Madison Commons Media Digest, May 3, 2020

Corona Virus Headlines

Global race for COVID-19 vaccine includes Madison contenders, David Wahlberg, Wisconsin State Journal, May 3. As testing ramps up, state sees largest daily increase in positive COVID-19 cases, Mitchell Schmidt, WSJ, May 2. 'Frustrated and scared': Guards, inmates criticize Wisconsin's largest prison for COVID-19 response, Emily Hamer, WSJ, May 2. Evers orders immediate 5% reduction in state spending amidst pandemic, Mitchell Schmidt, WSJ, May 1. State labs could test more COVID-19 samples but supply shortage hampers efforts, Katelyn Ferral, Capital Times, May 1.

Impromptu food pantry started six weeks ago now serves 100 families

From our news partner Madison365:

When Jimena Maier offered to host a mini-food pantry in her garage less than two months ago, she never thought it would grow to serve more than 100 families. The first week the pantry was open it served 12 families. By week six it served 102. “We had a line of vehicles all the way down Tomscot (Trail). You couldn’t see the end of the line of vehicles,” Maier said.

Madison Commons Media Digest, April 26, 2020


Governor Tony Evers unveils criteria for eventually reopening Wisconsin businesses amid pandemic, Mitchell Schmidt, Wisconsin State Journal, April 21. Updated information from Wisconsin State Journal. Corona Coverage

Meatpacking facilities cited as Wisconsin reports largest 1-day increase of COVID-19 cases, Associated Press, April 26. 30,000 Wisconsinites apply for new pandemic unemployment funding in opening days, Briana Reilly, WSJ, April 25. Flouting stay-at-home order and social distancing, anti-lockdown protesters descend on Wisconsin Capitol, Wisconsin Watch, WPR, Capital Times, April 24; More than 1,500 rally to 'Reopen Wisconsin,' Robert Chappell, Madison365, April 24; Inside the conservative network backing the anti-quarantine protests, Issac Stanley-Becker and Tony Romm, Washington Post, April 22.

Golf courses reopen — cautiously

Gov. Tony Evers extended the Wisconsin stay-at-home order until May 26, with regulations loosening for some non-essential businesses. Along with arts and crafts stores, libraries and lawn cares services, public and private golf courses reopened starting at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 24. Reporter Kylie Compe spoke with one local golf pro about the precautions being taken.

Despite closures, schools continue to keep communities connected

As COVID-19 continues to change the lives of those across Madison, the importance of local school systems has risen through the ways they have strived to support local families.

“It has completely changed the lives of every person I know.” Michele Ritt, a Special Needs teacher with the Madison Metropolitan School District who was recently re-elected as County Supervisor for Dane County’s 18th District, said.

Willy Street Co-op’s business model paying dividends for community during difficult time

If you have lived in Madison for any substantial period of time, you have likely wandered among the produce-lined and organically-stuffed aisles of Willy Street Co-op. With three locations across Madison, the customer-owned grocery store has been filling the carts (and bellies) of locals since 1974. 

Three-plus generations of success unfortunately don’t protect businesses like the co-op against a global pandemic, though. The upside of having ownership split among 35,000 individuals in this time, however, is reactivity. 

“Because we are owned by people right here in our community, it plays an important role in our decision making process,” said Communications Director Brendon Smith. “We can be responsive to community needs in a way that chain stores cannot.”

Racism a concern for Chinese students amid COVID-19 pandemic

Tao Zhou is one of thousands among the UW-Madison Class of 2020 whose college years were cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. For many seniors, the abrupt ending to college has been anything but easy. But for students like Zhou, it has sparked a whole new outlook on life. 

“I started to feel the gaze when I was walking on the street, probably around February, when the U.S. started to first see cases of the coronavirus.” 

Zhou, an international student from Beijing, China, has been studying economics and photography at the University of Wisconsin - Madison for the past four years. Following the first break of news around COVID-19 in February, Zhou started noticing a major increase in acts of racism around her. After spotting graffiti on UW- Madison campus reading, “It’s from China, #chinesevirus” Zhou shared a picture of the chalked words on her Instagram page.

Madison Commons Media Digest, April 19, 2020

Top Stories

Governor Evers's extension of 'safer at home' order through May eases some restrictions, Abigail Becker, Capital Times, April 17; Governor Evers closes Wisconsin schools for remainder of school year, Scott Girard, CT, April 16. Wisconsin businesses still waiting on help as federal program runs dry, Chris Hubbuch, WSJ, April 17. Air Force picks Truax for F-35, Stephen Elbow, CT, April 16; Rolling protests of F-35s coming to Madison 'amplifies voices' around State Capitol, Howard Hardee, WSJ, April 19. State may have seen COVID-19 peak without big surge, but officials say risk remains, David Wahlberg, WSJ, April 15. Madison School District will reopen superintendent search in May, Scott Girard, CT, April 14.

Madison Commons Media Digest, April 12, 2020

The Digest continues its summary of essential coronavirus news.  Editorial note: in general, we will drop multiple references to coronavirus, COVID-19, or pandemic from headlines.  Ongoing sources for information have been moved to end. Headlines

Madison, Dane County look to challenging budgets as coronavirus wreaks economic toll, Abigail Becker, Capital Times, April 12. COVID-19 testing capacity growing in Wisconsin, but some patients still can't get tested, David Walberg and Kelly Meyerhofer, WSJ, April 11.