Morning Update: Thursday, March 3
Happy Thursday, Madison.
As the situation in Ukraine continues to intensify, the ripple effects of war have begun creeping in at home.
Most recently, local grocer Woodman’s Food Market announced it is pulling Russian vodka from its shelves.
Kroger, the parent company of Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market, announced a similar move, saying it removed Russian-produced vodka from shelves over the weekend, Channel 3000 reports.
The actions are largely symbolic, however, considering many "Russian vodkas" are really only Russian in name and oftentimes produced in other nations (your Stoli actually comes from Latvia).
No matter what you're drinking, cheers to a good Thursday, friends.
🏫 A third day of threats at Memorial High School.
- For the third day in a row, an unsubstantiated threat was made against Memorial High School. Detectives are reportedly investigating the situation — which did not trigger a lockdown — and looking for possible links between the multiple threats.
- On Monday, the school and nearby Jefferson Middle School were evacuated due to a bomb threat. On Tuesday, Memorial had two threats, which led to a heightened police presence at the school, which will remain through the week.
”We hope in working with the City of Madison Police Department we’re able to identify who it is and put a stop to it. That’s really what we’re after.” — Tim LeMonds, MMSD spokesperson
📚 From imagination to reality.
- Earlier this week, City Council approved the operating plan for the "Imagination Center" at Reindahl Park. Though several alders raised concerns over the city's financial situation, the 16,000-square-foot, $16.1 million building was approved with a 13-7 vote.
- The Imagination Center will operate as a branch in the Madison Public Library system but also space for city and non-profit agencies to deliver their services. The center has been in talks for years and supporters of the project say it will help serve people of color, youth, and immigrants living near Reindahl Park.
✍️ Meet Madison Public Library's poet in residence.
- Angela Trudell Vasquez will serve as Madison Public Library’s poet in residence from March through May. During the residency, Vasquez will provide workshops for all ages and will work to bring poetry to life.
🚧 Development updates: Micro-apartments and Wonder Bar.
- Micro-apartments: Developer Randy Alexander is proposing a 16-story, 335-unit apartment building at 139 W. Wilson St. to help bring more "workforce housing" to the downtown area. Alexander would demolish the existing 60-year-old Shorecrest Apartments, which holds 25 one-bedroom units, all of which are around 800 square feet and rent for under $1,000 a month. The new units would range from 275 square feet to just under 400 square feet (read: tiny).
- Wonder Bar: McGrath Property Group has proposed a 12-story building with 200 apartments, commercial space, and parking that would demolish the Coliseum Bar but leave the historic Wonder Bar next door intact. If it feels like you've heard this story before, it's because you have. This is McGrath's fourth iteration of the project proposal. According to the State Journal, the developers plan to submit a formal city land-use application in April for construction to start in September with occupancy in April 2024. Fourth time's the charm, right?
✅ Wisconsin's correction facilities are now open for visits.
- After closing for visitation amid skyrocketing Covid-19 cases in January, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections reopened state prisons for in-person visits Tuesday.
- According to the Wisconsin State Journal, from Jan. 1 to Feb. 25, more than 3,300 prisoners were infected with Covid-19. As of March 2, there were 74 active cases within DOC facilities.
- This is the second time DOC has closed and reopened state prisons for in-person visits during the pandemic and inmate advocates are celebrating their return.
"I know a lot of people really depend on the visits that they do get. It could be from a mom or dad, or like I said, if you have children, you really depend on and look forward to those times together. To have it open back up and then kind of abruptly go back down, that's definitely a psychological, emotional whirlwind to say the least." — Ramiah Whiteside, associate director of Ex-incarcerated People Organizing
💸 Red Caboose celebrates 50 years and $50,000.
- The local child care center recently received an anonymous $50,000 donation to help with its relocation to a new facility on Winnebago Street.
- The new location will allow the center to serve three times more children than its current location allows. In all, Red Caboose is looking to raise $7 million project, which is expected to be completed in a year, NBC15 writes.
🧮 Your lunchtime read: ‘They got closer’: Census changes help correct historic undercount of Wisconsin’s Indigenous population.
- From the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "A push by tribal and federal officials to encourage participation in the 2020 U.S. census resulted in what tribes are hailing as the most accurate picture to date of the size and diversity of people with Indigenous ancestry in Wisconsin."
🦠 Covid-19 Update
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 60.4%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 78.2%
- 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 pick up free masks from the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program
- Where to Buy N95s, KN95s, and Surgical-Style Masks in 2022 (Wirecutter)
- What to Do if You are Sick or Possibly Exposed (PHMDC)
📅 Events: Thursday, March 3
- Understanding Movement and Population Dynamics of Migratory Birds with the UW Aboretum. Virtual. 10:00 a.m. Free.
- Webinar: From Burned Out to Reignited: 4 Steps to Break Through Burnout with DreamBank. 12 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- Sam Weber at the Bur Oak. Music at 8 p.m. $12 advance, $15 at door.
- Ventures in Portraiture: Gallery Show at Gibs. Five artists exploring the theme of realism portraiture. 8-11 p.m.
- Schlock and Awe: Lifeforce (1985) at the Rigby. A “night of movie-riffing madness with some of the wildest and weirdest movies ever made.” 9 p.m.