Good Morning, Madison!
Happy Monday, I hope everyone had a chance to relax and refresh over the weekend. I spent mine watching horror movies, which I know isn't everyone's version of relaxation but, to each their own (if anyone has recommendations, my inbox is always open!).
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and there are plenty of ways to observe and celebrate this national day of service locally in Madison. Here's a quick roundup of relevant events, reads, and notices around town.
- Wisconsin Public Radio will broadcast a full slate of relevant programming in lieu of the annual State Capitol ceremony, which was canceled due to COVID-19.
- The King Coalition of Madison & Dane County (in partnership with many other local organizations) is hosting a youth call to service day.
- WORT will air the 37th Annual Madison/Dane County King Holiday Observance, which will feature a keynote speech from Ilyasah Shabazz, acclaimed author and daughter of Malcolm X.
- Take a minute to read about the three local leaders who were recently given the City-County Humanitarian award which honors the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- What's closed today? The Wisconsin State Journal has a full list of holiday closures.
🛍️ Development at Hilldale is one step closer to approval.
- The city's Plan Commission approved a project last week that would bring "four one-to-two story retail buildings, a hotel and an outdoor plaza to Hilldale," Cap Times reports.
- The project will bring about the demolition of the former BMO Harris Bank and a “repurposing” of the AMC Madison 6 movie theater. This brings the theater's future into question, its lease at the current space expires at the end of this year.
- The project is now headed to the full City Council for final zoning change approval.
📚 Dane County is trying to build a new generation of librarians through a new internship program for kids of color.
- The Ripple Intern Program, run by the county’s Library Service department, is set to launch this fall thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Madison Community Foundation.
- The program will give students in their late teens and early twenties hands-on library experience and the opportunity to learn about "subjects like library governance, budgeting, technology and programming," NBC15 reports.
- Of note: Libraries are closed today.
😷 Listen up UW students: Get a Covid test before coming back to campus.
- The University of Wisconsin-Madison sent an email to students from the office of the chancellor recommending all students — regardless of vaccination status — get a Covid test before returning for the spring semester.
- The Daily Cardinal reports the university is also asking students to get tested again once they've arrived in Dane County. This recommendation comes as an explosion in COVID-19 cases have been reported in the county and state.
🧪 Speaking of Covid testing, watch out for this company with sketchy practices.
- The Center for COVID Control, based in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, has temporarily halted operations nationwide after multiple complaints have called their testing practices into question. The center runs six sites in Dane County and 27 across Wisconsin.
- The center is a licensed laboratory and offers testing with no appointment necessary. But concerns over lack of PPE and fraudulent or mishandled test results have led to a week-long closure of operations.
- The Better Business Bureaus of Chicago, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota have recently launched an investigation into the company.
🎂 Happy Birthday to Betty White, the penguin.
- The Henry Vilas Zoo resident shares a birthday with her namesake, who would have been 100 today (RIP).
🏫 The UW System has named two finalists in its search for a president.
- Who are they?
- Up first is Jim Schmidt. He's served as chancellor of UW-Eau Claire since 2013 and in his application bio describes himself as "champion of American public higher education." He has previously served as vice president for university advancement at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota, and vice president for student affairs at Riverland Community College in Austin, Minnesota.
- The second finalist is Jay Rothman, who has served as the Chairman and CEO of the law firm of Foley & Lardner LLP since June 2011. Rothman received a bachelor's degree from Marquette University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.
- The UW System anticipates it will have an official hire by the end of January.
🚧 The saga continues...131 West Wilson has been cleared to reopen...again.
- If you'll recall: The city closed the building in September due to structural concerns. It was reopened briefly but then shut down again in December.
- The city cleared the building to reopen late last week and first-floor Italian restaurant Paisan's is back in business, with a limited schedule and menu.
- From Madison365: "Li posted a video on social media showing her listening to the voice mail, and within a day, she would help make the hashtag #VeryAsian — from the caller lamenting that “she’s being very Asian” — a trending topic on social media and used by people from all around the world in a positive and uplifting way. It was not just a giant wave of support from the Asian American community, but from everybody."
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 58.7%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 76.6%
Links you can use
- 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.
- Request an at-home testing kit from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
- Where to Buy N95s, KN95s, and Surgical-Style Masks in 2022 (Wirecutter)
- What to Do if You are Sick or Possibly Exposed (PHMDC)
📅 Events: Monday, Jan. 17
- Fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club at Aftershock Classic Arcade. All token sales for the day will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.
- Winter Adventures at Pope Farm Conservancy. "Bring your own snowshoes, cross-country skis, or hiking boots and join us for a one-hour adventure through the conservancy." 1 p.m. Free.
- Madison-Dane County MLK Day Observance. Featuring Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X. 6-7 p.m. Event will be livestreamed virtually and broadcast on WORT.
(Header image via Flickr user Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0)