Battling the misconceptions of being a dreamer

Elementary school was the first time Alondra Quechol felt different. Though she was sure she felt different, she was not sure why. Yes, there was a language barrier, but it wasn't until high school when Quechol was trying to apply to possible scholarships, that she was “unblindfolded” to the difference between her and her peers — her status in the U.S.
When Quechol was 3 years old she flew to Wisconsin to join other family members. “[Wisconsin] is the only place I’ve ever gone to,” Quechol said. “I’ve always stayed within Dane County, and I’ve been living here for about 19 years.”
Quechol is one of almost 800,000 recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Wisconsin Cheeses Compete to be the Big Cheese of Willy Street Co-Op

The Willy Street Co-Op is hosting their Fourth Annual Cheese Challenge, where 32 local cheeses compete to be the official “Big Cheese.”
Putting an edible spin on March Madness, Willy Street Co-Op customers are asked to fill out brackets predicting the winners of each round. The individual who is closed to predicting the actual results will receive eight pounds of cheese, one pound from each of the “Edible Eight” finalists. Although brackets were due March 14th, Willy Street invites customers to come in every Thursday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. to sample cheeses and vote for their favorites. The contest continues until April 1st. The 2017 winner of the challenge was Extra Innings Triple Play from Hook’s Cheese Company, which is a blend of cow, sheep and goat milk that is aged over a year.

Competitive Year for 2018 SEED Grant Finalists

On Monday, the Madison Food Policy Council (MFPC) gathered at the Central Library to meet individually with the 2018 SEED Grant finalists. Each finalist was granted 15 minutes to present their projects on how to increase healthy food access or education for City of Madison residents. This year, the SEED Grant program received 23 applications requesting a total of over $180,000 in funding. The MPFC winnowed the list down to 13 finalists, but the grant can only allocate up to $50,000 in funding with a maximum of $10,000 for a single grant. George Reistad, food policy coordinator, says the funding is limited but there is no set amount in terms of how many organizations receive grant funding.

Media Digest March 15, 2018

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Youth plan a walkout Wednesday in honor of the victims of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. 

Education

Madison middle school students will get an hour more to sleep in the morning under a plan to move the start time to 8:40 a.m. in the fall. A high school music concert is about more than the performance; it’s about the composition.  Graduation rates for black students increased between 2016 and 2017. Development

An affordable-housing development doesn’t have money to get started, but it does have the required permits. Hotel Indigo, which will be on the site of an East Washington warehouse, got the funding it needs to move forward.

Madison students call for gun control on National Walkout Day

Chants of “no justice, no peace” and “this is what democracy looks like” filled the air as thousands of Madison high-school and middle-school students joined the National Walkout Day Wednesday to protest current gun laws. Students congregated at East High School before marching over two miles to the steps of the Capitol building where they joined other students and community members for a 1 p.m. rally calling on legislators to enact stricter gun control. “I see a lot of stuff happening on the news that I really don’t like, and it’s just depressing,” said Elijah Smith, a sophomore at West High School. “I thought I should be somewhere where a lot of change is gonna happen...I just don’t want to have to see more people go through this kind of thing anymore, and I think it’s time for people to start yelling.”
National Walkout Day marked the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14. The massacre left 14 students and three school staff members dead, making it the largest school shooting since the murder of 20 students and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

Golf Subcommittee to decide fate of Madison city courses

After years in the black, up to half of the greens in the Madison could be shuttered. Faced with a steep bill for needed renovations, a subcommittee will decide the future of golf operations in the city this Spring. If it can’t get a subsidy for golf course improvements, the committee will look for funding in hole closures. “The crux is that the city doesn’t fund capital improvement projects like this, so we’ve fallen behind. The sprinklers are 40 to 50 years old,” said David Wallner, Madison Parks Commission president and Golf Subcommittee member.

Candidates Anna Moffit, Gloria Reyes discuss art education at school board forum

Anna Moffit and Gloria Reyes appeared last Tuesday at an art education forum hosted by the Arts and Literature Lab (ALL) and moderated by the poet laureate of Madison, Oscar Mireles. Moffit and Reyes are both vying for Seat 1 on the Madison School Board for the spring primary election on April 3. Moffit is a current board member running for her second term. Reyes and Moffit discussed eleven questions about the district’s art education that were submitted by community members, with ALL specifically seeking out contributions from art educators, students and parents in the Madison school district. Many questions prompted Reyes and Moffit to talk about the ways in which they would support related arts in schools, from class sizes and budget questions to expanding access to other types of art and increasing support for art educators.

Media Digest March 8, 2018

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A Madison-based electronic monitoring company for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections was told of problems and unnecessary jailings five years ago, but the problems have continued and the number of people under GPS monitoring has doubled. Education

The Read Up Madison program thrives because of donors, and fundraising is underway now.  Madison schools are promising security upgrades as part of the continuing conversation on school safety following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. Crestwood Elementary class is getting recognition for its stop-motion movie project. Development

Residents are fighting the planned extension of the electrical grid through Madison and the Driftless area.

At Madison’s Truax Field, New F-35 Fighter Jet Prompts Questions of Economics, Politics, Livability

On a quiet Saturday in October, Ed Blume was working in the yard of his home, raking the leaves that had begun to fall from the trees in his neighborhood, a residential community just south of the Dane County Regional Airport. Suddenly, a piercing crescendo broke the calm of Blume’s afternoon. Blume saw pedestrians on the sidewalk clamp their hands over their ears as the noise grew louder, rising to an abrasive wail as a flight of three F-16 fighter jets tore over Blume’s house at low altitude. Having lived in this east side home for ten years, Blume is no stranger to the noise of these aircraft – and he’s not the first generation to learn to live with them. Combat aircraft have been a regular presence in the skies over the Isthmus since the 1942 activation of Truax Field, then a military training facility for aircraft technicians.