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Thursday, January 29, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 34.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


New Madison Public Library director Greg Mickells got his start converting card catalogs into a database

Greg Mickells will take the reins of the Madison Public Library at the beginning of September. Under the terms of his five-year contract, expected to be approved by the Common Council, the new director will make $115,000 a year. Isthmus called Mickells in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he currently works as the assistant library director for Lincoln City Libraries, to learn about what he likes to read and what he thinks is next for libraries. >More
 Feingold says he would have lost to Walker in recall election

Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold broke a lot of progressive hearts when he declined to run in the recall election against Gov. Scott Walker. But even if he had, he says now, the outcome would have been the same. "I wouldn't have won either," he said Wednesday, to gasps from the audience at a talk organized by the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin. >More
 Trees are thirsty too

 Redistricting forces shifts among Dane County Dems running for the Assembly

The new district boundaries recently drawn by Republican lawmakers have generated a brisk game of musical chairs among area Democrats who want to stay in the state Assembly. State Rep. Chris Taylor, for instance, who took over Joe Parisi's seat when he left to run for Dane County executive, no longer lives in what is now District 48, so she is running in District 76. >More
 Citizens pressure Madison Water Utility on well safety

On a warm night in mid-June, a small group of citizens are gathered at a city streets division building for an update on rising levels of the contaminant PCE in Well 15, which supplies much of Madison's east side. They are members of a citizen advisory panel that meets to provide public input on issues affecting Madison's water quality. >More
 Peril in the crosswalk! It's open season on pedestrians in Madison

The Wisconsin law is very specific: "Drivers must yield to pedestrians when crossing a sidewalk or entering an alley or driveway." But on a recent Thursday afternoon at the intersection of Monroe and Harrison streets, pedestrians attempted to cross Monroe 30 times in a half-hour, and 37 motorists did not slow down or stop for them. Nine of the people on foot held one of those little red flags or waved at oncoming cars, and 17 vehicles, including one Madison Metro bus, did not yield for them either. >More
 New Overture Center management nails fundraising goal

Last August, Overture Center spokesman Robert Chappell boldly predicted that the nonprofit organization due to take over the arts facility would have little trouble meeting its first year, $2.36 million fundraising goal. Mayor Paul Soglin, on the other hand, famously predicted that Overture in its new incarnation would "crash and burn." >More
 Wisconsin state government increasingly outsources work to expensive private contractors

A belatedly issued report on the state's hiring of outside contractors is raising fresh questions about the integrity of the process. "It's no wonder that the Department of Administration tried to delay this report as long as possible," state Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) said in a news release. "It shows that the state's reliance on outsourcing to private contractors grew dramatically last year." >More
 Departing Madison schools Superintendent Dan Nerad looks back and forward

The last day for Madison schools Superintendent Dan Nerad will be July 27. Nerad, who led the Madison Metropolitan School District for four years, will be replaced by newly appointed interim superintendent Jane Belmore. In March, Nerad submitted his resignation to the school board and was subsequently offered the job of schools superintendent in Birmingham, Michigan. He will start there in August. Isthmus recently sat down with Nerad to discuss his tenure in Madison and his new post. >More
 Madison residents petition state regulators to halt city's implementation of water 'smart meters'

Thirty-three Madison residents filed a petition Friday with state regulators calling for an investigation of Madison's plans to install wireless water meter systems in city properties over the next two years. Next week, the Madison Water Utility is set to begin installing the first of 67,000 new "smart meters" in every home and business, part of the $13 million Project H2Othat will span two years. >More
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