Orton Park May Be Seen In Softer, Cooler Light

Reworked electrical projects for the park up for a vote at MNA Thursday

The proposed boring route for a power line to upgrade electrical service to the Orton Park  gazebo. Courtesy: MG&E

The proposed boring route for a power line to upgrade electrical service to the Orton Park gazebo. Courtesy: MG&E

Madison Gas & Electric (MG&E) has significantly reworked two electrical projects it proposed last winter to improve lighting as well as new electrical service to the gazebo in Orton park. Marquette Neighborhood Association President Michael Jacob said park neighbors had objected to the original proposal and because they were not consulted at the outset.

The first project will move the utility light pole 10 feet west (towards Ingersoll Street) and replace it with an LED light that according to the utility will “cast a cooler blue light, giving truer colors compared to the yellow light cast by a high pressure sodium fixture (HPS).” The light is the only illumination in the central portion of the park. 

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Rummel Appeals Rifken Development Approval

Sixth District Alder wants more neighborhood review of design process

The proposed six-story multi-family and commercial development at 702 Williamson. Courtesy: The Rifkin Group, LTD.

The proposed six-story multi-family and commercial development at 702 Williamson. Courtesy: The Rifkin Group, LTD.

City of Madison Alder Marsha Rummel is appealing the Plan Commission’s approval earlier this month for a conditional use permit for a development at 702-706 Williamson Street. The Rifken Group, Ltd., is proposing a six story multi-family development to replace the current one-story building.

In a letter to the Marquette Neighborhood Rummel cited her right as an alder to appeal a Plan Commission ruling within 10 days of a decision. She said the appeal will be introduced August 5 and receive a public hearing before the Madison Common Council on September 2. Rummel is concerned that the neighborhood is being cut out of the design review process.

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Love Mural Brings Plan B Wall Alive

Michael Owen paints a gritty, active, energetic version of his signature piece

Michael Owen's 22nd Baltimore Love Mural adorns the east side of Plan B Nightclub.

Michael Owen’s 22nd Baltimore Love Mural adorns the east side of Plan B Nightclub.

It didn’t take long for Artist Michael Owen to transform the beige, moribund east wall of Plan B nightclub into a vibrant Madison version of his Baltimore Love Mural. It took about two and a half days to finish the work which is only the second version of the mural to have color in the background

Deep blue colors, punctuated by reds dashed on top graffiti-style, fill the street end of the wall before they are abruptly halted by an off white background. In the center the iconic black hands that spell “love” give the viewer a breath and respite.

The blue does not hide for long as it slowly grows from below after the first hand, filling each space before exploding past the “E” hand in a joyful dance of colors toward the end of the building.

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La Fête Makes Triumphant Central Park Return

Masked Ball for adults and kids joins french, cajun and blues music festival

Underground house music DJ Derrick Carter will headline the Masked Ball Saturday at  La Fete de Marquette.

Underground house music DJ Derrick Carter will headline the Masked Ball Saturday at La Fete de Marquette.

La Fête de Marquette, the French-infused neighborhood celebration of music and culture that raises money for the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center is returning to a familiar but much improved place. Central Park was officially opened this year and La Fête will be the first festival to be held after long delayed plans to develop the space as a park were finally realized.

The first two festivals were held to promote the idea of Central Park and were located on the grounds of the current park. For seven years the festival has grown and matured while it dwelled at the corner of Dickinson and Main Streets. This year features a vast and inspired mix of events including one named Big Top, which suggests the return to a larger space is just in time.

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Willy Street Declares Summer of Art

Two Plan B murals and long-awaited Gateway sculpture to debut this month

A version of the Baltimore Love Mural which always features the hands in black. Courtesy: Baltimoreloveproject.com

A version of the Baltimore Love Mural which always features the hands in black. Courtesy: Baltimoreloveproject.com

Symbols of love will begin to grow on the east wall of Plan B nightclub today (July 9) as muralist Michael Owen starts painting a version of his Baltimore Love Mural. The mural features four hands, painted in black, spelling out the word “love” in sign language and is named for the effort to paint 20 walls throughout Baltimore, Maryland.

The project is coming to Madison as part of the Marquette Neighborhood Association’s (MNA) ongoing Arts Initiative which has, along with the City of Madison and other benefactors, sponsored several unique projects known as the Public Art Concept, with a goal of placing art in different forms along Williamson Street.

The initiative, which began with Poetry in Sidewalks, is nearing a crescendo as the Williamson Gateway Sculpture will likely be in place this month. Owen’s mural is the second major mural project in as many years after graffiti artist Panmela Castro’s prodigious piece The Siamese Twins  evolved on the west wall of Willy Street Co-op East over four days in July 2013.

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Garden Fresh Dining

‘Locally grown ingredients’ for some Willy eateries mean the backyard

The extensive garden in the backyard of Grampa's Pizzeria which supplies fresh ingredients for their menu.

The extensive garden in the backyard of Grampa’s Pizzeria which supplies fresh ingredients for their menu.

“Garden Fresh”, the bastardized phrase that appears on just about every menu from fast food joints to high-end restaurants. In recent years there has been a push by local groups such as Dane Buy Local and REAP Food Group and restaurants to use locally grown or produced ingredients like fruits, vegetables and meats.

Some Willy Street restauranteurs are even cutting out that step too by growing their ingredients in their own backyards. Many of the commercial buildings on the street don’t have the space to support gardens, but some places do make it work.

On a small parcel of walkway between the Third Lake Ridge shopping center building and it’s credit union drive-thru is a side door to Bahn Thai where several large pots with green vegetables are growing including a rather precocious basil plant.

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NWS Says Tornado Visited Marquette Neighborhood

Damage wrought by an EF1 twister, ‘hood seeks to repurpose downed Orton trees

This Orton Park oak, stricken by the recent tornado, may soon become a playground for neighborhood kids. Courtesy: Orton Park Natural Play Structure

This Orton Park oak, stricken by the recent tornado, may soon become a playground for neighborhood kids. Courtesy: Orton Park Natural Play Structure

It sounded like a tornado, the damage looked like a tornado and on Friday (June 20) the National Weather Service (NWS) in Milwaukee updated its assessment of the storms of June 16-17 adding the Marquette neighborhood to the list of areas touched by a tornado, rating it an EF1.

The storm impacted an area from B.B. Clarke Beach to Olbrich Park, with the heaviest along a narrow grouping of streets from the Monona lake shore to Wilson Street. The damage matched many descriptions of typical tornado damage where some structures were decimated while other objects only feet away incurred nary a scratch.

In Orton Park a few trees did not survive, including an old oak next to the middle path in the center of the park. But the tree may live on as a unique and rapid effort by neighbors has delayed removal of that tree, designating it for possible conversion into a “natural play structure” for children.

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Near East Side Catches Heavy Damage From Storms

Many trees from lake north to Willy felled, some homes and a business lose roof

A tree felled by wind near Rutledge and Few Streets. Courtesy: @Wongofu

A tree felled by wind near Rutledge and Few Streets. Courtesy: @Wongofu

Strong thunderstorms and possibly a tornado visited Madison just after midnight Tuesday. However as daylight reigned, the destruction that befell our deciduous friends that provide our summer shade has become clear. From B.B. Clarke Beach to Olbrich Park the parallel streets closest to Lake Monona saw some of the grandest and stoutest trees snapped or uprooted, some falling on cars or portions of houses.

Caffeinated Politics blogger Gregory Humphrey has an excellent photo series of the damage in neighborhood after taking a walking tour at sunrise. He observed the canoe rental racks at B.B. Clarke beach plundered by the winds and many of the trees along the shore had fallen.

The heaviest damage was reported in Verona and a small pocket on the east end of Schroeder road near the Vitense Golfland. In those areas so far 23 homes have been damaged; some missing roofs. Madison Metro has busses in Verona and the West Side of Madison providing temporary shelter to some displaced residents.

high winds which were preceded with a roar like I have not heard before–five trees down and close to 15 canoes and such water craft on rental slots are all gone as well as the rental units.” Humphrey said in a posting.

Madtown Printing on south Baldwin also lost its roof. From both media and twitter postings, especially from @wongofu, numerous downed trees and power lines can be found from B.B. Clarke to Oak Ridge Avenue which is the entire residential stretch of northern Lake Monona.

Twitter user @Wongofu reported this  backyard trampoline ended up in Yahara Place Park.

Twitter user @Wongofu reported this backyard trampoline ended up in Yahara Place Park.

Marquette Neighborhood Association President Michael Jacob who is also paramedic with the Blooming Grove Fire Department reported on the MNA listserv before sunrise that city crews were already making good progress clearing the streets.

“…the amount of tree and other natural debris strewn across our streets was nothing short of stunning. Much was reasonably tucked to the side by the time I got back,” Jacob said.

Social media reports, including from Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, showed wind damage in the neighborhood including a traffic light at East Washington Avenue and Ingersoll and a large tree that dragged down power lines in the 1300 block of Jenifer Street behind the Willy Street Co-op.

3rd Annual MNA Community Garage Sale Saturday

10270806_10152143183143507_2022614522738275152_nThe Marquette Neighborhood Association’s 3rd Annual Neighborhood-wide Garage sale is Saturday June 14, 2014. On person’s junk is another person’s treasure and it seems there will be plenty of opportunities to prove this familiar saying. Over 50 addresses in the Marquette neighborhood and spilling over slightly into the Atwood Neighborhood are registered.

MNA will provide printed maps of the sale locations and those with leftover items, the St. Vincent dePaul store will stop by at the end of the sale (approximately 3 p.m.)

This community event is sponsored by the Marquette Neighborhood Association (MNA). If you are not a member please consider joining. MNA will have a table the Waterfront Festival (June 7th and 8th) and Orton Park Festival (August 21st – 24th) – membership is only $5.

More information is at the event facebook page

Gallery: Marquette Waterfront Festival 2014

25th anniversary of festival ends in fine form

MWF2014eDespite a downpour Saturday evening that cut short the set by Lyrics Born, the 2014 Marquette Waterfront Festival was a thrilling success. Strong attendance both days was driven by excellent weather and deft booking by lead organizer Bob Queen who along with Nancy Kathman were honored Saturday “For bringing music to our neighborhood”.

See below for scenes from Sunday at the festival.

Marquette Waterfront Festival 2014

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Park neighbors enjoy the music from the comfort of their own home.
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The legendary bike corral goes on for several hundred feet. Numerically, it was by far the largest form of transportation to the festival.
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Mother Falcon's steel guitarist.
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Throngs of people took in seven hours of music each day. Here Mother Falcon begins their set as the final performance of the festival, Sunday June 8, 2014.
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Mother Falcon launches into their first tune.
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A Mother Falcon violin player
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One of Mother Falcon's lead vocalists.
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.Mother Falcon was founded by cellists and has three players.
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Mother Falcon hails from Austin and began when the band members were in high school.
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Sunday June 8, 2014 was a perfect day for a neighborhood festival and thousands agreed.
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Lead festival organizer Bob Queen announces that the last act of the day is still stuck in Dubuque. Queen and Nancy Kathman received an award Saturday (June 7)from the Marquette Neighborhood Association for "For Bringing the Music to our Neighborhood".
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Mother Falcon's horn section.
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A Mother Falcon violin player.
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A Mother Falcon Accordion player.
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New Orleans Suspects bassist Reggie Scanlan.
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The creative inventors at Sector67 bring by a wheeled contraption that allows transport while engaging in mirth.
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New Orleans Suspects Saxophone player Jeff Watkins
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The crowd sways to the New Orleans Suspects
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New Orleans Suspects drummer "Mean" Willie Green who also hits the skins for the Neville Brothers Band.
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CR Gruver of the New Orleans Suspects
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Thousands packed Yahara Place Park for the 25th Anniversary of the Marquette Waterfront Festival.
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We caught you texting!
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Robbie Fulks.