MNA Stands Behind Red Caboose

Neighborhood association board votes statement of support for license appeal

MNA voted to affirm Red Caboose's importance to the community as the center appeals its license revocation.

MNA voted to affirm Red Caboose’s importance to the community as the center appeals its license revocation.

The Marquette Neighborhood Association Board has voted to issue a statement of support for Red Caboose Day Care Center which is appealing last week’s revocation of its license to operate by the State of Wisconsin. The statement, introduced at last night’s meeting (July 24) by Board member Lynn Lee, is intended to affirm the institutional importance of the child care center in the neighborhood but not pass judgement on specific matters raised by the Department of Children and Families.

“The Marquette Neighborhood Association would like to affirm the special place that Red Caboose Daycare has in our neighborhood and for many in the city of Madison,” the statement begins.

Lee, who serves on the center’s board and his daughter attends the center’s after school program, felt the statement was needed because of the concern among parents over the future of the facility in light of the sudden revocation which he felt was a severe reaction.

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Kids Find Easter Treasure in Orton Park

Over 40 children scour the park for candied delights during 17th annual hunt

Examining their loot after the bing, frantic hunt in Orton Park, April 20, 2014.

Examining their loot after the big, frantic hunt in Orton Park, April 20, 2014.

We could call this the first real day of spring when sunshine, temperatures, and firm soil all collaborated to provide great conditions for the 17th annual Marquette Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt.

Over 40 children and their families gathered mid-morning Sunday (April 20) to share food and race across the park to find plastic eggs filled with all the things kids like in an egg, various forms of candy. Organized this year by Meghan Blake-Horst and Lynn Lee, the gathering harkened back to earlier neighborhood events that were smaller and more organic.

Annette Hansen, one of the egg hunt originators adds a little history event a few weeks after this post was published:

“The Spring egg hunt was started by Karen Lentfer and myself years ago when our children were small, as a celebration of Spring. The kids would design fliers and hand them out to families living near the park and they in turn would share the event with friends. Older kids help the younger children – some years in sunshine, others in rain or snow. It evolved to include a potluck brunch allowing neighbors to get re-acquainted after a long winter. In more recent years, as Karen and my children got older, Georgia Corner’s children helped with drawing and distributing fliers. Now more families with younger children are carrying on what has become an expected tradition.”

This summer’s festivals are still a can’t-miss, but today’s event was just nice, uncomplicated, unamplified, chaotic fun. See the gallery below for images of the hunt.

Marquette Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt 2014

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Participants are made to run in a circle to make sure they are properly warmed up for the hunt.
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A pre-hunt briefing was held with different age groups sent to different areas of the park.
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And they are off!
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A fair bounty secured by this young participant
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Adults were allowed to help as needed.
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This location served up a quandary for several boys. Many tried leaping, throwing twigs, but later was dislodged by an adult.
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Happiness is your friends and a basket full of plastic Easter eggs.
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This boy was fleet of foot...literally.
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The photographer kept a close eye on this egg, but rarely was an egg rescue attempted. However it was eyed often by kids as they passed by.
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Dad leads the way with his egg-tracking ears.
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One girl rests and reflects on her effort this morning.
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Unrestrained joy.
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Having found their eggs, these two girls had moved onto chatting about other things.
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Sorting their loot
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The tools of the trade. Razor, liquids, and the 21st century Easter basket, the bike helmet.
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Food always follows a successful hunt.
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Co-organizer Lynn Lee.

Lapham Kids Retreat to Cargo Coffee Following Suspected Gas Leak

150 kids given refuge during a temporary evacuation of the school

The entire main floor was teeming with 200 Lapham four year-olds and kindergarteners following a temporary evacuation of the nearby school on April 2, 2014.

The entire main floor of Cargo Coffee (seen here during its grand opening) was teeming with an estimated 150 Lapham four year-olds through first graders following a temporary evacuation of the nearby school on April 2, 2014. -File photo

Lapham Elementary School Staff noticed a natural gas smell in the building around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday (April 2) and a precautionary evacuation was ordered. With approximately 250 children in the school, the nearby Salvation Army building did not have enough space to accommodate the entire school population.

Enter Cargo Coffee East, which just opened in February. Co-owner Lynn Lee (with brother Lindsey) said he received a call from the school asking if they could take some of the overflow. Lee’s daughter Addison is a student at the school and he readily invited the students over. The coffee shop is a veritable educational refuge since the entire east wall of the shop features a large mural depicting a map of the world that was created by Lee who is also an artist.

Approximately 150 students and 25 staff (kindergarten, first grade and four year-olds) were sent to the shop and Lee said he had to “hurry over” to move existing customers to the balcony to accommodate the arrivals. The evacuation lasted half an hour, but Lapham Principal Tammy Thompson Kapp said to Lee in an email that the district is considering adding Cargo East to its evacuation plans. Lee says Cargo will have a written policy for employees to follow should the site be needed again.

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Star Bar Ready to Shine

One Barrel and Jade Monkey owners collaborate, open bar in Capitol East District

Star Bar, 756 East Washington Avenue, is on the first floor of The Constellation building.

Star Bar, 756 East Washington Avenue, is on the first floor of The Constellation building.

A new bar opening in the 700 block of East Washington Avenue plans to fuse Madison’s near-East Side industrial heritage with the present-day funky vibe of the Tenney and Marquette neighborhoods.

Star Bar, operated by Peter Gentry and Hawk Sullivan, opens January 16 on the first floor of The Constellation building, part of a slate of first floor retail offerings for the 12-story mixed-used building which opened last year.

Both men grew up in the Marquette neighborhood and hope to create a bar that is accessible to the surrounding neighborhood while also seizing on the rising activity in the Capitol East District. Gentry opened One Barrel Brewing on Atwood Avenue in 2012, while Sullivan is a longtime business owner with three other hospitality establishments in greater Madison.  Continue reading

Cargo Coffee on East Wash to Embark in January

Lynn Lee (standing) works on a portion of the floor at the new Cargo Coffee, located in The Constellation. Lynn and his Brother Lee own the franchise.

Lynn Lee (standing) works on a portion of the floor at the new Cargo Coffee, located in The Constellation. Lynn and his Brother Lee own the franchise.

We dropped by the soon-to-be opened Cargo Coffee on the first floor of The Constellation building on East Washington Avenue to see how the Lee brothers were coming along.

Lyndsey and Lynn Lee, who also own Ground Zero Coffee on Williamson Street have been working for months to transform the space into their second Cargo Coffee location. The space will feature of course coffee, along with some beer and wine offerings, some bakery items, and a drive-thru.

Lyndsey says the store should be open by the middle of January and will feature the same travel theme as their original Park Street location, except the base color inside will be blue.

Dance Like Noone Is Listening

Plan B and neighbors reach agreement to fix noise as ALRC renews license

An early graphic on the side of Plan B which has since been scraped off. If the agreement is approved by all parties a new mural will go up on this wall.

An early graphic on the side of Plan B which has since been scraped off. If the agreement is approved by all parties a new mural will go up on this wall.

In the hours before the Alcohol Licensing Review Committee was to meet to rule on the renewal of Plan B’s license, the nightclub, the Marquette Neighborhood Association and neighbors concerned by noise came to an agreement about how to address the issue collaboratively.

The agreement is independent of any ALRC action, but evolved out of the committee’s directive from last year’s separation hearing for all the parties to continue to work together. Later during the hearing, the ALRC renewed Plan B’s license.

It is unclear if the renewal was a direct result of the announced agreement but City of Madison representatives were closely involved in helping to craft the deal. The agreement is still tentative and the MNA Board will consider whether to endorse at its meeting on Thursday.  Continue reading

Opinion: Plan B Should Try Harder

Nightclub should get license renewal but still fails at the simple things

My location (right) on the night I heard the Plan B hubub. Without trying I was able to clearly hear talking and music from over 200 yards away.

My location (right) on the night I heard the somewhat typical Plan B hubbub. Without trying, I was able to clearly hear talking and music from over 200 yards away. Base image courtesy: Google

In a few days the Alcohol License Review Committee will hold a separate hearing to further examine the renewal of Plan B nightclub’s alcohol license. This is the second straight year the establishment, located at 924 Williamson Street, has received extra scrutiny rather than their license being renewed in a block by the City of Madison.

This blog has looked at the various reasons for the problem surrounding Plan B’s operation, and both the owners of the club and neighbors affected by the noise have legitimate beefs. But it was not until Sunday night, May 26, when I took Plan B co-owner Rico Sabatini up on his challenge to take a late night walk on Jenifer Street, that I concluded that Sabatini and his partner Cory Gresen are not trying hard enough.

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Plan B Alcohol License to Receive Special Hearing

ALRC votes to separate license renewal after MNA request

The City of Madison Alcohol Licensing Review Committee voted Wednesday night (May 22) to separate Plan B Nightclub’s (924 Williamson Street) license renewal and consider it at a special hearing on June 3. The separation was requested by the Marquette Neighborhood Association, in a letter, citing unresolved noise issues since the nightclub opened in 2009.

While the typical nightclub noise has largely been addressed, at least three households on the 900 block of Jenifer Street continue to cite lost sleep from low bass frequency noise emanating from Plan B. Both the club’s owners, and an audio specialist they hired to assess the location, agree bass noise is being transmitted through the roof of the club; housed in an older concrete block building that used to house Star Photo, a commercial photo processing business.  Continue reading