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Morning Update: Tuesday, April 26
In this newsletter
☁️ Today's weather: Mostly cloudy. High: 46° Low: 27°
Good morning, Madison!
If you've been looking for the chance to dig into Madison's burger scene, I've got good news for you.
The Cap Times has adopted Madison Burger Week and will now host the annual, citywide event to crown Madison’s Best Burger.
The last Burger Week was in 2020 and in the past, Isthmus had hosted the celebration.
How does it work, you ask? Participating restaurants will either showcase a classic burger from their menu or build something just for the occasion. Cap Times will keep a running list of participating locations and burger details and you can vote for your favorite online.
Burger Week will run May 20-27 and the winner will be announced June 8.
📚 Madison schools are working to bring more Indigenous education to its curriculum.
- The Madison Metropolitan School District held its first-ever land acknowledgment ceremony Monday as part of an effort to bring more Indigenous representation to schools.
- Thanks to the work of members of the Native American Student Associations from Madison East and West High Schools, over the next three years, all Madison schools will have plaques installed acknowledging the land on which they stand is “the sacred ancestral land of the Ho-Chunk People.”
- As Madison365 writes, the plaques are just a first step. District officials have pledged to make curriculum changes to include Indigenous history and contemporary Indigenous culture.
📸 The sheriff's office is piloting license-plate-reading surveillance cameras.
- In partnership with the National Policing Institute, the Dane County Sheriff’s Department will kick off a pilot program bringing 25 license-plate-reading cameras to the county this summer.
- As the Wisconsin State Journal notes, the cameras don't capture videos, but rather images of license plates and other vehicle details (even from far away and at speeds of up to 80 mph).
- The sheriff's office has yet to decide where to place the cameras but you won't find them in places with their own dedicated police force, like Madison or Sun Prairie.
🚨 The city is considering dropping the racial quotas for its police oversight board.
- Some context: Madison officially formed a police oversight board in September 2020. Under the current ordinance, the 11-member board must include at least one member each from the Black, Asian, Latino, Native American, and LGBTQ+ communities.
- Last week, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and five City Council members introduced an amendment that would cut the racial mandate by changing the language in the initial ordinance to say City Council will "'strive to include members from a diverse background, including but not limited to' the identified groups," the State Journal reports.
- Why the change? The city has already faced legal challenges because of the ordinance's initial language. Conservative blogger David Blaska — whom you might remember from recently running a write-in school board campaign — applied and was rejected for a seat on the board. In a lawsuit, Blaska contended he was not fully eligible to be considered for a spot because he is white. City Attorney Mike Haas had previously cautioned the council that the ordinance's initial language might not hold up in court.
- The new amendment is expected to go before the full City Council for a vote May 10.
📧 A note for Gmail users.
If you're having trouble finding Madison Minutes in the morning, it might be going to your promotions folder. It's a place that is sort of in between spam and your regular inbox.
How to fix it: Click and drag the Madison Minutes email from your promotions tab to your main inbox. Gmail should then ask if you want to have this newsletter go to your regular inbox going forward (click yes).
Let us know if you have questions!
🥀 Goodbye trees, hello concrete.
- Due to budget cuts at the city level, Madison plans to soon convert almost half of the planting beds with perennials on medians of major streets to turf or colored concrete, the State Journal reports.
- Funds for maintaining the 208 planting beds in medians fell from $165,000 in 2021 to $86,422 this year.
- City officials like Alds. Mike Verveer and Gary Halverson aren't necessarily thrilled with the decision, both for landscaping and aesthetic reasons. Ultimately, the city’s Finance Committee approved the plan.
- In converting the medians, the State Journal notes shrubs will be removed but trees will not.
😻 Happy Take Me Home Tuesday! Meet Mark.
- From Dane County Humane Society: "Mark is a 9-year-old cat in search of a new home with a tall cat tower. While Mark likes to perch high atop cat towers, he does come down for pets and snuggles. He's a friendly boy who gives head butts for more attention and rolls around while purring with happiness. He also enjoys treats." (Who doesn't, Mark?)
- Think Mark would make a great addition to your family? Learn more about him here.
🎻 The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra is back.
- For the first time since 2019, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra is returning to a five-concert series.
- This year's Masterworks season kicks off Nov. 18 with performances at the Capitol Theater. You can check out the whole lineup and get tickets here.
🌲 Your lunchtime read: Color in the Outdoors wants to open up the natural world to marginalized groups in Wisconsin.
- From WPR: "To Christopher Kilgour, groups such as his that are advocating for equitable access to the outdoors just having a seat at the decision-making table isn’t enough. 'It's also having a cup, a plate, a knife, a spoon and a meal,' he said."
📅 Events: Tuesday, April 26
- Sustainable Breakfast Series: Invest Your Values by Sustain Dane. Learn about sustainable investing. 8:30 a.m. Virtual. Free for members, $20 non-members.
- Lunch with a Founder: Que El-Amin and Khalif El-Amin with StartingBlock Madison. 12 p.m. Free.
- Concert Bingo at High Noon Saloon. Prizes include merchandise and concert tickets. 5 p.m. Free.
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