Trucks & Treasures event showcases the vehicles that keep Madison running

Families poured into Reindahl Park last Saturday morning to get an up-close look at the vehicles that quietly keep Madison running — and the people who drive them everyday. Among the rigs on display at the Trucks & Treasures event were buses, a fire engine, an armored police rescue vehicle, and even a military Humvee. But the trucks weren’t just for the looking: for this one day, the City of Madison Parks Division invited “kids of all ages” to climb inside and explore the vehicles for themselves. “We love this event,” says Erin Nunez, who brought her kids for the fourth year in a row. “The kids get to explore the different trucks and the different parts of the city.”

This was Kennedy Kerrigan’s second Trucks & Treasure event.

SSFP Reporters Visit the Weis Earth Science Museum

One hot day this summer, Deney, Sarah, Josepha,  drove all the way from the Free Press newsroom off West Broadway to Appleton, Wisconsin, ready to learn about space and geology. We embarked on this journey to attend the annual Wisconsin Space Grant Conference, titled “Uncharted Lands: Geology and Space.” While we were in the city, we visited the Weis Earth Science Museum to learn about fossils, rocks, and minerals. The Museum is named after Leonard and Donna Weis, who donated the first gift to the Weis Earth Museum and later became its directors. Joanne Kluessendorf is the museum’s founding director. All of the exhibits in the museum were donated by T. John Barlow, Clyde Stephenson, and Donald G. Mikulie.

Staying emotionally healthy following Madison’s historic flooding

Although much of the flooding throughout Madison is under control, Madison residents are still feeling the effects of August’s historic rainfall a month later. Torrential rain stranded people in their cars and homes, washed out highways and flooded city streets. One man in his 70s was killed when swept away by the swift currents of the floodwaters after exiting his stranded vehicle. Mayor Paul Soglin estimated flood-related repairs could cost the city millions of dollars. And, high lake levels and additional rain could lead to more road closures and damage.

Register to vote on National Voter Registration Day

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is hosting voter registration events throughout the state to celebrate National Voter Registration day on today, September 25. Madison’s local League joins Wisconsin’s 19 other Leagues and 3,500 groups across the country to register and educate new voters about the importance of participating in democracy and exercising the right to vote. The events are meant to mobilize and empower voters to make their voices heard in local, state and national elections. “National Voter Registration Day brings national attention and awareness to remind voters to check their registration status well before Election Day. It is important so that voters are prepared to make their voice heard in November,” said Eileen Newcomer, voter education coordinator for the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.

More Black familes are choosing homeschooling, citing bias and desire for culturally-rich education

Around 11:30 a.m., fourth grader Karleese, 9, was given a vocabulary word he had never said before. “In-thoo-see-as-thic?” Karleese said as he hurdled each syllable of the word on his computer screen. His mother Kaulia Powell, 37, coached from the end cushion of the couch where Karleese’s Wednesday English lesson was being held. “Enthusiastic…you got it!” said Powell patiently. Karleese calmly repeated the word as best he could.

The Bus Stops Here: For A Smart Move

New technology provides access and challenges to Madison’s bus system that must be adopted if Metro Transit is to be a viable transportation option moving forward. A major reason ride share companies such as Lyft are popular is that they made early use of smartphone technology, which enables riders to solicit a ride from/to anywhere at any time and pay via a credit card or similar cashless electronic transfer. Public transit has the competitive advantage however, IF it used smartphone technology as adeptly. After all, most people would prefer to pay $2 instead of $10 for the same ride. Before the era of smartphones, transit riders had been pining for years for Metro Transit smart cards.

United Way of Dane County launches flood relief fund

United Way of Dane County has launched a fund to aid those affected by recent flooding. Dane County officials estimate flooding caused $155 million in damage throughout the county. As local families recover from the flood, the relief fund will be used to meet their needs unmet by other assistance programs, such as utility payments and home repairs not covered by insurance. The entirety of the collected funds will be invested into aiding the community. “It is imperative that we assist long-term recovery efforts by leveraging our expertise in fundraising, community-led stewardship of investments and accountability for effective, measurable strategies that create stability,” said Renee Moe, United Way of Dane County president and CEO, in a statement.

JUST Bikes Unveiled the Last of Four Self-fix Bicycle Stations that were Constructed this Summer

JUST Bikes, formerly known as the Madison Bicycle Equity Group, unveiled four self-fix bicycle station, new bike racks, and recognized graduates of the Mobile Bike Repair internship program on Wednesday at Centro Hispano. The projects were made possible by Madison Community Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Year of Giving grant “Mad About Bikes.” Mad About Bikes provides access for all riders, regardless of economic status, and helps them take advantage of Madison’s Platinum-level status as a Bicycle Friendly Community. The $84,200 grant included a 1,100-bicycle giveaway in March, the installment of public fix-it stations, bike repair internships for community youth, starter bicycles for beginning riders, safety education and repair training for riders of all ages, and an electric-assist bicycle outfitted as a repair vehicle that travels throughout the city. Just Bikes’ Fix-it Bicycle Stations are equipped with various tools needed to keep bikes in working shape. The other fix-it stations were installed during the summer, and are located at Badger Rock Neighborhood Center, Bayiew Community Center, and Lussier Community Education Center.