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Fair trade market offers gifts with a story

Fair trade market offers gifts with a story

Holiday Festival sale takes place Saturday

Fair Trade goodies don’t include just coffee and chocolate anymore.

Organizers for Madison's 16th annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival said the gifts that will be available at the event Saturday are unique handicrafts that support a humanitarian cause.

The sale will feature more than 50 vendors with gifts made around the world and locally.

On behalf of the Festival, Rebecca Kendziorski from African Youth Outreach said the goods found at the Fair Trade festival come with a history. Gift givers who buy from the festival can share a story with their holiday presents, Kendziorski 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.

Massive used-book sale to fund library, lecture series

Massive used-book sale to fund library, lecture series

More than 15,000 books up for grabs

A library organization is hosting its annual fall book sale. Book-buyers have more than 15,000 titles to choose from at the Memorial Library in Room 116 through Saturday. Sale organizers said the used book sale is one of the largest in Wisconsin

The Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries sale takes place over four days with its proceeds benefitting a variety of events, special collections and a lecture series.

The annual book-buy event began Wednesday but continues Friday from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m and Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. From 10:30 a.m.-1  p.m. Saturday, shoppers who bring a grocery-sized bag can fill it for $4. From 1:05 p.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, all remaining books are free, the library said.

Book prices are also reduced each day of the sale, but organizers said the books sell quickly.

Commercial kitchen project to make business easier for area chefs

Commercial kitchen project to make business easier for area chefs

MADISON, Wis. - A rich smell of roasting nuts wafts through the air as small business owner Nicole Drives busily prepares for the holiday season.

Drives, now 23, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2011 with a dietetics degree. While coping with uncertainty about what to do next, she went nuts. Literally.

“My grandma has been making a spiced nut confection for over 40 years now, and the past 10 years or so our family has been telling her she should start a business since everyone loves them so much,” Drives said.

Drives acted on the family’s idea and turned years spent in her grandmother’s kitchen into the foundation of a nut business. And in the process she noticed the lack of a commercial community kitchen in Madison for entrepreneurs like herself -- a void that may soon be filled.

Parking rates to climb in Downtown Madison on Monday

Parking rates to climb in Downtown Madison on Monday

The process to change parking rates approved by the Madison Common Council and the Transit and Parking Commission will start on June 4 and will continue for at least a month or two until completed. 

The additional money will be targeted for eventual replacement of three parking garages that are at or near replacement age. In addition to providing new facilities, the proposed rate increases are needed to replace on-street meters, and to repair and maintain current facilities, officials said.

Many rates were left unchanged including: residential parking permit fee, hourly rates at State Street campus, as well as evening and weekend maximums. 

Other rates will increase between 5 to 25 cents per hour. The special event fee will increase from $4 to $5 per event.  Most downtown street meters will be $1.75 per hour. Rates in lots will increase between 5 and 30 cents per hour.

Brush Collection Starts Monday

Brush Collection Starts Monday

The Streets Division will begin brush collection on Monday, April 2nd. Again this year there will be no set schedule for brush collection. Our crews will be using the same collection rotation we use for leaf collection.

Streets Division crews will begin collecting brush in Monday's refuse collection districts. After completing collection in Monday's area, crews will move into the Tuesday districts, then Wednesday's districts, followed by the Thursday and then Friday refuse districts. Upon completion of Friday's refuse district, crews will begin the cycle again in Monday's district. 
The time it takes us to complete a round of collection will vary according to workload and equipment availability. Crews estimated that it will take 3 to 5 weeks per round this year.

Brush collection will continue until mid October. At that time, we will be diverting all of our crews to fall leave collection. 

Brush Collection Guidelines

B-Cycle Expects Even More Success In Second Year Of Service

B-Cycle Expects Even More Success In Second Year Of Service

More than 18,500 B-cylce trips were taken by roughly 6,500 members in Madison in just 200 days of operation last year.

This year, Madison B-cycle expects even better numbers, in part, to the addition of eight new stations.

After debuting in May of 2011 with six stations located on the Isthmus, B-cycle grew to 27 locations across downtown Madison. In just its first year, B-cycle members rode nearly 39,600 miles saving 2,844 gallons of gasoline that kept 103,000 pounds of carbon monoxide from being released into the city’s air, officials said.