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Wednesday, August 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 72.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Daily

SCENES

Taking the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Wisconsin

There's no denying the appeal of the Madison Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Wisconsin. Hundreds upon hundered of people raising pledge dollars for the privilege of standing -- sometimes underdressed, sometimes over-costumed, often apprehensive yet full of charged-up bravado -- in front of hundreds of other people and shrieking as they plunge into the frigid waters of Lake Monona off Olin-Turville Park. >More
 Looking back at a divisive war in the Wisconsin Veterans Museum

It resembles any ordinary suburban front door, except that it is mounted on a museum kiosk. As people approach, a doorbell rings brightly, inviting them to pull the door open. Then they see a mournful display: vintage Western Union telegrams announcing the grim fate of two young Wisconsin men who served in the Vietnam War. One was killed in action in 1970, and the other was reported missing in flight in 1965. >More
 A snowshoe commute across Lake Monona

The snowshoe commute to work across Lake Monona is one of the most gratifying opportunities afforded by Madison's lakes in winter. >More
 The New Girl in Town: What the freak!?

Our new girl in town, E$, will be chronicling her introduction to Madison institutions in future months, or until she's no longer such a new girl. Her first installment deals with some of the "flowers" in our garden. >More
 Jimmy the Groundhog, we salute you

If you don't like what one groundhog says, try another. This morning the nation's more-or-less official groundhog -- Phil, of Punxsutawney, Pa. -- predicted an early spring, but out in Sun Prairie our local rodent prognosticator, Jimmy, declared to top-hatted officials that winter will last six more weeks. That also is more or less what the calendar says, but who knows? >More
 Lake Mendota's big freeze

As with Lake Monona, which froze on Thursday, Jan. 18, this is the second-latest freeze date for Lake Mendota in 150 years of freeze-thaw record-keeping. >More
 Lake Monona's big freeze

Lake Monona appears frozen at long last. Though its broad expanses of ice remained dotted with a few areas of open water on yesterday, Lyle Anderson, manager of the Wisconsin State Climatology Office, had tentatively identified Thursday, Jan. 18, as this year's official freeze date for Lake Monona. By this afternoon, that determination had been confirmed, making this the second-latest freeze date on record for Lake Monona. And tonight's forecast low near 5 degrees with light winds ought to yield favorable conditions for closing whatever stubborn puddles remain. >More
 Bayview: Tour of a Neighborhood

In conjunction with this week's You Are Here column in Isthmus, Nancy Giffey -- the resident artist at the Bayview Community Center and director of its Artsbridge program -- agreed to guide a short video tour of the neighborhood to showcase artistic contributions toward residents' quality of life. Bayview is the focus for "Portrait of a Neighborhood," a photographic exhibit on view through the end of January at the UW-Madison's Multicultural Student Center. >More
 A snowy owl creates a stir in Madison

Over the week between Christmas and New Year's weekends, the e-mails started flying: There is a snowy owl wintering in downtown Madison. From the lists of the Madison Audubon Society and other birdwatchers, word of the rare and iconic raptor has quickly made its way to Wisconsin media outlets and Harry Potter fandom alike over the last two weeks. >More
 December proves to be a dud

O.K.... Disappointed! What a letdown this month has been in terms of winter weather. Since 2.6 inches of snow fell on Dec. 1, Madison has enjoyed zilch. Zip. Nada. Stacked up against the historical record, this December has been a complete and utter dud on almost all counts. >More
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