Good morning, Madison!
It's Wednesday and we've got a lot of news to cover so let's dive in.
🏥 "We are full. Period."
- Wisconsin hospital officials are sounding the alarm as the state faces another COVID-19 case surge. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the state's seven-day case average is currently 3,548 — the highest it's been all year.
- Wisconsin Health News hosted a roundtable discussion Tuesday where hospital leaders said they are nearing a crisis point. Some parts of the state of zero ICU beds available. Beyond the lack of beds is a short supply of staff. Like many industries during the pandemic, health care workers have resigned from their posts in droves, creating another pandemic within the pandemic.
- What you can do: Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. Get boosted.
"Not only does it affect patients with COVID, it also affects all the other patients that we have to take care of, with strokes and heart disease and cancer diagnoses and diabetes and all of those kinds of things." — Dr. Imran Andrabi, CEO of ThedaCare.
🏗️ City Council gave the green light to the Hub III.
- Okay, so it's not actually called "Hub III" but the development — officially dubbed Oliv Madison — comes from the same developers as the Hub and its twin sibling, the James.
- The 10-story luxury apartment will sit at the corner of the 300 block of State Street and will reserve more than 100 beds for low-income students.
- Zoning changes for the development passed in the council on a 16-3 vote with Alds. Juliana Bennett, Nikki Conklin, and Jael Currie voting against. A petition circulating among UW-Madison students to stop the building's construction failed to get enough signatures for consideration.
🗳️ Republican Will Martin is running for lieutenant governor.
- Who is he? Martin is a small business owner and served under both former governors Tommy Thompson and Scott Walker. According to AP, during the Walker administration, he worked for the Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority and the Department of Workforce Development.
- Martin is the seventh Republican candidate in the race for lieutenant governor. Others running include "state Sen. Patrick Testin of Stevens Point; Lancaster Mayor David Varnam; Ben Voelkel, former communications director for U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson; David King, founder of Wisconsin God Squad; Cindy Werner, who narrowly lost the 4th Congressional District Republican primary in 2020; and political newcomer Kyle Yudes of Eau Claire." The winner of the Aug. 9 primary will share the ticket with whoever wins the GOP primary for governor.
😷 Dane County Board members want to hear from you on the county’s ongoing mask mandate.
- Supervisors Tim Rockwell and Jeff Weigand, of Sun Prairie and Marshall, respectively, will host a town hall next week for residents to share their support or opposition to the county's mask mandate. Both of the conservative-leaning supervisors have been vocally opposed to the mandate in the past.
- The public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 13 in the town of Berry Town Hall at 9046 Highway 19 in Mazomanie. In accordance with Dane County's mask mandate, all in attendance will be required to wear masks unless everyone in the room is fully vaccinated.
- Related: A vocal few: New members bring conservative views to blue Dane County Board (Wisconsin State Journal)
✏️ Death to the standardized test?
- UW System officials are pushing UW Board of Regents to extend the current test-optional policy through the 2024-25 school year. The current policy was put into place just months into the COVID-19 pandemic given the lack of available testing sites (and, you know, the whole global pandemic thing).
- The test-optional trend has spread across the country, most notably when the University of California system announced a permanent end to testing requirements. Standardized tests like the ACT and SAT have long been criticized for their ability to actually judge a student's academic capabilities.
⛳ The city's four golf courses are closed for the season.
- The parks department announced the closures of the Glenway, Monona, Odana Hills, and Yahara Hills courses Tuesday. Should the courses re-open during the winter season, the department will post updates online.
🚲 Get your BCycle fix before the bikes go into hibernation.
- Madison BCycle will close for the winter on Wednesday December 15 and bikes will remain in storage through March 15.
- Are you a BCycle user? Take this BCycle survey and you'll get a code for a free BCycle ride.
❓ Still confused over the state's voting maps? Here's an explainer.
- Some context: Wisconsin is due for new voting district maps. Both Democrats and Republicans think they have the answers but so far, instead of maps, we've seen mostly litigation.
- The Cap Times put together this nice explainer that breaks down the major questions surrounding the issue of redistricting, I definitely recommend checking it out.
✈️ Your lunchtime read: Housing development within F-35 flight path expected to proceed.
- From Tone Madison: "With a moratorium on new development dead in the water, Council representatives and developers continue exploring sound mitigation strategies for F-35s."
🌆 Just for fun: 20 Months of Madison.
- From On Wisconsin Magazine: "See how the cityscape of Madison has changed throughout the pandemic through the lens of photographer Samuel Li."
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 56.2%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 72.7%
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.
📅 Events: Wednesday, Dec. 8
- Mad City Story Slam at State Line Distillery. Open mic storytelling event. Theme: blunders. Registration at 5:30 p.m. with our first stories at 6 p.m.
- Vintage holiday music party at Harmony Bar & Grill. Join DJ Shotski and friends for an all-vinyl, vintage holiday music party. Free, but contributions to the Goodman Community Center are welcome. 6-8 p.m.
- Cocktails and book signing with Jaimie Sherling, author of “Queen to QUEENS: How the Madison Drag Community Saved My Life” at Leopold's Books Bar Caffè. 6 p.m.
- Virtual Conversation: Matthew Rothschild, author of “12 Ways To Save Democracy in Wisconsin,” and Rep. Francesca Hong. Hosted by Room of One’s Own. 7 p.m. Free.
- Jason Mraz with Toca Rivera at the Orpheum Theater. Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $40.50.
- Wiki X Navy Blue at High Noon Saloon. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $15.
- Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra presents Handel’s Messiah at First Congregational United Church of Christ. $35 for a single ticket, $17.50 each for 2+ tickets. 7 p.m.
(Header image via Shutterstock)