Water Utility Proposes Wireless Meter Opt-out

Residents can avoid wireless meter, for a price

An example of a smart meter that measures and transmits electricity usage. Corix will be installing transmitters that will broadcast the reading of your currently installed water meter.

Concern over the new proposed wireless water meters to be installed by Madison Water Utility were aired at a two-hour public meeting Monday (September 24) at which the city department presented an opt-out plan for those who may not want the transmitters in their homes.

Dan Melton, who chairs a Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara Neighborhood Association committee on water issues reports that 22 water customers spoke (60 were registered to speak) about the new radio frequency (RF) transmitters, how installation has gone so far, and an opt out policy the Utility is proposing.

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EPA Says Kipp is Polluting the Air

Courtesy: Eastsidehistory.wordpress.com

Madison Kipp Corporation, already dealing with below ground pollution, is facing new charges from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that its polluting the air.

The EPA says the Kipp is underestimating emissions of pollutants that can cause cancer, birth defects, and liver damage. Kipp is also alleged to have not properly calibrated their monitoring equipment and not maintained proper records.

In a report by NBC 15, Kipp pushed back on the allegations saying that they agency is not properly interpreting the over 3,000 documents they have submitted for review. The two sides will meet in 30 days.

View a NBC 15 video report here


Wrong Track

City to appeal and maybe litigate decision to close isthmus rail crossings

This siding feeds the MG&E coal plant on south Livingston Street. The utility is also opposed to the closing of the rail crossings.

The only people that may be happy about the decision by State Commissioner of Railroads Jeff Plale to close two isthmus rail crossings was Wisconsin & Southern Railroad which operates the tracks, and Union Pacific Railroad which owns them.

For everyone in the City who travels, lives, or works near this 1.06 mile stretch of track, it was a nonsensical decision for Plale to also close Brearly Street after earlier this year Hearing Examiner Douglas S. Wood had recommended only closing Livingston Street.  Continue reading

Willy Street Fair 2012 – Sunday

Fantastic parade kicks off great final day at the Fair

The parade ends with a impromptu street party, the Bubbleman himself, Jim Wildeman can’t help but grin.

I heard it from several people over and over again that the 2012 Willy Street Fair was probably the best in a long time, if not ever. The weather, enthusiasm, and proud traditions combined for a second day as thousands appeared on three blocks of Willy Street to take in music, food, entertainment, and a large amount of vendors.

Almost everyone was raving about the parade, led by the Bubblemobile, that was lively and the probably the largest ever. After the parade had made a lap through the neighborhood it was time for the stretch run down Willy and its traditional finish in the middle of the 900 block; where both parade participants and viewers danced under the balloon banner for an extended period of time.

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Willy Street Fair 2012 – Saturday

You really missed a great Saturday on Willy Street, parade today

As the sun sets the crowd sways to the music of St. Lucia-based Taj Weekes. Photo by: Thomas Balistreri

While its the people that make the Willy Street Fair so great, the weather was a close second. With a temperature near eighty degrees, thousands came to Willy Street on Saturday (September 15) for Day One of the Fair. Food, drink, and music filled the 900 and 1000 blocks of Williamson Street. The Main, Folk, and Electronic stages were in action with day-long line ups.  Continue reading

Its Story Time!

Stories from The Project Lodge Comedy Showcase Storyteller series

The multifaceted Emily Mills talks about the teenage years in Oklahoma, which involved parties in pastures with pickup trucks and punk boys named Adam.

Early one Sunday I noticed a tweet from local Dane101.com writer Emily Mills that she would be appearing at The Project Lodge Comedy Showcase Storyteller show. Immediately my mind thought of The Moth in New York City where incredible stories are often plucked and spun nationally by the radio program This American Life.

Not sure what I was going to hear, I arrived at the venue on East Johnson Street, paid the very reasonable $2 admission and found a seat up front. I left filled with stories about pot-laden midnight drives through Oklahoma, horrifying Burger King experiences, a forgettable mother-daughter trip to Egypt, and a touching narrative about one woman’s first hand job.  Continue reading

Willy Street Fair is Here!

Final summer celebration is this Saturday and Sunday

The Willy Street Fair Parade, circa 1985. An earlier incarnation of Jim Wildeman’s Bubblemobile still retains the iconic bubble smokestacks. The author is pedaling furiously in a homemade pedal car. Courtesy: Richard and Judith Guyot.

It is simply the best neighborhood festival in the City of Madison, and as far as I’m concerned the best festival ever. I’m a little biased having grown up with the Willy Street Fair (September 15-16) in my backyard, but i’m sure all will agree this weekend’s event is the best expression of what it means to live, work, and play in the Marquette neighborhood.

We have arrived at the end of a great summer for festivals in the Marquette neighborhood despite the wish for a little more rain and less heat. The weather for this weekend will be sunny and in the mid-70s which will bring throngs of people to the 900 and 1000 blocks of Williamson Street.

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Two Union Corners Proposals Now on ‘Short List’

Gorman and Livesey plans lead the way

Plans from Livesey Co./Stone House Development along with Gorman & Associates are under final consideration for the Union Corners development.

The City of Madison Union Corners Committee held a public hearing Wednesday evening (Sept 12) on the four remaining proposals for development of the Union Corners site. The committee voted to “short list” two of the proposal from Livesey-Stone House Development and Gorman Associates.

The next step is for city staff to conduct a basic preliminary financial review of each proposal. Following that review the UCC will decide what the next steps will be.

Related: C.D. Smith / EUA Withdraws Union Corners Proposal

Related: Where the Sidewalk Ends


Brearly Street Added to Rail Crossing Closures

State Rail Commissioner says Livingston and Brearly Crossings must close

Wisconsin’s Railroad Commissioner has ordered both Livingston and Brearly Street crossings closed, leaving five crossings between Blair Street and East Washington Avenues.

Wisconsin Railroad Commissioner Jeff Plale has ordered the closing of two rail crossings along the rail corridor on Madison’s Eastside. Wisconsin and Southern Railroad, which operates the tracks owned by Union Pacific Railroad, had petitioned to close Blount, Livingston, and Brearly crossings in 2009 and Plale had ordered Livingston Street closed earlier this year following a hearing.

The City of Madison was exploring its legal options and during a regular Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission in July options were discussed on a response, but so far nothing has been announced.

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Kjell Erik Anderson (1961 – 2012)

Madison East High Aviation educator lived to help others, some into the air

I am very sad to have learned that my friend, Kjell Erik “Da Swede” Anderson, suffered a massive heart attack this morning (September 10, 2012) and passed away, at school here, in Madison. He was 51.

Erik taught Aviation and Band at East High School and Sherman Middle school in Madison, carrying on the proud tradition of educating area youth about aviation.

That was his dream job, but he also taught music in the Milwaukee schools for many years. Regardless of his focus, he always was trying to help young people excel, achieve, succeed, or just survive.

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