Development delays, court cases, ancient canoe
Morning Update: Friday, May 27
In this newsletter
⛅ Today's weather: Mostly cloudy. High: 69° Low: 51°
Happy Friday, Madison!
Here's a little historical fun fact to start your day: The very first post office in Madison opened today in 1837.
As the Wisconsin Historical Society points out, the post office was first established — but not open — in February of 1837. So where was the mail stored in the meantime?
The answer isn't that crazy, but in classic Wisconsin fashion, mail was stored in and distributed from one man's log cabin until the postal facility was built.
One quick housekeeping note: There will be no newsletter next Monday. Enjoy your holiday weekend safely.
🏳️⚧️ The state Supreme Court is taking on Madison schools’ transgender student policies.
- Earlier this week, the state's highest court heard arguments in a lawsuit regarding how Madison Metropolitan School District staff should work with transgender students.
- Currently, MMSD policy states staff must refer to students by their chosen names and pronouns. The policy also says staff are prohibited from disclosing any gender-identity-related matters to parents or others without the consent of the student, or unless they are legally required to do so. The policy has been in place since 2018.
- A group of 14 parents represented right-wing Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) and the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, brought a lawsuit against the policy in February of 2020.
- Cap Times reports the court has no timeline yet for issuing a decision.
✅ The city's Plan Commission approved a major development on W. Washington Ave.
- On Monday, the commission unanimously approved plans from Virtue LLC to demolish nine buildings used for student housing between 519 and 547 W. Washington Ave. in favor of a six-story building with 140 apartments and 168 underground parking spaces.
- While developers initially hoped to start the project this fall, rising interest rates and construction costs have pushed their plans back by a year, the State Journal reports.
✏️ A City Council committee has made their recommendation for interim District 20 alder.
- The Madison City Executive Committee on Wednesday recommended former Ald. Matt Phair fill the vacancy in District 20 left by the resignation of Ald. Christian Albouras.
- Phair was selected from a pool of four candidates and is a familiar face for the council. He represented District 20 from 2011 to 2019.
- The full council will vote on Phair's appointment at their June 7 meeting. Phair told the State Journal if appointed, he doesn’t plan to run to retain the seat but also didn’t rule out the option.
- Other vacancies: Applications are still open — until 4:30 today — to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of District 11 Ald. Arvina Martin. Interested in the position? Check here to see if you live in District 11.
🚫 The saga of 131 W. Wilson continues...still.
- In the latest development surrounding the downtown building home to Paisan's restaurant, the city issued the building's owner a noncompliance letter saying the building will be forced to close if it doesn't undergo the proper inspections by June 6.
- Owner Greg Rice was required to have an outside inspector look at the roughly 3,200 steel shores installed in the 12-story building's crumbling underground garage.
- Per court order, the building must be inspected every two weeks. WKOW reports the last inspection was scheduled for May 19 but hasn't been done. The last inspection was May 5.
🛶 Learning more about the ancient canoe found in Lake Mendota.
- If you'll recall, a 1,200-year-old canoe was discovered in Lake Mendota last November. Since then, the vessel has been on its way to becoming the most studied canoe in the world.
- UW-Madison announced earlier this week that researchers from the Grainger Engineering Design and Innovation Laboratory were able to make a 3D scan of the canoe. This is big because now researchers will be able to study the canoe while it undergoes a multiple-year preservation process.
- "I want to make this the most studied canoe in the world. We want to use every resource available to learn as much as we can about this vessel to tell a variety of stories," Wisconsin State Archaeologist James Skibo said in a UW news release.
🥏 Just for fun: The city is offering free disc golf this weekend.
- For one day only, Madison Parks and Dane County Parks are offering permit-free disc golf. This Saturday (aka tomorrow) you can bring your disks and friends out to Elver Park, Hiestand Park, Vallarta-Ast at Token Creek County Park, and Capital Springs Recreation Area for a day of free fun.
- Typically, daily permits are $5 at Madison parks and $8 at county parks.
💟 Your lunchtime read: New children’s book, illustrated by Madison artist, celebrates creativity of Prince.
- From Madison365: "The book grew out of shared remembrances when Prince passed away in 2016. [Annik] Dupaty, who calls herself a “devotee” of the musician, wanted to commission some Prince-inspired artwork for her home, but also started posting some of her own drawings in a Facebook group of fellow Prince devotees."
- April data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows unvaccinated state residents were twice as likely to be hospitalized and seven times more likely to die as a result of a Covid-19 infection than those who received vaccines and boosters.
- State epidemiologist Dr. Ryan Westergaard noted the data shows the effectiveness of current vaccines has gone down when it comes to preventing infections from omicron variants.
- Locally, Public Health Madison and Dane County observed from February through April, a person not fully vaccinated in Dane County was 4.2 times more likely to be hospitalized for Covid-19 than a person fully vaccinated with a booster.
Friday, May 27
- Member Party: PJs & Popsicles. MCM’s most popular member party returns. Wear your pajamas, bring a stuffie, and party in the museum after hours. 5-8 p.m.
- Freddie Gibbs, Zack Fox, Jean Le Duke at Sylvee. Music at 8 p.m. $27.50 advance, $30 doors. 🟠
- Sam Robinson Quintet at North Street Cabaret. 8 p.m. $20. 🟠
- Dead Rider, Lung, Heather The Jerk at Dark Horse ArtBar. 9 p.m. $10. 🟠
Saturday, May 28
- Tori Amos at The Orpheum. Music at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $39.50.
- Damien Jurado, Chris Pureka at The Bur Oak. Music at 8 p.m. $25 advance, $30 doors. 🟠
- Emo Night with Top 8 at BarleyPop Live. Emo and pop-punk covers. Music at 8 p.m. $5 at the door.
- Hot Summer Gays: y2queer at Robinia Courtyard. 10 p.m. $5 to $10 sliding scale. 🟠
Sunday, May 29
- Drag Bingo! ft. Bianca Lynn Breeze & Keri Traide at the Bur Oak. 2 p.m.
Wondering what that 🟠 means? That symbol next to an event listing means the Tone Madison team recommends checking it out.
😻 Time for another Friday Floof!! This is Billie Jo with her favorite toy, a used McDonald's straw. Don't ask questions, just enjoy the vibe.
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