Madison Minutes members. It’s a lofty goal, but we’re confident we can get there with your help. Because at the end of the day, we’re here for our community and because of it.
If you’ve learned something from our newsletter this year, attended an event we’ve featured, or even saw a floof that brightened your day, please consider supporting our work.
Will you support our work today?
🚌 MMSD's middle school bus problems.
- Some context: Bus driver shortages during the pandemic forced the Madison School District to change school start and end times. With the new start times, the district planned to shift all middle schools from Madison Metro to yellow buses. But as the shortage of drivers persists, only west side schools have been able to make the switch to yellow buses, leaving east siders to deal with Metro.
- The district said it would provide free Metro passes to all east side students who live more than 1.5 miles from their school.
- But the district's bus pass rollout has been inconsistent, according to Cap Times reporting. Several parents detailed issues with getting replacement passes after their child had lost theirs. Others said communication about distribution of the passes was inconsistent, noting some parents didn't even know about the program and had already spent their own money on passes.
- "What I don't like is that our district that touts equity could have this inequity within our city and depending on what side of town you live on, and where your kids go to school within the middle schools," one parent told Cap Times.
👾 Noble Knight Games has a union.
- Workers at the tabletop game retailer in Fitchburg announced their unionization effort in October. Last week, Noble Knight Games voluntarily recognized the union.
- The union is called Noble Knight Games United and was organized through Communications Workers of America. According to Cap Times, of the 75-person company, 58 will be union members.
- Related: More Wisconsin workers are organizing. How much leverage do they have? (Cap Times)
- Dig deeper: Support for labor unions in the U.S. is at a 57-year high (NPR)
💭 Here's your last chance to share any thoughts on Jefferson Middle School's new name.
- The committee tasked with renaming Thomas Jefferson Middle School is meeting one last time tonight at 5:30 p.m. to make a final recommendation on what the school's name should be. The committee will then present its pick to the school board, which will have the final say on the matter.
- If you'll recall: The committee narrowed down the initial list of 42 proposals to its final four. The remaining options are Sally Hemings, Eston Hemings Jefferson, Ezekiel Gillespie, and Maya Angelou.
- The bigger picture: The district has been reckoning with its schools' names for years. Most recently, Memorial High School was renamed to honor Vel Phillips. Prior to that, Milele Chikasa Anana Elementary (formerly Falk Elementary) and Virginia Henderson Elementary (formerly Glendale Elementary) were also renamed.
🐶 Happy Take Me Home Tuesday! Meet Lady.
- From Dane County Humane Society: This adult pup starts out shy but warms up quickly. She’s an energetic and smart pup who can be quite the cuddler during downtime. She also is playful with other dogs, but some pups can find her a bit rambunctious.
Lady is looking for a patient family who will work with her on her training while also spoiling her with walks, fun adventures, and love. (Aren't we all?)
Think Lady would make a great addition to your family? Learn more about her here.
♻️ Your lunchtime read: Don’t stop believing (in plastics recycling)
- Via Isthmus: “In the 1967 film The Graduate, a family friend gives a disaffected young man played by Dustin Hoffman a single word of advice: ‘plastics.’ If the movie were remade today, he might want to add: ‘Most of them cannot be recycled.’
That’s the conclusion of a new report from the environmental group Greenpeace, which called the recycling of plastics ‘a dead-end street’ and largely a waste of time. It found that U.S. households generated an estimated 51 million tons of plastic waste in 2021, ‘only 2.4 million tons of which was recycled.’ [...]
Madison recycling coordinator Bryan Johnson begs to differ.”
🎙️ Today on the pod
Why Wisconsin Loves to Polka
When Governor Evers won re-election, he declared, “We’re going to polka tonight and work tomorrow.” It is our official state dance, after all.
That’s something that Stacy Harbaugh, aka DJ Shotski, agrees with wholeheartedly. City Cast Madison talks to Madison’s polka DJ about the state of polka in the capital city.
- Creating a Sense of Belonging Through Slam at Meadowridge Library
- Drag Bingo with Bianca Lynn Breeze & Kayos Mirage! at Comedy on State
- Lucid Tuesday at Crucible
- The NyChillharmonic + Aberdeen at The Bur Oak
- Wheel Of Fortune LIVE! at Overture Center
- Your Favorite New Places and How to Find Them: The Life of a Guide Writer at Lakeview Library
- Zach Williams: I Don't Want Christmas to End Tour at Orpheum Madison
- Facebook Depression: Untangling the Evidence Around Social Media and Mental Health for Teens at the Discovery Building
- Crucible Karaoke at Crucible
- Handel's Messiah at First Congregational Church
- Chunky Shrapnel (2022) screening at Marcus Point Cinema
- Music Time with Tim at Madison Children's Museum
- Straight No Chaser at Overture Center
- Trivia Wednesday at Starkweather Brewing Company