The city's most important election

Morning Update: Thursday, June 23

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The city's most important election

Happy Thursday, Madison!

The time has come to fulfill your civic duty, to vote in what could be the most important election of our lives.

It's time to vote for the names of the city's new trash and recycling compactors.
After receiving more than 500 submissions, the city's Streets Division narrowed down the list to the top contenders and now it's up to you to choose the best of the best.

How does it work? You'll choose your top five favorite names for both the trash and recycling compactor. Rank the name you like best #1 and it will be awarded five points. The process goes on from there, #2 gets four points, and so on. The names with the most overall total points for each compactor will be crowned the winners.

Voting is open now through July 5 so get to it!

โ€” Hayley

๐Ÿ’‰ Covid-19 vaccines for kids under 5 have started arriving in the state.

  • ICYMI: The CDC signed off on Covid-19 vaccines for kids aged 6 months to 5 years old over the weekend. Locally, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said health care providers will start offering the vaccines by the end of this week.
  • The state has reportedly ordered 48,500 doses of the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines. Parents can begin scheduling vaccine appointments now, Cap Times reports.
  • A reminder: Covid-19 vaccines are free for all, regardless of immigration or insurance status. Find a vaccine appointment near you here.
  • Related listen: What to know about the Covid vaccine for kids under 5 (WPR)
Image via Flickr user jumbledpile

๐Ÿป The Wonder Bar development has been approved.

  • After a year of back and forth, the city gave its final stamp of approval to a proposal from McGrath Property Group to construct a 12-story building with housing, commercial space, and parking next to the historic Wonder Bar off John Nolen Drive.
  • The approved project will bring 192 apartments, 13,500 square feet of commercial space, and more than 200 parking spaces, the State Journal reports.
  • I'm not going to re-hash everything the developers went through to land on this proposal because frankly, it's too much for bullet points. The main takeaways, however, include the fact that the council unanimously approved the proposal, Wonder Bar will be preserved, and the Coliseum Bar will be demolished.
  • McGrath hopes to start construction this fall and open the building in spring 2024.
Image via City of Madison

โ›ˆ๏ธ The city is still working to clean up after last week's storms.

  • Collection crews are running days behind schedule due to the massive amount brush and debris strewn about the city from last week's storms. Additional staff have been re-assigned to help with the processes and crews are working longer hours.
  • The city says it hopes to have everything cleaned up by July 8 and asks residents to put out brush for collection on your scheduled neighborhood set-out date. If you don't know when yours is, you can find out here.
  • Of note: Brush does not include bags of yard waste material like weeds, leaves, or grass clippings. Yard waste is processed differently than brush.

๐Ÿ—’๏ธ The City Council is switching to a hybrid meeting format.

  • After more than a year of online meetings, Madison's City Council will move from entirely virtual meetings to a new hybrid format starting July 12.
  • Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, council leadership, and a number of city staff will be required to meet in person during council meetings while some alders and members of the public will be able to participate virtually.
  • Cap Times reports that holding virtual meetings bolstered public participation and allowed for increased access during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Image via Flickr user Adam Fagen

๐Ÿคผโ€โ™€๏ธ The Kohl Center will start hosting the girl's state wrestling tournament.

  • Starting in the 2022-23 school year, the WIAA girls wrestling state tournament will be held in conjunction with the boys tournament at the Kohl Center. (So, uh, expect even more traffic that weekend. Nice.)
  • The State Journal reports the first state tournament for girls wrestling was held this past January at the La Crosse Center. The change was made based on a recommendation from a coachesโ€™ committee, whose main desire was to have the girls tournament held in conjunction with the boys tournament in the future.

๐Ÿ’” Retired Madison police lieutenant and community leader Wayne Strong has died.

  • Strong died Monday at the age of 62. From his involvement in local organizations and mentorship of Madison youth, his imprint on the community was vast.
  • Strong was the co-director of the youth football team the Southside Raiders, spent 24 years as a Madison police officer, and was a member of the Wisconsin State Journalโ€™s editorial board.
  • โ€œHeโ€™s just one of those people who is irreplaceable,โ€ Madison365 editor David Dahmer told the Cap Times. โ€œHe was always just very kind, generous, and thoughtful. He was a great mentor for the young people in the community.โ€
Image via Flickr user Mandias

๐Ÿ›ถ Your lunchtime read: Ho-Chunk youth follow ancestral path down Yahara and Rock rivers in traditional dugout canoe.

  • Via Wisconsin State Journal: "After two long days of paddling, Demetria Abangan-Browneagle said her legs felt like 'Jell-O.'

    Demetria is one of several Ho-Chunk youth participating in a canoe trip down the Yahara River, the nationโ€™s ancestral path, in a dugout canoe they carved themselves.

    'Iโ€™m proud to be Ho-Chunk,' Demetria said. 'This is what my ancestors did. I feel really important being able to do what my ancestors did.'โ€

๐Ÿฆ  Covid-19 update:

๐Ÿ“จ Need something else? Email us at

Correction: A previous version of this post misspelled "Kohl" in reference to the Kohl Center. This has been fixed. We regret the error.