Morning Update: Tuesday, Dec. 7

Morning Update: Tuesday, Dec. 7

Good morning, Madison!

When was the last time you went to the movie theater? Personally, I saw "Dune" in IMAX a little while back and it was pretty sick (though who wouldn't love Timothée Chalamet and Oscar Isaac as a father-son duo?).

While people aren't going out to the movies at the level they did before the pandemic — was there really ever a "before the pandemic"? — the industry has learned to adjust and is starting to bounce back.

Last week I told you about Marcus Theaters' pilot program offering "vaccine-only" movie screenings. In case you missed it, it's essentially what it sounds like — guests have the option to see films in theaters where proof of vaccination is required for entry. Participating theaters offer two daily vaccine-only showings in the afternoon and evening of two different films.

Marcus Corp. CEO Greg Marcus recently told WPR the pilot has been going smoothly and since launching last month the company has added vaccine-only screenings at Sun Prairie's Palace Cinema.

So who wants to grab their vaccine card and see a show?

— Hayley

🎮 Dozens of Middleton-based Raven Software employees staged a walkout yesterday in protest of recent layoffs.

  • Who? Raven Software is Madison's largest video game development company. They make games for parent company Activision Blizzard, including the wildly successful "Call of Duty" franchise.
  • What happened? Twelve members of the studio’s quality assurance team were unexpectedly laid off last Friday, sparking a walkout Monday. Employees are demanding all quality assurance contractors, including those laid off, receive full-time positions.
  • More context: The Washington Post reports this is the third work stoppage incident for Activision Blizzard in five months. The layoffs have been billed as the company "restructuring" and more contractors will be informed by Wednesday about the status of their employment, the Post reports. Several of those who were laid off recently relocated to Wisconsin at their own expense in anticipation of returning to in-person work.
“It feels like Activision’s toxic culture is starting to bleed into Raven. The people who were let go seem to have been chosen completely at random, and the rest of us have survivor’s guilt because we know our teammates deserve to still be here. We’re all just incredibly heartbroken." — Anonymous Raven quality assurance tester

⛔ Don't hold your breath for more lanes on the Beltline yet.

  • Earlier this year, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced it would move forward on a plan to use the inside median shoulders of the Beltline as additional “flex” lanes during peak traffic times. The practice of "part-time shoulder use" is currently in place in 17 states across the U.S.
  • Initially, the State Journal reported flex lanes were supposed to be implemented this month, but because of supply chain issues and material shortages, the installation won't be finished until next spring, with the lanes likely opening in summer 2022. Curse you, supply chain!

🐺 Wisconsin's wolf hunt is on hold and its future is hazy.

🐣 Happy Take Me Home Tuesday!

  • Meet Eggdar Allen Poe. He was a stray found near Hazelcrest Drive. Now, he's looking for a new home where he can show off how handsome he is and strut his stuff. To learn more about Eggdar Allen Poe or see other animals available for adoption, head to the Dane County Humane Society's website here.

💉 The Madison Metropolitan School District has reached its vaccination deadline for staff.

  • The Cap Times reports 97% of MMSD staff are vaccinated. For the 3% who aren't, or applied for a religious or medical exemption, unpaid leave began at the end of their shift Monday and they "will not be reporting to work tomorrow."
  • Of the 151 people who will be on unpaid leave, the Cap Times reports "60% are substitutes, 11% are MSCR staff and all other employee groups have seven or fewer people who did not comply with the mandate."
  • Employees who are not vaccinated or fail to get an exemption by Dec. 15 will be placed on unpaid administrative leave and terminated the week of Dec. 20.

⚖️ The La Follette student who brought a loaded handgun to school has been charged.

  • The 18-year-old student was charged Monday with "possession of a firearm on school grounds, possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent, two counts of felony bail jumping, two counts of misdemeanor bail jumping, and one count of resisting an officer," according to the criminal complaint.

🍺 The Wonder Bar saga continues....again.

  • Some context: McGrath Property Group initially proposed an 18-story project that would have demolished the Coliseum Bar and the Wonder Bar. This proposal was blocked by the city's Plan Commission. There had been talks of physically moving the bar, but developers determined that would be too expensive. McGrath later came back with a 12-story project proposal that would still demolish the Coliseum Bar but leave Wonder Bar alone.
  • Now, citing increased costs, McGrath has scaled back their proposal yet again. While nothing has been made official, the State Journal reports the new project will likely be four or five stories with two levels of parking and leave the historic Wonder Bar where it is.

Bringing back this gem of a meme for your viewing pleasure. You're welcome.

🧪 Your lunchtime read: ‘Everyone knew!’ Problems with UW-Madison prof who led 'toxic' lab persisted for 2 decades.

  • From the Wisconsin State Journal: "While a previous UW-Madison investigation flagged concerns about [Akbar] Sayeed’s conduct in the years leading up to one of his doctoral students dying by suicide — which the Wisconsin State Journal first chronicled in 2019 — a more recent university investigation examining Sayeed’s entire career found his hostile and intimidating behavior began within months of his 1997 hiring and continued even after the student’s 2016 suicide despite being on suspension for such behavior."

🦠 Covid-19 Resources

Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 56.2%

Dane County Vaccination Rate: 72.7%

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.

📅 Events: Tuesday, Dec. 7

🟠 = Tone recommends

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.

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