City Budget Gets All Nerdy...

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Since sifting through dull newspapers, hyperbolic blogs, and overflowing RSS feeds for meaningful news can be an arduous process, News Net catches and compiles both the amusing and the significant reports that were overlooked over the weekend. Here are some things to think about as the work week begins.

• Ever since Mayor Soglin announced a budget that suggests slashing taxpayer support for the Edgewater renovation project while boosting support for the new Central Library, plenty of people have weighed in on his plan. The members of the city council aren’t fans. And one Wisconsin State Journal reader wrote in to call out support for a new library as a waste of taxpayer money compared to the luxury hotel, since the hotel will create more jobs and increase the local tax base. All the dumb library will do will provide shelter for the homeless and poison people’s minds with communist literature, right? It probably won’t even have iPads (unlike some Wisconsin libraries), much less cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Do we really want to be the sort of society that sacrifices tax revenues for public access to information resources? Madness!

• Word broke over the weekend that Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie earned immunity from the ongoing “John Doe” FBI investigation that’s slowly snaking around former Walker staffers and campaign donors. Werwie is the closest link to the governor himself so far, just adding fuel to spiraling theories that the John Doe in question might be Walker himself. But hey, Walker can’t be totally bummed—having his own personal Watergate just cements him as one of the great Republican supervillians of this century.

• In the Wisconsin State Journal column which would be more accurately called “WTF Madison?!?”, the WSJ explained why there essentially are no parking lot lines at the Henry Vilas Zoo: The exhaustive examination of how all forms of public transit are used in Madison has all repairs in the Vilas area delayed until 2013. In the meantime, watch where you park down there: Parking for too long or outside the “lines” will earn you a ticket, and based on how hard up the city is for cash, you can count on some aggressive parking enforcement officers making the rounds to ruin your scam of parking there during Badger games.

• Facebook came to the UW campus over the weekend, and it wasn’t even to aggressively re-arrange all of our shit: It held the second-annual Facebook Hackathon on the College Of Engineering campus, where students are challenged to come up an interesting idea, then complete the program, Facebook app, or product in one sitting. Facebook employees run the event similarly to the “programming tryouts” seen in The Social Network, complete with distractions like a Facebook employee-only Nerf War where participants were used as cover. No compulsory drinking can be seen in the video, but it was a long night—who knows? The winning idea, a roommate management system, earned its team a trip to Facebook HQ for a tour and one wish to be granted by the holy and powerful Lord Zuckerberg.

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