Happy Wednesday, Madison!
We've got some pretty big news to share this morning. Some folks have already made the discovery but we're happy to officially announce that you can now reply to our emails!
We're stoked to open the door to new conversations with all of you. And of course to celebrate this momentous occasion, we knew we had to commission Wisconsin artist Rachal Duggan once again to doodle the good news. Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter and you'll see some new friendly faces.
We know you all love the "Do not reply" doodles and we will miss them dearly. But don't worry, we've given them a proper commemoration here.
So, please, send us all the replies. We're always here for your questions, comments, and love letters.
P.S. The city doesn't want you to forget that snow, sleet, and ice must be cleared from your sidewalk by noon today.
📣 The state of Wisconsin's tribes.
- Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians President Shannon Holsey took center stage at the Capitol to advocate for representation, protection of natural resources, and more in the 2022 State of the Tribes address.
- Voting and representation: Holsey sharply criticized Republican-authored bills moving through the state Senate that would change Wisconsin election laws, saying the move would make it harder for people to make their voices heard.
- Environmental issues: Holsey praised Gov. Tony Evers for establishing a task force to address climate change. She stressed the importance of environmental protection, especially for Wisconsin's wolves. She criticized the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for not conducting a thorough environmental analysis of a plan to reroute the Enbridge gas pipeline 5 through the Bad River watershed.
- Native mascots: Holsey also addressed the ongoing effort to end the use of Native American mascots in sports. There are currently more than 30 schools in the state that use Native American names or imagery in their mascots. “Imagine the outcry if there was a team called the Colonizers,” she said.
✅ Dispatches from City Council.
- Raemisch farm: For the second time, City Council rejected a proposed development on a North Side farm property, siding with neighbors who say the space isn't suited for housing because of noise from the incoming F-35 fighter jets at nearby Truax Field. Community members filed two protest petitions against the development, meaning the council would have needed a 15-vote supermajority to approve the rezoning. Ultimately, the council voted 14-6 against rezoning the Raemisch farm property.
- Dig deeper: An in-depth report on the grassroots opposition to basing F-35 fighter jets in Madison from Tone Madison.
- Police funding: Following much debate, the council accepted a federal grant to help hire six additional police officers in 2023. The $750,000 grant comes from the Department of Justice Hiring Program and will fund salaries and benefits for the officers for three years. The resolution passed 13-7, but reporting on the subject makes it clear that policing and public safety is going to be a hot topic to watch locally this year.
🌆 Vibe check.
- If you've felt a vibe shift on State Street, well, you're not alone. A proposal from JD McCormick for a new 5-story, 26-unit building on the 400 block of State Street has some residents worried about Madison's most recognizable street. The McCormick development would displace B-Side Records, Sencha Tea Bar, Culture Collectives, and Freedom Skate Shop.
- As the Cap Times explains, while there are some local landmark buildings dotted along the street, State Street itself is not a local historic district. This means it doesn't have as many protections and restrictions when it comes to development in the area compared to neighborhoods with official historic or landmark designation, like that Langdon Street area, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
- The city's Urban Design Commission is set to review the McCormick proposal March 30.
“My business, B-Side records, is one of the five or so oldest retailers downtown. Does Madison really want to homogenize the historic character of our flagship commercial district with another bland high rise structure?” — Steve Manley, owner of B-Side Records
🚨 This is your sign to slow down on the Beltline.
- Cops pulled over nearly three dozen people Monday, all going at least 20 mph over the speed limit. Police reportedly stopped 32 drivers on the Beltline near Old Sauk Road as part of an enhanced traffic enforcement project focusing on speeding and seat belt violations.
📰 Celebrating 50 years of The Black Voice.
- History lesson: The Black Voice was initially founded in 1971 as a space to amplify Black student voices on a majority white campus. Though the paper had only a two-year run after its launch, UW alumna Jordan Gaines revived it in 2015 as an online publication and its been in production ever since.
- The University of Wisconsin's publication for "historically silenced voices" is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a screening of a biographical documentary "We the Vision."
- Though the film was initially set to screen earlier this week, inclement weather led to a postponement. The film will now play March 1 at the Marquee Theater.
😷 Edgewood College will still require masks through April 1.
- As the Wisconsin State Journal reports, the Madison college is taking a two-pronged approach in phasing out its mask mandate. Officials from the school announced masks will still required in classrooms and labs until at least April 1. But starting March 1, masks will be "encouraged but not required" in indoor public spaces on campus.
✨ Lunchtime look: A photo essay about Wisconsin's teen drag queens.
- Cap Times photo director Ruthie Hauge takes a look at two teen queens who have found confidence and support in Madison's drag community. Bailey Mosling and Andy Schueler, known in drag as Nemo and Andi Withani, respectively, perform regularly at FIVE Nightclub.
🦠 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: Wednesday, Feb. 23
- Webinar: Navigating WI State Government for Small Business with Main Street Alliance. 12 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- Senior Scams: A Presentation from the Better Business Bureau in partnership with the Madison Public Library. 1 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- Fantastic Ferns and How to Grown Them class at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. 6 p.m. $20 per non-member, $16 per Olbrich members.
- Horse Jumper of Love, Hayden Pedigo, MJ Lenderman at Union South Sett. 7 p.m. Free. 🟠
- Jake La Botz at the Bur Oak. 8 p.m. $12 advance, $15 at door.
- Hairspray at the Overture Center. Shows Tuesday through Sunday.
- Progress Center for Black Women's Open House Week through Saturday.
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. Tone knows Madison’s arts and music landscape better than anybody else.
Sign up for the Tone Madison weekly newsletter here.