Willy Street Blog Hires Assistant Editor Focusing on Youth

Correspondent to highlight youth issues in neighborhooddownload_20141202_124900The Willy Street Blog is elated to announce the hiring of Salah Bradley Guyot (7 lbs 13 oz) as an assistant editor in charge of their new Infant Sustainability Bureau. The announcement was made at a lengthy birth conference at 4:22 p.m. Tuesday November 25, 2014.

Salah has spent the past nine months embedded with the Womb people, reporting on the scourge of small spaces and the corrosive effects of prenatal influence by helicopter parents. For WSB, Salah will cover key issues that infants face including: colostrum shortages, the effectiveness of diaper containment booms and the dangerous subliminal messages in baby rattles.

“While new to the area, Salah’s understanding of our community is in his DNA,” said WSB Editor Fareed Guyot.

WSB Art Director Jamie Guyot was too breathless to comment on Salah’s newsroom appointment, but she is doing fine.

Grampa’s Hopes Eager Pizza Patrons Will Fund Elegant Waiting Room Next Door

$50K kickstarter sought to fund rehabilitation and conversion of 1380 Williamson

1380 Williamson Street is slowly evolving into Gib's, a swanky waiting area for the space-challenged Grampa's Pizzeria next door.

1380 Williamson Street is slowly evolving into Gib’s, a swanky waiting area for the space-challenged Grampa’s Pizzeria next door.

Not even a year after Grampa’s Pizzeria opened they had a problem, a very good problem. Most nights, especially the weekends, there was nary a table to be had. The approximately 45 seat restaurant serves a staple of four to five well thought-out pizza offerings along with inventive sides that change with the seasons or the creative whims of Co-Owner and Executive Chef Gilbert Altschul.

The small location also has its cozy charm but very little space for patrons who are waiting to be seated. Earlier this year Altschul partnered with notable cocktail creator Hastings Cameron and Grampa’s bar manager Josh Swentzel to open Imaginary Bar next door at 1380 Williamson Street to provide a loungey “waiting room” experience for diners.

As the project moved forward the restoration work became quite extensive and pricey causing Altschul to buyout Swentzel and Cameron. The two-story bar has been renamed Gib’s Bar but will retain much of the original intent, however Altschul is energized by the new project including culinary inspiration from such things as salmon in a cone.

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Willy Street Co-op Celebrates 40 Years With Documentary

Grocer sponsoring double-feature focusing on it’s history and U.S. food co-ops

The First Forty is a short (six-minute) video about how Willy Street Co-op grew from six volunteers opening a small grocery store in 1974 to the cornerstone of a vibrant community. Interviews from farmers, community partners, Co-op Board members and staff illustrate forty years of cooperation.
Food For Change is a feature-length documentary film focusing on food co-ops as a force for dynamic social and economic change in American culture. The movie tells the story of the cooperative movement in the U.S. through interviews, rare archival footage, and commentary by the filmmaker and social historians. More information about it is available at http://foodforchange.coop/.
Wednesday, October 22
Barrymore Theater
7pm (doors open at 6pm)
Thursday, October 30
Middleton Performing Arts Center
7pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

MNA Membership Meeting Thursday

Board elections plus Good Neighbor Award, Yahara corridor planning on tap

The MNA Board during a meeting in March 2014.

The MNA Board during a meeting in March 2014.

The Marquette Neighborhood Association (MNA) holds its annual Membership Meeting Thursday October 15, at 6:30 p.m. with an open house at 6 p.m. The gathering, held in the Marquette Elementary School Cafeteria  accomplishes several goals for the year.

It allows members to pay annual dues, vote on new Board members, hear the yearly state of the neighborhood address from the  President and approve the yearly budget. The Board also presents the Good Neighbor Award to two individuals who have made positive impacts on the community.

The Marquette neighborhood runs from Blair street on the west end to Division Street and portion of Dunning on the east. Its northern border is East Washington Avenue and then winds its way toward the lake along First Street and then along Eastwood Drive.

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New Push to Renovate East High Theater

Boosters hope to rally community to pressure district on facility priorities


“The Aud” in the mid-1960s was a much larger venue, but was artificially reduced in both capacity and aesthetic. All photos courtesy: RaiseTheCurtain.org

There is a renewed push to thrust the renovation of East High’s Margaret Williams Theater back into the funding priorities of the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD). Several years ago theater boosters launched an effort to restore a certain amount of grandeur to the auditorium that was completed in 1926, four years after the school was built.

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1018 Williamson Demolition Delayed

Landmarks gives owner a year to sell or tie property to Petinary expansion

1018 Williamson (right) is spared from demolition for now. Owner Mike Kohn who also owns the Petinary (left) wanted to convert the property to greenspace.

1018 Williamson (right) is spared from demolition for now. Owner Mike Kohn, who also owns the Petinary (left), wants to convert the property to greenspace.

When Petinary owner Mike Kohn purchased 1018 Williamson in 1992 it was in sorry shape and he planned to tear it down. A year later the City of Madison Landmarks Commission granted him permission to demolish the property but it never happened.

Now 22 years later, after restarting the process, Kohn will have to wait another year to try for a demolition permit. Landmarks has suspended his application for demolition until next fall, a move that one person close to the process says may be nearly unheard of in Madison.

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Galaxie Groundbreaking Celebrates Robust Planning Process

Enthusiasm reigned at event launching long anticipated Cap East development

Key project proponents prepare to ceremoniously initiate the building of The Galaxie. (l to r) Festival Food CEO Mark Skogen, District Six Alder Marsha Rummel, Patrick Stevens, WI DNR, former District Two Alder Bridget Maniaci, Steven Cover, City of Madison Director of Planning, Community, and Economic Development, District Two Alder Ledell Zellers,  Unidentified child, City Of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, Otto Gebhardt Development President Otto Gebhardt III, Architect Chris Gosch of Bark Design.

/a> Key project proponents prepare to ceremoniously initiate the building of The Galaxie. (l to r) Festival Food CEO Mark Skogen, District Six Alder Marsha Rummel, WI DNR Administrator Patrick Stevens, former District Two Alder Bridget Maniaci, City of Madison Director of Planning, Community, and Economic Development Steven Cover, District Two Alder Ledell Zellers, Unidentified child, City Of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, Gebhardt Development President Otto Gebhardt III, Architect Chris Gosch of Bark Design.

In 2013, Gebhardt development won the chance to start from scratch and transform an entire downtown city block; but there were lots of requirements.

The Tenney-Lapham and Marquette neighborhoods yearned for a full-service grocery store. The City of Madison has been clamboring to jump start redevelopment and create a gleaming gateway to downtown and developers have seen great potential for the area.

Tuesday’s groundbreaking event (September 16) marked the beginning of The Galaxie development that will remake the 800 block of East Washington Avenue. The gathering was infused with a heightened energy level because many of the participants that worked on the planning of the project felt that they had finally gotten it right.

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CommuniTree Vandalized by Cowardly Art Critic(s)

Graffiti mark applied to tree was pathetic attempt at protest


Courtesy: Caffeinated Politics.

The iron tree sculpture that welcomes those traveling eastbound on Williamson to the neighborhood was dedicated Friday (September 12) in a ceremony at Bandung restaurant due to rain.

Named the CommuniTree, the 32-foot tall sculpture stands in the median of Willy street adjacent to Machinery Row and the Gateway Shopping Center.

The tree was erected on August 3, garnering some praise and some comments of disdain; such as describing the tree as akin to a toilet brush, according to the Caffeinated Politics Blog.

In the days before it was dedicated last Friday, someone or several painted a yellow dot on the side of the tree. The dot was likely meant to mimic the City of Madison’s method for identifying trees that need to be removed due to the Emerald Ash Borer.

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Willy Street Fair 2014 Pics & Vids

37th annual Fair bathed in sun and good cheer

The Willy Street Fair, September 14, 2014.

The Willy Street Fair, September 14, 2014.

It was a cloudy start to Sunday but even Mother Nature sensed today was special and the sun emerged as the Willy Street Fair Parade prepared to launch. As it circled through the nine block route in the Marquette neighborhood, the phalanx of fun proved to be one of the largest by way of participants.

Three marching bands at the beginning, middle and end, punctuated appearances by the familiar: stilt walkers, Hoopelation, the circus wheel and the Forward Marching Band; along with new entrants like the Madison Circus Space and the Mustache Beard Wearers Union: Local 608.

Down on Willy Street the thoroughfare filled quickly as temperatures in the middle 60s and possibly a late-afternoon Green Bay Packer kickoff brought people out early. Over 150 vendors filled the curb spaces and the larger presence was notable. The food offerings were diverse and plentiful but the retail booths did not break much new ground.

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The Grand Ceremony of Them All

37th Annual Willy Street Fair to give us one last great summer weekend

Poster by: David Micheal Miller

Poster by: David Micheal Miller

The final festival of the summer is here and just in time as fall stares at us all from off stage. The Willy Street Fair (September 13-14) is this weekend, heralding the end of a great season of celebrations within the neighborhood.

For 37 years we have gathered along several blocks of Williamson to recognize many things; but mostly the spirit of neighborhood togetherness, action and culture. While the event is a fundraiser for both Common Wealth Development and the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, organizer Gary Kallas says the community aspect of the fair has always come first.

“It’s more about community building, it’s more about bringing people together,” said Kallas who is Wil-Mar’s executive director. “I like to think of this as sort of secular spiritualism and it culminates the summer, the Willy Street Fair, with the grand, grand ceremony of em all the Parade on Sunday at 11 a.m.”

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