Let's pretend it's spring

Morning update: Thursday, Dec. 15

In this newsletter

Let's pretend it's spring
Photo via Mallards Baseball Flickr

Gooooooooood morning, Madison!

Guess what? It's going to be another icky day on the roads. Watch out for snow plows and icy streets.

But let's for a moment pretend it's springtime, the sun is shining, the grass is green, and the birds are singing.

One bird is particularly loud on the Isthmus this time of year. His name is Maynard G. Mallard.

The Madison Mallards just released their schedule for 2023. Maynard and the team have 36 home games at Warner Park.

The season kicks off Memorial day (May 29) with a matchup against the Wausau Woodchucks. The team is currently ย working on stadium renovations around the Duck Pond in order to improve the overall ballpark fan experience. You can follow that renovation journey on their social media accounts.

Fun fact: Earlier this year the team hired Samantha Rubin as general manager, making her the first female leader of the Mallards in the team's 21-year history.

โ€” Hayley


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๐Ÿšจ Watch out for extra cops on the beltline.

  • Wisconsin State Patrol officers are serving as extra eyes on the road alongside Dane County law enforcement agencies. Officers are out on the beltline monitoring traffic violations between Middleton and Interstate 39/90.
Rendering via JLA Architects

๐Ÿ˜๏ธ Affordable housing near the former Oscar Mayer site is one step closer to reality.

  • The city's Plan Commission unanimously approved plans to bring more than 550 affordable housing units to the area adjacent to the former Oscar Mayer plant at 2007 Roth St. The proposal still needs to go before the full City Council, but if approved, construction could start in the spring.
  • The proposal: The $150 million project would provide much-needed for seniors and low-wage workers. The proposal consists of two properties, the first being a six-story building with 250 units for senior housing. The second would be a seven-story, 303-unit building for families. Both properties would be restricted to people earning less than 60% of the city's median income.
  • Environmental concerns: Due to its long history of industrial use, the site of the project has contaminated soil and groundwater. Neighbors have voiced concerns that the land is not suitable for habitation without further cleanup.
  • The Department of Health Services conducted a health assessment and found elevated levels of cancer-causing elements (like arsenic). But according to a summary of the assessment, "the concentrations of contaminants remaining on the property are similar to those on many other recent successful residential redevelopment sites on previously filled portions of the isthmus, including East Washington Avenue and other areas on the near east side of Madison."


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Madison aldermanic District 12

๐Ÿ—’๏ธ An update on the vacant District 12 City Council seat.

  • If you'll recall: Now-former District 12 Ald. Syed Abbas announced his resignation from City Council last month.
  • The City Council put out a call for applications to fill the vacancy and received four resumes. Of the applicants, three expressed interest in running for the seat in the spring election.
  • Since nomination papers for the election are already in circulation, the Council decided not to pursue any of the applicants. Instead, theyโ€™ll use an alternate procedure that asks former members of City Council or the Dane County Board who live in the 12th District and are not running for the seat to apply.
  • The council decided to do this in order to prevent any of the new applicants from having an unfair advantage in the spring election and because of the time needed to onboard a new alder.

โœˆ๏ธ Flying out of MSN this holiday season?

  • A new report from Forbes ranked the Dane County Regional Airport as the nation's 10th worst for holiday travel.The outlet looked at federal transportation data including customer complaints, flight delays and cancellations, mishandled baggage, and ticket prices in its analysis.
  • Findings: The report found on average 5.09% of flights arrive late because of the national aviation system and the average airfare price during the holiday season is $483.01, which represents a 5.42% increase during the holiday months (October-December).
  • Related: According to CNBC, the Dane County Regional Airport is the most expensive to fly out of in the U.S.

๐Ÿ”ฎ Your lunchtime read: Meet the family behind Wizard Quest.

  • Via Wisconsin Life: "On the main drag of downtown Wisconsin Dells lies a mysterious world called Wizard Quest. Here, visitors are immersed in a fantasy world and embark on an adventure to complete a number of quests. They answer questions about the environment, decipher riddles and investigate hidden passageways."
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๐Ÿฆ  Covid-19 update

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ Today on the pod

Photo by GR Stocks / Unsplash

Madison Wants a Movie Theater for Christmas

For many of us, the holidays mean family gatherings... and movies. Yet with two more movie theaters closing in Madison this year, it feels like there are fewer options than ever. Will streaming pick up the slack? City Cast Madison asks Rob Thomas, the Cap Timesโ€™ Features Editor, for his picks of what to watch.


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๐Ÿ“… Events



Check out even more events on our community calendar.

๐Ÿ“ Miss a Minute? Check out yesterday's newsletter.

Did someone say (flu) shots?
Morning update: Wednesday, Dec. 14