Morning Update: Thursday, Dec. 16
Good morning, Madison.
Tonight, the city is hosting a public input meeting to vote on the final equipment that will go in the new all-inclusive playground coming to Warner Park in 2022.
If you have thoughts, questions, or comments on what should be included in the park, now is the time to make your voice heard. This is the second online meeting seeking input from area residents and park users. According to the city, staff will present two playground concepts based on feedback received at a previous playground workshop.
If you want to attend this virtual meeting — it starts at 6 p.m. — all you need to do is register here.
💔 Acclaimed author and UW alum bell hooks has died.
- Who was she? Hooks was a renowned author, feminist, and social critic. Born in Kentucky, hooks wrote her first book “Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism” at just 19 years old. She attended Stanford as an undergrad and came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to pursue a master’s degree in English literature in 1976. As the Cap Times writes, hooks is one of 120 alumni recognized at Alumni Park outside of Memorial Union.
🏫 Meet the latest addition to MMSD's leadership team: Carolyn Stanford Taylor.
- Stanford Taylor will serve as MMSD’s Interim Assistant Superintendent for Engagement, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
- Previously, Stanford Taylor took over the role of state Superintendent of Public Instruction when Tony Evers moved to the governor’s office. She decided not to run for re-election in the position this year.
“I spent the first 21 years of my career working in MMSD, and I have great love for the district and community. Although there are many challenges we face as a school community, Superintendent Jenkins and the MMSD leadership team have put the district on an exciting course of change." — Carolyn Stanford Taylor in a press release announcing her hire
🎒 Dispatches from the UW-Madison campus.
- Students were evacuated from several campus buildings Wednesday after reports of a potential gas leak. According to The Daily Cardinal, UWPD received multiple reports of a “natural gas-like odor” which led to the evacuation of Chamberlin Hall, Sewell Social Sciences, Van Vleck, Ingraham Hall, and Bascom Hall. All of the buildings have since been cleared and reopened.
- The university announced Wednesday it will close all but one of its COVID-19 testing sites in the spring. Beginning Jan. 3, campus testing will move to a single location, the University Club, 803 State St. The university plans to incorporate the use of at-home tests for fully vaccinated students and employees. There is a campus-wide mask mandate in effect through Jan. 15.
🦋 The city wants you to watch out for gypsy moths...and destroy their eggs.
- Why? As the city Streets Division’s Urban Forestry Department explains, the moths are destructive pests and can defoliate and weaken trees. While they tend to prefer oak trees, all tree species can be harmed.
- Be on the lookout for moth egg masses. They're "a fuzzy, brownish patch typically found on tree trunks, but can also be found on sheds, under picnic benches, and most other flat surfaces." The city recommends using golden pest oil or soaking the eggs in soapy water to eradicate them. (Simply stomping on them apparently isn't enough.)
A gypsy moth sits atop an egg mass. (Image via City of Madison)
💻 Dane County meetings will stay digital for the time being.
- A delay in technology upgrades along with the need to train staff for hybrid meetings (and not to mention the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic) forced the Dane County Board to make the decision.
- County offices are also closed through June 13 due to COVID-19, County Board Chair Analiese Eicher told the State Journal that unless anything with that changes, meetings will remain online until then too.
🌭 Brat Fest is back, baby!
- After two years of a less-than-normal fest, the organizers of the World’s Largest Brat Fest are bringing the event back to the Alliant Energy Center's Willow Island in 2022.
- The event will feature more than 70 local and Midwest entertainers, and, of course, a beautifully obscene amount of brats.
🥦 Your lunchtime read: A legal loophole allows the sale of 'Delta 8' cannabis in Wisconsin. For one grower, it’s been a boon.
- From WPR: "The Plymouth-based company [3 Tall Pines Farm] has seen explosive growth in the last year from creating and selling what are called "Delta 8" cannabis products. They're capitalizing on a loophole in state and federal law that allows the sale of intoxicating marijuana-like smokeables, edibles and vaping cartridges in Wisconsin — despite the fact that the state does not permit the legal sale of medicinal or recreational weed."
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 57.5%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 75.3%
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.
📅 Events, events, events
- Indigenous Winter Market at giige. Local and regional Indigenous artists, makers, and producers. Thursday and Friday.
Thursday, Dec. 16
- DANEnet Free Tech Repair at Lakeview Library. 2-4 p.m. No appointment needed.
- Brewers Series: An Evening of Small Batch Beers and Music at Karben4. Taste new, small batch draft beers and offer feedback. Doors and beers at 3 p.m. Music starts around 5 p.m.
- Madison Night Market. Local art, live music. The market runs along State Street and Gilman Street. 4-9 p.m. See full list of vendors here.
- Festivus in Monona! by MESBA. Festivus Pole, Airing of Grievances, Feats of Strength, Tacos and other stuff! 5:30-9:30 p.m.
- Cooking with the Cap Times: Liz Kirkland. Food editor Lindsay Christians will host Liz Kirkland of Madison Sourdough for a delicious holiday edition of Cooking with the Cap Times. 6 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- A Very Funkee Joey B. Christmas at High Noon Saloon. Doors at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. $12 advance, $15 at door.
- Essensual Beatz at The Brink Lounge. 7-9 p.m. no cover.
- Morgan James: A Very Magnetic Christmas Tour at the Bur Oak. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $15.
- Holiday Brew ‘n View: “Elf” at The Majestic. 6:30 p.m. $5.
- Adult Board Game Night at Sequoya Library. 6:30-8 p.m. Free.
- Dane County Board of Supervisors meeting. 7 p.m. Virtual. More info here.