Ice Cream May Close Jackson Street

Chocolate Shoppe debut bolsters effort to close street for public space initiative

The makings of a public space, spurred on by the opening of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream's new Atwood Avenue location. Courtesy: Marsha Rummel

The makings of a public space, spurred on by the opening of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream’s new Atwood Avenue location. Photo by: Marsha Rummel

By all accounts the opening weekend for Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream’s Atwood Avenue location was a great success. Lines of people were observed in front of the shop no doubt encouraged by a very clever social media post Friday (May 3): “We’re opening our walk up window and serving single cones and dishes at 2302 Atwood Avenue at 12pm today!! And just a hint, if you stop by before 9pm you may not need a wallet…”

By Sunday warm temperatures and sunshine brought out the bicycles and soon every piece of open grass around the store was occupied by ice cream fans. “It was fabulous,” said Josh Connelly, retail and marketing manager for Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream. “The neighborhood welcomed us with open arms to say the least.”

Connelly says that work will begin this week on construction and landscaping of the rear area of the property to transform it into an outdoor dining room with tables, chairs, lighting, and bike racks. For Sixth District Alder Marsha Rummel, the apparent initial success of this business on this corner will bolster her plans to temporarily shut down a section of Jackson Street, between Atwood and Saint Paul Avenue, as part of a national movement called “placemaking.”

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An Inconvenience Store Truth

 Atwood BP station wants to sell beer, neighbors say prior problems not yet solved

BP Gas Station owned by Lake Management, LLC. It was once a Clark station and the corner suffered from crime and drug activity.

BP Gas Station operated by Lake Management, LLC. It was once a Clark station and the corner suffered from crime and drug activity.

City officials are weighing issues of fairness regarding a business owner’s right to sell beer against neighbor’s objections due to a history of problems on the property and a present day problem of public intoxication at a nearby park. The proprietor, Lake Management, LLC., runs the BP Gas Station  at 2801 Atwood Avenue and has managed to have a conditional use restriction regarding alcohol lifted, but faces a tougher road at the Alcohol Licensing Review Committee.

In 2005, it was known as the Clark station and was home to occasional sketchy activity. There were periodic armed robberies, occasional drug activity and other recurring incidents that began to affect the residential properties nearby. Late that year, Murthy Polasa and Kuldip Singh Mavi, of M & J Petroleum, LLC., purchased the property and proposed tearing down the structure and building a new convenience store along with the gas station under the BP Brand.

The new store was a hard sell to the neighborhood, especially to the immediate neighbors. After numerous neighborhood meetings the project was allowed to go forward with promises from Polasa and Mavi of no alcohol sales and that the atmosphere at the property would improve. Judy Olson, the District 6 Alder at the time, lobbied the Plan Commission to place a conditional use restriction on the property that no alcohol sales would be allowed.

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District 6 Candidate Q & A: Marsha Rummel

Three-term incumbent wants to continue forwarding progressive agenda

Madison 6th District Alder Marsha A. Rummel is running for a fourth term on the Madison Common Council.

Madison 6th District Alder Marsha A. Rummel seeks a fourth term on the Madison Common Council.

Marsha A. Rummel has been Alder of Madison’s Sixth District since 2007, and in that time she has seen lots of change.

Before being elected she had been active in the Marquette Neighborhood Association (MNA), serving for a time as President, and was interested in such issues as urban planning and affordable housing.

With a week to go before the election Willy Street Blog talked with Marsha Rummel about city planning, economic development, homelessness, her challenger Scott Thornton, and why she was briefly banned from a restaurant earlier this month.

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EPA Says Kipp is Polluting the Air


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


Atwood-Fair Oaks Intersection to Open 3PM Today

City hopes to open intersection just before afternoon rush

The detours will be over in a matter of hours as the City announced that the intersection will open at 3 p.m. today (July 26, 2012).

Yang Tao, of the City of Madison Traffic Engineering Division, sent out a letter Wednesday to city officials and neighborhood associations to announce that the Atwood-Fair Oaks intersection, that has been closed since June 18, will open at 3 p.m. today, six days ahead of schedule.
Tao writes:
We got quite a few emails/phone calls asking for the status of the project, and I thought giving everyone an update would be a good idea….
…We were able to work with our contractors to get the road work done ahead of schedule, and now City crews are doing their best installing above ground facilities, such as traffic signals, flashing beacons, streetlights, speed board, signing and pavement markings. It looks like they will finish early as well, and should be able to get everything done by early tomorrow afternoon. So instead of originally scheduled opening date of August 1, we are planning onopening the street around 3 PM tomorrow (July 26, Thursday) before peak afternoon traffic hours.
Thanks for everyone’s hard work on the project, and thanks to all residents for the involvement and inputs during the process. We appreciate your patience and sacrifice through the construction for the past few weeks.
Yang Tao, Ph.D., P.E.
City of Madison – Traffic Engineering Division

Atwood-Fair Oaks Intersection to Open Soon

Paving is complete as City expects to open the intersection the week of July 23

With paving finished, the Atwood-Fair Oaks intersection is expected to open the week of July 23, 2012.

In just over a month, construction crews are nearly finished with the complete reconstruction of the intersection of Atwood and Fair Oaks Avenues. In an update posted on the City of Madison website, the intersection was being paved and signs and markings would be installed soon in preparation for an opening the week of July 23.

Indeed by Thursday (July 19) contractors were observed paving the intersection and by Saturday morning the intersection appeared completed, save for lighted traffic signals, signs and pavement markings. So far the project is at least a week ahead of schedule.  Continue reading