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Thursday, December 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Light Snow
The Daily


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, 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
 Madison Snaps: December 15, 2014

Today's image titled "Tundra Swans" was photographed by Michael Leland. >More
 Solo performers dazzle as Madison Ballet stages its tenth Nutcracker at Overture Center

Madison Ballet is marking a decade of residence at Overture Center with its 2014 production of The Nutcracker, and Saturday evening's performance revealed some changes in both choreography and costumes. >More
 Vinyl Cave: Dollar bin diving with Racey, Jeffrey Cain, Dan Sorkin

Believe it or not, I haven't been going too bonkers picking up weird bargain bin LPs lately. It's partly because I still have a pile of past purchases that weren't keepers and need to find new homes, and partly because the pickings have been somewhat slim in recent months. >More
 Craft beer names and labels can be sexist in Wisconsin too

From busty dirndl-clad blonde maidens to the Miller High Life Girl in the Moon, women's bodies have been used to sell beer to men since the dawn of advertising. Unfortunately, the rise of craft beer has hardly proven to be an exception to this long-standing practice. >More
 Madison Area Chefs Network to host week of culinary events in March 2015

The Madison Area Chefs Network is gearing up for its next big event: a week of chef-centered events at participating restaurants slated for March 9-15, 2015. >More
 Tell All: Why does everyone in Madison like to hug?

Dear Tell All: I grew up in rural Wisconsin but have lived in Madison for over 10 years. At this point, I consider myself a dyed-in-the-wool near-east-sider. I shop at Willy Street Co-op, read Isthmus, have a CSA, recycle, vote for liberal local politicians, etc. I've gone native in all respects except one: hugging. >More
 Madison Snaps: December 12, 2014

Today’s image titled "The Edgewater" was photographed by Ryan Wisniewski. >More
 Beer Here: Bilbo Baggins Black IPA from One Barrel Brewing

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien has undoubtedly captured the imaginations of many readers, particularly as they grow older after spending hours with the classic novel and its companion volumes. It was a childhood favorite for One Barrel Brewing owner Peter Gentry and brewer Dan Sherman, and is the inspiration for one of their most popular beers, Bilbo Baggins Black IPA. >More
 Mama Madison: Checking it twice

If you're like me, looking around your house in the weeks before Christmas will probably have you convinced that the last thing your kids need to find underneath the tree is a pile of new toys. >More
 East Washington Avenue sees a smaller-scale development proposal at Few Street

A few years ago, East Washington Avenue, often considered the gateway to the city, was a relatively empty and unremarkable street. >More
 Madison Snaps: December 11, 2014

Today's image titled "Overture Center-Panorama" was photographed by Steven Bauer. >More
 Coffee culture, Modern Mod, Op Plague, Layla's Persian in the December 11 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 11-18, 2014

Here are this week's Isthmus Picks. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison. >More
 Candidates begin declaring for the spring 2015 election for the Madison Common Council

The deadline to file nomination papers for the Madison Common Council is just a few weeks away, but so far, only half of the 20 members have indicated they're running for reelection. >More
 A preview of Gib's Bar packs them in

Madison was able to catch a glimpse of the newest venture from Grampa's Pizzeria owner Gilbert Altschul on Tuesday night, with a preview party held at Sujeo. Altschul's latest, the simply-named Gib's Bar, will be located next door to the popular Willy Street pizzeria. >More
 City doubles down on tourism funding for Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau

Madison's 2015 budget was especially tough to produce, with almost every city department forced to tighten their belts. Some departments saw slight increases in the $283 million budget -- mostly to cover modest increases in pay and benefits -- but overall spending generally stayed flat. There was one notable exception: The Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau. >More
 Madison folk musicians give back with the third annual Wintersong concert

For Anna Vogelzang, the annual Wintersong concert is a labor of love. A musician herself, Vogelzang organized the first Wintersong concert two years ago. It has since grown into one of the area's biggest folk music events, with all the proceeds going to the Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. >More
 Madison Snaps: December 10, 2014

Today's image titled "Snow night" was photographed by Michael Leland. >More
 Wisconsin prison system revamps disciplinary rules

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections is quietly preparing to make significant changes to its rules governing inmate discipline, amid heightened discomfort over the state's use of solitary confinement. >More
 Isthmus on WORT: The changing face of State Street

Isthmus news editor Joe Tarr reported on Mayor Soglin's ideas for a moratorium on bars and restaurants along State Street in the December 4 issue, and discussed his story with WORT producer Dylan Brogan on that day's edition of In Our Backyard. >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
Citizen Dave: Mary Burke's life experience is much more diverse than Scott Walker's

A last-minute attack from the Walker campaign and its conservative allies against Mary Burke brings up an interesting issue. Do we expect our leaders to never have failed at anything? >More
Citizen Dave: A little conventional wisdom a week out from the 2014 election

I will not attempt to make any predictions here. I will not play the partisan. I will just let you know what I've read and what I've heard from the political insider types I hang around with sometimes. >More
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