Dry temperate weather on tap for final festival of the season
The Willy Street Fair is this weekend, September 19-20 2015.
It has been a fantastic summer for neighborhood celebrations in Willyland. Waterfront, La Fête de Marquette, Orton were solid as ever along with some sophomores like Yum Yum Fest and Central Park Sessions. Creating addition buzz was Africa Fest and the opening of the new Goodman Skate Park in Central Park.
Our new park on Wilson street is really coming into it’s own, but it’s appropriate to bring the fun back to Willy Street for one last weekend of summer fun, music, food and celebration of our great neighborhood.
We have had some challenges this year too. The death of Tony Robinson only a half-block from where this year’s fair will take place has highlighted the work both police our city have to do to be more inclusive to our minority communities. Yes even the open arms of the Marquette neighborhood still has some things to learn.
Our funky neighborhood is also dealing with other crime such as the terrible sexual assault last weekend on the Capitol City Trail bike path and questions of how development should proceed along this street that still has many residential buildings.
Twenty-six multi-family units will top commercial space and underground parking
A four-story mixed-use building is proposed for this site currently occupied by a single family home.
A developer tied to the property currently occupied by Plan B nightclub is proposing a redevelopment of 906 Williamson Street upon which currently resides a single-family home owned my Petinary proprietor Micheal Kohn.
Louis Fortis, owner of the Gateway Mall at west end of Willy, wants to demolish the current structure and replace it with a four-story mixed-use building with 5000 square feet of ground level commercial space and 26 multi-family units on the three floors above. Underground parking would hold 21 spaces for cars.
District Six Alder Marsha Rummel is holding a neighborhood meeting on Thursday February 5, 2015 at 7 p.m. at Wil-Mar Center to discuss the proposal. Rummel said in an email to the Marquette Neighborhood Association listserv that the developer has not submitted an application to the City of Madison until they receive neighborhood input. She says Architect Randy Bruce is designing the building.
Electrical fire causes no injuries, but $10,000 in damage
An electrical fire broke out inside Plan B nightclub Tuesday morning (December 23) around 10:15 a.m. causing $10,000 damage and closed Williamson Street for approximately 30 minutes as Madison Fire Department crews from Fire Station #3 responded to the incident.
Two cleaning women discovered the fire when they entered the building, but initially thought it was smoke from a fog machine since it was located near the dance floor. Concrete contractors working next door on the Madison Sourdough expansion noticed smoke coming through the shared wall and responded with fire extinguishers after the smoke intensified blunting most of the fire’s advance according to MFD Spokeswoman Bernadette Galvez.
“The cause is a electrical fire…the exact source hasn’t been pinpointed,” Galvez said. “If those guys [the concrete workers] didn’t noticed that, that fire would have taken off.”
37th Annual Willy Street Fair to give us one last great summer weekend
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.”
Annual Membership Meeting a chance to celebrate and set priorities
Former MNA President Scott Thornton addresses the 2012 meeting. MNA has seen a resurgence in membership recently and is strong advocate within the city.
In the same month that the Marquette Neighborhood was honored for being one of the greatest places to live in America, partly due to the strong engagement by its residents, a key meeting this week by its association may play a role in the shape of the neighborhood for years to come. The Marquette Neighborhood Association will hold its annual Membership Meeting Thursday October 17, 6 p.m. in the Marquette Elementary School cafeteria.
Most years this meeting is a time for the MNA Board to present an overview of the past year and the one ahead, elect new officers, consider initiatives, collect membership dues, and approve the budget. This year seems to carry special weight as several contentious issues in the areas of development, festivals, and how the Board itself conducts business and fills vacancies have bubbled up among the members.
The jammed packed agenda was deemed so critical that guest speaker Wisconsin State Representative Chris Taylor was asked to move her appearance to the November meeting to accommodate the proceedings.
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.
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 →
Nightclub should get license renewal but still fails at the simple things
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.
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 →
Association active in every corner of life in the Marquette Neighborhood
The MNA Board meets at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center on Thursday April 18, 2013. (L to R: Ralph Kuehn, President Michael Jacob, Anne Walker, Nicole Craig, Bill Scanlon, Treasurer Cheryl Solaris and Joan Frost (foreground). Not pictured but present: Carl Durocher, Tom Boos, Vice-President Chris Lukas and Secretary Mike Soref.
It was a pretty busy night at the Marquette Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Thursday April 18. While decidedly the big news was the MNA letter to the Alcohol Licensing Review Committee regarding Plan B nightclub; quite a bit of ground was covered on many neighborhood initiatives including the naming of a new director of the Orton Park Festival.
Association says nightclub has failed to adequately address noise issues
The Marquette Neighborhood Association voted this week to ask a City of Madison Committee to review the alcohol license of Plan B nightclub at 924 Williamson Street. In a letter approved by the MNA Board on Thursday, April 18, the association wants the City’s Alcohol Licensing Review Committee (ALRC) to separate Plan B’s license for closer scrutiny when the ALRC makes its yearly license renewals in June.
The battle over noise at Plan B has pitted a nightclub which appears to be in compliance with current noise ordinances against neighbors who nightly feel vibrations from the bass portion of the music being played at the club. The owners of Plan B say they have made good faith efforts and spent money to ameliorate the noise issues. The neighbors say that Plan B has only taken minimal steps to solve the problem and refuse to tackle the main culprit: a roof that is susceptible to vibration and is likely transmitting it toward the neighborhood one block away. Continue reading →