It's cold out there

Morning update: Thursday, Dec. 8

In this newsletter

It's cold out there
Photo by Hayley Sperling

Goooood morning, Madison!

One quick note: Yesterday's email included a link to a local holiday market guide that didn't work. If you want to learn about the markets, click here. (This one works, I promise.)

Now for some big news from us!

We just published a winter survival guide for Madison. Because whether you've lived here for years or are brand new to town, we could all use a little help making it through the harsh winter months.

This guide covers everything from shoveling and parking rules, to snow days and clothing donations.

Check out the full guide here.

How to survive and thrive in a Madison winter
Whether you just moved to Wisconsin’s capital city or have lived here for decades, you might need to brush up on tips to help you thrive.

— Hayley


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Photo by Hayley Sperling

🚌 City Council approved two major transportation projects.

  • The council unanimously approved two actions to improve transportation equity and options in Madison. The first involves how buses in town operate and the second seeks to broaden access to transportation options for people who live and work in the city.
  • Metro Network Redesign: The newly approved bus plan will eliminate some transfer points and consolidate service on frequent routes, promising more consistent service with shorter travel times. The new system will be implemented next June. For context, Madison's current transit network was put in place in 1998.
  • Transportation Demand Management (TDM): The TDM program requires developers and new businesses to implement some form of walking, biking, or carpooling incentives in their proposals. The purpose of the TDM is to help reduce traffic emissions and greenhouse gases and create more livable (and safer) streets.

🏈 Interim head coach Jim Leonhard will leave the Badgers at the end of the season.

  • If you'll recall: Leonhard has served as interim head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers after former coach Paul Chryst was fired. He was considered a top candidate for the permanent coaching gig but ultimately, the Badgers hired former Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell.
  • Leonhard said he will stay on as the defensive coordinator through the Guaranteed Rate Bowl against Oklahoma State.


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🏘️ More money for affordable housing.

  • At its meeting Tuesday night, the Madison City Council approved $11.3 million for new affordable rental housing. According to the city, these projects will add roughly 500 new rental units, 344 of which will be affordable housing.
  • The money will go to three development proposals around town: the redevelopment of St. John’s Lutheran Church downtown, redevelopment of the former Gardner Bakery on East Washington Avenue, and the Merchant Place redevelopment on Odana Road.
  • Homeownership: The council also approved $4 million for new homeownership initiatives. According to Cap Times, funds will support development proposals, housing services programs, and homebuyer education programs.

🛶 Check out the newest Rutabaga Paddlesports shop.

  • The local sporting goods store cut the ribbon on its new Fitchburg location this week. Fun fact: The company was founded in 1974 by a group of UW-Madison students who sold outdoor gear out of their basement.
  • The new store was designed with the environment in mind. According to the State Journal, the new shop was built with siding designed to last up to 100 years and solar panels that cover two-thirds of the roof.
  • Rutabaga's owner also has plans to develop a mixed-use building on the property with workforce housing and a bicycle shop on the ground floor. Construction on that project could start next summer, according to the State Journal.

🌳 Read this if you live in the Tenney Park neighborhood.

Illustration by Tommy Washbush/Wisconsin Watch

🍼 Your lunchtime read: Policing pregnancy: Wisconsin’s ‘fetal protection’ law, one of the nation’s most punitive, forces women into treatment or jail.

  • Via Wisconsin Watch: "Wisconsin is one of just five states that allow civil detention for pregnant people accused of substance use. Its legal proceedings take place out of public view, under seal, with a low standard of evidence and often a court-appointed attorney for the fetus — but none for the person gestating it. The law can require forced addiction treatment for the duration of pregnancy."
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🦠 Covid-19 update

🎙️ Today on the pod

Photo by Hayley Sperling

Our Spiciest Supreme Court Race Yet?

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is officially nonpartisan, but it has increasingly been at the center of political battles from abortion to voting rights. Liberals have their first shot at taking back control of the court in nearly 15 years. With political control of our swing state at stake, City Cast Madison looks at why this race is heating up. Jeff Mayers, president of WisPolitics, brings the latest.


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📅 Events



Check out even more events on our community calendar.

📝 Miss a Minute? Check out yesterday's newsletter.

Finding the perfect local gift
Morning update: Wednesday, Dec. 7