And the Groundhog says...

Sun Prairie's Jimmy the Groundhog saw his shadow and so did Punxsutawney Phil.

In this newsletter

And the Groundhog says...
This little critter isn't Jimmy or Phil but it is a groundhog. Photo by Abigail Lynn / Unsplash

Goooooooood morning, Madison!

Yesterday, Sun Prairie's Jimmy the Groundhog saw his shadow on a sunny morning, which — if you believe in groundhog science — means we've got six more weeks of winter ahead. Jimmy's cousin in Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil, also made the same prediction.

Speaking of winter, today is the last chance to vote on names for some of the city's snow plow equipment. Use this as an opportunity to flex your civic muscles before casting your vote in the February primary.

— Hayley


Sponsor logo
Dane County seal posted in downtown Madison. Photo by Hayley Sperling

💭 Share your thoughts on housing access and affordability.

  • The county wants to know what you think about housing affordability and access and has created a survey for residents to make their voices heard.
  • The survey should take roughly 10 minutes to complete and will be open through Feb. 9. Responses will be used to help set priorities for Dane County’s housing strategy for the next 5 years.
  • Bonus: If you complete the survey, you'll be entered into a raffle with prizes. Nice.

🍜 Meet Trio Ramen.

  • Three friends recently opened Trio Ramen in Middleton. The spot opened its doors at 2831 Parmenter St., which had previously been Hurts Donut Co. Two parts of the trio are also part owners of Strings Ramen in downtown Madison.
  • The restaurant's menu has four broth choices: tonkatsu, miso, shoyu, and vegetarian. The spot also offers Japanese-style rice bowls and plenty of appetizers. According to the State Journal, the owners plan to change things up on the menu as needed.
Examples of lanterns you could make. Photos via Fire & Ice Luminary

🕯️ Walk the Fire & Ice Luminary Path.

  • Tonight marks the start of the third annual Fire & Ice Luminary Path event at Tenney Park. The path features hundreds of luminaria (ice lanterns) created by neighborhood residents and runs through Saturday.
  • Get involved: If you live in the area and want to help create the path, bring your lanterns and lighters to the Marston Street Bridge today starting at 2 p.m. Organizers plan to do the actual lighting around 4 p.m. If you want to make and bring your own lanterns, organizers only ask that they are earth and animal friendly. Check out this tutorial for inspiration.

📣 Results from the UW System's free speech survey are in.

  • If you'll recall: Last year, the UW System announced it would survey students across its 13 campuses on their feelings about free speech. The survey, which was privately funded, drew backlash from students and campus leaders.
  • The results: The results of the survey — which garnered more than 10,000 responses — were generally split depending on students' self-identified political affiliations. For instance, conservative students reported being more likely than liberals to suppress their views in class. And liberal students were more likely to agree with banning harmful speech and disinviting some speakers
  • Findings show the majority of survey respondents thought their instructors adequately encouraged students to express their views in class but in general, students don't feel comfortable expressing their views about controversial topics like abortion, LGBTQ+ issues, and sexual assault.
  • Dig deeper: Survey: Conservative UW System students say they've felt political pressure in class (WPR)
Wisconsin Supreme Court room. Photo By Hayley Sperling

⚖️ Your lunchtime read: Supreme divide.

  • Via Isthmus: "The Wisconsin Supreme Court race could decide the future of reproductive rights in Wisconsin, determine whether the state’s political maps will continue to favor Republicans, and have huge implications for future fights over election rules."
The 2023 Spring Primary is Feb. 21.

Find your polling place here.

Check out a sample ballot.

Get to know the candidates for: State Supreme Court justice, Madison Mayor, City Council

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🏦 Finances 101

This sponsored column is presented by Bank of Sun Prairie.

How to maximize your 401K employer match for 2023
This is sponsored content from Bank of Sun Prairie.


🎙️ Today on the pod

Archive image of Filene House via Wisconsin Historical Society

Madison’s Housing Fight, Lake Monona’s Makeover, and NSFW Public Art

It’s Friday and we’re talking about the stories that we’ve been thinking about all week. The whole City Cast Madison team’s here to talk about the city’s need for new housing and the fights over where it should go. Is the Filene House historic and worth saving?

And Madison has big plans to remake the Lake Monona waterfront.

Plus, what’s happening with the new Police Civilian Oversight Board?

And yes, there was some snickering this week around a particular sculpture hanging in the Madison Parks office… which resembles human anatomy.

📅 Events: The weekend




Check out even more events on our community calendar.

🐶 Friday Floof

We've made it through the week, congrats to us. Here's some floof as a reward. Meet JJ. According to her human Cesiah, JJ is 10 lbs of absolute delight. Though she may look like a real fox, this cutie is a long-haired Chihuahua and Poodle mix who loves to hunt (though she's never caught anything). Keep chasing your dreams, girl.

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

📝 Miss a Minute? Check out yesterday's newsletter.

Plaque city
Happy Thursday, folks, Earlier this week, a familiar face got an upgrade in the Capitol building. The bust of Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette has been prominently displayed in the Capitol Rotunda for years but until recently, the statue bore only his name and nothing else. Now, there’s a plaque