Today's weather: ⛅ Partly cloudy and mild. High: 44° Low: 28°
Good morning, Madison!
It feels like it's been ages since I've been in your inbox and I've missed you all.
On this fine Tuesday, let us briefly travel back to 1976 when the goddess commonly known as Joni Mitchell graced Madison's Lake Mendota with her presence.
The story goes that the "Blue" singer was in Madison for a show and going through a breakup with her longtime boyfriend that would result in the cancelation of the rest of her tour.
While gazing at Lake Mendota from the Edgewater hotel, she decided to purchase skates and head out on the ice. Photographer Joel Bernstein was there to capture the moment that would ultimately become the artwork for her 1976 album “Hejira."
As written in Wisconsin Life, "Mitchell was surprised to find that her cape acted as a sort of sail. She spread her arms and let the wind carry her, looking like a crow in flight. The photographs captured a mystical moment: an artist on an unearthly journey, destination unknown and arrival uncertain."
Mitchell made headlines recently when pulled her music from Spotify, in solidarity with Neil Young, who removed his music from the streaming service in protest of Spotify's decision to host Joe Rogan's podcast, which has repeatedly spread misinformation on a myriad of topics to millions of listeners.
Since you won't find her music on Spotify, take this as an excuse to visit one of Madison's local record shops today.
😷 Today marks the end of Dane County's mask mandate but many local businesses are opting to stay masked.
- Dane County's mask mandate officially expires today, leaving businesses to make their own decision on whether or not they will require masks. Importantly, masks are still required on public transportation.
- According to the state Department of Health Services, Covid-19 case activity in Dane County and 42 other Wisconsin counties is still considered very high.
- While cases continue to trend downward, many in the community fear lifting the mask mandate poses a major risk to those who are immunocompromised and children who cannot yet be vaccinated.
🏫 A bomb threat forced the evacuation of two Madison schools.
- Memorial High and Jefferson Middle schools were evacuated Monday after a man called Dane County dispatch to say he "placed multiple bombs near the school."
- Madison police swept the schools with bomb-sniffing dogs and reported nothing suspicious at either school. The Cap Times reports an "all clear" was given shortly before 1:30 p.m.
🇺🇦 From Madison to Ukraine.
- As a tense situation continues to unfold in Ukraine, members of the Madison community rallied at the state Capitol to show their support for the country and denounce Russia's invasion.
- Wisconsin lawmakers have also voiced their support for Ukraine. Both Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson have condemned Russia's actions.
- Beyond Madison, the Door County Candle Company is selling blue and yellow candles to raise awareness about the matter. All proceeds from the sale will go to a nonprofit that supports Ukraine's emergency response. (It's vanilla-scented, in case you were wondering.)
- Related: As history unfolds in Ukraine, MMSD teachers adjust lesson plans (Cap Times)
⚖️ The final Gableman report is tentatively scheduled for release today.
- The special counsel hired by Wisconsin Assembly Republicans is scheduled to deliver his final report into the 2020 election today.
- Some context: Michael Gableman is a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who was tasked with investigating the state's handling of the 2020 election. The Assembly set aside (up to) $676,000 to pay for the investigation. Joe Biden won Wisconsin by just under 21,000 votes.
- What's next? As WPR reports, when the probe was first launched in 2021, Republicans in the Assembly said its findings would "help them draft legislation related to the election." But considering the assembly is unlikely to return to the capitol before 2023, don't hold your breath for changes just yet.
🚓 Madison's police chief has been cleared of any wrongdoings after allegations of harassment.
- What happened? According to the city, a complaint was filed regarding an exit interview discussion between MPD chief Shon Barnes and former officer Mikaela Gardner after she decided to leave the force to be closer to family in Illinois. As the State Journal reports, "Barnes asked if [Gardner] would continue working for Madison police if she found a partner in the city," and quipped that he would help set her up with someone.
- At the crux of the investigation was whether or not Barnes was asking the former officer about her sexual orientation and thereby violating workplace harassment policies. Three investigators were unanimous in their decision that Barnes did not violate any city policies during the exit interview.
🏈 The Packers are going to London.
- For the first time in franchise history, the Packers will play a regular season game in London this year.
- The Packers have played abroad before, but never during the regular season. The NFL has hosted games in London since 2007.
- From Wisconsin Watch: "Throughout much of 2021, Lamha Nabizada had no sense that her life would dramatically change. Holding a master’s degree in business administration from Afghanistan’s largest private university, she was living and working in Kabul as a business manager for an insurance company. By mid-August, she and her family had left Afghanistan with little more than their lives."
🦠 Covid-19 Update
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 60.4%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 78.1%
- 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, March 1
- The Big Share, a day of coordinated support for local nonprofits focused on creating equitable and just communities and protecting the environment.
- Madison Downtowners happy hour at Palette Bar and Grill. 5-7 p.m.
- Concert Bingo at High Noon Saloon. Prizes include merch and concert tickets. 5 p.m. $5 entry includes five rounds.
- Foo Foo Dolls, a 90s tribute band, at Come Back In Bar and Restaurant. 6-10 p.m.
- Panchromatic Steel and Saideira Pagode Crew at Café CODA. 7 p.m.
- Book Launch: "Crossing the Pressure Line" with Laura Anne Bird at Mystery to Me. Author is introducing her debut middle-grade novel. 7:30 p.m. Free.
- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Overture. "New works by contemporary choreographers as well as the beloved Revelations, a universal anthem of resilience that resounds anew today." 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $45.
- "We The Vision” screening at the Marquee Cinema at Union South. Documentary is about The Black Voice, the UW's student publication for historically silenced voices. 6 p.m. Free. 🟠
- Public Domain Movie Night: Sunny (1941) at Bierock. From IMDb: "The beautiful Anna Neagle stars as a circus performer who falls in love with a rich car dealer's son, against her family's wishes ." 8 p.m. Free.
See more in our weekly events roundup.
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.