Good morning, Madison.
Happy twosday! Get it? Because it's 2/22/22.
I try not to use this space to talk about the weather because as Midwesterners, it's literally all we do. But it is important to note that Madison is essentially covered in a layer of ice today.
A winter weather advisory went into effect last night and will last through 6 p.m. this evening. Road conditions are so bad the city announced its Streets Division will not be collecting trash and recycling today. If you have a scheduled Tuesday collection day, the city says you should place your carts out for pickup by 6:30 a.m. tomorrow.
Additionally, Metro Transit riders should expect delays and avoid bus stops on hills, like Observatory Dr., Hamilton/Old Sauk, and School Rd.
“Ice storms are no joke,” Bryan Johnson, a department spokesperson told Channel 3000. “It is going to be difficult travel throughout the city of Madison for the next few days really.”
Be safe out there.
P.S. Madison residents can get free sand in the winter courtesy of the city. Get the details here.
📦 Cottage Grove is getting its Amazon distribution center.
- The Cottage Grove village board officially signed off on a plan to bring a 3.4 million square foot Amazon facility to town.
- The online retail behemoth says the new distribution would employ about 1,500 people, WKOW reports.
👮 “This has not been a transparent process."
- That's what Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said about the Dane County Sheriff’s investigation into the arrest and shooting of Quadren Wilson earlier this month.
- In a statement, Parisi called for regular updates on the investigation to the public and criticized the sheriff's office (but not by name) for releasing critical information on the shooting in an end-of-day Friday press release.
“We all know what’s at stake here and how important it is that law enforcement leadership be transparent and upfront with the community. The absence of transparency leaves us only with conjecture, and that’s not good for anyone." — Joe Parisi, Dane County Executive
📚 The Monroe Street Library is expanding its hours next month.
- Starting Monday, March 7, the Monroe Street Library will expand service to five days a week. Due to cuts in the 2021 operating budget, the library scaled back its hours to just three days a week.
- The library will also begin hosting programs again in March, check out the full list of family-friendly events here.
🏫 Takeaways from the Madison School Board candidate forum.
- But first, the details: There are four candidates whose names will appear on the ballot and one write-in candidate for the three seats up for election. Nichelle Nichols is running uncontested for Seat 5. Shepherd Joyner and Laura Simkin are running for Seat 3. Ali Muldrow is running for reelection to Seat 4, she is facing opposition from write-in candidate and conservative blogger David Blaska.
- Simkin and Joyner both emphasized a need to focus on students' mental health amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Cap Times reports. Simkin supports bringing School Resource Officers back into the district’s high schools but not as a long-term solution. Joyner stressed the importance of restorative and transformative justice programs. Overall, the two share many similar values and platforms as candidates.
- Meanwhile, Blaska and Muldrow sit at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. Blaska is a strong supporter of returning SROs to the district's high schools permanently while Muldrow stressed that adding police officers to schools doesn't necessarily make them safer or more comfortable for students.
- The election is April 5. The Cap Times is hosting another forum with the four candidates on the ballot March 15.
🥡 Have you been to Little Palace yet?
- The new American Chinese restaurant opened on King Street in December and is serving up tiki drinks and all the classics like chow mein, sesame chicken, and shrimp with lobster sauce.
- The restaurant is the product of sisters Stephanie and Jacqueline Le and Jacqueline’s fiancé, Phillip Lee, Cap Times reports. The Les’ aunt, Jean Tran, owns Ha Long Bay. Jacqueline and Phillip also run a nail salon called The Shop on East Johnson Street.
🚗 Catalytic converter theft in Madison isn't going away.
- Some context: Catalytic converters are emissions-control devices and have become the target of thefts in recent years because they contain precious metals like rhodium, palladium, and platinum.
- The Madison Police Department reportedly dealt with nearly 500 cases of catalytic converter thefts last year, according to the State Journal. Depending on the market, converters can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.
- MPD spokesperson Stephanie Fryer said the department has an officer working with the City Attorney’s Office to stiffen the punishment for businesses buying stolen catalytic converters but it's difficult to make arrests in these cases because nothing can stop people from simply saying the parts were removed from a salvaged vehicle.
“This is not a problem that is going away.” — Stephanie Fryer, MPD spokesperson
🥋 Your lunchtime read: How a local non-profit helped an athlete find her new passion.
- From Madison Commons: "You have lived your entire life like anyone else. You wake up, go to work and come home to spend your free time in whichever way you choose. But after two car accidents you are left shocked by a multiple sclerosis diagnosis [...]. This is what Alyssa Fencil, 39, from Stevens Point, Wisconsin dealt with back in 2008. The then 26-year-old was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but chose to keep this private. Eventually, she made her diagnosis public after deciding to join the U.S. Para Taekwondo National Team."
🦠 Covid-19 Update
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 60.2%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 78%
- 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: Tuesday, Feb. 22
- Lunch with a Founder: Jason Weaver. Organized by StartingBlock Madison. 12 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- The State of the Tribes address at the Capitol. 1 p.m. Virtual option.
- Presentation: Supporting the Growth of Wisconsin’s Maple Syrup Industry. 3 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- Hairspray at the Overture Center. Shows Tuesday through Sunday.
- Progress Center for Black Women's Open House Week through Saturday.
(Header image via City of Madison)