Plaque city

Plaque city
Fighting Bob serving face in the Rotunda. Photo by Hayley Sperling

Happy Thursday, folks,

Earlier this week, a familiar face got an upgrade in the Capitol building.

The bust of Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette has been prominently displayed in the Capitol Rotunda for years but until recently, the statue bore only his name and nothing else. Now, there's a plaque attached to the fixture describing La Follette as "a founder of the progressive movement and champion of the 'Wisconsin Idea.'"

The new addition was paid for in part by the famous politician's first cousin twice removed — and another big name in state politics — Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette.

"If the state government can’t afford a couple thousand dollars for the most important political figure in our history, whatever," La Follette told the Associated Press. "That’s water under the bridge. ... I’m quite willing to make up the difference."

— Hayley

🥡 Dozens of local restaurants are supporting local food pantries this month.

🔎 A look at Dane County's relationship with ICE.

  • Since 2016, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office has received $634,000 from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for sharing information on detainees' immigration status.
  • According to Tone Madison, Dane County received the most funding from ICE of all Wisconsin counties. But recently, DCSO eased up slightly on its immigration reporting reporting practices. In 2021, the office changed its policy so it won't report all non-U.S. citizens in its custody, but will still share information on individuals who have been tried and convicted.
The 2023 Spring Primary is Feb. 21.

Find your polling place here.

Check out a sample ballot.

Get to know the candidates for: State Supreme Court justice, Madison Mayor, City Council

⚽️ Can't wait for soccer season?

  • You're in luck. Forward Madison FC recently released its pre-season schedule.
  • The first three matches are all away games but the final match will be March 11 against DePaul University at Breese Stevens Field and is open for season ticket holders to attend.

🚀 Your lunchtime read: Remembering Wisconsin Astronaut Laurel Clark’s Interstellar Dreams.

  • Via Wisconsin Life: "Astronaut Laurel Clark’s life ended abruptly on February 1, 2003, when the space shuttle Columbia exploded near the end of its mission. She was only 41, with a husband and an 8-year-old son.

    It’s one of the saddest stories in NASA history — and yet, whenever I think about Clark, I don’t focus on her tragedy. I focus on her smile."
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🎙️ Today on the pod

Odessa Piper. Photo by Mathew Guillory Photography

The Legendary Chef Who Shaped Madison’s Local Food Scene

Back in early 1970s Madison, there was no farm-to-table movement. There was no farmers market downtown. The Capitol Square was a ghost town at night. There were no standards for organic, much less anything else.

None of that dissuaded Odessa Piper. The pioneering chef cut her teeth at Ovens of Brittany, creating the famous gooey, caramelly Morning Bun pastries (waay before the cronut was a twinkle in anyone’s eye, a heavenly mix of cinnamon roll and croissant was born). She went on to start L’Etoile restaurant, attracting national attention with her James Beard awards and showcase of the freshest food Madison had to offer. She was an early supporter of the Dane County Farmers Market, now one of the largest in the country. And she’s never stopped dreaming of a more delicious future.

Every Thursday, we’re talking about food and all of the flavors that make Madison. And who better to start with than the woman who helped start it all…

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Don’t be salty
We’re only a few weeks away from the primary election!