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CONTENTS may/june 2019

publisher Towns & Associates, Inc. PO Box 174 Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 P (608) 356-8757 • F (608) 356-8875

madisonessentials.com editor-in-chief Amy S. Johnson ajohnson@madisonessentials.com

vol. 61

essential arts M.Rose Sweetnam.........................52

business

publication designer

Incorporating Video......................48

Barbara Wilson

community

senior copy editor

Because Madison..........................38 Education......................................40 Fight, Flight, or Breathe.................50

Kyle Jacobson

copy editor Krystle Engh Naab

dining

sales & marketing director

Fresco.............................................10

Amy S. Johnson ajohnson@madisonessentials.com

entertainment

sales & marketing manager

food & beverage

Kelly Hopkins khopkins@madisonessentials.com

graphic designers Jennifer Denman, Crea Stellmacher, Linda Walker

administration

WORT-FM........................................46 Everyone’s A Critic........................56 Outdoor Catering..........................18

home Fresh and Flavorful........................60

landmark Orton Park......................................22

Cathy Bacon, Debora Knutson

nonprofit

contributing writers Sandy Eichel, Jeanne Engle, Cara Erickson, Dave Fidlin, David Gwidt, Kyle Jacobson, Elissa Koppel, Lauri Lee, Krystle Engh Naab, Eric Redding, Lori Scarlett, DVM, Liz Wessel, Joan W. Ziegler

Aldo Leopold Nature Center..........6

pets Cranial Cruciate Ligament Ruptures in Dogs............................44 Pets for Life....................................26

recreation

photographer Eric Tadsen

Paddling Tours and Adventures....14

additional photographs

shopping

ACLU of Wisconsin, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Green Concierge Travel, Kyle Jacobson, Molly Leimontas, Lemongrass Madison Catering, Mad City Chefs, Abbi Middleton, MOD Media Productions, Red Arrow Production, M.Rose Sweetnam, Willy Street Co-op, WORT-FM, ZDA, Inc. (continued)

Hive of Madison.............................34

travel Green Concierge Travel...............30

including

From the Editor................................4 Contest Information......................62 Contest Winners............................62 madisonessentials.com

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Watch for the next issue July/August 2019. Cover photograph— Taken at Apostle Islands. Photographs on page 3: top—Provided by Aldo Leopold Nature Center.

from the editor “Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a shovel.” —Aldo Leopold This quote seems like an appropriate start for multiple reasons. First, I like it. Second, it’s the 25th anniversary of the Aldo Leopold Center, which we talk about in this issue. Third, it’s our Open Air issue. Fourth, it’s springtime in Wisconsin, and many of us are finally ready to spend time in the outdoors! For me, the concept of open air is even more significant because it leads us toward the environment at large. There are many topics that fall into this category, including some that are more controversial, such as global warming, conservation and preservation, clean air and water, national and local parks, wildlife, green energy, and so much more. All are of great importance and impact, requiring thoughtful education and discussion to make and engage others in the decisions that impact our lives now and for generations into the future. What we can experience in our outdoor spaces is dependent on the ecological decisions we make and the resulting initiatives taken. And Wisconsin has always been at the forefront of these initiatives, with historic leaders including Aldo Leopold and John Muir. While we are a nonpolitical, local lifestyle publication, every topic I listed above genuinely affects what our community has to offer. Each has become—to me, inexplicably so—political, but in reality they direct everyone’s quality of life. If we are going to be able to encourage you to go paddling, there has to be a viable waterway in which to do it. If we don’t take care of our rivers and lakes, the conversation is over. So while we’re happy to share many wonderful things you can do that fall under the open air topic, please remember that much of what our state and parks have to offer are dependent upon how we treat them. If you take your family camping, make caring for the campground and park part of your family experience. If we teach the necessity of responsible usage and that we get out of something what we put into it, the stewardship comes naturally. Wishing you wonderful, nature-filled adventures this season. And remember, always leave it better than you found it. #trashtag

middle—Taken at Hive of Madison by Eric Tadsen. bottom— Provided by Lemongrass Madison Catering.

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amy johnson

Photograph provided by Green Concierge Travel


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e ssential nonprofit

Celebrating 25 Years of

ENGAGING, EDUCATING, AND EMPOWERING

Southern Wisconsin Youth BY CARA ERICKSON

WHEN WE SEE LAND AS A COMMUNITY TO WHICH WE BELONG, WE MAY BEGIN TO USE IT WITH LOVE AND RESPECT.

—Aldo Leopold

For the past 25 years, something special has been happening on the 20 acres at Aldo Leopold Nature Center (ALNC) in Monona. It’s magical actually, and it can’t be found in any book or on a website. It has to be experienced and explored. It’s intriguing, beautiful, and awe inspiring all at once. When a child recognizes a groundhog running down the trail into tall prairie grass or watches a monarch butterfly emerge from its chrysalis for the first time, a bond is created—a curiosity sparked. When a family hikes to the pond dock and, using a net from their Trailside Backpack, pulls a squirming tadpole from the water, shared experiences are generated, sparking memories that can last a lifetime.

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ALNC nurtures countless connections every day through environmental education programs that engage; educate; and, in turn, empower south central Wisconsin children, their families, and community members with the numerous benefits that connecting to the natural world provides. These experiences foster admiration and respect for nature and encourage sustainability and stewardship of the land. This year, ALNC is proud to celebrate 25 years of cultivating connections with the natural world. But where did it all begin? What changes have been witnessed by the old oaks and hickories that stand watch over our grounds? How did the reclaimed prairie, pond, and


basswood forest come to be essential teaching tools about our fascinating, ever-changing world? The land has always been special. HoChunk (HoocÄ…k) occupied the Four Lakes (Teejop) area of Dane County for thousands of years. With respect for the land, their ancestors, and future generations, the Ho-Chunk cultivated native vegetation for food, gathered water, and speared fish in the lakes and rivers. We recognize and honor those who have long called this land home and remain part of our community. One hundred years ago, in place of the nature center stood Morningside Tuberculosis Sanitarium. For over 50 years, the grounds served as a healing sanctuary for recovering children and adult patients. When the sanitarium closed in the early 1970s, the L. R. Head Nature Center was established and visited by school groups and members of both the Monona and Madison communities. Over time, the organization evolved into the Sand County Foundation, and in the early 1990s, the foundation decided to sell the property and use the revenue to support its mission. Those who had come to love this land and its wild inhabitants knew the land must be conserved. Many passionate

and forward-thinking Monona residents organized a campaign, and after extensive negotiations, the City of Monona purchased the land with a stipulation that a nature center be located on the site.

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friendly public events, such as Pipers in the Prairie, Fall Fest, and Maple Syrup Fest. With additional program offerings and ever-increasing numbers of visitors, ALNC has needed to expand its facility throughout the years. The converted greenhouse was replaced by the original building in 1997, providing necessary classroom and administrative space. In 2012, with a growing demand for services, ALNC unveiled an 11,000-square-foot addition to add a Climate Education Center, including Science on a Sphere and Blue Marble Immersion Theaters. During negotiations to purchase the property, local leaders were simultaneously working to establish what would become the ALNC. Terry Kelly agreed to be president and, along with Nina Leopold Bradley, Aldo Leopold’s eldest daughter, worked with other local leaders to establish a board of directors. In 1994, ALNC was incorporated as a nonprofit organization. With a generous gift from the charitable

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arm of the Pleasant Company, ALNC began establishing programs that in many ways continue today. Since its humble beginning in a converted greenhouse, the programs and offerings of ALNC have evolved. Over the past two and a half decades, the nature center has grown from serving 4,000 visitors a year in 1994 to over 70,000 in 2018. In addition to expanded summer camp and field trip programs, ALNC offers Vacation Day, Homeschool, Wonder Bugs preschool, and Scouts programs as well as birthday parties; activities and exhibits for walkin visitors; wedding and corporate rentals; and a wide variety of family-

Five years later, following extensive strategic planning, ALNC affirmed its mission in the spirit of Aldo Leopold: to engage and educate current and future generations, empowering them to respect, protect, and enjoy the natural world. In addition to strengthening core programming, the nature center knew that expanding equitable access to both the grounds and programming was imperative for its continued success and relevance in the community. Today, ALNC is expanding access in a variety of ways. In addition to increased scholarship offerings, taking the Wonder Bugs preschool program on the road, enacting inclusive organizational


policies and language, and improving access to hiking trails, ALNC began a remodel in 2018 that will create accessible indoor and outdoor learning labs, providing much-needed classroom space for a variety of programs, including a nature preschool. What truly makes ALNC special, however, is not the building itself, the number of programs offered, or even the beautiful land—it’s the environmental educators who build connections with students and the natural world. It’s the dedicated members and gracious donors who know the importance of places like ALNC and support its environmental education programs and mission. It’s the Leopold legacy and the importance of connecting with and caring for the earth. It’s the pure joy and wonder on a child’s face when she sees the sandhill cranes with their colts or watches a bee collect pollen from a purple coneflower. It’s the desire to learn, to experience, and to preserve this place year after year. Over ALNC’s past 25 years, countless connections have been sparked between children and the natural world— instilling life-long wonder and respect for nature—and all of these connections began with the natural magic that occurs in the prairie, pond, and forests of ALNC. Thanks to our founders, supporters, members, volunteers, staff, and community, ALNC will continue to foster these experiences through discovery, exploration, and learning for the next 25 years and beyond.

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Cara Erickson is the marketing & communications manager at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. Photographs provided by the Aldo Leopold Nature Center.

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essential dining

Fresco

Dining at is an Elevated Experience by Lauri Lee

Madisonians and visitors wishing to enjoy dinner with a side of panoramic views have found it all at Fresco on the top floor of Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA). For 13 years, the wall-to-wall windows of the third-story, 3,000-square-foot rooftop restaurant and lounge have provided diners with a view of downtown Madison, the Capitol, and State Street. And, when weather allows, that view expands with the addition of the MMoCA sculpture garden and the restaurant’s outdoor terrace. At Fresco, it’s not just the restaurant that is elevated, but also the menu. Taking inspiration from its surroundings, the artfully crafted menu is a contemporary twist on classic dishes. From fresh preparation to elegant presentation, delicious small bites, small-plate buffets, 10 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

and plated meals, Fresco’s fine dining is second to none. Wines are selected by the Fresco sommelier to complement the menu. Here, local sourcing means the Dane County Farmers’ Market, which you can see from the restaurant or the rooftop garden. It’s where the chef purchases most of the restaurant’s fresh, seasonal fare. Fresco’s most popular appetizer could be the crispy brussels sprouts, deepfried and tossed in Russian dressing and bacon lardoons. The gnocchi is served with basil pesto and a dollop of fresh burrata, which has a mozzarella look and consistency but has a gooey inside that flows out when you cut it. The restaurant is known for seafood and fish options, flown in six days a week. Seared scallops are almost always featured, and in summer, diner favorites

Roman Style Gnocchi -

king trumpet mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmigiano-Reggiano, fried sage


Bucatini with Butternut Squash Cream - Nueske’s

bacon lardons, fresh burrata, Parmigiano-Reggiano, toasted pepitas

include halibut and mahi mahi. Popular desserts rotate—the milk chocolate beignet, a French New Orleans dessert, is essentially a fried donut ball that is fluffier than a donut with melted milk chocolate in the middle. Other crowdpleasers include pistachio gelato, panna cotta, carrot cake with burnt caramel top, and there’s always a crumble dessert on the menu. For the experiential diner, the only thing better than good food and great presentation is a dining experience to satiate the need for an out-of-theordinary, pleasurable experience. Fresco’s ambiance is a combination of the art of MMoCA, the setting in downtown Madison, and the magnificent view. At night, diners bask in the lighting from the Orpheum Theater signage situated just across the street. Patrons often take pairing to the next level by combining the dining experience with a visit to MMoCA, other downtown museums, and over 300 shopping destinations. Like art that is always evolving and being refined, the restaurant space

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...artfully crafted menu...with a

contemporary twist on classic dishes. receives major revisions. One of the most visible changes will come this fall when the bar moves to the peak of the museum, where the glass walls come to a point. This area of the restaurant is a major draw and provides perhaps the most significant experience for patrons. Those seated at the bar will face out toward State Street instead of the interior of the restaurant. To further capture the view, circle booths will be added to increase visibility and customer experience. These modifications will open up more seating in the main dining room, virtually 12 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

doubling the capacity to just over 80 people. The entire restaurant will have an updated look that also includes new tabletops and contemporary flooring. Since outdoor seating is in high demand during the four months of peak warm weather, the inside of Fresco will now be an extension of the sculpture garden with the addition of a sculpture partially inside the restaurant. The 7,100-square-foot rooftop garden of MMoCA features four sculptures in winter and six in the summer surrounded by a 10 by 20-foot garden,


featuring flowers and an herb garden. The chef uses those herbs in food preparation and for garnishes. Trestles extend up the far wall, and are used to grow hops. This idea came from Meg Mitchell, a Madison installation artist and professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison art department, and the work is a collaboration with the Civic Exchange Society (CES), Art & Sons design group, and Waunakeebased Octopi Brewing. The goal of CES is to find ways for people to meet and interact. The first beer was made and sold out in spring 2018. In summer, they made passion-fruit cider. A party was held at the end of November at Fresco to launch the new black tea porter. Fresco helps with the launches since they are the exclusive on-site caterer for MMoCA, and it helps them promote the beer they have on their menu.

Fresco is 1 of 20 restaurants in the Food Fight Restaurant Group. MMoCA invited them to open the restaurant after the Overture Center for the Arts renovation was completed. They’re also the exclusive caterer for special occasions at Overture through their Catering a Fresco entity. Food Fight restaurants are 50 percent employee owned, and most of the executive team and operation managers are invested in multiple restaurants. Renting Fresco restaurant and the MMoCA sculpture garden or lobby can accommodate large groups. Fresco is a spectacular setting for business meetings, cocktail parties, rehearsal dinners, weddings, and family celebrations. Open seven days a week, they serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktailstyle receptions.

The combination of location and exquisite epicureal creations means guests always leave with a good taste in their mouths. Lauri Lee is a culinary herb guru and food writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. Photographs by Eric Tadsen.

Lauri Lee

FRESCO 227 State Street Madison, WI 53703 (608) 663-7374 frescomadison.com

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essential recreation

Paddling Tours by Liz Wessel Growing up I never really paddled except at summer camp, so when we arrived in Madison in 1987, I did so with little freshwater-paddling experience. Luckily, this didn’t deter paddling-loving friends from inviting my husband and me to join them. While not a paddling expert, but someone in the travel industry who appreciates local adventures and new experiences, I believe paddling is a great way to explore Wisconsin! Take in the Wisconsin River from the viewpoint of a great blue heron or a bald eagle. Explore the entire margins of local lakes or access the hidden paths within a wetland to follow the paths of explorers and early settlers who used the waterways. Some of Wisconsin’s unique geology and landscapes can really only be explored from the water. You might have heard of the Bayfield Peninsula Sea Caves—ice caves in the winter. The caves form when the sandstone layer erodes from wave action undercutting the face of the cliff. Door County also has caves along Lake Michigan’s edge. Cave Point County Park preserves some fine examples of wave-eroded limestone 14 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

and Adventures

caves and features. The caves can only be viewed via kayak or scuba diving. Door County Kayak Tours offers a range of day and multiple-hour paddles to unique natural areas, including Cave Point, their signature guided tour. The tour explores caves, coves, and ancient fossils and includes views of Whitefish Dunes State Park. Other tours explore the bluffs of Door Bluff County Park and the diverse wildlife and ecology of the local estuary. Many of the tours are suitable for beginners, and they offer kayak and paddleboard rentals. Wisconsin’s culture and history can also be explored by water in both Milwaukee and Madison. In Milwaukee, Brew City Kayak offers Milwaukee River tours that cover the unique history and culture of the city. Brew City also offers rentals. Whether paddling with your own boat or a rental, you can explore the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers using the Milwaukee Urban Water Trail. Descriptions and a trail map can be found on the Milwaukee Riverkeeper’s website. The map guides you through 60 miles of paddling, including access

points and amenities, such as restrooms and picnic areas, as well as cultural, historic, and natural landmarks. The trail is a cooperative project between local parks departments and municipalities, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the National Park Service and has been designated a National Recreation Trail. In Dane County, the Yahara Waterways Water Trail Guide provides a guided


pathway through the Yahara River system. The guide book, produced through a cooperative effort, provides in-depth notes on the geology and history in addition to cultural and historic sites and outstanding natural resources along the trail itself. As you explore the area using the Yahara Waterways Water Trail Guide,

you’ll find that the history of Dane County is deeply intertwined with its waterways. The Yahara River watershed along with the other rivers and lakes in the area provide many recreational opportunities. Use your own boat or rent a kayak or paddleboard from

Rutabaga or Madison Boats to get out on these local waterways. If you want to join a group, look for a fullmoon paddle midsummer organized by Brittingham Boats. If you need to build skills, you can join the Madison City Paddlers or sign up for one of many offerings from Madison School & Community Recreation.

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Of course, a few hours on the Wisconsin River represent just the jumping-off point for river-paddling adventures. Because of the ease of access, numerous sandbars, and lack of dams along the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, longer camping trips are a regular part of summer on the river. Wisconsin has over 15,000 lakes and 12,600 rivers and streams, so it would be hard to exhaust all the options with so many bodies of water to choose from as well as different types of experiences. And even if you are a novice like me, you might just get hooked on a new way to explore Wisconsin.

One of the favorite outings during the summer has to be a paddle on the Wisconsin River and sandbar adventures. Paddling a section of the Wisconsin River between Sauk Prairie and Spring Green may not be a solitary or quiet adventure, but you can still see a lot of wildlife and have a thoroughly enjoyable trip. Canoe rental companies drop you on the stretch you

have chosen, and you paddle at your own pace to the designated pick-up point. Pack a picnic, sun hat, towel, swimsuit, and even some water blasters. Just leave any glass containers at home. Inevitably, you will want to explore one of the sandbars, take a swim, and perhaps throw a Frisbee around. And always keep a sharp eye out for resident wildlife.

Liz Wessel is the owner of Green Concierge Travel, which has information for honeymoons and other ecotravel at greenconciergetravel.com. Photographs provided by Green Concierge Travel.

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BREW CITY KAYAK

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DOOR COUNTY KAYAK TOURS

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MADISON BOATS

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MILWAUKEE RIVERKEEPER

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RUTABAGA

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YAHARA WATERWAYS TRAIL

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e ssential food & beverage

Photographs provided by Lemongrass Madison Catering

LEMONGRASS MADISON CATERING

Outdoor CATERING by Dave Fidlin

Let’s face it, in Wisconsin, we need to savor every warm-weathered moment possible. When Mother Nature shines down upon us with favorable temperatures, we need to escape the stuffy trappings we look to for refuge in the winter and soak up the sun. The months ahead will be cause to hold a variety of special events outdoors, including weddings and graduation parties. Across the area, local businesses offering catering services will help plan menus at assorted outdoor events this spring and summer, and each offers their own specialty or niche. LEMONGRASS MADISON CATERING Saren Ouk, owner of Lemongrass Madison Catering, established the business in early 2018, but his experience with food preparation extends back much further. Saren specializes in cooking Cambodian fusion cuisine—a nod to his cultural upbringing and his mother’s influence in food preparation.

18 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Since launching Lemongrass, Saren has provided outdoor catering for such organizations as the Madison Blaze women’s tackle football team. Saren also has shared his love of cooking at disparate events across the area. Among them: the Cinco de Mayo festival in Verona, Taste of Madison, and the Monona Community Festival. As 2019’s outdoor events ramp up, Saren says he has more planned on the horizon, including catering his first wedding.

I do—it’s not a job, it’s a passion. I love to see smiles.” Saren says he also enjoys giving people an opportunity to try some of his Cambodian fusion dishes, some melding his cultural influence with a taste of the Dairyland. The Wisconsin cheese curd tempura is an example of one of Saren’s signature dishes. In addition to the namesake curds, ingredients include a

Mother Nature, of course, can throw a few curveballs in the spring and summer as rain and other unfavorable conditions occur. Saren, however, says he is undaunted by such phenomena. “It’s really more about the experience. You want to make it as enjoyable as possible. And when you’re outdoors, you just see a whole different light on people’s faces.” Regardless of the venue—outdoors or indoors—Saren says he enjoys sharing his love of cooking with others. “What

MAD CITY CHEFS


Photograph provided by Mad City Chefs

MAD CITY CHEFS

lemongrass avocado puree and sweetpickled red onions. “The world is bigger than we know.” MAD CITY CHEFS Ethan Kaercher, executive chef and owner of Mad City Chefs, launched the business in 2012. In the more than halfdecade since its launch, the business has become known for offering what Ethan describes as an affordable luxury—a private chef. The goal, Ethan says, is to offer health-filled, high-quality, chefprepared meals.

Photograph provided by Mad City Chefs

When it comes to catering outdoor events, Ethan says Mad City Chefs has offered up its services at a range of functions. In addition to weddings and graduations, the company’s services have been offered at such affairs as Madison’s annual skydiving event. Mad City Chefs has offered its outdoor catering services at events from as small as 10 people to as large as 200. Ethan says he and his staff are able to maneuver around any challenges that might crop up, and he points to the planning and prep work beforehand as reasons for the ease in the process. “I like to get to know my clients on a personal basis,” Ethan says. “Every

situation and circumstance is different for each event. I really like this work because it’s challenging—it’s good to try to pull off the impossible. There’s

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Photograph provided by Willy Street Co-op

Photograph provided by Willy Street Co-op

WILLY STREET CO-OP

Willy Street’s in Madison.

commissary

kitchen

WILLY STREET CO-OP

In terms of menu items, Mad City Chefs has become known for its farm-to-table cuisine. Ethan says authenticity is at the heart of each dish prepared. “We work with different local farmers.” Regardless of the event, Ethan’s goal is to offer up a delicious, nutritious meal. The company participates in the Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, program, which “shows we’re a true farm-to-table operation,” Ethan says. “We try to be as local as possible with everything we serve.” WILLY STREET CO-OP Longtime Madisonians are likely familiar with Willy Street Co-op, which is in the midst of celebrating its 45th

year in business. The local cooperative has long been known as a grocery option for fresh, local, organic, and natural foods. More recently, Willy Street Co-op has become a destination for catering, including outdoor events. One of Willy Street Co-op’s most visible and recognized signs of outdoor catering is the organization’s annual meeting and party. Five thousand meals are served at the annual event, held each July as a celebration of Willy Street Co-op’s member owners and accomplishments from prior years. Jamie Acocks, kitchen director, whose roles within the cooperative include planning menu items on the hot bar, says Willy Street Co-op launched its catering service more than a decade ago. Meals are prepared at

“We are the go-to place for people looking to have fun, casual, folksy weddings,” Jamie says, adding that the cooperative’s expertise with vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and other types of specialty cuisine are a notable area of focus. “We appeal to lots of different folks, and we think we have something unique to offer.” Willy Street Co-op also has offered up its outdoor catering services at small home parties and has been putting on display its food preparation services by way of the $5 dinner events that have been offered at the northside location.

MAD CITY CHEFS

20 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Photograph provided by Mad City Chefs

nothing better than being of service to somebody who cares.”

In terms of outdoor catering, Willy Street Co-op’s niche has been an extension of its in-store offerings. Staffers have provided services and expertise to a range of different events, including weddings.


In the road ahead, Jamie says Willy Street Co-op plans to continue growing out its catering services, indoors and outdoors. “We are constantly innovating and looking for new ways to grow and expand the business. When it comes to outdoor catering, we are looking to bring it to a whole new level.”

ESSENTIALLY

outdoorsy

our featured restaurant specialties

Dave Fidlin is a freelance writer who has a special affinity for Madison. Dave’s career spans nearly 20 years, and he’s grateful for the opportunity to learn something new each day through his professional pursuits.

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essential landmark

Orton Park by Jeanne Engle When a suggestion is made for a city to convert a cemetery into parkland or open green space, the realization that the process is not an easy one is often quickly reached. Madison, though, can take pride having successfully converted its first cemetery into its first public park. Orton Park, located on Madison’s east side at 1100 Spaight Street in the Third Lake Ridge historic district, was originally a cemetery. The park, which encompasses an entire block, was chosen as Madison’s official cemetery—with 256 burial plots—when the community was formally recognized as a village in 1846. And the park was designated a Madison landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. But before Orton Park became Madison’s village cemetery, it was part of an area that was covered with a dense oak and 22 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

hickory forest. With a considerable amount of underbrush, the block was home to an abundance of quail. Today, oak and hickory trees can still be found in the park. Having a village cemetery was viewed as a welcome advance of civilization. But soon the block became a source of a simmering local scandal. According to the landmark nomination, editorials in the local newspapers complained that pasturing cows were desecrating graves and that the village trustees were too cheap to put up a fence. And University of Wisconsin–Madison students, it seems, even helped themselves to a pauper’s body for a study in anatomy. Recognizing the need for a larger cemetery site, in 1857, one year after Madison became a city, the land that is now Forest Hill Cemetery was purchased

by the city council for that purpose. The cemetery on the east side began to be phased out. The process of turning the village cemetery into a public park was begun by John George Ott in 1875. Ott, an early German-Swiss immigrant to Madison, successful businessman, and entrepreneur, was active in civic affairs. He presented petitions signed by residents in his Sixth Ward to the city council to remove the cemetery. The council approved, and by 1877, all the bodies that could be found were removed from the old village cemetery and reinterred at Forest Hill Cemetery. Bodies were exhumed in the winter and transferred to Forest Hill on bobsleds. But what to do with the land that had been occupied by the cemetery? Several ideas were advanced, including turning


the land into a beer garden or opening it up to more residential development. Once more, Ott jumped into action and raised funds in 1879 to convert the land into a free public park. The money was used to transform the unsightly piece of ground. Two years later, the city council appropriated funds to plant grass and put a fence around the park. In 1883, the Council formally named the park after Harlow S. Orton, a former Madison mayor and a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice at the time. A suggestion that the park, or a section of it, be used for a Franciscan Sisters’ hospital prompted neighbors to finish what had been started by Ott eight years before. In May of 1887, a raking bee was held to clean up the park. A committee was appointed to supervise work on the park and to raise money. As stated in the landmark nomination, “Everybody was

asked to give to the Sixth Ward ‘honor roll,’ and all who did were divided into ‘big hearts, the mediums, the small hearts, the dodgers, and the skin flints.’ Twenty iron setees were donated and set along newly laid out walks; a two-story, 18-foot, octagonal bandstand took shape in the center of the park; and gas lamps were added.” A band concert and speeches were part of the festivities when Orton Park was officially opened on July 29, 1887. The Wisconsin State Journal editorialized, “If the entire community had the snap and enterprise of some of the Sixth Warders, Madison would be a booming city.” Later, the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive, under the leadership of John M. Olin, took up the cause of creating public parks at the turn of the 20th century. By the time the City Board of Park Commissioners was formed in

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attractive neighborhood parks. The park served as a focal point for neighborhood social life. Regular band concerts were held in the 1880s and early 1890s. At the turn of the 20th century, the Ladies Aid of Pilgrim Church (now the WilMar Center) often held ice cream socials on the lawn. A small farmers’ market operated in the 1970s.

1911, three more city parks had been created by citizen activism. Orton Park sits in an area surrounded by a variety of building types, including churches, tiny cottages, imposing mansions, and a railroad depot. Some of the mansions around the park were designed by Claude and Starck and by Gordon and Paunack, noteworthy Madison architectural firms operating at

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the turn of the 20th century. According to the Madison landmark nomination, these homes complement the park, and their placement around the open park gives a Midwestern version of the New England “green” and the Spanish “plaza.” When Life magazine featured Madison as an ideal city in 1948, Orton Park was cited as one of the country’s most

Today, the park continues to serve the neighborhood. The Orton Park Festival, sponsored by the Marquette Neighborhood Association (MNA), will celebrate its 54th year August 22 to 25. As one of the country’s longest-running outdoor festivals, this event is known for great music, an array of vendors from local restaurants and businesses, kids’ games, an elegant jazz brunch, a quirky auction, and trapeze artists performing under one of the park’s splendid oak trees. What began as eight families getting together in the park the weekend before school started for a costume contest and cake walk, among other activities, has turned into a multiday community

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event. Thirty years ago, the MNA took over the production of the Orton Park Festival and today raises $70,000 from the festival. “All the proceeds go back into the community,” says MNA President Lynn Lee. “We support food pantries, the Eastside Express day camp, and scholarships for neighborhood students. “There are many music festivals in the area, but the defining factor about the Orton Park Festival is its flavor. It’s all about neighborhood, community, and family,” says Lynn. “In addition to the Orton Park Festival, MNA also sponsors the Waterfront Festival, scheduled for June 8 to 9, at Yahara Place Park. It’s another family-friendly event with a distinct local focus.” Now that spring is here, the time is right to get out into the open air and experience Madison’s earliest neighborhood park. Jeanne Engle is a freelance writer.

Photograph by MOD Media Productions

Photographs by Molly Leimontas.

Jeanne Engle

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essential pets Photograph by Kyle Jacobson

Pets by Kyle Jacobson

Improving the health of a community isn’t always a black-and-white endeavor. Some initiatives require a thoughtful look at the benefits weighed against the resources on hand. Others might come with negative baggage to consider. So when the rare opportunity comes to take part in something that boosts people, animals, and the environment in tandem with no adverse side effects, extra effort taken by those involved to make it sustainable must be matched by the community in awareness and support if it is to survive. Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) has found such a gem in their year-old program, Pets for Life.

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for Life

Abbi Middleton, CVT and Pets for Life program coordinator for DCHS, explains the platform. “Thanks to a grant through the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), we provide free wellness care, spay and neuter, support services, pet supplies, and information—resources to help keep pets in their home.” Oh, one more detail: Pets for Life focuses heavily on home visits, bringing pet care to the homes of its clients. Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Intern at DCHS, Bridget Holck, DVM, says, “People and animals tend to be more comfortable in their own surroundings, so for us to be able to come to them provides a little bit less stress for the whole visit.”

I went on a ride along with Abbi and Dr. Holck to see how the program affects those living in the 53713 zip code, the only place Pets for Life is currently available in Madison. Abbi tells me we’re going to meet Nitro Cody Grapes, a black cocker spaniel who was referred to Pets for Life from WisCARES, a DCHS partner offering subsidizedcost veterinary care for low-income individuals, when he was having severe difficulty walking. Both of Nitro’s owners are on disability and aren’t medically able to drive, so paying for Ubers and cabs along with their vet bill was putting them in a position where they had to start asking themselves


Photograph by Abbi Middleton

out with medicines and tests and stuff that otherwise you’d be responsible for. And secondly, they come to us. That is just wonderful.” Ashley fondly brings up the walks she used to take with Nitro and looks forward to seeing more improvement so that, hopefully by the time you’re reading this, the two of them are back at it, taking in the warm summer air together.

some tough questions no pet owner wants to consider. When I met Nitro, he was actually doing a good job getting around, though he definitely wasn’t at 100 percent. But that wasn’t the case a few months ago. “I was more than convinced that I was going to lose him,” says Ashley Grapes, one of Nitro’s owners along with her husband, Gene Grapes. “I am very grateful to these people for everything that they’ve done.” Pets for Life paid for medications and tests and provided x-rays. Dr. Holck tells me they believe Nitro has an intervertebral disease or slipped disc in his back, but it’s hard to see evidence of those conditions on an x-ray.

And getting residents to see firsthand the role DCHS can play in the community is just one facet of Pets for Life’s potential. The Institute for Human-Animal Connection (IHAC) is partnering with DCHS and HSUS on an in-depth study to measure the impact of the Pets for Life program and better understand the link between animal welfare and the

Photograph by Abbi Middleton

Nitro’s shy demeaner went away when Abbi and Dr. Holck began working to update his vaccines. Ashley tells me, “They basically saved our dog. ... It helps a lot when you come across these kinds of clinics that can first help you

The increasing number of stories like Nitro’s are working to shift some misconceptions about the role of DCHS in the community. Marissa DeGroot, public relations coordinator with DCHS, laments that people often see the humane society as the end of the line when it comes to life’s hardships involving pets, like being unable to afford a vet bill. “Our goal is to keep pets in homes where they are wanted and loved. We want community members to know we are a resource to help make that happen, whether it’s directing people to pet food pantries DCHS donates to, troubleshooting behavior issues, or connecting them with partners offering low-cost veterinary services.”

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resources to keep pets in their

home

Through these studies and the experiences of program coordinators like Abbi, IHAC is quickly discovering that the needs of different areas are, well, different. “If you look at Pets for Life programs in other cities,” Marissa says, “their highest need may be spay/ neuter services, while in the 53713 zip code we’re finding they have others.” Here in Madison, spay/neuter rates are fairly high. Perhaps we have a considerable viewership of The Price is Right. Whatever the case, the Pets for Life program is designed to allow

Photograph by Kyle Jacobson

holistic health of communities. The goal is to study how community outreach and pet ownership support programs can benefit not only animals, but also humans, the environment, and society as a whole.

participating humane societies to allocate funding toward whatever need is most prevalent in terms of improving animal, human, and environmental health. For Abbi, this means she can customize care for the pets she’s serving. Currently, Pets for Life is focused on building trust in the community. It’s

a newer initiative, and people don’t know the name. Abbi, who makes up the entire staff of the Pets for Life program, has been going door to door. “I’ve noticed that when I first meet someone, maybe all they want to give me is their first name. That’s fine, I’m a weirdo at your door asking if you need help with your pet.” But this necessary first step builds person-toperson relationships, which are what DCHS believes to be fundamental to the program’s success. Through these relationships, Pets for Life can shape a reality that embodies the core of DCHS. “No matter what their resources are, everyone deserves the love of a pet,” Marissa says. For more of Abbi’s success stories, visit madisonessentials.com. Kyle Jacobson is a copy editor for Madison Essentials, and a writer and beer enthusiast (sometimes all at once) living in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

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----------------------28 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s


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e ssential travel

Sustainable Tourism by Krystle Engh Naab

Liz Wessel’s passion for travel became a career after promoting the benefits of ecotravel and supporting local economies. When Liz started Green Concierge Travel in 2006, it was because she felt there was a need for more ecotravel and green tourism. “Ecofriendly travel was the way I liked to travel, but nobody was really doing it. When I planned my own trips, I recognized the gap. The other part of it is, at the time, I was doing some contract work for a nonprofit organization, the Biodiversity Project. They were doing market research to reach different audiences with their message, and what we found was there was an ecotravel niche out there. Not so much in the United States, but definitely in Europe and other places. “Looking back to 2004 to 2005, North American ecotravel was behind what was going on globally, although it was growing. So I decided to focus on that 30 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

niche of travelers. I like ecotravel because I [get to] work with people in a personal way to build trips that are unique, provide an authentic experience, and really fit what they want to do, which includes some green options.” Green Concierge Travel designs custom trips. There are many benefits to ecotravel besides the obvious savings on your carbon footprint and respecting the natural landscape. Liz says ecotravelers notice a difference. “I think travelers get more personal satisfaction. For example, I’m helping to supplement a packaged trip for someone who’s doing a horseback riding vacation in the mountains of British Columbia, but they’re staying in Vancouver, so I’m sending hotel options they’ll need before and after. And one of the options is a green option. I have a leaf symbol that marks it as being green, and I put a link to their green policies. That’s one of my rationales as to why they should stay


there even for one night. It also happens to be convenient for what they need to do, and they offer great service.” Offering options is the best way to create customized vacations. Liz says, “Everyone’s got a budget, and I want to meet their budget and what they want to do. For example, if they’re staying in a place they’ve never been to before, I love to recommend bed and breakfasts. Your money goes to the local economy and you’re getting a built-in host. For a lot of my clients, they want a travel experience where they feel and live like a local.”

the bookings themselves. For a longer trip, I research each major stopping point, and we decide how and when to do the bookings. I always start with the budget, but sometimes I send them something that would be above their budget since it really meets what they want in that trip. And oftentimes that makes the difference.”

Liz builds on repeat destination recommendations for her clients. Also, she works with her clients when it comes to booking or planning their trips. “It doesn’t have to be a complete booking— the way I charge can range from doing research on a particular destination to clients that want to do some or none of madisonessentials.com

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Liz’s background is in environmental policies, working within the environmental community and partnering or doing contract work with nonprofits. She has been a member of Green America and now the Green America Business Network, where she served briefly on their board. Liz believes in their mission of trying to build a whole green economy. “Travel industry has been very disconnected in North America, so in other words, we don’t have as organized an approach to green tourism as other countries do. The International Ecotourism Society, another organization Green Concierge Travel joined, is trying to raise the

profile of green tourism around the world, bringing together suppliers, travel agents, nonprofits, and governments. And they consult professionals in the field regarding these practices.” Green tourism isn’t a trend, it’s vital to our future way of life. Liz notices this in the green tourism business, and says, “We [the United States] have to change our economy to be more sustainable to help with global warming and climate change.” Online research and reviewing websites to find green programs is important, but so is supporting independently owned businesses. Supporting local business makes a trip sustainable not only for the environment, but in the local economy and community.

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Liz encourages clients to keep an open mind. “Many Americans are shy about going out on their own. Don’t let the idea of big cities or not knowing the language hold you back.” Also, consider

a train for your next travel plans. Liz is a European railway expert and advocates trains for more ecofriendly travel and to increase vacation enjoyment. One example of growth and change Liz has noticed in the green travel business is food travel. “Newest thing I’m excited about is the World Food Travel Association. It’s really developed since 2001. They promote all types of tourism related to food, from one-day walking tours to multiday cooking tours, like going places specifically to experience lobster or foraging for mushrooms or truffles in Italy. This is really awesome because it’s an ultimate way to really immerse yourself in a culture.” Other getaways are romantic or honeymoon, and Liz loves recommending dude ranches to adventurous couples. “They’ve really changed over the years, offering a range of activities from riding to hiking to rafting. It’s one of the few all-inclusive


A weekend in Green Lake is the perfect way for us to disconnect from life’s chaos and reconnect with each other. The natural beauty of the lake is breathtaking and calming, and there’s lots to do off the water— biking, golfing, hiking, shopping and dining. There is something special about this place that everyone should experience!

iconic place for all sorts of reasons. The last visit, I made a donation to the local friends’ group that cares for the pond. I like to get people involved in what I call travel philanthropy—finding ways to support local communities through your travels.

Travel with a purpose. Some see travel as leisure time, but others may want to find adventure or explore new locales with exciting, unique experiences. Liz advises clients to “put your best face on and really go with an open mind. Curiosity is key in getting yourself out there to travel to different places.

“Through some organized travel organizations, they may include an add-on or charge that goes to the local conservation group or whoever is responsible for maintaining that special place, which is a great idea. Even if you go on your own to a museum or conservation place, you can make a donation to show your appreciation for the people that continue taking care of these important places.”

“I haven’t traveled that much specifically for my business,” Liz says. “But when I do travel, even if it’s to places I go to all the time, I’m always looking for new ideas. For example, Walden Pond is a really

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people and respect the environment. “When you go somewhere new, look for those things that you care about and go with the cultural flow.” Krystle Engh Naab is a freelance writer and copy editor for Madison Essentials. Photographs provided by Green Concierge Travel. Photograph by Barbara Wilson

vacation destinations you can experience in the United States. It’s important to support these local stewards of amazing properties because they really care about their land and the land ethic. It’s an authentic American-adventure travel experience.”

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essential shopping

hive OF MADISON by DAVE FIDLIN There’s been quite a bit of buzz in recent years about the future viability of brick-and-mortar retail as online shopping grows in popularity. But Pam Schwarzbach, who co-owns Hive of Madison, says a store’s physical presence is still vitally important—particularly when it establishes roots and becomes entrenched within a community. Pam and her husband, Troy Kattreh, opened Hive of Madison in a 1,700-square-foot retail space on Monroe Street. Since opening the doors a year and a half ago, Pam and her husband have become a part of the community and have further plans for their growing business on the horizon. “We’re focused, and we believe in brick and mortar,” Pam says. “We’re really not focused on the web. You can’t really have an interaction with a customer online.” Her philosophy has been effective, as Hive has brought a beeline of people into the shop from 34 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

the immediate neighborhood and the broader Madison community. Hive, which employs 10 people, laid roots on November 15, 2017. The timing, arguably, could have been challenging because of road construction. Despite the challenging headwinds, Pam says the community was very supportive during the months of construction. When it came time to finding a location to open the shop, Pam and Troy were sold on the Monroe Street corridor, which has long been known for its pedestrianfriendly, locally focused culture. “This was such a cool location, and it just felt empty,” Pam says, referring to the state of the building prior to Hive’s occupancy. Because of the road construction, Pam and Troy dipped their toes into the local retail pond throughout 2018. They credit word of mouth as part of the reason for the positive momentum that


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“We offer casual apparel for the outdoor lifestyle market,” Pam says. “We’re about the softer side, so we don’t carry camping gear.” What Hive does offer is a range of clothing, including footwear, jackets, shirts, and wool socks. Also in the mix are fun outdoors-themed items, such as backpacks, drinkware, hammocks, and sunglasses. Jewelry has also become a popular item within the shop. Throughout the store, Pam and Troy offer more than 30 brands, including several that cannot be found elsewhere at Madison retailers or, for that matter, the Midwest. Toad&Co, which runs on the tagline “every day is an adventure,” is among the brands featured, and with good reason. The Californiabased company is known for its line of environmentally and socially conscious apparel, which is 100 percent

The broad array of brands and merchandise assortment could, perhaps, be credited to Pam and Troy’s professional resumes. Prior to taking the dive into retailing, the couple worked as sales consultants for a range of national outdoor clothing brands. When they opened Hive, they did so with the relationships and expertise of the marketplace already in tact.

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At its core, Hive is an outdoor clothing retailer—described by Pam and Troy as a “local outdoor lifestyle boutique.” While the concept of the outdoors is prominent, the store’s product offerings are not limited to diehard campers, hikers, and the like. The goal for Pam is to have something appealing to everyone walking through the doors.

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The shop’s name seems to fit hand in glove into the outdoors, but Pam says it actually is designed to be agnostic as the business continues to evolve and become more deeply entrenched within the community. Speaking to the

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word Hive, she says, “I like the energy that comes from it and that sense of community. It’s not just about the queen bee. It’s about everyone. I wanted a

name that had some flexibility and was fluid depending on what we’re offering in 10 years.”

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of each month and holds the gatherings from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

While retailing is a key component of Hive, the mission Pam and Troy have laid out for the business is broader and touches on all of the important elements of community. The goal is for each person walking through the shop’s doors to feel a sense of welcome and belonging. “We want to serve as a resource to the community,” Pam says.

Each installment of First Fridays has a special theme. One, for example, was a women’s night, while another was tailored around a guy’s shopping night. Another event was wrapped all around the warmth of wool socks. Regardless of the theme, First Fridays also offer up a number of fun festivities, including servings of cocktails; wine; snacks; and other fun goodies, such as drawings.

Some of the shop’s tangible ways of promoting community have come in the form of various in-store events, including the First Friday gatherings. Hive is open later on the initial Friday

A further extension of the communityfocused mission within the shop is the launch this year of yoga within the store, offered at 10:00 a.m. Sundays, before the shop officially begins business. More


Dave Fidlin is a freelance writer who has a special affinity for Madison. Dave’s career spans nearly 20 years, and he’s grateful for the opportunity to learn something new each day through his professional pursuits. Photographs by Eric Tadsen.

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offerings in store and beyond Hive of Madison’s walls are planned for the road ahead, and will continue the missionminded approach Pam and Troy have laid out. “If people stop in and ask about where to go for something in the neighborhood, we want to be able to help them,” Pam says. “We really want people to feel comfortable when they’re in our store.”

Dave Fidlin

Hive of Madison 1904 Monroe Street Madison, WI 53711 (608) 467-2410 hiveofmadison.com

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e ssential community

BECAUSE MADISON by Kyle Jacobson

The connections people make to ideas of place are these intangible threads of identity that often manifest in very real ways, and sometimes in unexpected moments. Bring up Green Bay, and a lot of people in Wisconsin will talk of taking the pilgrimage to Lambeau. Talk about Eau Claire, and the river, the bluffs, or the music tend to become the shift in conversation. Where some people bounce around to fully embrace what it is to live across the state or nation, others find themselves tethered to a home in perpetuity. For Colin Murray, that home is Madison. “I love Madison,” says Colin. “Great city. When I graduated, I thought I would probably go someplace else, but it just never happened. And as I traveled, I realized we really have a great city. You tend to forget about that or take it for granted until you go somewhere. ‘Oh,

this is a nice place, but they don’t have Willy Street. They don’t have Monroe Street. They don’t have these cool things that we’ve got.’” I doubt anyone will be surprised to learn that Colin was born and raised in Madison. He’s lived on the north, east, south, and west side. And everywhere he goes, he brings Madison with him. Even out of state, he “constantly will hear that a lot of people have a connection to Madison,” often involving a badger in a sweater. But to everyone who calls the Greater Madison area home, the city is much more than a university. Colin often brought up John Nolen and Paul Soglin during our conversation and the legacies they left for Madison’s citizens and visitors. “Madison really sets the standard for the rest of the state and

the country in some cases. I love being in that type of activity that’s taking place.” The layout of Madison and the initiatives the community collectively pushes shape Colin’s vision of Madison, and through that, he sees his role. As executive director of the nonprofit Dane Buy Local, Colin can keep Greater Madison-area small businesses relevant and, hopefully, make them something potential customers actively consider for their shopping and service needs. It’s not an anti-big-box store movement, but Colin wants to make sure people “give the local businesses the chance to earn your business.” Oftentimes, buying local is better for the environment when considering waste and litter, and the customer service is focused on establishing long-term relationships. Colin truly wants Madison to not just be something other cities can aspire to, but something that constantly seeks to improve upon itself. Mirroring how Madison is impacted by the efforts of Colin and others sharing his commitment to the city, Colin has his own struggles—MS being one of the most notable—that he overcomes thanks to those putting faith in him. And by their hands, he’s been shaped for the better. The story of Colin’s struggle with MS starts when he was 14. “I was riding my bike down Monona Drive, and I was hit by a car. I rolled off the hood

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able to, at some point, retire and look back and say I made a difference in this city. ... Something that I made a little bit of a difference in to make Madison a better place.” We should all strive to better the communities we choose to be a part of. But as encouraging as Colin’s words are, it’s peculiar they come from him because, by any reasonable measure, mission accomplished. Kyle Jacobson is a copy editor for Madison Essentials, and a writer and beer enthusiast (sometimes all at once) living in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. of the car, landed on the concrete, and it caused damage to my spine. At the time, I remember laying there, and the first thing I thought was ‘I gotta get off the ground because somebody’s going to run me over.’” Immediately upon standing up, Colin realizes he needs to sit down. The driver puts Colin in the front seat, takes Colin’s bike out from under the vehicle, then twists it back into a bike-ish shape. Colin hops on his bike and rides home without thinking to even get the guy’s name. When MRIs became a thing, doctors were able to confirm the accident was the culprit for his form of MS. Colin recalls precise moments when MS started affecting his life. “When I was 26, I had a bad episode, and I couldn’t even get out of bed. I just could not function for about six weeks.” Though he’d recover, those six weeks resulted in his left side regularly showing symptoms of MS. His hand was always numb. He walked with a small limp. And, at times, his face would go numb. Things really started to go downhill when Colin was 45 or so. His life

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would’ve taken a major downturn if it wasn’t for his partner, Michael. “The reason I’m able to still have a job, hold a job, function in life, is because he’s doing a lot of stuff for me that I can’t do for myself. If it hadn’t been for that, I’d probably be on disability at this point.” As Colin has always championed for Madison, it seems he found in Michael someone who would support him. And that support goes both ways. Michael is an artist. For some, that should say everything. To fill in the gaps for those who haven’t had the pleasure of knowing a person with the creative side of their brain going 24/7, Colin puts it gently. “Organization and timeliness can be challenges for artists, including my partner.” Colin organizes art shows at a space in the greenhouse of Klein’s and holds another event in Waukesha. A lot of work goes into helping an artist make a living at art, and Colin’s business mindset works well with Michael’s artistic one.

Photographs by MOD Media Productions.

Kyle Jacobson

From living with an artist to being a voice for Madison small businesses, Colin is Madison personified. “I would love to be

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essential community

Education by David Gwidt Getting an education is widely regarded as the best pathway toward forging a secure and successful future. From finding meaningful work in an increasingly sophisticated job market to alleviating poverty and cultivating wealth, education resides near the heart of seemingly every major issue facing the United States today. And even as the need for quality schooling grows ever more pressing, leaders and lawmakers entrusted with building a robust and effective system continue to fall woefully short. Despite what one may reasonably expect of the richest and most powerful

country, America is largely not up to par with respect to education relative to its closest industrialized counterparts. Statistically speaking, education in the United States constitutes as mediocre by many measures, especially in subjects like math and science, where it ranks 30th and 19th respectively among the 35 member nations that make up the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Apart from underperformance, American schools remain plagued with racial injustice and bone-deep inequality. Even some 60 years after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling that

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marked an end to centuries of statesanctioned segregation in education, today’s schools have become alarmingly more racially and socioeconomically separate than they were in years past. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, 75 percent of African-American students nationwide attend a school with a student body that is predominantly populated by people of color. The same can be said for public schools in Wisconsin, where the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) District is nearly 90 percent nonwhite. These generally low-income, racially segregated schools typically have more inexperienced teachers, fewer resources, smaller budgets, ill-equipped classrooms, lower graduation rates, and poorer working and learning conditions. The ACLU is committed to the project of expanding educational opportunities for underserved communities and works to ensure that Wisconsin’s youth can pursue the right to an education that is accorded to them under the state constitution. Part of that effort is the ACLU’s 18-year-old youth program which has interacted with thousands of students over the years.


The youth program includes events like the Summer Justice Institute and the Youth Social Justice Forum, where last year over 400 high school students came together to learn about their civil rights; civil liberties; and social justice issues, including human trafficking and black empowerment. The ACLU also supports ACLU student alliances in schools, which are student-run school clubs that invite outside community leaders to speak, engage in art projects, and organize social justice activities in their schools and communities. Most recently, we have joined the movement to close the school-toprison pipeline, striving to do away with the type of punitive disciplinary action in schools that results in the disproportionate suspension, expulsion, and even incarceration of primarily black

and brown students. These policies criminalize children; deepen damaging disparities; and, as the research bears out, do not make schools any safer. According to a recent study of MPS, the pipeline has had a devastating impact. In the 2015-2016 academic year, for instance, data shows that students attending MPS were suspended at four times the rate of the state average, with one in every three freshmen being suspended, a trend that has contributed to a 15 percent increase in the probability of dropping out. And unsurprisingly, African Americans, who compose a little more than half of the overall student body, received 80 percent of the school’s suspensions, 87 percent of its expulsions, and approximately 86 percent of referrals to law enforcement. Students with disabilities were also frequent targets, as

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91 percent of those restrained or forced into seclusion during the school year had a disability. As the report illustrates, these draconian disciplinary responses have created a heavily policed, highly punitive environment that is not conducive to the maturation, learning, or natural growth processes of young people. The ACLU believes that this approach is fundamentally misguided, and we encourage educators, decision makers, and law enforcement to abandon the practices which all too often push vulnerable students out of school and into prison, investing instead in programs that are restorative, fair, and evidence driven. In an effort to push new approaches to the forefront, the ACLU is partnering with students across Wisconsin, building a broad coalition of advocates pushing for reapportionment of government funding away from prisons and into educational programs. This shift in investments means that kids would meet with counselors instead of police officers, be supported instead of searched, and would have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes rather than be defined by them. Spending on prisons in Wisconsin has risen exponentially, and the cost required to maintain the state’s penal system now exceeds the total sum of money we allocate to higher education. Our predilection for punishment and retribution is anathema to our obligation to keep Wisconsin schools strong and runs counter to the evidence that more education positively reduces crime rates. 42 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

The ACLU activated and assembled a group of young leaders to testify before the state legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, hoping to persuade lawmakers to trim down the bloated prison budget in favor of stronger public support of education. ACLU School to prison pipeline—ACLU aclu.org/issues/juvenile-justice/schoolprison-pipeline Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service MPS Report milwaukeenns.org/2018/04/30/studentsseek-to-dismantle-milwaukees-schoolto-prison-pipeline Pew Research Center OEDC Ranking pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/15 /u-s-students-internationally-math-science Wisconsin Public Radio wpr.org/problems-persist-milwaukee-publicschools-40-years-after-desegregation

David Gwidt is a communications intern with ACLU. Photographs provided by ACLU of Wisconsin.

David Gwidt


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e ssential pets

Cranial Cruciate Ligament Ruptures in Dogs by Lori Scarlett, DVM

Labrador retrievers, rottweilers, golden retrievers, boxers, and pit bulls. If you own one of these or another large-breed dog, you should know that your dog is at risk of rupturing one or both of its cranial cruciate ligaments. This time of year, veterinarians see more dogs coming in limping or holding up a leg. If it’s a rear leg, the first thing we think about is a cranial cruciate rupture. What exactly is this? Is it preventable? And if it happens, what does it mean for the dog?

playing roughly or very energetically and takes a bad step, injuring the knee. Older dogs—often those that are overweight—can have weakened ligaments that slowly stretch over time. These weak ligaments can partially tear and, eventually, break down completely. In these dogs, there isn’t usually anything that precedes the complete rupture. It might occur just walking down some stairs or jumping off the couch. Degenerative disease can occur in both large- and small-breed dogs.

There are two tough fibrous bands of tissue that cross inside the knee joint: the cranial and the caudal cruciate (cross-shaped) ligaments. They span from one side of the femur (the bone above the knee joint) to the tibia (the bone on the bottom of the knee joint). The cranial cruciate ligament attaches to the front of the tibia and the caudal attaches to the back of the tibia. These ligaments stabilize the knee (stifle) and prevent the tibia from slipping forward out from under the femur. If the cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL or CCL) tears or ruptures, the knee joint is suddenly unstable and very painful.

If your dog is suddenly holding up a leg, you should take him to your veterinarian. All the joints in the leg will be moved and felt for swelling, inflammation, and pain. Sometimes a limp is due to an injury on the pad or a broken toenail. Some dogs just over did it playing and running and are sore. Many times, your dog may be started on an anti-inflammatory medication and a week of rest to see if the limp goes away.

Trauma and degenerative changes are the main causes of a CCL rupture. In young, athletic large-breed dogs, we often see ruptures after the dog has been 44 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

One of the things your vet will do is look for a “drawer” sign in the stifle. Because the cruciate ligaments keep the tibia in place, if one is ruptured, the tibia will slide out a little bit from the femur— sort of like a drawer being opened. Because the knee can be very painful and swollen, sedation of your dog may be necessary. This is also a good time to

get an x-ray of the knee to look for other signs of a CCL rupture—inflammation in the joint or changes in the bone that occur with long-standing problems. An x-ray also allows the vet to make sure there isn’t a bone tumor or fracture that could cause pain and limping. Once a CCL rupture is diagnosed, your vet will discuss the different options for treatment and repair. In an older, fairly inactive small-breed dog, treatment could be cage rest, restricted activity, and anti-inflammatory pain medication for about four months. Physical rehabilitation would also be helpful, as well as weight loss; over 50 percent of overweight dogs that have one CCL rupture will rupture the other side within a year. For a larger dog, surgery is the best option. While there are some companies that make braces, they aren’t recommended long term. Dogs don’t tolerate them well; they’re hard to put on correctly; and they don’t help with meniscal tears (the meniscus is cushioning cartilage in the stifle), which are present in the majority of dogs with a CCL rupture. There are a number of different CCL surgeries. Historically, most dogs had an extracapsular repair, where a strong suture is passed behind the knee and through a drilled hole


The tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy (TPLO) and the tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA) are surgical procedures that change the angle of the femur and tibia. By changing the angles and, thus, the biomechanics of the stifle, the natural weight-bearing of the dog stabilizes the knee joint. Both procedures require the tibia to be cut and metal implants placed. Dogs have a quicker recovery with these advanced surgeries compared to the extracapsular repair, and three to four months after surgery, the dog can be back to full activity. These surgeries do require a very experienced surgeon with special training in the techniques and are

more expensive than the extracapsular repair. Physical rehabilitation is also recommended to get the dog back up to full speed. Is there anything that can be done to prevent a CCL rupture? My first recommendation if you have a largebreed dog is to invest in pet insurance before there’s a problem. Surgeries can run $5,000 to $6,000 or more for repair of one knee, and there’s a good chance the other one will rupture in the future. There’s a lot of research into early spay/ neutering and orthopedic problems in large-breed dogs. There are a lot of things that contribute to orthopedic problems—genetics, weight, repetitive activity, etc.—not just early neutering. This is a topic best discussed with your veterinarian, weighing the pros and cons of waiting to fix your dog. One of the most important risk factors for knee injuries is weight. If you can’t easily feel your dog’s ribs or they don’t

have a waist when viewed from the top and a nice abdominal tuck when viewed from the side, they’re overweight. Trust me when I say labradors shouldn’t look like coffee tables. Your vet should be able and willing to discuss diets, calories, and ways to help your dog slim down. Now is the time to talk to your veterinarian about ways to keep your dog healthy and active, not when your dog comes in from playing in the yard holding up a rear leg. Lori Scarlett, DVM, is the owner and veterinarian at Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic. For more information, visit fourlakesvet.com. Photograph by Brenda Eckhardt

at the front of the tibia. This basically acts as the cranial cruciate ligament, providing stabilization to the knee. This is a good choice for older, fairly inactive dogs. Over time, however, the suture will break down, and if the dog is too active, the scar tissue around the knee will also break down, leading to lameness again.

Lori Scarlett, DVM & Charlie

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essential entertainment

WORT-FM

by Dave Fidlin

When the switch to WORT-FM’s transmitter was first turned on in 1975, radio station staffers embarked on a mission that was remarkably simple on one hand, yet profoundly complex on the other. Since its inception, the listener-supported station has aspired to have a little of something for everyone. In an era where corporately owned commercial radio stations are programmed through algorithms, consultants’ recommendations, and tightly controlled playlists, WORT’s smorgasbord of offerings on 89.9 FM are in stark contrast. Doug Holtz, business and development director for WORT, says about 70 percent of the station’s lineup consists of every genre of music imaginable, while the balance is devoted to talk shows and other programming. The station, which streams online at wortfm.org, has a weekday music schedule with a full gamut of music selections, including blues, bluegrass, classical, folk, jazz, metal, rock, techno, and world. The weekend lineup offers up even more diversity—from gospel to salsa to pan-African. Nonmusic programming, likewise, is diverse, including offerings such as the nationally syndicated Democracy Now; local fare such as WORT Local News, which is an alternative new source on local and state issues; and Queery, which offers local and national news of interest to Madison’s LGBTQ community. “I really believe [WORT] is the most diverse offering in Madison,” Doug says. “We strive to serve underserved areas of the community. We want people to

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have a very unique experience when they tune in to us. We seek the broadest diversity of music possible.” WORT’s inclusiveness mantra extends to people passing through Madison as well. As a member of a community with a number of universities and colleges, Doug says he and others at the station are keenly aware of the young adults in the community transplanted from elsewhere and finding their way around. “With Madison being a transient community, we want people to know we’re out there and available to them.” While Back Porch Radio Broadcasting Inc., the nonprofit running WORT, is most often associated with radio, Doug says the mission of inclusiveness extends well beyond the confines of 89.9 FM station. For decades, the station has been a visible part of Madison through different events. This is especially true, in the warm-weathered months, when the station takes part in outdoor festivities. The WORT Block Party, in its 22nd year, is the station’s marquee outdoor extravaganza and is slated to take place

this year on Sunday, May 19, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., on the 200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. It also serves as the official launch to the outdoor music that will grace different areas of the city throughout late spring, summer, and early fall months. Speaking to the block party and what led to its inception more than two decades ago, Doug says, “It’s really to promote community radio and have people come together. It’s our largest fundraiser, outside the pledge drives.” Access into the WORT Block Party is free, although there is always an opportunity to provide donations. All proceeds benefit the station. Throughout its eight hours, this year’s WORT Block Party will feature a full lineup of diverse local acts. Mirroring the actual station lineup, the outdoor event’s eclectic music varieties include hip-hop, jazz, and reggae. Beyond music, the WORT Block Party has been noted for other festivities, including a beer garden offered in conjunction with the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild, children’s activities, food from around


the world, arts and crafts vendors, information tables, and raffles and prizes offered up by local businesses. In more recent years, the WORT Block Party has been held in a more central area of the city, away from the station’s studio. Doug says the decision was yet another outgrowth of the station’s mission of accessibility to the entire community. By hosting festivities along the higher profile Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, attendees will have more parking options. Additionally, mass transit riders have ready access to the event since the site is close to the bus lines. “We want to make sure we’re here for everyone.” WORT staffers also use the station’s resources to promote some of the city’s other outdoor music festivals, all shining a spotlight in their own right on the broad spectrum of music available in the community. “We really feel that the summer music festivals are a part of what makes Madison special,” Doug says. As a truly community-based radio station, WORT has a unique position in Madison’s broadcast landscape. Although it has a similar nonprofit structure, Doug says WORT differs from a public radio station, which

traditionally answers to a larger organization in the decision-making process of what to program on a station’s airwaves and stream online. In WORT’s case, as a community radio station, there is autonomy over program selections, which results in unique circumstances and an opportunity to draw sharp lines around the station’s mission statement. Donations from individuals, organizations, and local businesses have long been WORT’s lifeblood. Doug says, “When it comes to on-air underwriting, we don’t accept support from large corporations. It’s limiting, in a way, but it also frees us up with what we can do. Really, it’s the community that has made WORT such a resource.” Whatever limitations might arise, WORT’s hard-lined stance on its donor model has reaped benefits for the station—and Madison’s broader ecosystem. Doug says, “WORT is very committed to the small-business community in Madison.” The station’s on-air staff is all volunteer, which provides a truly unique experience when a listener is tuning in to the station over the radio or online. Doug says, “All of our music is hand picked. It’s a musical exploration with every show. There’s a certain

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authenticity that comes with it that you really cannot fake.” Dave Fidlin is a freelance writer who has a special affinity for Madison. Dave’s career spans nearly 20 years, and he’s grateful for the opportunity to learn something new each day through his professional pursuits. Photographs provided by WORT-FM.

Dave Fidlin

WORT-FM 118 S. Bedford Street Madison, WI 53703 (608) 256-2001 • wortfm.org madisonessentials.com

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essential business

INCORPORATING

VIDEO by Eric Redding

As you scroll through social media feeds, how often do you stop to watch a video? I’m not talking about cute puppy videos or the shaky video from your last family reunion, but a well-produced video from one of your favorite brands. And how many times do you like or share those videos? Or, more importantly, how many times have you purchased something because of them? In our mobile, always-connected world, video is the dominant medium for communications and entertainment. It’s everywhere, and we rely on it every day to talk with colleagues and family around the world, to figure out how to change a tire, and to relax after a day at work. In Sandvine’s recent Global Internet Phenomena Report, YouTube alone accounts for 35 percent of all mobile phone traffic in the world. That’s more than Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and regular web traffic. It’s no wonder major companies and brands are devoting large resources to creating video content for their customers.

authentic message, and establishing expectations that match your customers’ or members’ experiences. • Answer the Question Why. If you aren’t familiar with The Golden Circle model popularized by Simon Sinek, I encourage you to watch his 2009 TED Talk. On a basic level, his concept is that the most innovative companies communicate and create through the lenses of why they exist. Companies that clearly communicate the driving force behind their brand will more effectively create lasting and meaningful connections.

Why is video important?

• Better Message Delivery. Presenting information in a way that stimulates both the auditory and visual senses increases understanding and application of the material by an average of 75 percent. In addition, according to Forrester Research, visuals are processed in the brain 60 times faster than text. They also estimate that consuming one minute of video is equivalent to reading 1.8 million words of content.

• Reinforce Brand Identity. Your brand is what makes your business or organization unique. When people see your logo or hear your name, brand images and thoughts jump to mind, and you want them to be positive. Videos help you accomplish this by communicating a focused and

• Stimulate Web Traffic. Whether it’s promotion through social media, an informational blog post, or a simple refresh of the typical “about us” page, a video profiling your company or organization drives traffic to multiple online platforms. According to Comscore, which measures online

48 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

engagement and use, video results are 50 percent more likely to appear on the first page of Google search results than written content. Web usage is also dominated by video, with Cisco reporting that as much as 82 percent of all internet traffic will be video traffic by 2022, up from the current 75 percent. Increasingly, SEO will be directly linked to video. • Utilizing Video as a Sales Tool. More often, consumers are beginning their shopping journey on the internet, researching products and prices. TechCrunch credits a 15 to 75 percent increase in conversion rates to those websites that use videos to explain their products or services. With more and more commerce being driven online, having a video presence to reinforce your products or services guarantees you’ll stay relevant to modern consumers. You might wonder how you do this without a large production budget and marketing team, but I have good news! With advances in production technology, it’s now easier and cheaper than ever to create a video. It also doesn’t take nearly as much work as you might expect. If you’re looking to create a video, you should consider the following. • The Idea. What story do you want to tell? Do you want to highlight


a new product or service? Do you want to tell the world why your company or organization exists and what its core beliefs are? Maybe you want to capture an event or special moment? There are countless ways to take a simple idea and turn it into a compelling video. • The Right Partner. Once you have an idea, finding the right partner to bring it to life is key. In Dane County alone, there are a dozen high-quality, experienced video production companies to take your idea from concept to completion. Take the time to research the companies to find which has the background, video look, and culture you like. Once you have your production partner, they’ll help with the rest to make sure the process goes smoothly.

While this is a simplified breakdown of the process, it doesn’t get much more complicated. The biggest challenge isn’t the process itself, but rather making the decision to actually begin. Video isn’t a passing fad and will only become more important to our daily lives. With the benefits greatly outweighing any possible negatives, and the return on investment all but guaranteed, you have to ask yourself, what are you waiting for? Eric Redding is the owner/producer at Red Arrow Production. Photographs provided by Red Arrow Production.

Eric Redding

• Production. Now that you have your idea and partner, you’re ready to start. Your production partner will work with you to figure out how to best turn your idea into video. They’ll help arrange video shoots, voiceovers, and b-roll footage shoots needed to capture the video content. • Post-Production. Once the footage has been captured, the pictures collected, and the voiceovers recorded, your production partner will take the content and distill it into a video draft for review. You’ll then go through several draft rounds, giving feedback to the production team to tweak the video. • Broadcast. Once your video is complete, your production partner will provide you with digital copies to upload to your website so you can share it across all your social media platforms. Then you can watch the likes and shares come in!

Limitless creativity. Timeless video. To learn more about wedding videos or to see a SLO-MO Video visit:

www.redarrowproduction.com

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essential community

Fight, Flight, or Breathe by Sandy Eichel

If you followed my story in 2018, you read about my life of should—I should be this, I should do that. I was miserable trying to be what others wanted me to be and decided to come out of the closet of should. For 2019, I’m talking about how I stopped being a should-er, and am sharing the lessons I learned through the process. These lessons were earth-shattering for me, drastically improving my entire life. Since we all battle the monster of should, I’m sure you’ll also find something valuable in these lessons. Buckle up and come along for the ride! Today’s lesson: Breathing. Wait, what?! How’s that a lesson learned? The human body automatically breathes, right? Sure, but just enough to keep you alive. Your body doesn’t automatically do enough to keep your mind and body healthy. What prevents us from breathing deep all the time? Our brain and the almost constant anxiety it creates. The brain is designed to solve problems, and for most of us, it’s hyperactive. It tries to solve problems that haven’t even come up yet, and to solve things from the past that are already over. It sees threats everywhere. Most of us are so used to 50 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

the constant hum of anxiety in our heads, we don’t realize it’s happening. That is until it becomes too much and we look to numb it. Society is filled with many ways to numb pain and anxiety. Drugs and alcohol are the most obvious choices, but for many it can be food, television, and staying busy. Anything to drown out the noise in our heads. My poison was staying busy, and I did it spectacularly. People frequently commented that they couldn’t believe how much I could accomplish. I was in constant motion, hating to sit still. There was always work, a project, cleaning, baking a cake, tending the garden, and canning. You name it, I did it to run away from the scrolling anxiety in my head. I couldn’t sleep, so that created extra time to fuss over all the things I was doing to make other people like me. As a former opera singer and voice teacher, I learned a lot about deep, meaningful breathing. I was a master. But I discovered that I only did it when I was singing or about to go on stage. When I wasn’t doing those things, I actually held my breath. It sounds dramatic, but it really isn’t. Most people

don’t regularly breathe deeply. They take shallow breaths and just get by. They hold their breath, not realizing how tight they’re holding their stomachs and butts. Why does this matter and how can deep breathing help you leave the closet of should? Breathing deeply and slowly helps soothe the fight or flight responses that your autonomic nervous system frequently sets off in your body even when you aren’t in imminent danger. When this system is triggered, your body releases the hormone cortisol. When cortisol builds up, it can weaken your immune system, negatively affect your mood, and cause insomnia as well as a number of other undesirable effects. I discovered that while deep breathing helped steady me so I could sing in front of thousands of people, my fight or flight response was firing over and over again in my daily life, each time adding to the cortisol load in my body. As a result, I suffered a variety of unexplained health problems, mood swings, and depression. Deep breathing is also important because it helps you to be in the moment.


Most people—I was one of them—miss out on a lot of what is happening in their lives because they’re too busy thinking through the past or projecting into the future. While they’re dwelling on something that’s over or worrying about what might go wrong in the future, they completely miss what’s going on in the present. In his book The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle explains how the breath and being connected to your body helps to break free of this miserable cycle. In my previous life, I was a floating head of misery, trapped between past pain and the worry over how I could soon screw something up. Consistently triggered into fight or flight, my body was locked in tension and my mind locked in panic. I don’t think I even realized I had feet attached to my legs, unless I was going on stage. You have to be present to perform well, and I discovered that the only time I was truly present and alive was on stage. It needed to change. I started to breathe deeply off stage and noticed that my real life calmed down tremendously. I began to notice how often I was triggered into fight or flight, how much I was holding my breath, and how tight my muscles were. I kept a journal to document the things that sparked my anxiety. Whenever I felt anxious, I stopped what I was doing, closed my eyes, focused on my breathing, and thought purposefully about relaxing my muscles. I started by just feeling my body, my hands, and my feet. Eventually, I could calm my body and mind. It soothed my anxiety. Then, free from anxiety, I could be present in my life and appreciate its beauty.

needed. By slowing my breath, I slow my heart rate and, thus, calm the other responses in my body that produce the fight or flight reaction. When things are really difficult, I have to stop myself several times a day. How did you do? Did you notice you breathed more just reading this? Try to do it mindfully throughout the day. Catch yourself when you feel annoyed or anxious—stop and breathe. Feel better? Yep, I thought so. Now go on out there and be where your feet are! I dare you. Sandy Eichel is a happy ex-should-er.

Sandy Eichel

Breathing deeply and slowly is the first step to being calm and centered, something I call “being where your feet are.” It was only when I started being present that I could stop myself from living according to what others wanted. There are still times I have to remind myself to breathe, but the habit of breathing and being present has gotten much easier. Now when I’m triggered, I have a process to calm myself. I stop whatever I’m doing, close my eyes, sit tall and still, and breathe in and then out as slowly as possible, repeating as madisonessentials.com

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e ssential arts

weary

M.Rose Sweetnam by Elissa Koppel

“Historically, collage has been a pretty queer art medium when you look at zines and different artifacts. I wonder sometimes about why it was that I got so interested in collage when I was younger and now because it does seem like a lot of queer artists use it as a medium.” M.Rose Sweetnam grew up in Madison. As a child, they practiced dance and collage. It was in elementary school and middle school that they developed a talent for the visual medium. After middle school and for years afterward, they set aside collage and opted for more traditional academic disciplines. At Madison Area Technical College, they enrolled 52 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

in figure drawing, a “combination between my dance world, bodywork, and art.” Once they transferred to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, M.Rose specialized in various types of printmaking, including silk screening and woodcuts. Even though they were enrolled, after a point, their personal practice went dormant. “When I took art out of a place of creativity and joy and put a lot of pressure on what the product was going to be, those were the times where I ended up moving away from art. It was no longer able to be this therapeutic or joyful project,” they prefaced. The compulsion to produce work that could

be viewed by others, that could be sold, paralyzed M.Rose for a long time. “So with this most recent art show— it was via the Queer Pressure, Black Locust shows they do—that was the motivation for me to return to the art practice. In the actual creation of the art, I tried to have it be not about the product and have it be more about the process. I returned to my collage work. I had been doing print and different things at UW, and I returned to collage because that’s been the medium that generated the work I always liked the most. The images always felt most lovely to me. It’s a process that speaks to me.” Today, collage is M.Rose’s dominant medium.


Expressing self-love

through a relationship with nature.

woodwork. Glow-in-the-dark glitter glue, mahogany picture frames, and iridescent wrapping paper all comprise the playful collection of M.Rose’s most recent, perhaps most authentic work.

The shift to collage didn’t occur within the university and, in a way, inhabits the antithesis of the academic, productive, and serious. What is most miraculous about M.Rose’s return to collage is the unconscious ways they’d been preparing for it. “A lot of what I have I collected slowly over time. So I have some books that were donated to A Room Of One’s Own when I worked there. I have some old Wisconsin yearbooks. For a while, I wasn’t entirely certain why. And then, ‘Oh, I can use these for collage, and maybe that’s why I’m keeping these things I like.’” There’s something natural about M.Rose’s interactions with collage. The art form, more than any other, is breathable and livable. It doesn’t seem that M.Rose has to build their life around the medium. Collage is organic, only giving and appearing when joy is needed. Most recently, M.Rose presented their work in a show at Black Locust Cafe that was partnered with Queer Pressure. Housed at Robinia Courtyard, the pieces were collages of bodies, blackand-white photographs paired with strips of iridescence and images of natural scenes. The work was composed of found materials, the artist’s previous print work, and old collected paper and

One of the instrumental pieces of the show was Deep Melt, a framed image of two lovers kissing, surrounded by green illustrated tendrils, pink iridescent textured paper, and a black-and-white landscape photograph of a frozen lake and trees. The figures are tender, sitting on the ground with their legs tucked, one slightly leaning into the other. The viewer is immediately melted by their softness, accentuated by the beauty that cradles them.

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DEep Melt “The couple in Deep Melt was a picture that was in an Original Plumbing magazine, which is no longer in print, but it was a trans guy magazine from the mid-2000s. It was just a couple I liked.” M.Rose elucidates on the inspiration behind their choice of figure, body, and pose. “I wanted queer specific images. The other pieces where I had handdrawn folks, I looked up historical gay images and found another couple and other people I liked. In this collection, mine are somewhat tracings, but they’re also very loose tracings. I try not to be too precious with it. Whenever I get too precious about things, it becomes a little too much.” Prioritizing joy and mental health is a process that has been evolving for M.Rose for years. While self-love expresses itself through M.Rose’s gender identity, it also has its roots in their relationship with nature. “Animals and nature have often been a place I looked when I’ve needed to get out of my head. Smiling at a dog can bring me out of an anxiety spiral. When I’ve had some of my worst times with dysphoria, rather than looking forward in public, I would just look at the clouds. Looking at the 54 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

clouds, looking at nature more often than not was able to bring me out of it.” M.Rose reflects, “I grew up in the [UW] Arboretum. When I was 19, I moved back in with my parents for about a year. When I was really struggling with depression and agoraphobia, something I would do is go out into the Arboretum onto the paths where hopefully I wouldn’t have to see people, and that’s how I was able to start getting myself to leave the house again.” M.Rose’s dark and brighter moments connect back to interacting with nature. The outdoors


provided them an environment where nuance and vulnerability could nourish. Out of the forest, M.Rose has blossomed, offering us whimsy and inviting us to celebrate.

Tadsen Photography Drone/Aerial Imagery

M.Rose’s work can be found on Facebook: M.Rose Sweetnam Art. Additionally, they do commissions. Email mrosesweetnam@gmail.com to learn more. Elissa Koppel is a freelance writer and a local artist.

Photograph by Olivia Loomis

Photographs provided by M.Rose Sweetnam.

Elissa Koppel

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e ssential food & beverage

EVERYONE’S A

Critic by kyle jacobson

Is nothing sacred? There’s a fine line between masochistic intrigue and sacrilege toward things we hold close to our hearts. But that’s more a reflection of who we are than who might be contesting the value of pieces we identify with and assemble to establish our assumed individuality. Still, there’s a sense that it’s our turf. I love Tom Waits, and though I fall well short of fisticuffs when someone bashes his creations, there’s still a needle that pinches my skin. Now imagine people listening to your favorite artist knowing they’re not going to enjoy the music. Without a doubt, regardless of the song, they’re going to hate it. But then some music app will reward them with an achievement for wasting their time writing a review. In the beer world, that’s a reality. 56 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Untappd and apps like it have created landscapes for all beer drinkers, from the binge-drinking teenager to the Cicerone-certified cervezaphile, to lay down their knowledge, or lack of, as equals. This isn’t to say there isn’t good in these apps, but how they’re used can sometimes leave other beer drinkers and brewers scratching their heads. I sent a questionnaire to individuals who might help me shine some light on the pluses and minuses of such platforms, and Cicero, Sterling, Willamette, and Dr. Rudi were kind enough to respond. For those unfamiliar, Untappd, what Cicero calls the “Yelp of beers,” encourages its users to keep track of beers they’ve tried by rating them. When they do this, users are awarded badges.


They also get badges for trying new and different styles of beer. On its face, it’s a great way for beer drinkers to interact with one another and stay up to date on the micro and macro beer-verse. But as with many digital treasures, intention of design doesn’t always translate to user application. “Apps like Untappd basically create Beer Pokemon,” says Sterling. “It’s becoming less about a great beer experience and more about a new beer experience. ... That consumer behavior is destructive in any industry, and especially one rooted in manufacturing. It’s unsustainable.” This leads to some pretty ridiculous beer reviews, like people who hate hoppy beers reviewing IPAs. Cicero jokes...half jokes, “If we did a beer called ‘blueberry beer,’ there may be a review that says, ‘This is good, but I’m allergic to blueberries: one star.’” I don’t like to tell anyone how to enjoy beer, but this isn’t how anyone should enjoy beer. I’m a firm believer in time and place functioning as essential components to the overall experience of a beer. For me, the exact same Stout in the summer on the lake will taste notably different when enjoyed in the winter by the fireplace. Willamette says, “There’s an encouragement to buy a sampler, taste one to three fluid ounces of the product, then write a review.” After one taster, the beer drinker moves on to the next, then the next. In a sense, it’s like going to a concert where you hear 10-second snippets from bands covering a variety of genres, from folk to rock to jazz to death metal to ballet to jingles. No matter how you order them, each experience is going to influence the next. I’ve yet to meet a person who can drink a sour beer and transition to a Pilsner without the flavor being tainted. So we have people drinking beer they know they won’t like. We have people adamantly gulping through the catalog at different breweries not for the experience, but to review ‘em all. It sounds like the positives are few and far between. Not so fast. Dr. Rudi points out, “It’s another place to engage with people who have tried our beer! ... I generally don’t read the comments, or ignore the bad ones, but do engage madisonessentials.com

| 57


people who have something interesting to say or if they take a great photo of our space.” In addition, these apps have the potential to inform brewers that there might be some technical issue on the brewing side of things. And for the beer drinker, they’re places to navigate beer on a personal level. They allow users to keep a beer journal

they can refer to when trying new beers or rediscovering old favorites. The potential in an app like Untappd to help engage beer enthusiasts with one another across the state, nation, and globe is there. I think app users would do well to remember that these platforms aren’t there in hopes of being abused and that reviewing a plethora of beer does not an expert make.

Even experts could use a reminder from time to time that brewing is an art. There is the science of the craft, but it’s so much an expression of the individual behind the beer that to ignore where it’s coming from and what’s going on in that person’s mind does a disservice to the product. There are a lot of people on Untappd saying what the brewer should do to make the beer taste like they want it to taste. Sterling says, “If everyone says a beer is too this or too that, it won’t make me change a recipe on something that matched my original vision.” It’s not uncommon to hear of a brewery working on a new beer and dumping the entire batch because it didn’t come out the way the brewer wanted. I remember years ago mixing beers and having fun seeing what profiles worked well with one another. I asked the brewer to try some and he refused, saying, “If I wanted to taste a beer like that, I’d make that beer.” The takeaway I hope for from this article is continued acknowledgement that we have the ability to put our opinions out there without any filter whatsoever. Whether or not a person respects Tom Waits, Picasso, or their local brewer, I wish them to remember that what artists do, they do with intention. Drinking a beer is access to something intimate that deserves more consideration than fulfilling quests for digital awards.

To the mindful, the appreciative, and the accomplished. May their relationships further our own. Kyle Jacobson is a copy editor for Madison Essentials, and a writer and beer enthusiast (sometimes all at once) living in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Photographs by Kyle Jacobson.

Kyle Jacobson

58 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s


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e ssential home

Fresh and Flavorful by Joan W. Ziegler

Growing up in the city, gardeners took care of our yard, but my mom always planted her own herbs. For fresh herbs, we would pop out the kitchen door to pick a handful of this or a sprig of that to season whatever was cooking. Now, if I could only plant one or two things, I would grow herbs.

Perennial Herbs

Many herbs are easy-to-grow perennials that come back year after year. Sage,

an 18 to 24-inch bushy perennial with silver foliage, is beautiful both in the garden and on the plate. You only need one or two of these lovelies to ensure a fresh supply for sage butter, stuffing, poultry, and more. To keep sage tidy, cut back to three to four inches in the spring after new growth begins to show. Chives emerge early in spring and can be harvested throughout the growing season. With purple flowers, grassy foliage, and a clump-forming habit, chives are a welcome addition to any garden. For a beautiful garnish, try a dusting of minced chives or a sprinkle of chive flowers. Their sweet mild onion flavor adds a fresh taste to omelets, soups, and salads. Mint is used extensively in Middle Eastern cooking, drinks, and tea. A cool and refreshing sprig of fresh mint for ice tea, lemonade, or mojitos makes it feel like summer. But as much as I love it, mint is a problem child in the garden. It doesn’t share; it always wants more and no matter how you try to contain it, it usually escapes. Plant mint where it will not get into trouble— either in a bed or patio pot by itself,

60 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

alongside the garage, or in the back of the yard. Thyme is a must have for French cooking. Marginally hardy and slow growing, French thyme is a diminutive plant with fine textured evergreen leaves. Plant in groups at the edge of the garden and use it for trim in container gardens. If you like to cook, it may truly be hard to have enough thyme. Greek oregano, much like thyme, is marginally hardy and excellent in containers. Rosemary is the one of the few herbs to happily overwinter in the house. Keep it evenly moist in a sunny window, and it will grow sizable enough to harvest. Fresh rosemary is a favorite seasoning for roast chicken, pork, and lamb. Try making a healthful tea or invigorating hair rinse by boiling a sprig of rosemary in water for 5 to 10 minutes. It’s worth it for the aroma therapy.

Annual and Biannual Herbs

Annual and biannual herbs are typically less aromatic and used in greater quantities than perennial herbs. Plant an ample supply of parsley, dill,


landscape architects garden designers site planners 831.5098 zdainc.com

OUTDOOR CREATIV VE cooking. Thin seedling when they are five to six inches by pulling out the majority of baby plants. Leave only one or two dill babies per square foot. Use to season fish, green beans, salads, and more. To grow dill for pickling, sow seeds again at the same time you plant your cucumber.

Joan W. Ziegler is a horticulturist and garden designer and winner of the 2015 Perennial Plant Association Merit Award for Residential Landscape at ZDA, Inc. Landscape Architecture, 4797 Capitol View Road, Middleton. Call (608) 831-5098 or visit zdainc.com. Photographs provided by ZDA, Inc.

Parsley grows in partial shade or full sun and makes a wonderful edging for flower gardens. When left to overwinter, it may come back for early spring harvest, but it goes to seed as the temperature rises. Like all members of the carrot family, parsley, dill, and cilantro lose their basal leaves when they start to flower. Then there is nothing left to harvest. Dill is a reliable self-seeder that germinates in May and blooms in June. Their beautiful chartreuse flowers are a favorite of mine for bouquets and

It’s hard to think of summer without fresh basil. A renowned companion for tomatoes, it too hates the cold. Wait until the end of May or the first of June to plant outside, and then plant more in July so that there are fresh plants through the end of summer. Fresh and flavorful, herbs are easy to grow and wonderful to have on hand. They mark the seasons, define cuisines, and add beauty to the garden. Try growing a planter of herbs outside the kitchen door; mix them into flower beds and plant amongst vegetables to help them grow healthy and strong. My mom always said, “It’s not that I’m a great cook, it’s just that I use fresh ingredients.” You may be surprised how a sprig of this or a tablespoon of that can elevate the simple to the sublime.

Photograph by Betsy Haynes Photography

and basil by growing them mixed in amongst flowers and vegetables or grouping them in container gardens.

Cilantro and coriander are one and the same. Both are used extensively in Latin, Asian, and Indian cuisine. Cilantro, the leafy parsley-like part of the plant, bolts quickly to produce coriander seeds. For a continuous supply, cilantro has to be planted repeatedly throughout the summer.

Joan W. Ziegler

For recipes incorporating garden herbs, visit madisonessentials.com.

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advertiser index association

entertainment & media

Aldo Leopold Nature Center................. 7 & 43

American Players Theatre............................. 13

Dane Buy Local............................................... 20

Back of the House Online Video Series....... 54

Dane County Humane Society.................... 27

Betty Lou Cruises............................................. 53

Fitchburg Center............................................. 17

Brat Fest............................................................ 63

Green Lake Area Chamber of

Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison......................... 64

Commerce.................................................. 33

Home Elements & Concepts......................... 25

Madison Originals............................................. 9

Journey of Aging............................................. 51

Sauk Prairie Area Chamber of

Livsreise............................................................. 47

Commerce............................................7 & 11

Madison Opera............................................... 55

Spring Green Art Fair 2019.............................. 15

MHAAA Spring Art Tour.................................... 8

dining, food & beverage Athens Grill....................................................... 49 Bavaria Sausage Kitchen, Inc....................... 19

Olbrich Botanical Gardens........................... 32 Our Lives Magazine........................................ 37 WORT-FM........................................................... 59

Captain Bill’s.................................................... 53

home & landscaping

Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream..................... 39

ZDA, Inc............................................................. 61

Clasen’s European Bakery............................. 31 Dorf Haus.......................................................... 13

services

Drumlin Ridge Winery..................................... 51

American Family Insurance DreamBank...... 2

Fraboni’s Italian Specialties &

Bergamot Massage & Bodywork.................... 5

Delicatessen............................................... 35

The Buckingham Inn....................................... 41

Imperial Garden.............................................. 28

Community Pharmacy................................... 29

Lombardino’s................................................... 25

Dane County Credit Union............................ 43

Mariner’s........................................................... 53

Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic.......................... 45

The Mixing Bowl Bakery.................................. 11

Green Concierge Travel................................ 43

Nau-Ti-Gal........................................................ 53

The Livingston Inn............................................ 41

The Nitty Gritty................................................. 19

Luna’s Groceries.............................................. 43

The Old Feed Mill Restaurant........................ 61

Monroe Street Framing................................... 15

Old Sugar Distillery.......................................... 23

Red Arrow Production.................................... 49

Otto’s Restaurant & Bar.................................. 33

Stoughton Hospital......................................... 16

Paoli Schoolhouse Shops

Tadsen Photography...................................... 55

& Café......................................................... 42

Pizza Brutta....................................................... 45

shopping

Porta Bella........................................................ 57

Abel Contemporary Gallery......................... 53

Quivey’s Grove................................................ 57

Community Wellness Shop............................ 29

Riley’s Wines of the World.............................. 12

Deconstruction Inc......................................... 42

Samba Brazilian Grill....................................... 12

Karen & Co......................................................... 5

The Side Door Grill and Tap........................... 12

Kessenich’s Ltd................................................. 37

Sugar River Pizza Company............................. 5

Lidtke Motors.................................................... 58

Tangent............................................................. 24

Little Luxuries.................................................... 29

Tempest Oyster Bar......................................... 23

Luceo Boutique & Styling Co........................ 31

Tornado Steak House..................................... 23

Plum Crazy........................................................ 29

Vintage Brewing Co. ...................................... 24

Rutabaga Paddlesports....................... 35 & 40

Willy Street Co-op........................................... 39

Wantoot............................................................ 36

Wollersheim Winery & Distillery..................... 47

Woodland Studios........................................... 54

CONTEST Win a $50

Gift Card! Question: “What local retail business holds First Friday gatherings the first Friday of each month?” Enter by submitting your answer to the above question online at madisonessentials.com, or by mail with your name, mailing address, phone number, and email to: Madison Essentials c/o Towns & Associates, Inc. PO Box 174 Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 All entries with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing for one of two $50 gift cards. Contest deadline is May 20, 2019. Gift cards will be honored at all Food Fight® Restaurant Group restaurants (see foodfightinc.com).

Good Luck!

Winners Thank you to everyone who entered our previous contest. The answer to the question, “What local business resulted from a group of volunteers coming together at the University of Wisconsin–Student Association” is Community Pharmacy. A $50 Food Fight Gift Card was sent to each of our winners, Maria Kubota of Beaver Dam and Tammy Turnquist of Madison.

CONGRATULATIONS! 62 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s


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Profile for Towns & Associates

Madison Essentials May/June 2019  

Madison Essentials is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to promoting the Greater Madison area and its independent businesses and organizations....

Madison Essentials May/June 2019  

Madison Essentials is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to promoting the Greater Madison area and its independent businesses and organizations....