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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.

FoodShare Redemption Increases At Madison Farmers' Markets

FoodShare Redemption Increases At Madison Farmers' Markets

After losing farmers’ market access when government food assistance switched from paper to plastic forms of payment, last year Madison electronic FoodShare redemption at farmers’ markets reached its highest dollar amount yet.

No Refuse, Recycling, Large Item Collection On Monday

No Refuse, Recycling, Large Item Collection On Monday

There will be no refuse or recycling collection on Monday, Jan. 16 because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. Residents who normally have their refuse and recycling collected on Monday will have their material collected on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

The Streets Division will be collecting refuse from residents in both the Monday and Tuesday refuse collection districts. It is important that residents have their material out by 7 a.m. 

The Streets Division's offices and self-help drop off sites will also be closed on Monday.

The final round of Christmas tree collection will also start on Tuesday. Residents should have their trees out at the curb for collection by 7 a.m. to insure collection during this final round.

New Business, ScooterCabs, Helps Eliminate Drunk Driving

New Business, ScooterCabs, Helps Eliminate Drunk Driving

ScooterCabs, a local business created by three University of Wisconsin-Madison grads, aims to provide an affordable alternative to taking a taxi home or driving under the influence. 

The service was created as an extra option for patrons that drive out to a bar or restaurant and have a few too many drinks.  The concept is similar to a taxi, except for one fundamental difference; the taxi is now the patron’s own vehicle.  There is no longer a need for patrons to abandon their vehicle at the bar or restaurant to make it home safely.

"With Wisconsin’s high rates of drunk driving, Madison seemed to have a need for this type of service," said owner Justin Sisley, "but even for the majority of people who would make the responsible decision to call a cab, our service provides a much more convenient option for them.  No more waiting around for a friend or cab to take you back to your car in the morning."