Happy birthday to us

Morning Update: Wednesday, April 20

In this newsletter

Good morning, Madison!

This time last year I was on vacation. A group of friends and I made a 19-hour drive to the Outer Banks of North Carolina during peak off-season—we’re ballin’ on a budget here—for a long weekend away. The stress of surviving in a global pandemic was gnawing at us from all angles and personally, I was working to accept the fact that I was still unemployed.

My weeks leading up to vacation were filled with long days of interviewing, cover letter editing, resume writing, and LinkedIn DM-ing. Those days were slow and unrelenting but thankfully, I wasn’t doing it alone. For better or worse, my friend and soon-to-be collaborator Sam Hoisington was there going through the motions with me. We spent time in my apartment-turned-co-working-space sharing hopes for the future and some less-than-stellar business ideas. Sam’s mind rarely—if ever—stops spewing ideas, so it wasn’t surprising that while on vacation, he reached out to tell me about and urge my friends to sign up for his new newsletter.

He called it Madison Minutes.

I called him crazy.

Well, who’s crazy now? (Still us, probably.) Today is Madison Minutes’ official one-year birthday. To read my full reflections on the first year of the Minutes, be sure to subscribe to Tone Madison’s weekly newsletter. Just because it’s our birthday doesn’t mean we can’t give back!

Thank you for being on this journey with us. As I’ve said in the past, whether you’ve been here since day one or today is your day one, thank you. The Madison Minutes community is growing thanks to each and every one of you and we can’t wait to show you everything we have planned for year two.

— Hayley

✍️ Dispatches from City Council

  • Body cameras: After five years of back and forth, the Madison City Council voted Tuesday to approve a body camera pilot program for Madison police. The 11-9 vote reportedly came in just before 4 a.m.
  • The pilot program will outfit officers in the city's North District with body cameras. The program's official approval is still contingent on some lingering details but the council vote represents a major step forward for the pilot.
  • Some context: Currently only the city's SWAT team and motorcycle officers use body-worn cameras. Police cars have also been long-equipped with dashboard cameras.
  • New leadership: The council also voted 11-9 to elect Ald. Keith Furman as its president, beating Ald. Nasra Wehelie for the role. Current president Syed Abbas plans to leave the council and run for State Assembly.
  • Recycling fees: The council voted 12-8 to approve a new "resource recovery special charge" of (about) $50 a year per household for curbside recycling services.
  • Lake Mendota Drive project: Despite vocal opposition from residents, the council voted 12-8 to approve the reconstruction of Lake Mendota Drive. The State Journal reports many residents were critical of Furman, who represents the area, for supporting the project.

🗳️ New leadership on the County Board.

🗳️ New leadership on the County Board.

🥙 Welcome back, Naf Naf.

  • The Middle Eastern Grill is reopening on State Street this summer, Madison Magazine reports. The State Street location first opened in 2015 but closed during the pandemic. The build-your-own pita (or bowl) restaurant is set to reopen in August.

🌱 Signs of spring are here.

  • The Olbrich Gardens Spring Plant Sale is in full swing. Proceeds from sales directly benefit the gardens. Online ordering is available here and curbside plant pick-up begins Friday, May 6.
  • Mark your calendars because the Biergarten at Olbrich Park is opening for its sixth season tomorrow.
  • Looking for ways to help pollinators this season? Consider No-Mow May. It's exactly what it sounds like — homeowners let their lawns grow long so bees coming out of hibernation have plenty of options for the nectar and pollen they need. Get the details from WPR.

🐎 Watch out for horses.

🎧 Your lunchtime listen: Here are five local podcasts to add to your queue.

  • Madison Magazine rounded up four Madison-based podcasts for you to check out. Subject matter of the shows range from sports coverage to Twilight (yes, that Twilight).
  • The fifth podcast comes from the investigative journalism powerhouse Wisconsin Watch. In partnership with WPR, reporter Phoebe Petrovic takes a deep dive into "the power of the prosecutor — and its impact on victims, the accused and the justice system."