The birds are out

Landmarks, new restaurants, and TikTok bans. Here's your morning update for Wednesday, Jan. 11

The birds are out
Phot via Wisconsin DNR

Happy Wednesday, friends!

This weekend marks the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources's 36th Bald Eagle Watching Days. And for the first time in 80 years, active eagle nests were reported in every Wisconsin county in 2022.

For all the bird lovers out there, the DNR is offering free in-person and virtual events Saturday and Sunday.

According to the DNR, the best times to see eagles is between 8-10 a.m., and two hours before dusk as they return to their roosts.

If you want to get out there but don’t have the gear, no worries. The Madison Public Library offers birding backpacks for checkout. Each pack comes equipped with binoculars, a field guide, and more.

Happy birding!

— Hayley


🍴 Welcome back, University Club.

  • UW-Madison's University Club will open its doors later this month for the first time since shutting down for the pandemic in March 2020.
  • The historic campus dining venue will re-open Jan. 23 with the addition of a new, casual dining concept, called Union Commons.
  • Hot tip: UW students are eligible for a 10% discount on most food and beverages at Union Commons when they make purchases using their Wiscard account.
Image via Potter Lawson Architects

🚧 A landmark bump in the road.

  • If you'll recall: A Chicago-based developer proposed plans to demolish the two-story building at 1617 Sherman Ave. and construct a multi-building housing complex with roughly 400 market-rate units.
  • Recently, a Madison resident nominated the building as a landmark and Monday night the city's Landmark Commission unanimously agreed to recommend designating the two-story building (also known as Filene House) as one.
  • What's so special about the building? It was the first permanent location of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and former President Harry Truman dedicated it. The State Journal has a good deep dive into the building's history.
  • The landmark designation doesn't necessarily spell the end for the proposed development. The development could still proceed if developers submit a formal land use application before City Council votes on the landmark status.
  • Related: At least 140,000 more housing units needed to meet estimated 2030 demand (WisBusiness)

🍗 There's a new chicken spot coming to town.

  • One of America's fastest-growing restaurants is opening its first Madison location this week. Dave's Hot Chicken is set to open in the former Hardee's by East Towne Mall Friday.
  • According to the State Journal, the chain has plans to open three Madison locations in the near future.

🎤 Madison's got talent.

Person holding an iPhone running TikTok
Photo by Solen Feyissa / Unsplash

📵 TikTok on the chopping block.

🏖️ Your lunchtime read: Conservative UW-Madison center holds symposium for school board members.

  • Via Wisconsin Examiner: “School board members, dressed in business casual and carrying black folders, stuck out amongst the bathing suit clad families at the Great Wolf Lodge during a recent December weekend. While children streamed past, running towards the water slides, the school board representatives from across Wisconsin and other midwestern states walked past a ‘UW-Madison Department of Political Science’ sign into a reserved meeting room. [...]

    While framed as a simple civic engagement opportunity and chance for school board members to learn how to approach their position, the event showcased representatives of a growing movement to push boards in a conservative direction by advocating for ‘parental rights.’”
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🎙️ On the pod

Female aerospace engineer writes equations
Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng / Unsplash

A Madison Teacher Speaks Out on Honors Changes

The Madison School Board has voted: High school students can continue to take dedicated honors classes for core courses like english, math and science. But the district will also expand a program called Earned Honors, where students in regular classes can opt for more rigorous work and get honors credit.

But some teachers are frustrated by the current system of sorting kids by achievements, pointing out that it’s become racially segregated. Deidre Jarecki teaches tenth grade English at LaFollette High School in Madison and she’s irked by the slow progress toward helping all students succeed.


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Your morning update: Tuesday, Jan. 10