$15 million Imagination Center prioritizes community’s input and needs in planning for its construction in 2020

Ald. Samba Baldeh is gathering citizen input to help shape what will be known as the Imagination Center in the Northeast side of Madison. “The City is growing very very fast so it really was overdue for us to have a library in this area. It’s important that we have resources for after school programing that can cater the possibility of people of color who sometimes struggle after school to have a personal place to go,” Baldeh said. The Imagination Center has been a year in planning, receiving a budget of $500,000 last year for outreach to gather information on what citizens want to see in it.

Compost program paused, not over, says City recycling coordinator

Despite Madison’s compost pilot program coming to an end last month due to contamination issues, the City hopes to restart the program in 2019. The program, officially called the organics collection program but can more accurately be understood as a food scraps recycling program, began in 2011 to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill. The program had to stop because too many participants, which included residents and businesses, were putting non-compostable items in compost bins, thus contaminating the compostable material. “This isn’t over,” said Bryan Johnson, the Recycling Coordinator for the City of Madison Streets Division. “The program, the way we had it, wasn’t working with the processing options that were available to us.

FreeWheel Bikes aims to provide the basic human right of transportation to Madison

FreeWheel Bikes was founded in 2003 by a group of local cyclists who wanted to establish an affordable community workshop space and promote cycling. In the 15 years that it has existed, the non-profit has given away more than 10,000 bikes. “Half of these are locally and the other half are through our work with international organizations that ship bikes to developing countries,” said Elijah McCloskey, president of FreeWheel. McCloskey, 30, said the goal of the organization is to ensure transportation as a fundamental human right, to reduce waste and increase education. The non-profit does this through giving away over 1,200 bikes a year, diverting over 35 tons of waste a year and teaching free classes to over 800 students a year.

Media Digest, July 21, 2018

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Paul Soglin will not run for mayor in 2019.  And Rhodes-Conway, Cheeks, and Konkel jump in.  Abby Becker, Capital Times, July 17. More Politics

Michael Tierney recommended to fill District 16 Council seat. Abby Becker, Capital Times, July 19.

Wisconsin Utility Companies Invest in Alternative Energy

The future is getting brighter for wind and solar energy in the Midwest. Two Madison-based power companies, Alliant Energy Corporation and Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), have recently invested in clean energy sources that will affect thousands of customers across the Midwest. Alliant and MGE are investing in wind and solar energy, respectively. Wisconsin Public Service of Green Bay will also invest in solar energy alongside MGE. Alliant has partnered with Tradewind Energy, an independent renewable power developer to bring English Farms Wind Farm to completion.

Madison Children’s Museum to Host American Girl Doll Sale this Month

As many Madisonians know, the Madison Children’s Museum hosts the American Girl Benefit Sale every year. This year’s sale will take place on July 21-22. All proceeds are awarded to nonprofits throughout Dane County through grants from American Girl’s Fund for Children, a long-time supporter of Simpson Street Free Press. According to the Madison Community Foundation, American Girl’s Fund for Children is a “catalyst for connecting cultural arts and environmental resources with our area children.”

Since 1988, the Fund has awarded over $11 million in grants to organizations throughout Dane County that offer arts, culture, and environmental programs for youth. The annual American Girl sale makes this funding possible.

The Bus Stops Here: UW Student Busing

One of the experiences of attending the University of Wisconsin in Madison is that students have access to unlimited Metro Transit bus rides paid with segregated fees by their Associated Students of Madison governance body (ASM). Students get an unlimited ride bus pass good for both fixed route and paratransit rides throughout much of the city of Madison and parts of Middleton, Fitchburg, Verona and Shorewood Hills. That bus service can be frequent around campus, and can take students to many major employment, shopping, health and recreation centers. Students can additionally use a no-fare #80 campus shuttle, the #81 and #82 late night routes, and a no-fare #84 shuttle to/from Eagle Heights. Those additional routes are paid for by a combination of funds from student seg fees, the UW’s division of Transportation Services for faculty and staff, and the division of University Housing.

Media Digest, Week of July 14, 2018


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Dean Mosiman's series on gun violence in Madison concluded Saturday with "Cycles of Incarceration." Wisconsin State Journal, July 8-14.  The entire series is a must read for Madison citizens. Politics

Alderman Maurice "Mo" Cheeks announced he is running for Mayor of Madison in 2019. Abby Becker, Capital Times, July 12. The Dane County Board approved an advisory referendum for the Nov.

The Mad Rollin’ Dolls break down gender norms and stereotypes

Tall and lean, Spam is known for her speed. In a bright green jersey, she whips around an indoor track at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum five nights a year, pushing and weaving her way through a tightly-knit group of women on roller skates. She works tirelessly towards the chance to hold a dismembered mannequin leg, painted gold with a roller skate on its single foot, high in the air at the championship match. Spam is a member of the Mad Rollin’ Dolls, Madison’s women’s roller derby league. The dismembered leg is affectionately known as Leggy, a championship trophy with a storied history.