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Sunday, January 25, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 24.0° F  Light Snow
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The first order of business is to remind you of the Isthmus Food and Wine Festival this weekend at the Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall. It's happening Friday (5-9 p.m.) and Saturday (2-6 p.m.), Oct. 19 and 20. More details of this inaugural event are available in the ad on the back page of this issue or at IsthmusFoodandWine.com.

Now we can talk about the contents of this issue and the three alumni who have contributed to it. All three are former staffers who now toil in other fields (metaphorically) yet still manage to find their way back into the pages of Isthmus. We'll talk about them in the reverse order of their departure.

First, we'll hear directly from Kenneth Burns, Isthmus' erstwhile arts and entertainment editor, who relocated to Tennessee this summer but still contributes film reviews on a weekly basis. He responds to a query via email:

"I'm writing for Isthmus and Metro Pulse, which is Knoxville's alt-weekly, and seeking a staff job in journalism. I miss Glass Nickel pizza and Wisconsin cheese, but I'm looking forward to a mild Tennessee winter. People keep asking if I'm going to continue my country music singing career down here. Frankly, the competition scares me."

Next, our cover story this week was written by Bill Lueders, former news editor here, who in June 2011 went to work for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. His contribution is quintessentially Lueders, seeking to reconcile the irreconcilable. His effort is titled "A House Divided," about the Allen household of Ashippun, Wis. The affable couple fall on either side of the political divide, yet manage to keep a civil household and devoted union.

Marc Eisen, onetime editor of Isthmus, left our employ in the summer of 2008. Since then he has operated a freelance writing and editing business and is managing editor of Wisconsin Interest magazine, a publication of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. This week he contributes "The New Madison Economy," a look at a Madison tech startup, Bendyworks. He will continue to write on the new Madison economy for Isthmus on an irregular basis.

Welcome back all.

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