The Bus Stops Here: For A Downgraded Paratransit Program

 
Madison’s leadership in the transportation of disabled people may be coming to an end. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires public transportation agencies to provide a complementary “paratransit” service for disabled people who cannot use mainline transit. However, more than a decade earlier, Madison adopted a special transportation program for elderly and handicapped people that provided service “over and above” the lower bar stipulated by the ADA. Madison is now looking to shed those “over and above” services. And while Metro will continue to contract rides out to other vendors, it will cease to operate its own in-house fleet of paratransit vehicles.

Running for Change

“Keep going, you’re doing great. Don’t give up!”

These are the words of 5th grader Holly Kurian, who is cheering on her friends from the sidelines of a Girls on the Run practice on a beautiful sunny day at Randall Elementary School. Kurian is a runner with Girls on the Run, a program that builds self-confidence and leadership skills in young women. She enjoys every minute of it. “I think my favorite part [of practices] might be the fun stuff we do and the games we play.

Media Digest November 27, 2017

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Your MGE bill is likely to go up after a rate increase. Education

A handful of elementary and middle schools in the Madison district are piloting a project to let students make creative products. Development

A low-cost Internet program for low-income neighborhoods is in peril. The site of a mixed-use development on Williamson Street is now the site of numerous complaints.  A committee recommends investment in neighborhood employment programs.

Community

A Madison Resident recalls what it was like to watch a hydrogen bomb explode in the 1960s while in the military.

In between music and memory is love

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.  How I wonder what you are. Have you ever been listening to a song and it brings back a vivid memory from years before?  
In the case of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” this may bring back memories from childhood, such as parents singing, siblings playing or the smell of homemade fried cheese curds. Music & Memory is a non-profit organization that sees this reconnective power of music, and helps individuals with dementia live more fulfilling lives with their loved ones across the U.S. Executive Director Dan Cohen gained his vision, in 2006, when working as a volunteer in nursing homes.

Leopold PFO aims to promote inclusivity in school relationships

The student body at Leopold Elementary School is one of the most diverse in the Madison Metropolitan School District, and the Leopold PFO is committed to serving the school in its full diversity by working to include parents and families of all backgrounds in the conversation. The Leopold PFO is designed to support connections between children at school and to  parents at home, as well as making Leopold healthy environment for staff and students, co-president Lee Hayes said. This goal includes a wide range of action, from typical fundraising efforts, to facilitating out-of-school academic support for students, to renovating the staff lounge. “[By participating] we can really have an active impact on so many kids’ lives,” Hayes said. Perhaps the most crucial aspect  of the work done by the Leopold PFO is through h encouraging inclusivity and engagement with all families.

Media Digest November 17, 2017

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The final city budget is out, and it comes with changes to police staffing, police body cameras, and the public market. Education

Hate and bias incidents are increasing in schools. A Waunakee class is fostering a love of nature and conservation. It’s Sunday school…. On Saturday… for students at one Madison synagogue.

Cap Times Talk discusses the role of diversity and inclusion in building strong neighborhoods

City planners and community members met in an open forum at the High Noon Saloon last Tuesday to discuss how to build healthy neighborhoods in Madison. The forum was the latest in the Cap Times Talks discussion series, a two-year-old program hosting open discussions of community issues, diversity and development in Madison. The five-person panel represented backgrounds from city planning to urban, community-focused architecture, and took questions both from moderator Abigail Becker as well as audience members. Over the course of the hour-long discussion, the panel identified several key factors in developing healthy neighborhoods, including accessible community centers, design beyond a neighborhood level and utilizing diverse viewpoints to develop plans for the future. Panelist Heather Stouder, director of Madison's Planning Division, acknowledged past mistakes of city planning, and stressed the importance of creating neighborhoods that provide options in housing, recreation and transportation to their residents.

Yard waste collection is here

Pumpkin spice drinks, warm sweaters, carving turkeys; all signs that Autumn is among us. With Autumn also comes one of the more tedious chores of owning or renting a home: raking leaves and other yard waste before the snow falls. The City of Madison classifies yard waste as “leaves, weeds, garden trimmings, and other plant debris. Twigs less than 18” long. Pumpkins, crab apples, and pine cones."

Dual-enrollment program aims to make STEM degrees more accessible and diverse

The Early College STEM Academy, created in partnership between the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and Madison Area Technical College (MATC), will help make pursuing a STEM degree more accessible to Madison high school students; especially for students of color. 
Starting in the 2018-19 academic school year, the program’s first cohort of 25 junior and senior high school students will begin at MATC’s Truax campus, and move to the new MATC South Campus by Fall 2019. The program will recruit students from La Follette and Madison East high schools. In an effort to get more young people to move toward science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers, the program has identified college courses that also align with high school requirements, Keith Cornille, MATC chief of student services, said. “The program allows students to save money and save time. It’s about the long-term picture, earning credits and getting skills,” Cornille said.

Badger Rock Neighborhood Center Invites the Madison Community to a Thanks-For-Giving Dinner

The Badger Rock Neighborhood Center will host the annual Thanks-For-Giving Dinner tonight, Friday November 10, at 501 E. Badger Rd. The dinner is free and open to all members of the greater Madison community. The dinner offers a free meal to Madison families, and will also feature music by the Parces Trio, a Madison-based latin music group. The event will run from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Badger Rock center, located south of the Alliant Energy Center. The Badger Rock center was founded in 2012 as a community center focusing on programming for all ages that focuses on sustainability, education, and civic engagement.