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Wednesday, August 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 78.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Daily


The new Vilas zookeeper: Director Ronda Schwetz sets a higher standard for care and conservation

You can't miss the orangutans. Photos, drawings and large handprints of the great apes are everywhere in the office belonging to Ronda Schwetz, who became Henry Vilas Zoo's director in June. Schwetz became enamored of orangutans about seven years ago, while serving as the primate curator at the Denver Zoo. There she met Robin, an orangutan whose calm energy stood in contrast to the more volatile gorillas, and who reminded her of her twin toddlers. >More
 Remembering Marsh Shapiro

I first became aware of Marsh Shapiro -- the Madison TV personality and restaurateur who died on Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 74 -- in junior high school. We lived a few blocks from each other, me on the hill above the Catholic cemetery seven blocks west of West High and Marsh a couple of blocks further down toward University Avenue. >More
 Cheap Shots 2012: Our annual awards for bad behavior

When 2012 opened, Scott Walker's opponents were counting the days until they could formally launch a recall election against the governor, who had shocked the state by successfully eliminating collective bargaining rights for most public workers in his first few months in office. Walker, however, beat back Democratic recall opponent Tom Barrett fairly easily in June. Voters apparently cared less about Walker's policies than about electoral process. Let the guy serve out his term and then take another vote, seemed to be the prevailing view. >More
 Cheap Shots 2012: Scott Walker

For the second year in a row, we find it impossible to come up with a single Cheap Shot Award for our governor, who continued to put politics before policy, cater to monied interests and sow division among an already deeply divided state. >More
 Cheap Shots 2012: Paul Ryan

The Republican U.S. representative from Janesville was tapped as Mitt Romney's running mate in August. Thus began an ill-starred campaign in which, among other misrepresentations, Ryan claimed that the closing of Janesville's GM plant was President Obama's fault. (The closure was actually announced on George W. Bush's watch.) Ryan's turn in the national spotlight earned him more than the usual number of Cheap Shot Awards for 2012. >More
 Cheap Shots 2012: The Twitterverse responds to Paul Ryan at the GOP convention

When Paul Ryan accepted his party's VP nomination on Aug. 29 with a prime-time performance piece at the GOP convention in Tampa, his baffling mendacity alarmed more than half of the country and much of the Twittersphere. Here's an excerpt of how it sounded, in reverse, as is the way of the Twitter scroll. >More
 Wisconsin elections director Kevin Kennedy is at the center of state's political storm

When Kevin Kennedy celebrated his 60th birthday a few months ago, his staff at the Government Accountability Board presented him with framed copies of two political cartoons. They ran in the Wisconsin State Journal while recall petitions were being verified last spring. In one panel, a young protester offers to give the GAB a hand with the checking. In the other, a group of older people with tea party signs makes the same offer. >More
 A house divided: Can a Democratic/Republican marriage survive in a battleground state?

The initial reaction was not encouraging. The couples I learned of who fit the bill did not respond to my inquiries. A message on the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's Facebook page, seeking to profile "a married couple who are divided in their support" for the two major presidential contenders, drew mostly hostile replies. >More
 Local companies shine at the 2012 Isthmus Independent Business Awards ceremony

What's so special about locally owned businesses? If you have to ask, you really should have been at the Isthmus Independent Business Awards ceremony on Monday night at the Goodman Community Center. The event acknowledged the importance of local businesses and, by extension, the importance of patronizing them >More
 Isthmus Indie Awards 2012

The Isthmus Independent Business Awards pay tribute to Dane County companies that care not only about their own success, but about the whole community's success. Winners have been chosen in eight categories, honoring such locally important qualities as innovation, sustainability, and bridge-building. These are the folks who will keep our region prosperous and livable in the 21st century. >More
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