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Wednesday, December 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 35.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

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Madison Snaps: December 24, 2014

Today's image titled "untitled" was photographed by Chris Collins. >More
 Clarinetist Joseph Morris is splendid in Middleton Community Orchestra's 2014 holiday concert

The December holidays mean the concert calendar is full of music no one would think of tolerating any other time of the year. Who wants to hear "Silent Night" or "White Christmas" in July? >More
How the #SweetScientists Amy DeJong and Maya Warren won The Amazing Race

If you're reading this, it's very likely that you followed Amy DeJong and Maya Warren as they traveled from New York to Los Angeles, taking the long way around the world, in a quest to win $1 million on the 25th season of The Amazing Race. Labeled the #SweetScientists by CBS, they visited 20 cities in eight nations over the span of about three weeks. >More
 Isthmus on WORT: Can Dane County get Enbridge to insure Line 61?

Isthmus news editor Joe Tarr reported on Enbridge's plans to expand Line 61's capacity and what the county's role is in the approval process in the December 18 issue, and discussed his story with WORT producer Dylan Brogan on that day's edition of In Our Backyard. >More
 Madison Snaps: December 23, 2014

Today's image titled "Capitol Tree" was photographed by Michael Leland. >More
 Cheap Shots and 2014 in arts, music and food in the December 23 issue of Isthmus

What can you find in this week's Isthmus? Highlights from the latest issue follow. >More
 Isthmus Picks: Madison calendar for December 23, 2014 - January 9, 2015

Here are this week's Isthmus Picks. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison. >More
Lessons learned from daring wilderness travel

In the winter of 2013, my boss handed me a copy of Wild by Cheryl Strayed -- for obvious reasons. Strayed and I had both completed daring wilderness trips in the late 1990s. Strayed hiked 1,100 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail; I paddled 1,700 miles on the Voyageur Highway. >More
 Union drive divides progressive Willy Street Co-op

Workers at the Willy Street Co-op were set to vote on whether to form a union this month. But on Dec. 15, United Food & Commercial Workers abruptly canceled the election, accusing the co-op's management team of violating federal labor laws and the neutrality agreement negotiated between management and the union. >More
 'Twas a night in Wisconsin

Twas a night in Wisconsin, when all through the state,
Not a conservative was feeling anything but great. >More
 Housing co-ops in Madison facing internal crisis over rent strike

Ava Jindra can't take much more. An internal fight over the management of the Madison Community Cooperative, an organization that owns 11 housing co-ops, has left Jindra and many others feeling defeated. >More
 Citizen Dave: The Cargo Bike Shop is ready to outfit workhorses

When you think of bicycles, it's likely that the first images to come to mind are super-fit Lycra-clad racers in summer or maybe bundled-up urban hipsters in winter. But Tim Staton wants you to think of a bike as a workhorse too. >More
Madison Snaps: December 22, 2014

Today's image titled "mona lisa street art" was photographed by Steven Bauer. >More
 Drummer John O.Reilly stays busy making music with Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Drummer John O.Reilly may have one of the coolest jobs in rock. He's spent the past dozen years touring each November through early January with one of two traveling versions of the holiday rock-opera extravaganza Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and he's gigged with everyone from Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow and Blue Oyster Cult to Yoko Ono and the late Richie Havens. >More
 The Amazing Race 25, Episode 12: The #SweetScientists come from behind, play smart, and win!

When I pitched recapping the 25th season of The Amazing Race to Isthmus, all I wanted was to get paid to watch TV. That's the American Dream, right? I honestly hadn't thought about the possibility that contestants Amy DeJong and Maya Warren, a pair of students in UW-Madison's Food Science doctoral program, would actually make it all the way to the finale, much less come from behind to win it all. >More
 Comedian Nate Craig enjoys a hometown holiday with standup and Townie Fest

Nate Craig has Madison in his blood. He was born here, and attended both West High School and UW-Madison. While Craig is open about the love he has for his hometown, it's hard to make a career in comedy living in Dane County. That's why he moved to California, where he now works as a writer and warm-up comedian for MTV's Ridiculousness. >More
 Tell All: Where do I draw the line when my daughter dresses too sexy?

Dear Tell All: My sweet little girl has turned into a teenager -- with a vengeance. At 16, she's obsessed with guys, along with the way she looks. This whole thing has been building up since middle school, but recently it's reached crisis proportions. >More
 Give a gift of tickets to Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest 2015

What better way to show that you care? Tickets to the sixth annual Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest make an ideal holiday gift for... well, your family, your friends, and even yourself! >More
 Madison Snaps: December 19, 2014

Today's image titled "Short Morning at Short Stack" was photographed by Paul T. McMahon. >More
 Citizen Dave: My first venison dinner of the season

It was fate. The other night I came home to find a postcard from the Wisconsin DNR. The doe I shot on the first day of gun deer season in November had tested negative for chronic wasting disease. >More
 Mama Madison: Talking about race with Families for Justice

Like many parents, I look at the wide world around my kids and do my best to prepare them for life. We talk about working hard, being kind and responsible, Internet safety, stranger danger, and the (gulp) birds and the bees. But what about a topic such as race? >More
 How Chris Farley came out of Madison to conquer the world

In the 1980s, I lived near a tiny theater in downtown Madison called Ark Improv. A comedian named Chris Farley performed in this converted garage, and the place seemed way too small for him. >More
 Madison Snaps: December 18, 2014

Today's image titled "window peeping sunday morning" was photographed by Steven Bauer. >More
 Yang Sao Xiong, Enbridge, New Year's parties, Doolittle's in the December 18 issue of Isthmus

What can you find in this week's Isthmus? Highlights from the latest issue follow. >More
 Isthmus Picks: Madison calendar for December 18-25, 2014

Here are this week's Isthmus Picks. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison. >More
 A Book A Week: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation is the first book in The Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. It tells the story of the 12th expedition to Area X, the (fictional) site of a mysterious ecological disaster, located somewhere in the southern U.S. >More
 Madland: City council races offer much more than the lesser of two evils

As reported last week, candidates are now declaring for the Madison Common Council elections in spring 2015. I've often wondered why so many people are willing to run for alder in the first place: Crazy hours for a job where the hourly pay probably doesn't hit minimum wage; all the joy of drawing the ire of the public with very little of the power of other elected positions. >More
 Dane County residents concerned about proposed Enbridge oil pipeline expansion

A Dane County committee will hear a proposal next month on whether to allow a tar sands pipeline to triple its capacity -- exceeding the size of the controversial Keystone pipeline. >More
 Local fibers find a home at the Dancing Lamb in Evansville

The Dancing Lamb, a new yarn and fiber shop in Evansville, Wis., is located in a farmhouse-style Victorian house on a mostly residential block of Main Street. Set among other historic homes from the period, shoppers may feel as if they're no longer in this century. >More
 Is Steel Panther a novelty band or parody band?

The four aging, heavily made-up men in Steel Panther look like the bastard offspring from an unholy union of Poison and Mötley Crüe circa 1989. They write over-the-top hair-metal songs ripe with melody, muscle and machismo, fearlessly creating an amalgam of that maligned era's sound and embracing all its excesses and debauchery. >More
 Madison Snaps: December 17, 2014

Today's image titled "untitled" was photographed by Sarah Mittermaier. >More
 State of Wisconsin focuses on downside of EPA's Clean Power Plan to cut carbon emissions

In mid-November, the environmental advocacy group Clean Wisconsin held a press conference to announce some excellent news. Its in-house analysis showed Wisconsin well-positioned to meet the challenge posed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. >More
 Isthmus on WORT: How much should Madison invest in promoting tourism?

Isthmus news editor Joe Tarr reported on the city of Madison's room tax and funding for promoting tourism in the December 11 issue, and discussed his story with WORT producer Dylan Brogan on that day's edition of In Our Backyard. >More
 The best Wisconsin beers and breweries of 2014

Growth continues to seem boundless for craft beer in Wisconsin. Once again, the last 12 months have offered brewery openings and expansions, new faces behind the brew kettles, and plenty of memorable beers. These developments are evident around the state, while the region surrounding Madison continues to build a reputation as a brewing destination. >More
 Despite lean times, Dane County moves forward on road, building projects in 2015 budget

The Dane County Board on Nov. 17 approved a spending package for 2015 whose main selling point was that current funding levels for most services would be maintained. >More
 Children's Theater of Madison keeps A Christmas Carol fresh in its 35th year

When the narrator invited the packed house in Overture's Capitol Theater to come closer to hear a very special story -- one that absolutely cannot begin with "once upon a time" -- there was a sense that hundreds of velvet- and taffeta-clad children and their parents leaned in to be newly amazed and enchanted by the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. >More
 Madison Snaps: December 16, 2014

Today's image titled "Early Ice Fishing" was photographed by Craig Wilson. >More
 Star soprano Hayley Westenra to sing holiday favorites with Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

Acclaimed soprano Hayley Westenra, who has mesmerized audiences across continents with her clear, innocent voice, will appear with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra at the Orpheum Theater on Dec. 18 and 19. >More
 Citizen Dave: Let's drop the 'student-athlete' pretense for big-time college sports

When now-former Wisconsin Badgers football coach Gary Andersen unexpectedly caught the last train for the West Coast, one of the reasons suggested by pundits was that the UW has tougher academic standards for its players than a lot of other schools. >More
 The Amazing Race 25, Episode 11: Running on fumes, the #SweetScientists make it to the finale

Here we are, at the penultimate leg of the 25th edition of The Amazing Race -- just one more week until it'll all be over. The bad news: Our gals, UW-Madison grad students Amy and Maya, the #SweetScientists, ended up in last place on this leg. The good news: No one was eliminated. >More
 > PREVIOUS DAILY POSTS

CITIZEN DAVE

Citizen Dave: The Cargo Bike Shop is ready to outfit workhorses

When you think of bicycles, it's likely that the first images to come to mind are super-fit Lycra-clad racers in summer or maybe bundled-up urban hipsters in winter. But Tim Staton wants you to think of a bike as a workhorse too. >More
Citizen Dave: My first venison dinner of the season

It was fate. The other night I came home to find a postcard from the Wisconsin DNR. The doe I shot on the first day of gun deer season in November had tested negative for chronic wasting disease. >More
Citizen Dave: Let's drop the 'student-athlete' pretense for big-time college sports

When now-former Wisconsin Badgers football coach Gary Andersen unexpectedly caught the last train for the West Coast, one of the reasons suggested by pundits was that the UW has tougher academic standards for its players than a lot of other schools. >More
Citizen Dave: A lack of strong leadership is dooming Judge Doyle Square

In my view, good politicians keep their political capital balance just slightly in the black. Politicians who do nothing but hoard political capital may be popular, but they accomplish little, while those who are profligate spenders of it find themselves out of office and unable to accomplish anything. >More
Citizen Dave: Ferguson, body cameras and black incarceration in Wisconsin

Outside of Bobby Kennedy's impromptu speech upon the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I don't think I've ever heard or read a white liberal say anything useful about race. >More
Citizen Dave: Mayor Soglin's budget veto threat is good theatrics but bad government

There are two problems with Mayor Paul Soglin's threat to veto the city's 2015 budget, one substantive and the other strategic. >More
Citizen Dave: On being the loyal opposition

With the fall elections (mercifully) behind us it's time to look forward to local elections next spring. As we get ready for that, Isthmus editors have asked me to state why I think it's important that I share my criticisms of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin. So, here goes. >More
Citizen Dave: Wisconsin Democrats can look forward to 2016

I'm still sifting through the wreckage of last week's election. I promise this is the last time I'll write about it for awhile. After all, deer season is almost upon us! >More
Citizen Dave: Forthrightness is the prescription for what ails Democrats

The darkest moment in the 2014 midterm campaign was when Allison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, refused to admit that she had voted for President Obama. >More
Citizen Dave: Voters who show up will decide the race between Burke and Walker

Woody Allen was right when he said that showing up is 80% of life. That has never been more true than when it comes to turnout in the race between Mary Burke and Scott Walker for governor of Wisconsin >More
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