Wisconsin-Born Accelerator Highlights Homegrown Innovation

Six early-stage businesses presented at startup accelerator Gener8tor’s Madison Premiere Night last month. The evening celebrated the growing activity of technology and early-stage companies in Madison and across the United States. For the past three months, Milwaukee-born Gener8tor has invested money and support in six startup businesses from around the country. The startups, including Madison-based TCARE, spent the evening showcasing their growth and pitching their products to investors and entrepreneurs. While Silicon Valley is traditionally thought of as the epicenter of technology and startup culture, Madison has seen significant growth in the amount of investment flowing into local startups.

Media Digest June 15, 2018

Top Story

Paul Soglin will propose a $17 vehicle-registration fee to help close budget shortfalls and maintain community service programs for low-income residents. Chris Rickert, Wisconsin State Journal, 6/15. Community

The Dane County Immigration and Refugee Task Force, created last summer, announced its recommendations, including a call for a universal drivers' card.  Madison 365, 6/15. The James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Church on Madison's eastside is renovating its building to serve as a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.

June 2018 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. Matthew Allie, Center for Resilient Cities

Matthew Allie is a volunteer at the Center for Resilient Cities’ Badger Rock Neighborhood Center (BRNC). Resilient Cities  is leading community-inspired collaboration that unites education, urban agriculture, energy and environmental sustainability, resilience research and neighborhood programming in a vibrant new gathering space. No job is too large or too small for Allie, who does a little of everything including serving food at CommUNITY dinners, harvesting produce and helping to keep the BRNC tidy.

Wisconsin’s wrongfully convicted get voices heard through state’s Innocence Project

While working on wrongful conviction cases, it’s rare to receive good news. But when good news does come, Cristina Borde said her work — even though it might take decades — is worth it. In mid-March, Borde found out her very first client as a defense attorney in California — a case she took on 20 years ago — got his conviction overturned. Vincente Benavides was facing the death penalty but had maintained his innocence. In a unanimous decision by the California State Supreme Court, he got his murder conviction reversed.

Media Digest June 8

Top Story

The downtown centerpiece Judge Doyle Square project is facing a new roadblock as Chicago developer Beitler Real Estate Services sues the City of Madison over its appropriation of an additional $11 million dollars. Logan Wroge @LWrogeof the Wisconsin State Journal, 6/7. Community

A new program will help inmates of Dane County Jail move back into society.  The program is a joint effort of Madison-area Urban Ministry (MUM) Nehemiah Center, Anesis Center, and the Jessie Crawford Recovery Center. A contract with Dane County for $110,000 is pending.

Does Madison have enough audible pedestrian signals to help the blind navigate the city?

Denise Jess wakes up every morning with one thing in mind — what route to take to work? There is no audible pedestrian signal at the intersection in front of the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, where Jess works as CEO and Executive Director. Jess, 55, is a pedestrian commuter and lives in the neighborhood around her workplace. She takes neighborhood streets as far as she possibly can because they are quieter and there is less traffic. She does, however, eventually have to cross Williamson Street, a major street on Madison’s East Side.

Madison’s Juneteenth Will Be a Week-Long Celebration This Year

Madison’s annual Juneteenth will be celebrated for a whole week this year and will culminate with a parade and party at Penn Park. The Juneteenth Day Celebration 2018 will take place Saturday, June 16, noon-6 p.m., at Penn Park. Juneteenth in Madison is now in its 29th year. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, a day when African-American slaves in Texas were told by Union forces that they were free. They were the final group of slaves to realize their freedom.

Preventing Elderly Exploitation Series at the Madison Senior Center

The Madison Senior Center, a local resource for older adults, hosted a three-part series earlier this month on scam and identity protection. The series was led by Victoria Davis, the Associated Bank Manager. Davis was interested in creating this series because the same protection for local adults that she provides to her family in Texas. Anybody over the age of 60 can be a target. Criminals exploit people’s good nature, but also their lack of understanding on how sensitive information can be collected Online.

Media Digest May 29, 2018

The Madison Commons Media Digest for this post-Memorial Day week:

Our Top Story: Former Alder Satya Rhodes-Conway declares that she will run for Mayor in 2019, from Abby Becker, @abecker_4 Cap Times. 

In political news this past week: Chris Rickert Wisconsin State Journal reported on Madison residents discussing Gov. Walker’s $100 per child rebate asking: good politics or pandering? Foxconn disputed reports that it's already changing plans for its Wisconsin plant from Mark Sommerhauser, Wisconsin State Journal. In education, Edgewood College and the Hmong Institute are launching new certificate program, from Lisa Speckhard Pasque, Cap Times. The Madison Community Foundation donated $1.1 million to initiative to develop “wrap-around services” to students and their families, from the Wisconsin State Journal's Shelley K. Mesch @skmesch.  This was the final award in a year of MCF giving and Mesch neatly recaps the entire year. In Nonprofit news: The Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice honored Sergio Gonzalez, a UW-Madison Ph.D., and the Community Immigration Law Clinic for immigrant advocacy work, from Lisa Speckhard Pasque, Cap Times.

Celebration Planned for Expanded Yahara River Trail

The Yahara River Trail, part of the Dane County park system, continues to move forward and expand. The trail connects McDaniel Park in McFarland with the Capital City Trail in Madison. It also connects local recreational trail systems with the southeastern part of Dane County. The expansion of the Yahara River Trail improves transportation options for thousands of Dane County residents and provides opportunities for outdoor recreation like fishing, biking, and hiking. The newly expanded trail also provides an economic boost and brings communities together.