CARES + concerts + coffee

Morning Update: Wednesday, March 30

In this newsletter

Gooooood morning, Madison.

It's Wednesday and I've got a riddle for you.

What do Lil Wayne, Rod Stewart, and the Backstreet Boys have in common?

They're all playing Summerfest this year.

Milwaukee's annual music festival dropped its full lineup Tuesday with more than 100 artists on the bill. The 2022 festival marks the return to "normal" for Summerfest after a Covid-induced cancelation in 2020 and delayed shows in 2021.

The annual event, which is Wisconsin's largest festival, typically draws 800,000 people from all over to Milwaukee. This year, like last, the festival will be spread over three weekends. Shows will be held June 23-25, June 30-July 2, and July 7-9.

WPR reports festival organizers have no plans to implement Covid-19 testing or vaccine requirements for attendees this year. You can snag single- and multi-day tickets here.

— Hayley

🚨 CARES is responding to citywide calls now.

  • Who? Community Alternative Response for Emergency Services (CARES) is a team of community paramedics and crisis workers trained to respond to nonviolent 911 calls for mental health emergencies.
  • Since its pilot launch in September 2021, the CARES team has responded to nearly 250 nonviolent mental health emergency calls mostly downtown. Now, the CARES Team will respond to mental health emergencies on a citywide basis.
  • Channel 3000 reports the mayor is looking to expand CARES by adding an additional team later this year and is experimenting with responders using lights and sirens to help shorten response times. Emergencies involving violence — or that have the potential for violence — continue to receive a response from the Madison Police Department.

☕ Coffee's for organizers.

🚌 BRT is one step closer to reality.

  • Madison will use $41.6 million in federal funding to buy 27 electric buses to build out the first phase of the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system.
  • In authorizing the contract with Manitoba-based company New Flyer to purchase the zero-emission buses, the State Journal reports city also approved next steps for the first phase of the BRT project — a 15.5-mile stretch that runs roughly from East Towne Mall to West Towne Mall.

📻 Meet Hmong Radio’s Mailee Yang.

  • New episodes of Hmong Radio will soon be hitting the airwaves. WORT recently welcomed Mailee Yang as the show's new programmer.
  • Yang moved to the Madison area in August 2021 and wants to bring community to the forefront of Hmong Radio. So far she has produced two shows. You can listen to Hmong Radio on WORT every Sunday from 6-8 a.m.

🗳️ Dane County's unopposed candidates.

  • Due to redistricting, every seat on the Dane County Board of Supervisors is up for election April 5. Of the 37 supervisor seats, 27 are running unopposed in their districts, and 11 of those unopposed candidates are newcomers.
  • The Cap Times spoke to nine of the 11 soon-to-be supervisors about their platforms and why they're running for seats on the County Board. Be an informed voter and read about the candidates here.

🥡 The 'Streatery' is here to stay.

  • "Streatery" definition: The Streatery program was born out of pandemic necessity. As restaurants around the city (and beyond) struggled and were forced to close for indoor dining service in the throws of Covid-19, the city allowed Madison's bars and restaurants to expand their outdoor seating. The program was first approved in 2020 on a temporary emergency basis and later extended.
  • City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to make the popular Streatery program permanent.
  • As the State Journal reports, "the approvals carry a series of conditions related to sound, hours of operation, storage, and enforcement," which were typically the biggest source of complaints about the program.

☠️ Your lunchtime read: Tracking the hazy air quality at "hotspots" in southern Wisconsin and beyond.

  • From Tone Madison: "Wisconsinites have become accustomed to all sorts of contaminants seeping into their everyday lives. From toxic "forever chemicals" in Madison's (and La Crosse's, and Wausau's, and Peshtigo's) drinking water, to manure-tainted kitchen faucet water in Kewaunee County, to lead water pipes and paint that hinder youth development in Milwaukee, pollutants in Wisconsin travel all sorts of paths and contribute to a variety of serious health problems."

🦠 Covid-19 Update

Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 60.7%

Dane County Vaccination Rate: 78.5%


📅 Events: Multi-day

Wednesday, March 30

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.

😽 If you've been subscribed to Madison Minutes for a while, you'll remember the (almost) daily cat pictures I used to include in the email for no reason other than good vibes. This is just that. If you're new here, this is Billie Jo and she's very happy to meet you.