Pizza, lakes, budgets, and cats
A Madison pizza shop is a fan favorite among Yelpers.
In this newsletter
Happy Tuesday, Madison!
If you're looking for something cheesy, you've come to the right place.
Madison's Novanta was recently ranked No. 83 on Yelp’s list of the top 100 pizza restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.
The restaurant is known for its traditional Neapolitan-style pizzas, which bake in roughly 1,000-degree heat for 90 seconds.
News of the honors has already helped bring new and old customers in the door, according to the restaurant's owner Nick Mattioli.
“It was just really, really nice in every way,” Mattioli told the State Journal. “Sometimes it can be overwhelming. So far, knock on wood, things have been really smooth and just delightful.”
🌊 The future of Lake Monona's waterfront.
- Three design teams have presented proposals to transform the 1.7-mile stretch of Lake Monona's waterfront along John Nolen Drive between Olin Park and Willy Street.
- The architects were tasked with creating a welcoming, inclusive, and environmentally focused master plan for the area that will be used to guide future lakeshore projects and improvements along Lake Monona. With this project, the city hopes to make the area more accessible, improve water quality, and better connect the Capitol Square to surrounding neighborhoods.
- Make your voice heard: The city is collecting feedback on the proposals through a survey. You can look at the designs here and fill out the survey by March 23.
📚 Building MMSD's next budget is going to be hard.
- As district officials begin contemplating next year's budget, the future is anything but certain. This year's budgeting process is expected to be a particularly grueling one since state legislators will also be working to set the next biennial budget this spring, which dictates how much money public schools will get from the state. That process, coupled with declining enrollment and inflation, adds to the uncertainty.
- At the top of school administrators' minds is staffing. The district currently has 88 staffing vacancies and continues to deal with substitute shortages, according to Cap Times. This has led to further challenges in classrooms.
- District superintendent Carlton Jenkins will deliver a State of the District address tonight at East High School. He's expected to cover a range of subjects from funding and staffing to safety and more. You can stream the event here.
- Related: MMSD staffing shortage leaves student needs unmet, educators exhausted (Cap Times)
🥗 Picking up where Little John's left off.
- When Little John's Kitchen abruptly suspended operations last week, it left some senior communities without their daily meals. The nonprofit food pantry and catering company provided more than 15,000 meals a week to Madison community members in need.
- Local organizations have stepped in to help provide meals at the Fitchburg Senior Center. Five businesses — The Great Dane Pub and Brewing Co., The Thirsty Goat, Benvenuto’s, Kwik Trip, and Oasis Café — have volunteered to provide about 70 meals a day for the next few weeks.
- Related: Before closure, Little John's struggled to meet contractual obligations for senior meals (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Feb. 1 - Deadline to register by mail and online.
• Feb. 17 - Deadline to register in your municipal clerk’s office.
• Feb. 21 - Primary day
😻 Happy Take Me Home Tuesday! Meet: Emma.
- From Dane County Humane Society: Emma is a distinguished, 11-year-old senior lady looking for a nice retirement home. She likes attention and receiving pets, but on her terms. She prefers head pets and will purr and head butt for them.
Emma is looking for a home with a few sunny spots for her to nap in and a family who will give her attention when she wants it. Learn more about her here.
🎣 Your lunchtime read: A few things I learned ice fishing with the Wisconsin DNR.
- Via Madison Magazine: "On icy Lake Monona on Saturday, Jan. 21, I had my first experience ice fishing. While the temperatures were below freezing and I didn’t manage to catch anything besides weeds, it’s definitely an activity that I would like to try again. From a first-time ice fisher, here’s what I learned."
🎙️ Today on the pod
After Phox, Monica Martin’s Solo Career Takes Off
She’s been called the "not so secret weapon" of "one of the most accomplished Wisconsin bands of the 21st century." We sit down with Monica Martin… singer, songwriter, and former lead singer of the local indie band PHOX. She’s now working as a solo artist in Los Angeles, where’s she’s a rising star. We learn about the Madison roots that launched her career… and what it’s REALLY like to be Bianca Martin’s big sister.
- General Trivia at The Rigby
- Madison Mayoral Candidate Forum at Urban League of Greater Madison
- FREE Trivia at Starkweather Brewing Company
- The Manna Cafe Cookbook: How Two Businesses and a Cookbook Took Root at Goodman Community Center
- Oscars Trivia at Bierock