Happy Wednesday, Madison!
Love is in the air, or so I'm told.
The world of dating and intimacy in the age of Covid-19 is a strange place (not to mention the fact that dating in Madison is its own kind of weird). But in entering year three of this global pandemic, we as a society have all seemingly leaned into the conditions and learned to make the most of our collective situation.
Public Health Madison & Dane County stepped up to make this pandemic Valentine's Day a little less dreary, offering their own pandemic prose for the lover's holiday.
So, uhhh, anyone want to rapid test and chill?
🗳️ There will be no spring primary elections in Madison this year.
- Why? No office on the spring election ballot had enough candidates file to require a primary in the city.
- So when do we vote? The spring election is April 5.
- What are we voting for? On the ballot, Madisonians will cast their votes for District 4 appeals court judge, Dane County Board Supervisors (every seat is up for election due to redistricting), Five branch seats in the Dane County Circuit Court, and school board seats (though there is only one contested race).
🚧 A proposed development would displace longtime State Street retailers.
- If you'll recall...JD McCormick Properties hopes to raze three two-story buildings in the 400 block of State Street and build a five-story mixed-use building in their place.
- The city's Urban Design Commission is set to hear an informational presentation on the project today. If approved, B-Side record store, Freedom Skate Shop, Sencha Tea Bar, and the city-run Culture Collectives pop-up shops would all face displacement.
- While the developers claimed to have been in contact with all current commercial tenants, Tone Madison reports B-Side owner Steve Manley never heard from the landlord regarding the potential demolition. The local record shop has been a mainstay of State Street for nearly four decades.
"I feel that B-Side will continue, somewhere, if not where we have been for nigh-on 40 years. Of course, it's best and easiest to stay put, but [relocating] might not be a terrible thing in the long run." — Steve Manley, owner of B-Side
🎒 MMSD is adding more full-day 4k classes.
- The Madison Metropolitan School District announced it will add 11 new full-day 4-year-old kindergarten classrooms across the district next school year. There are currently 16 full-day 4k classrooms in the district, the Cap Times reports.
- The district has made expanding all-day 4k a priority recently. But as the State Journal reports, some other programs might face cuts in order to create that expansion. More details on this are yet to come.
- Gompers and Lapham elementary schools will get two new 4k classes; Kennedy Elementary will see three new classrooms; Lincoln Elementary get one more classroom; Three classrooms will be added to a to-be-determined community site.
🚼 Republicans in the statehouse are working to pass restrictive abortion bills.
- The proposed legislation would prohibit abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected, unless the pregnant person's life is in danger or they could suffer irreversible physical problems from the pregnancy.
- The bill would turn back the clock on Wisconsin abortion laws, which currently allow abortions up 20 weeks, and mandate a 24-hour waiting period, and an ultrasound prior to the procedure.
- Even if the bill passes through the Assembly and Senate, it will almost certainly be vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers, who is pro-choice.
🧸 There's a new children's museum in town.
- Ok, it's not exactly in town, it's in Sun Prairie. The Explore Children’s Museum has an emphasis on playtime and offers an enclosed climbing wall, an art studio, a “Zen Den” for caregivers who need some quiet time (don't we all?), and more.
- The museum is located in a strip mall at 1433 W. Main St. The State Journal reports annual family memberships to the museum cost $120, daily passes for nonmembers are $8, and children under 1 get in free.
🏠 Celebrating Wisconsin’s Black Architects.
- In celebration of Black History Month, Madison365 is running a three-part series highlighting Black architects, aspiring architects, and designers who are literally building Wisconsin. As the outlet reports, there are 1,528 licensed architects in Wisconsin, of those 11 are Black – making up just 0.71% of the state's industry.
🦌 Your lunchtime read: How widespread is the coronavirus among Wisconsin's deer?
- From PBS Wisconsin: "After learning that white-tailed deer carry the virus that causes COVID-19 at "stunning" rates, scientists in Wisconsin are participating in a national study seeking to understand just how common SARS-CoV-2 infections are among one of the state's signature wildlife species. The research is also trying to illuminate whether deer could serve as a reservoir for this coronavirus to mutate and possibly jump back to humans in a new form."
🦠 Covid-19 Update
Source: Public Health Madison & Dane County
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 59.7%
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: Wednesday, Feb. 9
- Verona Area Chamber of Commerce networking lunch at Mr. Brew's Tap House. 11:30 a.m. $15.
- Madison Moves: The Process and History of Relocating Buildings in Madison with The Madison Trust for Historic Preservation. 7 p.m. Virtual. $10.
- Common Butterflies of Wisconsin: Swallowtails with Olbrich Botanical Gardens. 6 p.m. Virtual. $14 for Olbrich members, $18 non-member.
- 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.