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Thursday, December 25, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 34.0° F  Overcast
The Paper

FEATURED STORY

The Hmong community has found a voice in UW professor Yang Sao Xiong

Yang Sao Xiong remembers the bizarre hissing sounds the most. He was 7 years old, a refugee with his family from Laos, when he arrived in California in 1987. "When we first got off the plane, all I could tell was that people were making all these 's' sounds," says Xiong, describing his first impression of English. >More

NEWS

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
 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

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Welcome to Wississippi, the right-to-work state

Scott Walker "dropped the bomb" back in 2011 with Act 10, which did away with most public employees' collective bargaining rights. Now the Republican leadership in our state Legislature is gearing up to throw a Molotov cocktail at all Wisconsin workers. Making Wisconsin a "right to work" state is at the top of the Republicans' agenda, according to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau). >More
 Sartorial revelations from a skinny-jeaned wannabe

In my mind's eye, I'm super old. I'm out in the yard on a hot day with my shirt off. A puff of gray hair sprouts from the sunken crater that is my chest. My pointy elbows could poke your eye out, but that doesn't stop my grandchildren from clinging to my legs like ivy. We tumble down into the soft grass. A haystack of giggles. >More

MUSIC

A countdown to New Year's Eve 2014-2015 parties in Madison

Whether you wish to bid a fond farewell to 2014 or just say good riddance, there are plenty of ways to party and dance your way to 2015. Here are some spots around town where bands will be rocking, bootys will be shaking and booze will be flowing. >More
 Punk, funk, bluegrass and folk fests at Majestic place regional artists on a big stage

January can be a slow time of year for music venues. Touring acts are largely on hiatus until a bit later in the season, and customers can still be recovering from the whirlwind of the holiday season. >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

AT A GLANCE

ARTS

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
 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
 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
 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

MOVIES

Wild is an unapologetically feminist film

Cheryl Strayed was a mess. She was in the midst of divorcing her husband. She was using heroin. She was lost. So, in the summer of 1995, she figured maybe she might be able to find herself by hiking a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Which she did. And then she wrote a book about her transformative experience. And now it's a movie. >More
 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies fails to live up to the epic Lord of the Rings

The best thing about finally reaching the third and last chapter of Peter Jackson's ponderously epic eight-hour adaptation of the rather brief and chipper novel The Hobbit is that we may be assured that once the DVD hits next year, some intrepid fan is going to whittle the whole thing down into a breezy 105-minute phantom edit... like it should have been in the first place. >More
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ARCHIVE

EATS

Doolittles Woodfire Grill brings contemporary touches to American fare

The cynical among us may, during these holiday months, look at the paved expanse of East Towne with scorn. It's cold, hard commercialism all right, a shopping mall and a bunch of bank drive-throughs and scads of national chain restaurants. The hopeful among us? They're packing into Doolittles Woodfire Grill. >More

SPORTS & RECREATION

Gary Andersen? It's not us, is it?

When Gary Andersen called Barry Alvarez to tell him he was resigning to accept the head coaching job at Oregon State, he probably didn't use the phrase "It's not you, it's me." And like most people, if Andersen had said that, he probably didn't mean it. >More
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