Good morning, Madison!
It's Tuesday. Do you know where your green toy soldiers are?
Tiny toy soldiers have been popping up around UW-Madison's Science Hall. Officially, no one is sure why. Unofficially, it's likely the product of an internet trend called Green Dawn, the Cap Times reports.
The mission is simple: strategically place army men throughout your hometown (or anywhere) and post their positions to the r/GreenDawn subreddit. "Use caution. This is a covert operation and discretion is advised," the subreddit warns.
The internet is a wild place but personally, I choose to believe that perhaps the ghosts of Science Hall are just having a bit of fun.
👮 Do you have thoughts on police-worn body cameras? Here's a chance to to make your voice heard.
- The Madison Police Department is hosting a series of roundtable discussions this month on the "impact that body-worn cameras have on policing."
- The first conversation will take place this Thursday from 6:30-9 p.m. at Memorial Union, preregistration is encouraged, as space is limited. Another in-person discussion will be held Feb. 24 at the MPD training center from 6:30-8, and virtual informational sessions will be held Feb. 17 and March 3.
- The bigger picture: The city of Madison has been grappling with the concept of police body cameras for years. The city's 2021 capital budget has $83,000 set aside to fund a one-year pilot program that would bring 48 body cameras to officers in the city’s North District. City Council, however, has yet to approve the program. Madison is currently the largest city in the state without a police body camera program.
🏫 A look at school board elections around Dane County.
- While the Madison School Board only has one contested seat on its ballot, there are plenty of districts around the county where school board races are heating up, the Cap Times reports. In the past year, school boards have become ground-zero for parent protests of Covid-19 and other classroom policies.
- Some of the more competitive races in Dane County that will require primary elections include:
- Mount Horeb has three seats up for election with 11 candidates, including two incumbents.
- Lodi and New Glarus school boards both have five candidates for two seats.
- Columbus has seven candidates for two seats.
- In the Town of Brigham, three candidates are vying for a single seat on the Barneveld School Board.
- Related: As Wisconsin awaits federal approval on plan for last school relief funds, districts start spending (WPR)
💖 Fresh out of ideas for Valentine’s Day?
- Book a quick getaway now for a stay between February 11 – 22 and surprise someone you love with some quality time. Receive a discount of up to 40%, plus other special perks with your stay.
- Book now.
🥕 The Old Fashioned's sister restaurant Harvest is keeping its doors closed for now.
- The North Pinckney Street establishment focused on fine dining closed its dining room and pivoted to takeout-only for much of the pandemic. It operated as Harvest Go and offered a limited selection of takeout-friendly meals.
- When Harvest Go ended last May, the restaurant's dining room remained closed. Now, the capitol square spot says the space will stay closed to undergo utility and kitchen upgrades, Isthmus reports.
🎮 The fight for union recognization continues at Raven Software.
- If you'll recall: Late last month workers in the quality assurance division at Middleton-based Raven Software announced their union as the Game Workers Alliance Union, a local of the Communication Workers of America, with support from 78% of eligible workers.
- The union has asked management for voluntary recognition but has not received a response. The union is currently working to hold its first election, which could take weeks to conduct, WORT reports. But if they succeed in their election, the Game Workers Alliance will be the first union at a major US video game studio to have recognized collective bargaining.
- Dig deeper: The path to unionizing has been rough for Raven Software, and it’s about to get rougher (The Verge)
🖼️ Jerome Chazen of the namesake museum has died.
- Chazen was a philanthropist and UW-Madison graduate who went on to co-found the fashion brand Liz Claiborne Inc. He was 94.
- Jerome, along with his wife Simona donated $25 million to fund the expansion of the campus art museum, which was subsequently named after them in 2005.
- According to the State Journal, "the Chazen is the largest collecting museum in the Big Ten and the second-largest art museum in Wisconsin."
🥡 Your lunchtime read: Solving third-party delivery problems with sights set on Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash.
- From the Wisconsin State Journal: "Third-party food delivery services such as Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats and Madison-based EatStreet can help restaurant owners connect with customers, especially during COVID, but they also can cause problems when they don't have a restaurant's permission to list their menus. A bipartisan bill introduced in the state Legislature last month seeks to rein in those services."
🦠 Covid-19 Update
Source: Public Health Madison & Dane County
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 59.6%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 77.4%
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.
- NEW: 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. 8
- The Beautiful World of Butterflies with DreamBank. A virtual field trip to the Milwaukee Public Museum's Butterfly Vivarium. 4 p.m. Free.
- Plastics in the Great Lakes: What to Know & What to Do About It with Monona Public Library. 6:30 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- Stars That Go Bump in the Night by Bob Mathieu, a UW-Madison Astronomy professor. 7 p.m. Virtual option. Free.
- Crossroads of Ideas: What is Happiness? with the UW Institute for Research in the Humanities. An interdisciplinary with scientists and philosophers. Virtual option. Free. 7 p.m
- Winter Carnival, Monday through Saturday. All sorts of events! There's a fishing derby, a free showing of Frozen, an ice climbing exhibition, and more. And of course, Lady Liberty will be there, too. More details on that below.
(Header image via City of Madison)