River Food Pantry soldiers on with curbside lunch, mobile delivery

When the River Food Pantry’s MUNCH program was initially threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, a staff cook took it upon himself to not only continue serving the typical nine neighborhoods on Madison’s north side, but also to depart from the typical PB&J or turkey sandwich option.

Evers orders all schools closed March 18 – April 6

Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order mandating the statewide closure of all K-12 schools, public and private, as part of the state’s efforts to respond to and contain the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, according to a press release.

Friends of Hoyt Park maintain, improve community gathering place while creating lasting relationships

Community interest and engagement in Hoyt Park has been integral to the park’s restoration and upkeep. The City of Madison gained property rights to the park in 1890, and at the time, the 24 acres of land was stone quarry, according to the City of Madison Parks Division’s website. Operations in the stone quarry ended in 1933, and the park began to be developed during the Great Depression when programs like the Works Progress Administration and Civil Works Administration employed workers to improve different areas of the land. 

Vilas Park Master Plan looks to address water quality, pedestrian access

Implementation of the Vilas Park Master Plan is underway as the Vilas Neighborhood Association (VNA) attempts to decrease algae blooms in Lake Wingra and improve issues with pedestrian safety in the park by fall 2020.

Throughout the process of the redesign, which began in late 2018, the Vilas Neighborhood Association asked for input from community members in the pursuit of an improved park area. The Association received two common themes in responses — increase pedestrian safety and improve the quality and health of Lake Wingra.

Massive solar project could change the landscape in rural Dane County

An international renewable energy company’s interest in starting a solar energy project in small-town Vienna, just north of Madison, is causing conflicts between neighbors and within families as farmers decide whether to lease their land to the project. 

The first mention of the project entering the area occurred in February 2019, and tensions are rising as farmers are taking opposing stances. In January 2020, residents of Vienna put together a petition requesting that the town board hold an informative meeting with Invenergy, the solar company, explaining the Great Dane solar farm project.  

Madison AirBNB hosts could face more regulation, fees

City officials and local AirBNB operators are struggling to find common ground amid recently proposed revisions to Madison’s Tourist Rooming House ordinance. The proposed revisions, sponsored by Alders Arvina Martin, Shiva Bidar, Patrick Heck and Marsha Rummel, include increased permit costs and new documentation requirements for hosts. The proposal has stirred conversations within the past few weeks. Officials intend to crack down on illegally-operating rentals to protect legal operators and try to increase neighborhood safety, but over two dozen people registered in opposition to the proposed changes. 

In Wisconsin, rental of a whole or partial residence to visitors for less than a month is legally known as a Tourist Rooming House (TRH). TRH establishments, better known by trade names like AirBNB and VRBO, have a stake in the success of Madison’s tourism, according to Diane Morgenthaler, Executive Vice President of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Buerau.

Pink Tape Looks to “Flock the Vote”

The Flock -- local pro soccer club Forward Madison FC’s rabid fan group -- is launching a new supporter group with a focus on civic engagement. 

Pink Tape 608’s leader, Amanda Hoadley, said the group will primarily focus on voter registration and education, and will hold educational and social events throughout the year. 

Madison Students Look to Launch All-City Black Student Union

Eleven passionate Black MMSD students gathered on Tuesday night at East High School to continue planning for the launch of a city-wide Black Student Union (BSU). 

Two high school seniors have taken the lead on organizing a coalition of BSUs at the city’s four high schools.