Madison Commons Media Digest, September 29, 2019

In Sunday blog post, Mike Koval announces retirement as police chief, Abigail Becker, Capital Times, Sept. 29; Police Chief Koval retires, Emily Hamer, Wisconsin State Journal, Sept. 29. Madison and Dane County

Many local candidates fail to file campaign finance reports, but city clerks 'have no teeth,' Sept. 28; Avra Reddy to step down from District 8 City Council seat, Sept.

The Bus Stops Here: For Maximus Who?

For the people of Madison and its suburban transit partners (Fitchburg, Middleton, Town of Madison, and now Sun Prairie) it might seem obvious that the primary purpose of a locally-owned and operated public bus system is to address the transit needs of the people in the service area. They pay extra property tax to support it, whether indirectly through their rent or lease, or directly on an owned home or business. 

Presumably, that would mean that before allocating TIF (tax increment financing) or other money to facilitate the travel and parking of suburbanites from neighboring communities into downtown or other parts of Madison, city funds would first be oriented toward the transit needs of people who live 24 hours a day every day of the week in the service area itself. Buses would run frequently. Routes and stops would stay constant with rare exception. Many more bus stops would have shelters, benches, signage, concrete pads and lighting. 

Before investing in an infrastructure that facilitated suburbanite travel downtown, city funds would go toward a bus service designed to enable residents to live a good life in the area without having to own a car.

Climate Strike Draws Hundreds to Downtown Madison

Not even a failed screening of activist Greta Thunberg’s speech at the United Nations, nor humid September weather, could slow down protestors at the Madison climate strike demonstrations Friday. 

Madison Commons Media Digest, September 22, 2019

Madison and Dane County

Air Force mulls F-35s for Truax Field, will local opinion sway decision? Chris Hubbuch, Wisconsin State Journal, September 22; Noise levels might get louder, Howard Hardee, Isthmus, September 19. Review finds police behavior in teen's forceful arrest 'legally justifiable' but flawed, Chris Rickert, WSJ, September 21; Family of teen beaten by Madison police threatens legal action, Robert Chappell, Madison365, September 22. Dane Co. Board votes to rename Lake Monona's Squaw Bay, Emily Hamer, WSJ, September 20.

September 2019 Backyard Heroes

Community Shares, a partner of Madison Commons, recognizes two volunteers each month. The volunteers come from Community Shares' member groups and are selected for their service to the community and to community issues. Mary Reames - Sierra Club Foundation-John Muir Chapter

Mary Reames jumped into her role as a volunteer with both feet. She was one of the main coordinators of the 2017 People’s Climate March in Madison which involved dozens of volunteers and thousands of participants. Mary is a very people-oriented leader who brings a positive and welcoming quality to all the projects she is involved in and she embodies the spirit of the Sierra Club by connecting and activating people to Explore, Enjoy and Protect Wisconsin’s environment.

Madison Commons Media Digest, September 15, 2019

Madison and Dane County
Madison leaders weigh how to avoid homelessness, housing, traffic problems of Seattle, Logan Wroge, Wisconsin State Journal, September 15. Madison receives highest bond rating but with negative outlook, Abigail Becker, Capital Times, September 13. Air Force meeting draws boosters, foes, and questions about F-35s, Logan Wroge, WSJ, September 13; Council members draft resolution asking Air Force to reconsider locating F-35s in Madison, Abigail Becker, Capital Times, September 12; F-35 stirs strong reaction in Madison, Ruth Conniff, Wisconsin Examiner, September 13; What happens if Truax Field doesn't get the F-35? Mitchell Schmidt, WSJ, September 13; More than 500 homes near airport likely not eligible for soundproofing, city says, Emily Hamer, WSJ, September 11. Report from investigation into Dane County jail construction to remain confidential for now, Abigail Becker, CT, September 12.

Reach Dane Celebrates 50 Years

Fifty years ago, on July 7, 1969 the Dane County Parent Council broke off and became their own independent nonprofit. This year, Reach Dane, an organization providing early childhood care to low income families, celebrates 50 years. 

Over the past five decades, the organization has grown, today serving 1,000 children at 18 locations. Staff balance $17 million in donations and grants to provide holistic care for the children and the families they serve. The nonprofit has had major milestones and they hope to continue to improve in the future. 

Madison Commons Media Digest, September 8, 2019

UPDATED: Budget hearings this week:

Budget time: Madison and Dane County begin hearings on 2020 budgets, Abigail Becker, Capital Times, September 9. Madison and Dane County

Housing and Buses: Rhodes-Conway releases 2020 capital budget proposal, Abigail Becker, Capital Times, September 3; Mayor Satya-Rhodes Conway prioritizes Metro Transit, housing, in first capital budget, Dean Mosiman, Wisconsin State Journal, September 4;

Despite additional efforts, winter is likely to be what reduces bad behavior downtown, Chris Rickert, WSJ, September 8. City unveils detailed public market plans, Abigail Becker, Capital Times, September 6. Truax Field to lose $8 million for border wall, Mitchell Schmidt, WSJ, September 5. Community

Henry Vilas Zoo accreditation will continue, Ed Trelevan, WSJ, September 7.