⛅ Today's weather: Partly cloudy. High: 63° Low: 40°

Good morning, Madison!

Hellooooo Madison.

It’s ya girl, coming to you live…on a Friday! If you’re new here, Sam typically writes the newsletter on Fridays, so you might be wondering what the h*ck I’m doing here.

Great question. There are two answers.

First, Sam is on a much-deserved vacation (and we hope he is having fun doing absolutely no work while he’s out!).

Second, thanks to all of you, this newsletter is kind of my full-time job now. Moving forward, I’ll be writing Madison Minutes five days a week. It’s a huge undertaking but I’m up for the challenge.

We’ll have more details to share with all of you surrounding our 2022 business plans and goals in the coming weeks and Sam has already outlined some of them here. For now, I just want to say thank you one million times over for supporting us in this endeavor. It’s only been a year since we sent the first Minutes to inboxes everywhere and it’s been an incredible journey watching this thing take shape. I don’t want to sound like too much of a broken record, so if you’re interested in learning more about our humble beginnings, you can check out this piece I wrote for Tone Madison on Madison Minutes’ one-year anniversary.

It’s still just Sam and me making Madison Minutes happen, but we wouldn’t be where we are today without all of you. If you like what we’re doing, consider supporting our work with a donation. Thank you to the more than 100 (!!!!!) people who have already done just that. We can’t wait to grow with you.

Now let’s get to some news.

— Hayley


🙊 A county investigation is shedding light on Vilas Zoo’s ‘toxic’ work environment.

  • Some context: An April investigation by the Wisconsin State Journal revealed troubling information surrounding the resignations of Vilas Zoo’s only Black zookeepers. Their reporting uncovered instances of animal neglect, racism, and retaliation by management. You can read the State Journal’s original story here. The zoo is owned by Dane County.
  • A new county investigation into the zoo’s work environment confirmed much of what the State Journal outlined in its original reporting, noting a “predominant theme” of “toxicity.”
  • The county’s report, led by two Black investigators, found instances of favoritism, sexism, and racism from staff and management at the zoo.
  • The county’s investigation also revealed the zoo has a “conflict of interest” on its animal welfare committee because the people who lead the committee are also the “decision-makers" when it comes to determining care for the animals.
  • This will be a story to watch. The Dane County Board of Supervisors voted Thursday night to commission an independent review of the zoo.

✒️ Gov. Tony Evers is leading a call on Congress to protect abortion rights.

Image via Flickr user Matt Deavenport

🏋️ The final CrossFit games for Madison.

  • The annual competition to crown the “Fittest on Earth” will return to the isthmus one more time this year for the annual CrossFit Games.
  • This marks the sixth year Madison has hosted the event. This year's games will be the city's last, the State Journal reports "CrossFit will use the next year to evaluate locations for the games in 2024 and beyond, giving serious consideration to locations outside the United States."
  • The 2022 CrossFit Games will be held Aug. 3-7 at the Alliant Energy Center.

💐 Mother's Day is coming, do you have a gift yet?

  • If you've put off getting a gift for mom this year, don't fret. Madison Magazine put together a list of local shops full of potential gifts, ranging from matching aprons, to sweet treats, and custom kids' clothing. Check out the list here.

😎 Looking for plans this weekend? We've got you covered.

  • "Nature is Healing," Tonight: Check out the opening night of "Nature is Healing" by Angela Johnson, a public art installation meant to "promote community healing and provide a place to gather, process, heal, and grieve among the beautiful trees and peaceful landscapes of Olbrich Botanical Gardens." Johnson will speak about the project and her process at 7:15 p.m. at Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
  • Latino Art Fair, Saturday: The Latino Art Fair returns to Overture Center for the Arts this weekend following a two-year pandemic hiatus. The free event will feature work from more than a dozen visual artists of Latino heritage. The fair will run from 4-6 p.m.
  • Madcity Meltdown, Saturday: Madcity Meltdown — a skate contest organized by Flying Low Skateshop — is making it debut this weekend. The event will start at 8 a.m. at Madison Skatepark (in McPike Park) and will be split into four competitive levels: Beginners, Intermediate, LGBTQI+, and Advanced/Sponsored.

🏡 An update on Zoe Bayliss Co-op.

  • Members of the Zoe Bayliss Co-Op held a fundraiser late last week to help cover the costs of moving, bringing in $1,200 which will be matched, The Daily Cardinal reports.
  • The university offered co-op members a new space in Phillips Residence Hall that would be transformed into a co-op setting. Though members ultimately rejected the idea, UW Housing is still moving forward with the proposed plan.
  • If you'll recall: The Zoe Bayliss Co-op at 915 W. Johnson St.— the University of Wisconsin’s only student cooperative housing — is facing demolition to make way for Levy Hall, UW-Madison’s new College of Letters & Sciences hub.

🇦🇫 Your lunchtime read: ‘They can bring so much’: Despite barriers, Afghan evacuees enrich Wisconsin’s workforce.

  • From Wisconsin Watch: "[Ali Akbar Gholami] is among at least 838 Afghan evacuees — including children and elderly people — now living in Wisconsin. These newcomers can make communities more vibrant and ease the labor crunch as Wisconsin’s birth rate plunges and its population ages. The same could be said of future refugees from other countries, including Ukranians fleeing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war."

📅 Events: The weekend

Friday, May 6

Saturday, May 7

Sunday, May 8

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


📧 A note for Gmail users.

If you're having trouble finding Madison Minutes in the morning, it might be going to your promotions folder. It's a place that is sort of in between spam and your regular inbox.

How to fix it: Click and drag the Madison Minutes email from your promotions tab to your main inbox. Gmail should then ask if you want to have this newsletter go to your regular inbox going forward (click yes).

Let us know if you have questions!


😻 Since it's Friday I think we all deserve a little cuteness for the week. Say hello to Ozzy in a new series I'm calling Friday Floofs.


🗣️ Want your message to reach Madison? Learn about our advertising options.

📨 Need something else? Email us at contact@madisonminutes.com.