Alder David Ahrens
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Ahrens’ Updates
February 2017 District News
Ash Tree Removal: Beginning next month, the removal of ash trees will begin in many of our neighborhoods. Eastmorland, Hawthorne and the area between Thompson Dr. and Wheeler Rd. will be subject to removal of most ash trees in the terraces. Overall, about 300 trees will be removed this month. Replanting is scheduled to start in Fall 2017 or Spring 2018.
This area has shown evidence of ash borer infestation largely by an unusual level of damage by woodpeckers eating ash borer larvae. (Unfortunately, there are not enough woodpeckers to get rid of the bugs.) If you have any questions, please contact the Forestry Supervisor, Dean Kahl at 266- 2891.
Biergarten: The city committees took no action on the biergarten this month, but hopefully will act on the proposal in February. The Parks Commission will meet at Olbrich Gardens on Feb. 8th. I'm not sure whether this will be on the agenda. On Feb. 15th, the Alcohol License Review Commission (ALRC) will meet to discuss and perhaps vote on the Biergarten and Visions licenses (see below).
Also in January, about 50 community members attended the Eastmorland Community Association and rescinded the motion to oppose the biergarten that had been passed in a "special meeting" of some members of the Board. The membership directed the Board to communicate to Alders and the ALRC "that letter (opposing the biergarten) was not performed in accordance with the currently adopted ECA by-laws, no special meeting was appropriately called and as such the motion by email to send letter was out of order. "
Visions: A new license for Visions nightclub was put on hold by the ALRC last month because of the lack of a plan for parking. The "adult entertainment" bar has about 10 spaces and patron capacity of 130. There is no parking on East Wash or on Ridgeway behind it. The closest street parking is more than two blocks away and it is very limited. We will be very interested to see how the applicant plans to address this issue. This license will also be heard on Feb. 15th at the ALRC.
Transitioning to Renewable Energy: In case you haven't heard, the Trump administration is not interested in reducing the output of greenhouse gases which cause climate change. At the state level, Walker has scrubbed any mention of climate change from state websites. Worse, Wisconsin lags far behind all but a handful of states (which are coal-producing) in the use of renewable sources of energy. Well, if the federal and state government won't act, the city can. I've sponsored a measure to transition city from the use of fossil-fuels to renewable sources. (This measure would only apply to city government operations.) The electricity that we buy from MGE is overwhelmingly produced by burning coal. By next year, I look forward to a report on how the city can power our water pumps, lights and heat without harming our planet.
(Did you know that most of our electrical power is used to power huge pumps to bring water to the surface from deep aquifers?)
Immigration Forum: This Sunday, Jan. 29th, at 2 PM there will be a forum on immigration that will serve to answer questions about the proposed federal measures against both immigrant and Muslim communities. Many people who are not among the targeted groups have asked how can they help or support those who may be affected by the new rules. This forum should help to answer those questions and show support for our vulnerable neighbors.
The forum is called United We Stand/ Know Your Rights. Doors open at 1:30 PM, program begins at 2 and is scheduled to last until 5. Speakers include representatives of Latino, Muslim and rights organizations, the US Attorney for Wisconsin, Mayor Soglin, Sheriff Mahoney, Rep. Chris Taylor and Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff.
Invigorating Cottage Grove Rd: The City is looking for ways to encourage exciting and viable commercial centers along the newly reconstructed Cottage Grove Road. This plan will focus on two areas near the intersections of Atwood Avenue and Acewood Boulevard.
The kick-off meeting will be on Tuesday, January 31st in the Atrium at Olbrich Gardens.
Here's the Agenda:
6:00 Introduction to Plan and Background Information
6:15 Market Analysis Overview
6:30 Warm up Exercise - Corridor Visioning
6:50 Small Group Exercise and Analysis of Activity Centers
7:10 Activity Center Visioning
7:20 Report Out of Small Groups
7:30 Final Thoughts and Goodnight
Planning the Future of Parks: The Parks Department is planning the next five years for our parks. What would you like to see change? More green spaces? More dog parks? Should we increase lake access? Ten thousand ash trees will be cut down in the parks over the next two years. How will they be replaced? You probably have many additional questions, concerns and interests.
The first public involvement meeting will be held at Whitehorse MS on February 6 at 6 PM. This will be a year-long process but this may be the only meeting in our immediate area.
If you have any questions, comment or concerns about city issues or services please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 334-1156.
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