Did someone say (flu) shots?

Morning update: Wednesday, Dec. 14

In this newsletter

Did someone say (flu) shots?
Photo by CDC / Unsplash

Good morning, Madison!

Flu season is here. And so is RSV. And so is Covid-19 (still).

Healthcare systems are being stretched thin, and wait times have increased significantly at many emergency rooms and urgent care clinics.

There is some good news though.

It's not too late to get your flu vaccine!

According to the Wisconsin DHS, only 31% of Wisconsin residents have received their flu vaccine. Meanwhile, influenza activity is increasing significantly throughout the state.

Find a flu vaccine appointment here.

— Hayley

Rendering via Mortenson Development

🏗️ A look at the $140 million State Street mega-development in the works.

  • A big downtown development got the green light from the city’s Plan Commission Monday. The project would demolish the decades-old parking garage at 415 N. Lake St. and replace the structure with a massive building with nearly 250 apartments, parking, and a bus terminal.
  • Housing: The project's initial proposal states around 100 units in the apartment complex would be offered at an “affordable” price. According to the Downtown Neighborhood Coalition, a development is deemed affordable if “a tenant’s monthly rent would constitute 30% of the monthly income of an individual making 30% of the area median income of Dane County.”
  • Parking: The plans call for roughly 100 underground parking spaces for the building's residents and city vehicles. There would be six above-ground floors with approximately 400 public parking spaces, according to the State Journal.
  • The full city council still needs to vote on the project. If approved, the existing Lake Street parking garage would be demolished next September. The building’s construction would last from February 2024 to May 2026.
  • Dive deeper: See the full plans here.
  • Fun fact: Scandal surrounding the construction of the Lake Street ramp led to the resignation of Madison's deputy city attorney in 1964. (h/t @StuLevitan)

🎺 Key notes on the state of Madison's music economy.

  • The Greater Madison Music City project presented a 131-page report last week on Madison's musical landscape and how the music industry operates in Dane County. Here are some important takeaways from the report:
  • The city needs to buy in and fund the arts: Madison doesn't have a cultural affairs office, meaning the city government doesn’t have staff designated to  promoting local music or advocating for Madison's cultural ecosystem. The report suggests appointing a “Cultural Officer” or "Music Officer.”
  • Our music scene is lacking equity: The report notes white musicians earn on average 122% more than their Black peers and 136% more than their Asian counterparts. The report suggests promoting fair pay policies for musicians.
  • The local talent is here, it just needs a spotlight: The report suggests creating a directory of local music businesses and talent. It also suggests promoting Madison's musical heritage and making music spaces in the city more accessible.
  • Education is key: The report notes education can drive interest in music and create opportunities for Madison's youth to get involved in the art world.
  • Dig deeper: Lessons from a massive report on Madison music (Tone Madison)

💉 Wisconsin's Red Cross workers could strike ahead of the state's largest blood drive.

  • Employees of the American Red Cross’s six Wisconsin facilities voted last week to strike during the region’s largest blood drive later this month if their union and management don’t reach an agreement by Thursday.
  • Workers say they’re prepared to strike and picket during the annual Madison Holiday Blood Drive Dec. 23 at the Alliant Energy Center.
  • The workers are seeking raises and have alleged management has on multiple occasions refused to bargain in good faith. The union has filed three unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board.
London Pride 2019
Photo by daniel james / Unsplash

🏳️‍🌈 A good day for love.

📼 Your lunchtime read: Let's go to the videotape: Found Footage Festival returns to Madison.

  • Via Cap Times: "At the Goodwill store on East Springs Drive, across from East Towne Mall, can be found an accidental shrine to the Found Footage Festival.

    That Goodwill has a giant photo on its wall of some iconic Madison locations, including the Barrymore Theatre. On the theater marquee in that photo, by sheer coincidence, the Found Footage Festival is listed."
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Put your presents in the mail before it’s too late
Morning update: Tuesday, Dec. 13