Construction + School Board + Green beer

Morning Update: Thursday, March 17

In this newsletter

Construction + School Board + Green beer

Top o' the morning to ya, Madison.

And happy St. Patrick's Day!

Across the isthmus people and businesses are celebrating the Irish holiday — from four-leaf clover donuts to green beer.

The folks at Channel 3000 put together a helpful list of specials and celebrations for those looking to support local businesses on the holiday.

Among them are Danny’s Pub, who will be serving up Reuben Rolls, Corned Beef, and Green beer starting at 3 p.m.; Cooper's Tavern, which is opening their upstairs to the public; and Mackesey's Irish Pub, which is offering a special St. Patrick’s Day menu (complete with Green Beer).

Not listed in the article but noteworthy — Lucille is serving up three menu specials for the day, including a Guinness Chocolate Cake and a Lucky Charms cocktail.

— Hayley

🚧 PSA: This construction project might affect your commute starting next week.

  • The city announced starting March 21 it will shut down the intersection at South Blair Street, John Nolen Drive, and East Wilson Street for construction. Southbound lanes will be closed at the intersection will John Nolen Drive and East Wilson Street and the northbound road will be reduced to one lane. TLDR: Expect traffic delays.
  • Blair Street will be fully closed off to traffic between East Washington and East Wilson starting April 1. According to the city, Westbound East Washington Ave. drivers won’t be able to turn onto Blair Street, and eastbound drivers on John Nolen Drive will have to turn onto Williamson Street. One southbound traffic lane will be open during weekday morning rush hour from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m.
  • The project is a full reconstruction of South Blair Street and is expected to be completed in November.

🏫 Recapping the Madison School Board forum.

  • The Cap Times and Simpson Street Free Press hosted a virtual public forum Tuesday for the three Madison School Board seats up for election April 5. The forum featured all candidates whose names are on the ballot, including Ali Muldrow and Nichelle Nichols, who are running unopposed for seats 4 and 5, respectively, and Laura Simkin and Shepherd Janeway (who will appear as Shepherd Joyner on the ballot) as the two candidates vying for Seat 3.
  • Questions centered around declining enrollment, staffing shortages, and teacher retention in the district. Though candidates largely agreed on most matters, the subject that spurred the most debate was that of school safety.
  • Dig deeper: Meet the 2022 Madison school board candidates (Isthmus)

🛹 Signs of spring are here.

  • Snow is melting, birds are singing, and the McPike skatepark is officially open.
  • Madison Parks made the announcement Wednesday. Weather permitting, the park will be open from 8 a.m. to dusk every day.

💸 A new contract at the Willy Street Co-op.

  • Following weeks of negotiations, a new contract for Willy Street Co-op  union members went into effect Wednesday. As the Cap Times reports, the contract brings the minimum starting pay to $15 an hour and will raise average wages by 20% over two years.
  • The contract also reduces the probationary period for new employees from 90 days to 60 days, allows for sick days to roll over or be donated, extends vacation benefits to part-time employees, and expands eligibility for unpaid leaves.
  • The contract runs through March 15, 2024.
“We're working in grocery, in public-facing work, during a pandemic. It's hugely stressful for people. And so just to be able to alleviate some of that stress through changes that we can make through collective action is awesome. Just knowing you have some lever on things is hugely empowering to people.” — David Droster, Willy Street Co-op union representative

🔗 Finding community in Facebook groups.

  • Back in March 2020, Paulo Delgado helped launch the Dane County Neighbors Helping Neighbors Facebook group. Two years later, the online community is nearly 20,000 strong and growing.
  • WKOW reports even as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wane, Delgado says the group continues to be a resource for community members to talk about and address the many issues county residents face.
  • Want to get involved? Join the Facebook group here.

⚾ Keeping up with the Brewers.

  • Nearly one week after Major League Baseball players accepted a deal from team owners to end a lockout, the Milwaukee Brewers released a revised 2022 schedule.
  • The team will start their season at Wrigley Field, taking on the Chicago Cubs for their first regular-season game of the season April 7. The Brewers will play the St. Louis Cardinals at their home opener April 14. Check out their full schedule here.

🏆 Your lunchtime read: Meet Wisconsin's most influential Native American leaders.

  • From Madison365: "This week we shine a statewide spotlight on the dedicated leaders of Wisconsin’s Indigenous communities. The people we highlight this week are elected leaders, business leaders, community leaders, doing difficult, important work, often in the face of discrimination and literally generations of oppression."
  • This is a five-part series. Click through to check out parts one, two, three, and four. The final installment of the series will be released Friday.

🦠 Covid-19 Update

Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 60.6%

Dane County Vaccination Rate: 78.3%


📅 Events: Thursday, March 17

Wondering what that 🟠 means? That symbol next to an event listing means that Tone Madison’s team of writers and editors recommends checking it out.