It was a busy week, and a long weekend with both family and county events. For that reason, this week I will only include a summary of the week to start, and will add the "in other news" section within in the week.
I am still pursuing action on the Dark Store Loophole legislation. Re-inspired by Representative Shankland, AD71. I have been learning from Supervisors Kolar and Nelson, Board Chair Corrigan, about what the county has done. If you're new to the loophole is new to you, in a nutshell: Big box stores are refusing to pay their fair share of taxes which means home owners and small businesses will have to pick up the slack or lose access to important services. The legislature is in a position to close the 'Dark store' loophole which allows national chains to pay property taxes equivalent to that of an empty store.
On March 27, 2017 the County Executive signed a County Board approved resolution urging the governor and state legislature to close the loophole.
The Dane County Board is considering a countywide referendum that would allow voters to convince state legislators to close the loophole. Brown and Outagamie counties are hoping to put pressure on state legislators by asking residents to vote on the issue.
Several months ago, many concerned residents gathered at the Monona Community Center to express their concerns about the Big Box Stores move to skip out on their taxes. This group is still working to do what it can to move the message forward.
Please reach out to let me know how you feel about the Dark Store Loophole.
On Monday, we marched to honor those who have given their lives in defending the country. We were joined by friends who helped us connect with residents in the parade. Following the parade we joined the celebration at Immaculate Heart of Mary Backyard Bash.
On Tuesday, I was able to attend an informative session on the importance of apprenticeship programs, like those in Germany.
Wednesday was packed with the Moxie Conference during the day, an event that the Dane County Board was a sponsor. I ran into many friends there and reflected on the importance of all inclusive workplaces.
Wednesday evening, I attended the MG21 Graduation where I heard stories from incredible students who have overcome what they believed at one time to be insurmountable obstacles. I left feeling deeply inspired from these young people.
Congratulations to all Monona Grove students who celebrated graduation today, and to La Follette students who will celebrate this coming Friday.
At Bridge LakePoint Waunona we celebrated the conclusion of the school year as the staff prepares for the summer sessions with the annual picnic.
One of the cutest graduations around! The Los Niños Primero participants graduated this week. The Los Niños Primero program provides Latino children ages 3 to 5 with developmentally and culturally appropriate preparation for 4K/Kindergarten and long-term academic success with quality, research-based early childhood education and family support. Parents are active participants in the program helping their children gain preparedness for academic success.
Hats off to all of the organizers of the Dane County Parks Unite Festival. The event celebrated the connection, via a footbridge, of two parks, one in Madison and one in McFarland. There were pontoon boat rides, science fun, tree climbing, good food, circus training, hula-hooping, disc golf, mural painting and more! We spent hours exploring all of the activities -- the event was such a success in bringing people together. I ran into several friends, and neighbors—some people I hadn't seen in years! I hope you were able to make it out.
This morning I joined Monona Mayor O'Connor at the Monona Farmers' Market for office hours where we chatted with residents all morning. It was a beautiful morning to be outside hearing about what matters most to residents of Monona/east Madison.
As a family we took in a lot of soccer this weekend, a cello recital, swim team practice started, and we joined family in Oxford WI for a get together. A full week, indeed!
In less important news, if we meet around town, I did chop off 13 inches of hair. It will be making its way to Locks of Love along with donations from my two girls. I've caught some people off-guard this weekend when I've been out and about -- if we meet, yep, it's me with a little less hair!
In other news...
- As opioid deaths persist, Madison addresses challenge at town hall meeting, Wisconsin State Journal, June 1
- Sudden rise in pollen exposure catches allergy sufferers by surprise, Channel3000, June 1 (featuring Supervisor Kilmer)
- Read to children at an early age, McFarland Thistle, June 1
- Parks & Trails Unite Festival comes to Madison and McFarland for the first time, Wisconsin State Journal, June 1
- Nighttime animals, creepy-crawlies and searching for wildlife: 5 things to do with kids this June, Journal Sentinel, June 1
- Dane County union members strike against AT&T, Channel3000, May 31
- Deer on the move; can pose dangers to drivers, motorcyclists, Wisconsin State Journal, May 31
- Dane County to cap landfill, create prairie for bees, NBC15, May 30
- County to begin clearing Dorn Creek bed, Waunakee Tribune, May 30
- 3 Dane County students compete to make it to National Spelling Bee Finals, Channel3000, May 30
- Fallen soldiers from America's wars honored at Memorial Day ceremonies across Dane County, Wisconsin State Journal, May 29
- Dane County Executive Joe Parisi: County's taking a comprehensive approach to opioid recovery, The Cap Times, May 29
- Inmate trapped in cell at Dane County Jail; third incident in two years, Wisconsin State Journal, May 29
- Wisconsin Obamacare helpers seek local money to offset federal funding decline, Wisconsin State Journal, May 29
- City to host town hall on addiction, hope and recovery, The Cap Times, May 29
- WATCH: Video essay on Wisconsin's longest running Memorial Day Parade in Monona, NBC15, May 28
What's coming this week?
- AEC Planning Processes Informational Meeting for Area Neighbors, Wednesday, June 6
- Tour of Planned Parenthood
- Dane County Board Meeting, Thursday, June 7