Two years of Minutes

Hey, it's our birthday!

In this newsletter

Two years of Minutes

Gooooooood morning, Madison!

It's April 20, and you know what that means…

It's our birthday!

On this day in 2021, Sam sent out the very first edition of Madison Minutes. Can you believe we've been emailing you for two years?

Around this time last year, I waxed poetic about the twists and turns that led to me and Sam getting into business together.

Although I haven't had time to write any odes to year two — we've got a business to run here! — I want to say “thank you” to each and every person who has helped us get here, including you.

As I've said in the past, whether you've been with us since day one or this is your first newsletter, thank you for coming on this journey with us.

Cheers to more Minutes!

— Hayley

Rendering via Dane County

⚖️ A path forward for the divisive jail consolidation project.

  • Members of the Dane County Board of Supervisors's Black Caucus and Sheriff Kalvin Barrett have come to an agreement before the project heads to a critical vote tonight.
  • Under the deal, the caucus will support an additional $13.5 million in funding for the project. In exchange, Barrett has agreed to conditions that include removing federal inmates from the jail, reducing the use of solitary confinement, and establishing a county-wide mental health response team.
  • Where the plan stands: If approved, the county will proceed with building a six-story, 825-bed jail downtown. The current cost estimate of the project is $179 million.
  • Dig deeper: The Dane County Jail project heads toward a crucial vote (Tone Madison)
  • Related: Understanding Dane County government (Madison Minutes)
From the Madison Dictionary: What's the jail consolidation project?

Jail consolidation project: The 1950s-era City-County Building jail has long been considered outdated and was recommended to close in 2016. This long-debated project would bring all jail facilities downtown, construct a new tower, and be the most expensive public works project in county history.

🚌 MMSD middle and high schoolers can get free summer bus passes.

  • Through a partnership with Metro Transit, roughly 7,000 Madison Metropolitan School District students will receive free summer bus passes.
  • Passes will be available for students to pick up starting in May. Students who live in Madison but attend other school districts are also eligible for the free pass and can pick them up at the Metro Transit office.
  • This is the third year the city and the school district have partnered on the initiative. Last year, the passes were used on more than 40,000 trips.

🗳️ Meet your new alders.

  • The newest members of City Council were sworn in this week, and nearly half of the council is new to the job.
  • The group represents the most diverse council in recent history, according to Cap Times. Five alders are openly LGBTQ+ and newly elected District 15 Ald. Dina Nina Martinez-Rutherford is Madison's first openly transgender woman elected to the council.
  • In addition to the swearing in, District 16 Ald. Jael Currie was elected council president and District 10 Ald. Yannette Figueroa Cole was elected vice president.
a laboratory worker takes a swab test
Photo by Mufid Majnun / Unsplash

😷 Where to get Covid-19 tests now that the state has ended free in-person testing.

  • The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has ended its Community Testing Support Program, which allowed Wisconsin residents to access free Covid-19 tests at locations around the state.
  • Whether you have health insurance or not, there are still free Covid-19 testing options available. Wisconsinites can get 10 tests per month delivered to their home through the Say Yes! Covid Test Program.
  • Additionally, you can still get four free tests from the federal government (if you haven't hit your limit for free tests).
  • Need more? For further information on testing, vaccination, and community virus levels, check out Public Health Madison & Dane County's resources.

🛍️ Your lunchtime read: How to ‘buy nothing’ and join Madison’s sharing economy.

  • Via Cap Times: "An underground economy with millions of participants is flourishing around us. It runs on reciprocity, time and generosity, not money. Transactions are conducted in online groups, on porches and via curbside and alleyway pickups.

    This economy trafficks in stuff. Lots and lots of free stuff — a jar of pickle juice, a body-size light therapy lamp, an aloe plant, leftover birthday cake, kitchen utensils, a chandelier, shower curtain hooks, car seats, even a whole car — much of it otherwise destined for a landfill or collecting dust in a basement."
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🎙️ Today on City Cast Madison

Image via City of Madison

Madison's Newest Grocery Store Is a Big Deal

When Pick ‘n Save announced they’d be closing their store on S. Park Street, neighbors were worried. The nearest full-service grocery was miles away. The block seemed headed to become another hospital expansion.

Few grocers seemed interested in running a store in south Madison. The Pick n’ Save store was too old and not large enough for many chains to take over. The area is considered low-income. The city struggled to find someone with a business plan to make it work.

But now, a locally-owned independent grocer has stepped up.

Kristie Mauer grew up in the grocery business. Her dad started the Fresh Market on campus, as well as grocery stores in Wisconsin Dells and Milwaukee. She’s excited to run a neighborhood store to serve Madison’s southside. Here’s a sneak peek inside Mauer’s Urban Market.

📅 Events

Thursday, April 20

Check out even more events on our community calendar.

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Check out the headlines from our last newsletter.