State Street murals draw mixed reactions

After the Madison Black Lives Matter protests, I made a point to see the murals along State Street. For me, this artwork raised new questions to consider, community issues to understand, and social concerns to contemplate.

What it’s like to be tested for coronavirus

With the continually rising cases of coronavirus infection in the greater Madison area, testing for the pandemic responsible for nearly 140,000 deaths in the US has become a regular occurrence for many. At least for me. Nasal swabs which determine the presence of the virus are currently being done by the National Guard at the Alliant Energy Center and promised until at least August 31.

African American Council of Churches leads thousands in Black Lives Matter Solidarity march

On day number seven of protests in Madison, thousands turned out in representation of the faith community. 

The Black Lives Matter Solidarity march organized by the African American Church Council started at the Bethel Lutheran Church Sunday evening at the intersection of University Avenue and Park Street and ended at the state Capitol. Every nine minutes the group, which stretched for blocks, stopped in recognition of the 8 minutes and 46 seconds in which a white police officer knelt on the neck of George Floyd. Mackenzie Krumme was there.

The Bus Stops Here: For Essential Travel

As of May 17, there are 12,571 positive cases and 453 deaths from COVID-19 in Wisconsin, and 537 and 25 respectively in Dane County. The numbers will be higher tomorrow. Madison Metro's administrative offices are closed to the public but its buses continue to operate.  Buses provide an essential service. Essential travel includes going to work, medical appointments and grocery stores. Passengers enter and exit the bus through the back door, if they’re able.

Chapman concerned for family, community and country during COVID-19 crisis

Kathleen Chapman admitted she is bored under the current stay-at-home order, but she also recognizes the struggles faced by millions of others around the country -- especially people of color and those in single- income households.

“I live in a position of enormous amounts of privilege. My husband's job is secure. My job is secure. Heck, even my daughter's job is secure,” Chapman said. “We are not in a position to worry about whether or not we're going to make our mortgage payments or any of that. My concern is for the people who are going to be more disproportionately affected, and that's going to be people who have always been more vulnerable in our society.”

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.

Finding political identity: How the pandemic changed one UW-Madison student’s primary vote

Dylan Witte can count on one hand the number of times they've brought up politics to their parents. In fact, it was only once, in fourth grade, when they were learning about then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. 

Their father's response was, "Excuse me, what?"

Witte — a nonbinary, queer-identifying UW-Madison junior (who uses they/them pronouns) — thought that was a normal reply. That is until they came to study in the state's politically diverse capital.

Why We Need Medicaid Expansion and Why Opponents Are Wrong

The co-chairs of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee have announced plans to reject Governor Evers’ proposal for Medicaid expansion in the biennial state budget. Their politically motivated decision would result in a loss to the state of $324 million over two years, including needed general operating funds. Not accepting these federal tax dollars would gut much of what the Governor has proposed, including programs in the health, transportation and education budgets which serve all Wisconsin residents. Here are five reasons why Wisconsin should accept the federal funding for Medicaid expansion:

More people will be covered by BadgerCare. The Governor’s proposal would lift the income eligibility ceiling for a single individual from $12,490/year to $17,236/year, expanding BadgerCare eligibility to cover an additional 82,000 more adults.

SSFP: Local Neighborhood Foundation Helps Students Develop Real-Life Skills

The Mellowhood Foundation’s Summer Initiative is a paid summer program in the southwest Madison Meadowood neighborhood that teaches a large age-range of children about independence and real-world responsibilities. The initiative draws on the knowledge students already have from school, while also teaching them skills such as independence and self-determination. Mellowhood student Amaria has learned valuable lessons through the program, such as “working hard, getting good grades, and failing from time to time.”

The initiative focuses on team-building through activities such as gardening and group prayer. Students work together to develop menu plans using the food they grow and are served lunch and dinner. There is also an emphasis on helping students improve in core academic subjects like math, science, and English.

Enter Madison’s Selfie Contest Now

The City of Madison’s Selfie Contest is well under way, but there’s still time to enter. As part of Madison’s Historic Preservation Plan, the city seeks the input of its citizens regarding the places that have shaped the cultural, social, and physical character of the city.  

Residents who wish to enter the contest can do so by taking a picture of themselves in a Madison locale that they believe symbolizes something significant about the city. After snapping the photograph, send an email of their picture to historicpreservation@cityofmadison.com with a short description of the value and significance of the place in the photograph.  

Those selected for the first, second, and third prize will win $100, $50, and $25 respectively in the form of gift cards.