What's new with Madison businesses
Morning update: Thursday, July 21
In this newsletter
Gooooooooood morning, friends.
Here's a little throwback for your Thursday. On this day in 1972, George Carlin was arrested for profanity after performing his famous "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television" bit at Summerfest.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the comedian was slapped with disorderly conduct charges after he left the stage.
Ultimately, the charges were dropped. But not before a record of Carlin's "seven words" routine was played in the courtroom, bringing laughter from spectators, court officials, and the judge himself.
🛍️ Which businesses are opening, closing, and moving around town.
- Now open: Madison now has a Levi’s store at Hilldale. The Madison store is the company’s first “Full-Service Store Experience” in Wisconsin, complete with a tailor shop and stylists.
- Coming soon: A combination Auntie Anne’s and Jamba Juice will be moving into Espresso Royale’s former location on lower State Street. (What year is it? I'm having deja vu.)
- Moving: Ancora’s University Avenue location is moving less than a block away to a larger location at 3256 University Ave. The current location will close July 27 and the shop anticipates the new spot will be ready for business in mid-August.
- Closing: After 16 years of business, Odana Antiques will close. The antiques and arts store posted on Facebook to say their last day of business will be September 30.
🏘️ The city has approved a low-cost housing project on the east side.
- City Council Tuesday unanimously approved a Madison nonprofit’s plan for a $70 million low-cost housing project on East Washington Ave.
- The State Journal reports the nonprofit Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corp. will buy the 6.4-acre former Bimbo Bakeries USA property (3401 E. Washington Ave.) and create 245 subsidized apartments spread across four buildings. The property will also have commercial space, a small park, and parking.
- Construction is likely to start in spring 2023.
✒️ Gov. Tony Evers has filed a lawsuit against 18 companies for PFAS contamination.
- Wisconsin's governor and Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit Wednesday against 18 companies seeking punitive damages as well as reimbursement for the costs of investigations, cleanup, and remediation of PFAS contamination in the state.
- The lawsuit alleges the companies, which include heavy hitters like 3M, Tyco Fire Products LP, and BASF Corporation, "knew or should have known that their products would have a dangerous impact on the public’s health and environment," AP reports.
- Some context: PFAS contamination is a widespread problem in Wisconsin. PFAS is an abbreviation for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances and are often called "forever chemicals" because they don’t degrade naturally. The chemicals are used as coatings to protect consumer goods from stains, water, and corrosion (think nonstick pans and food packaging). The chemicals have also been used in firefighting foams. Consuming PFAS is known to cause health problems in humans.
🔌 Can Madison’s charging infrastructure keep up with the rise of electric vehicles?
- At a time when gas prices are reaching record highs, consumers across the country are switching to electric vehicles at a record pace. Electric vehicle (EV) ownership is up nearly 20% in Wisconsin from September 2021.
- But, like all cars, EVs still need a power source and not every car can charge at every station since there are multiple plug types for charging. To help mitigate this issue, the city and Madison Gas and Electric are working to expand Madison's EV charging infrastructure, Cap Times reports.
- So far, MGE has installed a comprehensive DC fast charging station on the corner of East Washington Avenue and South Livingston Street where Teslas — which have their own type of plugs — and other EVs can charge up in the same spot. But since most EV charging happens at home, the biggest demand for charging stations is in residential buildings. The cost of installation, however, is a barrier for many and poses one of the biggest challenges to expanding EV use and accessibility.
⚖️ The Madison musician accused by 13 women of grooming won't face charges.
- Some context: In October 2021, more than a dozen women came forward alleging inappropriate grooming behavior by former Youngblood Brass Band drummer David Henzie-Skogen. The Oregon Police Department investigated the allegations.
- The State Journal reports Deputy District Attorney William Brown told Oregon police that no charges could be brought against the 42-year-old Henzie-Skogen because he started sexual relationships with the girls once they turned 18.
📚 A bit of good news: The Madison Reading Project gave away its 300,000th book.
- The nonprofit was founded in 2013 by Rowan Childs to promote literacy in Dane County. After nearly a decade of service, the group reached the 300,000 milestone at the end of June, Madison Magazine reports.
“The start of our organization was in part to help address the disparity in literacy levels of children in Madison and Dane county,” Childs told the magazine. “There are still large discrepancies yet today, and we continue to strive to work with many community partners, schools, teachers and families, towards making a difference and helping instill a love of reading.”
🛼 Your lunchtime read: After a COVID pause, Madison Roller Derby returns to local game play.
- Via Cap Times: "The fierce, fast-flying players of Madison Roller Derby will mark their return to local play this Thursday at 6 p.m. in an exhibition game at the Dane County Fair.
Physicist Elizabeth Holden, known to her teammates as Auntie Matter, has been itching for this moment since COVID-19 put a pause on play in March 2020.
'The best decision I've ever made was marrying my husband, who — sidenote — is now an on-skates referee,' she said during a practice at Fast Forward Skate Center. 'But the second best decision I've ever made was joining roller derby.'
As Lindsay Robl, aka Lou Evil Slugger, likes to say, 'It's the most fun I have with my clothes on.'
- Related: PHOTOS: Madison Roller Derby laces back up (Cap Times)
📅 Events: Thursday, July 21
🦠 Covid-19 update
🔗 Related links
- Get free at-home Covid-19 tests
- Wisconsin's Covid Condition: Hazy case data clouds a summer rise of BA.5 omicron (PBS Wisconsin)
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