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City gears up for leaf collection

The City of Madison Streets Division announced it will be prepping crews for clean-up now that leaves are starting to fall in Madison.

According to a release from the division, street crews will be working 10 hours a day starting Nov. 11 and are expected to work weekends if needed. There will be at least 20 crews cleaning streets all over town.

Residents are being asked to rake leaves to the curb as soon as possible so crews can pick them up.

In addition to fall leaves, crews will also be picking up garden waste and pumpkins as a part of the collection service. Mixed piles of brush and leaves will not be collected.

Residents can also bring leaves, brush and garden waste to the city's drop off sites at:

  • 1501 W. Badger Road
  • 4602 Sycamore Ave.
  • 402 South Point Road

Sites are open every day of the week until 4:30 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Sites will be open until Dec. 8.

State offers safety reminders for daylight saving

State offers safety reminders for daylight saving

It's almost time to spring forward, and Wisconsin officials are using the occasion to remind residents about home safety.

Daylight saving time begins Sunday, when Wisconsinites will set the clocks ahead one hour. Safety officials said the event marks a convenient reminder to do annual checks.

For example:

  • Consider replacing the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
  • If you don't have an emergency kit at home, now's the time to get one
  • If you do have an emergency kit, put fresh batteries in the flashlight and make sure the food, water and first-aid kit are all in good condition

The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs has additional safety tips on its website.

Compost pilot program to expand, turn organic waste into energy

Compost pilot program to expand, turn organic waste into energy

Effort kept 198 tons of garbage from landfill in 2011  

Six-year-old David Lucsay is now an expert at sorting out food waste. Picking up food scraps after dinner, he carries the plate across the kitchen, unlocks an approximately 10 gallon black case, and throws the scraps in.

“One year ago he couldn’t open the case well, but now he can,” said his mother, Amber Lucsay, proud to see his progress. “Now he knows things don’t all go into one bin.”

The city’s organic collection pilot program provided the black case to the Lucsay family, and every day after dinner, they throw away their unwanted leftover vegetables, meat, fish, and so on into this bin, dump it into another big black cart, and leave it to the city for a special, weekly curbside collection.

Sweet potato project shoots out of start gate

Sweet potato project shoots out of start gate

A new project is taking root in Madison.

The Sweet Potato Project provides free sweet potatoes for planting on the condition that growers donate half of the resulting produce to a food pantry. 

Meredith Evans McAllister initiated the Madison Sweet Potato Project in late summer of 2012. Project participants, which include Madison farmers, community gardeners and home-growers, will plant their potatoes this June and donate half of the potatoes they grow to local food pantries in September and early October.

Former Kansas City resident McAllister adopted the project from her hometown and helped establish the Sweet Potato Project in the Madison community. 

“I saw this project and thought this is perfect for Madison,” McAllister said.

Soglin plan underway to bring good-for-you grub to low-income families

Soglin plan underway to bring good-for-you grub to low-income families

Mayor says idea stemmed from summer ‘Meet and Eat’

A food truck experiment this summer lead to the mayor establishing a council this fall to continue work bringing affordable healthy food options for low-income families.

At the first meeting of his Madison Food Policy Council on Oct. 24, National Food Day, Mayor Paul Soglin made the opening statements explaining its importance.

“In terms of the farmers’ market, we have one of the best known markets in the world,” Soglin said. “When it comes to food policy, there is this enormous gap. I see that as an opportunity to take us to another level.”

The MFPC is an extension of the Dane County board. It joins the Dane County Food Council and Coalition, but aims more to answer the question of accessibility and affordability than connecting producers to buyers, which is the focus of the county’s council and coalition.

Madison beaches opening for hot weekend

The heat and sunshine are causing Madison beaches to have some pre-season open hours this weekend.

Regional beaches

  • BB Clarke Beach, 835 Spaight St.
  • Olbrich Park Beach, 3527 Atwood Ave
  • Tenney Park Beach, 1414 E. Johnson St.
  • Vilas Park Beach, 702 S. Randall St.

Neighborhood beaches

Mallards Now Selling Local Foods

Mallards Now Selling Local Foods

Warner Park, home of the Madison Mallards, is no stranger to Wisconsin-themed food. On game days, fans can grab everything  from cheese curds to hand-scooped ice cream, and wash it all down with an icy local brew.

But the ballpark will soon be including even more locally sourced foods. Wednesday’s Opening Day game against the Battle Creek Bombers will introduce The Farmer’s Market Sandwich Stand, which boasts the slogan, “100% Local. 100% Ballpark.”

"We challenge ourselves each year to bring something new to the park and we felt like one of the things everyone in Madison connects with in the summer is the farmers' markets," said Director of Food and Beverage, Brian Sather.