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Friday, August 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 81.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Paper


Open-door policy

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In Wisconsin we like the outdoors - all year long. In the spring/summer/fall stretch of reasonable temperatures we really like it, attempting to do outside almost anything we do indoors during the winter, like eating, drinking and listening to music.

That's what thousands did last Friday and Saturday at the Memorial Union Terrace for this year's edition of the Isthmus Jazz Festival. (Congratulations to the Wisconsin Union Directorate and the Isthmus Jazz Festival Committee, along with help from partners like the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission and WORT-FM, for an entertaining program of local and regional jazz talent.) That's what millions will do from now until the snow flies, and some folks will keep on after that. Yes, we like enjoying our Wisconsin outdoors.

That's why Gov. Walker's contemplated revamping of the Department of Natural Resources is a big deal to many in our state, and that's why there's so much angst over the appointment of Catherine Stepp as DNR secretary, armed with Walker's charge to open Wisconsin to business. Contributor Brian McCombie, who functions as our correspondent for news relating to northern Wisconsin and the environment, takes stock among environmentally concerned observers watching Walker's and the DNR's stewardship plans - and actions.

But let not these concerns impede us from enjoying the blessings of summer, including a classical music schedule, as described by contributor John Barker, that takes advantage of the clement weather. You'll also find that various aspects of our food coverage are conforming to seasonal interests.

Look for the year's first appearance of the Madison's Favorites Ballot on pages 30-31. It will be repeated next week. Of course, you can fill the ballot online at, as we much prefer you do for ease of counting, but if it suits you, you can mail or deliver the paper ballot to our office. As usual, the results will be tabulated for inclusion in the Annual Manual, which will be published in August.

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