Happy Madison Day
Morning Update: Wednesday, June 8
In this newsletter
Good morning, Madison!
Happy Wednesday and Happy June 8, aka 608 Day. Today is a day of celebrating everything the 608 has to offer.
In celebration of the day, some shops at Hilldale are offering 608-themed deals. Shoppers can also expect live music and games throughout the day. NBC15 has a roundup of those deals here.
Additionally, Madison Magazine is also hosting 608 Day deals all week long.
To top it all off, Madison's favorite baseball team the Mallards will throw out their game's first pitch tonight at 6:08 p.m. Miss Madison is set to make an appearance at the game and local artists will be out selling their art at the game thanks to Dane Arts.
🚌 City Council officially approved the Metro Transit redesign.
- The council voted 14-6 in favor of the controversial Metro Transit network redesign. The project represents one of the largest changes ever to the city's bus system.
- What's in the redesign? The key theme of the redesign is more frequent and consistent service with fewer routes. It will pave the way for future bus rapid transit (BRT) plans.
- What's the controversy? Fewer routes means longer walks and less service for some residents. Several local groups tried to delay the council's vote on the redesign saying the city was moving too quickly.
- Dig deeper: Like I said yesterday, this story is bigger than a few bullet points. If you want a fuller view of the story, here's where to start. Fewer routes, but more frequent (Isthmus), Amid concern and calls for delay, city nears sweeping change to Metro Transit system (Wisconsin State Journal), Madison’s Southdale neighborhood fights for transportation, without representation (Tone Madison).
👋 Meet Madison's three new (interim) alders.
- Three interim alders were sworn in Tuesday night to fill the vacancies by a trio of alders who left their posts in the last month. The new alders will serve until the spring 2023 election.
- District 3: Erik Paulson is the new alder for the far east side District 3. The position was previously held by Lindsay Lemmer, who was first elected in April 2019 but stepped down in May after taking a new job. Paulson is a design engineer at Johnson Controls and has previously expressed interest in running to retain the seat in the April 2023 election.
- District 11: Bill Tishler was selected to replace former Ald. Arvina Martin, who resigned May 25 to focus on her work and family. As Channel 3000 reports, Tishler introduced himself as a Madison resident of more than 50 years. He currently works at UW-Madsion as a senior instructional media producer. Tishler has said in the past he intends to formally run for the seat in next spring's election.
- District 20: Matt Phair was sworn in as the new representative for the west side District 20. Christian Albouras resigned from the position effective May 20 after announcing he was moving out of his district. Phair is no stranger to the council, he served as the District 20 alder from 2011 through 2019, when he chose not to seek re-election. Phair has said in the past he doesn't intend to run to retain the seat, though he hasn't ruled it out.
🎒 MMSD is rethinking some of its disciplinary practices.
- The district is planning to put an end to out-of-school suspensions for elementary school students. The district is also considering changing the characterization of actions like "cutting class and starting fires on school property as more severe infractions," the State Journal reports.
- If approved, thess would be the first major changes to the district's Behavior Education Plan (BEP), which was adopted in the 2014-15 school year in an attempt to bring a “restorative and progressive approach” to school discipline.
- Several school board members pushed back against the proposed changes, citing a lack of School Board input and data.
🥕 Supply chain issues are hitting Madison school lunches.
- Cap Times reports the Madison Metropolitan School District has faced supply chain issues that have forced last-minute lunch menu changes, leaving teachers frustrated and students hungry.
- “Many [students] are not eating and unable to focus because they are hungry,” an anonymous Allis Elementary School teacher told the news outlet. Another teacher in the district called this year's school meals “inadequate” and “appalling.” Some district staff have resorted to ordering food for their classrooms out of their own pockets.
🌊 Blue-green algae has already forced the closure of two swimming spots.
- WKOW reports Spring Harbor Beach and the Memorial Union Pier were closed Tuesday due to the detected presence of the algae.
- The areas will reopen when conditions are acceptable and the sites are tested daily. Blue-green algae produces toxins that are dangerous to both animals and humans, so seriously, don't swim in it.
- Learn more about blue-green algae: The Cyanobacteria Stalemate In Wisconsin's Lakes (WisContext)
🥪 Peanut butter jelly time is over.
- After less than a year on State Street, the Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli has closed.
- The State Journal reports a sign posted on the shuttered business's door read "The PBJ Deli has decided not to renew our State Street lease and is now closed. We've enjoyed serving you."
- The sandwich shop's West Allis location is still open.
🎸 Your lunchtime read: At Spruce Tree Music, there’s no logic but a lot of history.
- From Tone Madison: "Wil Bremer’s wife Julie Luther answered the phone one day many years ago at Spruce Tree Music on East Johnson Street. 'It’s for you,' she called out from the tiny office behind the ancient, glass counter filled with boxes of harmonicas, capos, and other accessories. 'It’s a Mr. Paul.'
'It was Les Paul.'"