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Downtown business, neighbors excited about Rhythm and Booms' move

Downtown business, neighbors excited about Rhythm and Booms' move

John Nolen Drive will shut down, huge crowds will flood downtown, and loud blasts will explode in the same lake Leigh Meier lives near -- and Meier is excited.

"That'd be great," Meier said. "I mean, I'd love it if it was right here on the lake."

The Lakeside Court neighbor usually spends the Fourth of July scoping the lake for a good vantage point. This year, her pontoon can stay docked because Rhythm and Booms is moving to Lake Monona.

After the fireworks show became controversial among neighbors at its former home at Warner Park on the north side, city officials and event organizers decided to move it.

The 1.6-mile-long Independence Day celebration will block John Nolen Drive in both directions. Two lanes will be reserved for fireworks observers, while the other lanes will house food, drinks, and bathrooms, as well as easy access for police patrol.

Zookeepers week is time to thank caregivers

Zookeepers week is time to thank caregivers

It's National Zookeepers Appreciation Week, which runs from July 15-19, and Madison's Henry Vilas Zoo is participating with meet-and-greet sessions throughout the week.

Though it's going to be a hot few days, animal caregivers at Madison's zoo will be out taking care of the many creatures at the downtown facility.

On a warm day like Tuesday with temperatures in the low 90s and heat values in the upper 90s, Henry Vilas zookeeper Beth Peterson said an example of one job responsibility is making sure the animals, which come from a diversity of habitats throughout the world, are cared for and healthy.

"Part of being a zookeeper … is that you really get to know what's normal behavior for them," Petersen said. "Knowing what to pay attention to, to know if they are showing signs of stress, especially in warm weather like this, is a big part of your daily routine."

Fitness-for-kids activity van hits the streets

Fitness-for-kids activity van hits the streets

 A new tool meant to get kids going arrives on four wheels.

The Madison School & Community Recreation department’s FIT2GO Van carries with it activities like hula hoops, a large-scale building block set, ball-tunneling game and more. MSCR, a branch under the Madison Metropolitan School District, offers many recreation programs for all ages.

The van was out Friday afternoon at Leopold Elementary, getting kids moving and having fun.

Kids jumped through hula hoops, built with large-scale blocks and made a ball tunnel course at the launch celebration from 1:30 p.m. on the Leopold playground on Post Road.

MSCR Executive Director Lucy Chaffin said the FIT2GO van takes fitness and movement to neighborhoods in Madison that need a more active approach to youth programming.

“MSCR sees the FIT2GO van as an excellent tool in fighting the national obesity crisis and getting kids in Madison more active”, Chaffin said.

Willy Street Co-op supports FEED with grill benefit funds

Willy Street Co-op supports FEED with grill benefit funds

Willy Street Co-op turned up the grills on June 15 and June 22 in a benefit event for FEED Kitchens.

The cookouts, which took place at the east and then west Willy Street locations, were part of the Grilling for Good events that the Co-op hosts from May through September to benefit local organizations and projects.

On June 15, Willy Street Co-op East served about 125 attendees, according to Willy Street Co-op Event Coordinator Jack Kear. The June 22 event had a strong turnout at at Willy Street Co-op West despite a morning rain storm.

Hospital collects 195 pairs of glasses to send overseas

Hospital collects 195 pairs of glasses to send overseas

One certainly doesn't seem like a number that makes a difference, but when one becomes two and so on, it can be. That's what employees at St. Mary's learned first hand.

Collection bins around the hospital encouraged employees to donate their used or no longer needed eyeglasses.

Last year hospital employees donated around 150 pairs of eyeglasses. This year they increased their donations by 30 percent to a total of 195 pairs.

The Lions Club collected the eyeglasses and took them to the Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center in Rosholt, Wis.

There, the items are cleaned and sorted by prescription strength. The glasses are shipped to developing nations where they will help people who otherwise may not be able to afford or have access to prescription lenses.

Health care facility celebrates solstice with garden stroll

Health care facility celebrates solstice with garden stroll

St. Mary’s Mission Awareness Team and Pastoral Care Department offered a candlelit walk through the hospital's labyrinth last month to celebrate the solstice.

Staff, visitors and patients were invited to take a peaceful, meditative stroll through the labyrinth to reflect and rejuvenate on June 21.

Hospital representatives said lemonade was served and luckily the rain held off until the event was almost over. Before the drops fell several staff and visitors took the opportunity to slow down and reflect.

Madison music legend to receive achievement award

Madison music legend to receive achievement award

Madison-area musicians are applauding one of their own this summer for a lifetime of musical achievement.

Michael Leckrone, University of Wisconsin-Madison marching band director, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award June 23. The Madison Area Music Association will present the award to Leckrone at the Capital Theater at 6 p.m.

Leckrone, in his 44th directing year at UW-Madison, is known as an arranger, composer and performer across the nation, and has been named one of 10 Madison musical legends by Madison Magazine.

Tickets to the event can be purchased at the Overture Center Box Office or online at http://bit.ly/14d0SQK.