Community

Thu
22
Oct
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City Offers Aircraft Noise Study, Rejects Halt to Master Plan

MIDDLETON–The City of Middleton has offered to hire an independent consultant to review aircraft noise at one location in the Town of Middleton and two locations in the city.

The offer came in an Oct. 14 response by City Administrator Mike Davis to the Aug. 20 joint meeting with the Common Council and the Towns of Middleton and Springfield in which the towns brought up airport and planning issues.

The town would get to choose the time and location of the noise monitoring in the town, and the city locations, Middleton Hills and downtown Middleton, would be monitored on the same day for a comparison, according to Davis’ letter.

On Friday, the city Planning Department asked residents to share their personal observations of aircraft 
“flight tracks” by Oct. 30 to help consultants Mead & Hunt develop aircraft noise contours to be included in an airport master plan being drafted.

Thu
22
Oct
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Board Member Defend Virtual Learning Votes

MIDDLETON–Middleton Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) board members Bob Hesselbein and Minza Karim are at the center of a recall election petition based on their votes to keep the district in an all virtual learning model. The petition is being circulated by parents in the district calling themselves Parents for Change.

Hesselbein and Karim both said they stand by their decisions to vote for virtual classes. 

“I voted for virtual learning because I am seeing the science,” said Karim, whose husband is a physician at UW Hospital.

She said his number of shifts had increased as patients increase and reminded that the state just opened an Alternate Care Facility in West Allis to accommodate overflow. 

“It’s not the time to reopen,” she stated.

Thu
22
Oct
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Group Petitioning for School Board Recall Election

MIDDLETON–A group of Middleton Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) parents registered a committee to recall school board members Bob Hesselbein and Minza Karim on Oct. 8. Hesselbein and Karim are two of the five board members who voted to continue virtual learning at the board’s regular meeting on Sept. 28.

One of the group’s organizers, Angela Rachidi, said the committee has nearly 300 members, and 575 signatures as of the past weekend.

“We are distributing the recall petition signature sheets to this network and asking them to obtain signatures from qualified electors in their neighborhoods and networks. We also have a team of people in each school district area planning signature drives in public spaces. The response so far has been overwhelming,” she said.

She added that there are those involved with the committee that are willing to step up and run if the petition receives enough signatures.

Thu
08
Oct
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Erpenbach Discusses COVID-19 Response at Hub Meeting

MIDDLETON–Sen. Jon Erpenbach joined the Middleton Good Neighbor Hub virtual meeting on Oct. 2, and answered questions concerning the state’s COVID-19 response.

He told local community leaders that he understands the frustration Wisconsinites feel regarding response to the pandemic, particularly at the local and county level as county have been left to deal with the pandemic themselves due to lack of state guidance, or lawsuits rejecting safety measures put in place by Gov. Tony Evers.

The most recent suit was filed the same day as the Hub meeting, and stives to end the most recent statewide mask mandate put in place by Evers in September. Erpenbach said Republican legislators were successful in overturning the governor’s first order.

“It’s chaotic,” Erpenbach said of the legal actions.

Thu
08
Oct
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Non-Profits Look for Ways to Fundraise During Pandemic

MIDDLETON–This fall, nonprofit organizations are remembering the times “before COVID-19” with a bit of sadness. How they are able to serve and reach out to the community has changed dramatically since February, and while some are receiving the support they need from the community, others are struggling to make themselves known without large fundraisers and in-person events.

Sixty percent of nonprofits nationwide are expecting significant decreases in their ability to fundraise this year as a result of COVID-19, according to the Stanford Social Innovation Podcast recorded on July 15, entitled “The Current and Potential Impact of COVID-19 on Nonprofits.”

In the Times-Tribune reading area some nonprofits are struggling to scrape together the funds to keep running. Fundraising is critical to their efforts and requires community investment.

Middleton Outreach Ministry

Thu
08
Oct
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Residents View Airport on Wrong Path

MIDDLETON–Opponents of expanding Middleton Municipal Airport-Morey Field cautioned city planners not to use the updating of the Comprehensive Plan to facilitate changing the airport’s role as serving recreational pilots to encouraging commercial aviation.

The Airport Commission first reviewed the Transportation Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan at their September meeting. Last week, Abby Attoun, director of Planning and Community Development, sought feedback from the commission on the transportation chapter.

Protecting the airspace and approach corridors from future encroachment was mentioned by Commission Chair John Hallick and Airport Manager Richard Morey.

“We need a policy to protect airspace and approach corridors that goes beyond transmission lines,” said Hallick. “If we have powers that prevent penetration of our airspace we should use them.”

Thu
24
Sep
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Dane County Cuts Ribbon on Technology that Turns Manure into Drinkable Water

TOWN OF SPRINGFIELD–On Sept. 15, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi joined representatives from AQUA Innovations and GL Dairy Biogas LLC, along with three local dairy producers to cut the ribbon on cutting-edge technology that turns cow manure from area farms into drinkable water. This community nutrient concentration system (NCS) is believed to be the first in the United States and is part of Dane County’s ongoing effort to clean up area lakes and expand its renewable natural gas network among local farms.

Fri
18
Sep
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Town Moves Ahead on Boundary Mediation

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–The Middleton Town Board took another step last week in seeking a mediated boundary plan with the City of Middleton.

In June, the board passed a resolution informing the state Department of Administration (DOA) that it wanted to work with the city on a cooperative boundary plan. That gave the city 60 days to pass a similar resolution but the time period lapsed last month without the city acting on it.

On Sept. 8, the board passed a resolution asking the DOA to mediate a cooperative plan with the city.

The DOA will contact the two municipalities to see if they will begin mediation of a boundary plan, but neither party is obligated to join, attorney Michael Lawton told the board.

If the city doesn’t participate, the town can delay any annexations for up to 270 days, Lawton said.

“There’s some incentive for them to participate in mediation but we’ll see,” he said.

Fri
18
Sep
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City Works to Revise Racially Restrictive Covenant Language in Subdivision

MIDDLETON–Imagine receiving the deed for a home you purchased only to discover racist language prohibiting non-Caucasian individuals from living there. That’s what happened when Middleton Library employee Sarah Hartman and her husband received their home deed in the Park Lawn Subdivision in the City of Middleton, the couple’s first home, which they still own but do not live in.

That was in 2006, and Hartman said that although she and her husband were mortified by the covenant language, they did not speak out at the time. “We were reading through, laughing about the rules saying you can't build an outhouse or make ‘intoxicating liquors,’ then we got to the whites only clause and it wasn't an entertaining old document anymore. I wish we had done something about it back then,” Hartman recalled and said the recent focus on racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s death made her speak out. 

Fri
18
Sep
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Plan Commission Approves Auto Vault Concept

MIDDLETON–The City of Middleton Plan Commission granted concept approval for a proposed mixed-use office and retail building on Airport Road west of the HWY 12. The plan commission also approved a few minor changes to building plans currently planned or under construction and reviewed the city’s involvement in the Capital Area Regional Plan Commission’s Development Framework for the Capital Region at its Sept. 8 meeting.

The Auto Vault project proposed by Jeff Parisi of Parisi Construction at 7913 Airport Rd. ties into the existing area intended for office, light retail and car storage. The developer indicated they are seeking a tenant for automotive use. 

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