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Wednesday, August 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 84.0° F  Mostly Cloudy

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Isthmus on WORT: Wisconsin poker players want to make the game legal

Isthmus contributor Seth Jovaag reported the clandestine poker scene in Madison and what its proponents are doing to seek legitimacy in the August 14 issue, and discussed his story with WORT producer Dylan Brogan on that day's edition of In Our Backyard. >More
382 Pixel LineThe 2014 Token Creek Chamber Music Festival celebrates two Bachs and two anniversaries

Summer is a season of communion in the classical music world. In Madison there are lively outdoor concerts like Concerts on the Square and Opera in the Park. Professional performers also gather in peaceful rural settings to reflect and relax while sharing ideas, practicing and giving concerts. Such environments inspired John and Rose Mary Harbison to found the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival. >More
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The Paper

Forward Fest 2014 grows to encompass food, music

Computer programmers and engineers, meet foodies and hopeful music-industry innovators. No longer limited to high-tech or biotech topics, this year's Forward Festival, taking place Aug. 21-28 in and around Madison, has evolved to make room for the growing cuisine and music startup movements. >More
382 Pixel LineCommunities United is poised to play a critical role in addressing Madison's racial inequalities

Every month, a few dozen people gather at noon at the Urban League of Greater Madison's south-side headquarters. The June meeting of Communities United is the last before the group breaks for the summer, and Ananda Mirilli calls it to order right on time. Mirilli, restorative justice program manager for the YWCA, has been chairing these meetings for a year and attending for four. >More
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New SEED grant program brings farmers' market produce to Madison public health clinic clients

On Wednesdays, Juan Gonzalez sets up a lone farm stand in front of the public health clinic on Park Street and passes out subsidized vegetables to women and their young children. His produce fuels a grant-supported collaboration between the Spring Rose Growers Cooperative, where he's a founding member, and Public Health Madison and Dane County. >More
 Noodle nirvana at Hong Kong Station

Hong Kong Station is pinched into the unassuming 1400 block of Regent Street, the strip of small buildings across from Camp Randall that houses a tattoo parlor, a biryani joint, a key shop and now a noodle bowl sensation. >More
Deer Tick find beauty in messes and missteps

Deer Tick make messes like it's nobody's business. Browse a recent set list and you'll find autobiographical songs with titles like "Trash" and "The Dream's in the Ditch." Peruse photos of the crowd and you'll find lots of sweat. >More
 Sinking Suns explore revenge fantasies on a new EP of menacing rock songs

Sinking Suns drag darkness with them everywhere. The Madison trio, whose ominous name evokes the end of day, squeeze the light right out of their music. But on their new EP, Songs of Revenge, the path to catharsis is clearly marked. >More
Broom Street Theater's Nottingham! dares audience members act out parts of a new Robin Hood tale

What's a folk-hero vigilante to do when he finds himself on the right side of the law? The same thing an audience does when they find themselves in the middle of a play: Go with it. >More
 American Players Theatre's Travesties is a brilliant blend of history, fantasy and anarchic humor

Oscar Wilde dubbed The Importance of Being Earnest "a trivial comedy for serious people." I'm not sure that descriptor would fit Tom Stoppard's 1974 play Travesties, even though it riffs on Wilde in many ways, from reprising some of Wilde's characters to sharing his glee with wordplay and clever aphorisms. Both are playing this summer at Spring Green's American Players Theatre. >More
A not-so-charming Magic in the Moonlight

Woody Allen. These are two of the most contentious words in contemporary movie-fan circles. From the scandals and accusations in his personal life to his homogenous character demographics, there is no neutral ground in conversations about the writer and director. >More
 A teen receives all of civilization's memories in The Giver

Teen dystopias are as hot as can be at the cineplex these days, as demonstrated by the massive popularity of the Twilight and Hunger Games franchises. The Giver certainly fits into the trend, but it's no latecomer to the party. The material on which it's based, Lois Lowry's Newbery Award-winning young-adult novel, has been celebrated and reviled since its release in 1993. >More

THE GUIDE

CRITICS' CHOICE

Isthmus Picks: Madison calendar for August 14-20, 2014

Here are this week's Isthmus Picks. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison. >More

TELEVISION

An unstable undercover agent creates multiple personalities in Legends

Martin Odum (Sean Bean) is a CIA agent who transforms himself into a different person for each undercover job. For example, he goes to great lengths to style himself as a creepy outsider to infiltrate a domestic terrorist group, masking his British accent with a stutter. Legends keeps you on the edge of your seat as Martin tries not to blow his cover under tremendous pressure. >More

RECREATION

The Madison Area Sports Commission has spectacular success landing competitions

On Sept. 7, Madison will host Ironman Wisconsin for the 13th consecutive year. It's an event that long ago established itself by offering one of the most spectator-friendly courses on the entire Ironman triathlon circuit. More than 45,000 people spend hours standing along stretches of city streets and rural roads, cheering on runners and riders they'll never meet or even see again. >More

TELL ALL

Tell All: Should we shield our sex life from our son?

Dear Tell All: I'm a married guy with a 6-year-old son. It hasn't been easy for my wife and me to find time to have sex since he's been born. But we've recently instituted a once-a-week Saturday morning ritual that works out pretty well. >More

ISTHMUSPARENTS.COM

Mama Madison: Next generation of bloggers

Volunteering with the Young Writers Summer Camp this past week really helped me to remember how utterly creative kids can be when encouraged to come up with their own ideas and use their own words. >More

MADISON SNAPS

Madison Snaps: August 20, 2014

Today's image titled "Pope Farm Sunset" was photographed by Kenny Younger. >More
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COVER STORY

The poker underground: Players see an opening to legalize the game in Wisconsin

Bellied up to a table in Players Sports Bar, the east-side tavern he's owned for a quarter-century, Mark Kroon adjusts his cap and points a thumb over his shoulder to a corner of the room. "We used to play right back here," he says. "This was about the mid-'80s. Phil probably wasn't even old enough to be in the bar at the time." >More
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PEOPLE

Madison's web celebs

The Internet has provided fertile ground for Madison's creative class for more than a decade. No longer limited by geography or traditional gatekeepers, local people are cultivating opportunities that simply didn't exist in the pre-digital world, especially opportunities to become celebrities of sorts. >More

BEER

MADLAND

Madland: The militarization of police is a problem -- even in Madison

You can tell things have gotten bad when I support Rand Paul's position on an issue. The police in this country have gotten too militarized, and that includes Madison too. Hell, this problem includes the police in Neenah! >More

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