Morning Update: Friday, Dec. 17

Good morning, Madison.

We added quite a few new subscribers over the past few days, so I want to address the email replies issue again.

For weird reasons, you can't reply to this email newsletter right now! To reach us, start a new message (or forward this one) and send it to

What happens if you directly reply to this email? It goes to a deep, dark hole in the internet. It goes nowhere. It gets gobbled up and nobody ever sees it.

What are we doing to fix this? We are doing everything we can, but unfortunately, this is an issue with our newsletter platform and has been for several months. Their tech team says they're working on it.

But in the meantime, we still want to hear from you! So send your thoughts and comments to

On an unrelated note, do you want to connect on LinkedIn? Here's my profile, and here's my fabulous co-founder's profile. Feel free to send us both a request! We'd love to connect.

— Sam

🦠 Local health officials say the Omicron variant has been detected in Dane County.

💵 The CUNA Mutual Group Foundation is awarding more than $4 million in grants. The Urban League and the Center for Black Excellence and Culture will both receive $1 million.

🔭 A telescope designed at the UW went to space. Now it’s headed to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

  • WUPPE, which stands for Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment, was used aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in several missions in the 90s.
  • Since 1996, the telescope has been a “prize exhibit” at UW Space Place, but it was recently sent to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville. Eventually, it will head to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
  • “I have mixed feelings about it, but I don’t have any hesitation,” UW Space Place director Jim Lattis said. “Once it belongs to the Smithsonian it will be in the hands of professional curators, and it will be seen by orders of magnitude more people.”

🗳️ State Rep. Dianne Hesselbein is running for State Senate.

  • Currently, she represents the 79th Assembly District, which includes parts of Verona and Middleton.
  • She's running for the 27th Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jon Erpenbach, who is not seeking reelection, the Cap Times reports.

💵 Grant applications are now open for the Willy Street Co-op's Community Reinvestment Fund.

  • The co-op is prioritizing applications for projects related to food justice/access, developing cooperative businesses, sustainable agriculture, health, and social change.
  • The total amount awarded will be $35,000.
  • See past grantees and apply here. Cooperative organizations and 501(c)3 nonprofits are eligible to apply.

🎄 Oooh pretty. The Capitol holiday tree is looking better than ever!

🍲 Cap Times food editor & arts reporter Lindsay Christians wrote a book about local chefs.

  • Christians’ book “highlights nine local chefs who re-imagined what Wisconsin food could be, from New Jersey-influenced farm-focused pizza to Wisconsin-style bibimbap.”
  • Yes, there are recipes! Twenty-eight recipes, to be exact.
  • There will be a pre-launch event at Leopold’s Books Bar Caffé on December 21.
  • You can read an excerpt on the Cap Times website. Leopold’s and A Room of One’s Own are both accepting pre-orders.

🦠 Covid-19 Resources

Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 57.6%

Dane County Vaccination Rate: 75.4%

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.

📅 The weekend

Friday, Dec. 17

Saturday, Dec. 18

Sunday, Dec. 19

🟠 = Tone recommends

Wondering what that 🟠 means? That symbol next to an event listing means that Tone Madison’s team of writers and editors recommends checking it out. Tone knows Madison’s arts and music landscape better than anybody else.

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(Telescope image courtesy of NASA)