That's a biiiiig mural!

Morning Update: Friday, June 3

In this newsletter

That's a biiiiig mural!

Good morning, Madison!

Dane County is suspending many activity fees in county parks this weekend. The fee waivers include lake activities, dog parks, disc golf, and some mountain bike trails. There are some exceptions to the waivers, so be sure to read the fine print before heading out.

— Sam

🚌 MMSD still doesn't have enough bus drivers.

  • The shortage forced the Madison school district to adjust its start and end times for the 2021-22 school year. Cap Times now reports those changes will stay in place for the 2022-23 school year.
  • Start times at MMSD schools currently range from 7:30 - 9:10 a.m.
  • The move has left some families scrambling to figure out childcare and work schedules. “Many families who have used only after-school childcare in the past were forced to find before-school providers this year as well; this is an extra headache for parents but also an additional expense,” MMSD parent Tara Schlick Stevens told the news outlet.

🍺 The Great Dane is going global.

  • The Wisconsin brewer will open a location in Akiu Onsen, a town about two hours north of Tokyo.
  • Currently, there are five Great Dane locations — three in Madison, one in Fitchburg, and one in Wausau.
  • Construction on the new location is set to begin later this summer.

🖇️ The County Board met in person for the first time in two years last night.

  • For the past two years, the board has met exclusively online. Their first in-person meeting didn't have a virtual option. Moving forward, however, board meetings will be conducted in a hybrid format with both virtual and in-person options.
  • Here are the highlights, per the Cap Times:
    • The board authorized an external investigation into allegations of racism and hostile workplace conditions at Henry Vilas Zoo, which is run by the county.
    • A new ordinance "prohibiting board members from discriminatory behavior and harassment" was passed.
    • A resolution recognizing June as LGBTQ+ and allies pride and recognition month was also passed.

🎨 New mural alert!

  • A new mural spans most of the exterior of the recently-constructed Ella Apartments on East Wash.
  • And it's not just large — it's the largest mural in Madison, per the State Journal.
  • The artist behind the mural, Bill Rebholz, has strong ties to Madison. The Madison West High School graduate now lives in Minnesota and is in the process of moving to California.

💵 Inaction from state legislators is putting arts funding at risk.

  • Tone Madison reports that the National Endowment for the Arts has set aside money for various Wisconsin arts programs, but they require matching funds from the state.
  • The Wisconsin Arts Board requested a transfer of $109,200 from the state in November. They still haven't gotten it, and that's making people nervous.
  • If (roughly) $100,000 in funding doesn't sound like a lot to you... you're exactly right! Wisconsin ranked 48th place among the 50 states in a recent report that analyzed public funding of art. That makes this funding even more critical.

🏊 Warner Park is open for swimming thanks to a partnership between the city and county.

  • The two local governments partnered to create a "Clean Beach Corridor" at Warner Park. The water within the corridor is continuously filtered to keep toxic blue green algae out.
  • According to a statement from the county, each “Clean Beach Corridor” costs about $90,000. Dane County chipped in $67,000 for filtration equipment, $18,000 for the barrier curtain, and $5,000 on "pipes, chains, buoys, etc." Meanwhile, the city contributed $700,000 to build a new shelter at the park and will take care of operational costs going forward.
  • Related: Know Before You Go: Check Water Conditions Before Swimming (City of Madison)

🪑 UW police say they've recovered a terrace deck chair that was stolen over 40 years ago.

📚 Your lunchtime read: A look inside Wisconsin's first medical recuperative shelter for homeless families

  • From the Cap Times: "The Healing House is a place for homeless individuals and families to recover after surgery or a hospital stay. A new grant will help bolster its services."
  • This is the first cover story from Angelica Euseary, who joined the Cap Times' newsroom in April.

📅 Events

Friday, June 3

Saturday, June 4

Sunday, June 5

Wondering what that 🟠 means? That symbol next to an event listing means the Tone Madison team recommends checking it out.

🦠 Covid-19 update

  • Community transmission: Dane County’s COVID-19 Community Level is at currently “medium,” according to the CDC's measurements.
  • Cases: In its latest data note, Public Health Madison and Dane County says that cases were "high but stable" during the past couple weeks.
  • Percent positivity: Percent positivity is also at levels that PHMDC considers to be "high," which indicates "that we are likely to not be capturing all new cases through PCR testing."
  • Get boosted: If you are immunocompromised or 50+, you may be eligible for a second booster shot. Get it done, folks.