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Friday, October 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 58.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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We're Number XXXVIII!

I happened to notice that last Saturday's New York Times carried this notation on its dateline, just below its motto, "All the News That's Fit to Print": Vol. CLXII, No. 56,000. Latin scholars will correct me if I'm wrong, but it tells me that the Times is, or was by the time you read this, in its 162nd year of publishing and had produced 56,000 issues up to that point.

I remark upon this because the odometer has turned over as of the 1st, and Isthmus is putting XXXVIII on its front page, only we express it as 38. Welcome to issue 3801 in our numbering system. We start off fresh with each year on issue numbers, but even if we didn't, we'd be nowhere near 56,000. We're closer to 1,920 issues published in our history.

But that doesn't mean we don't try as hard as the leading dailies to do the best job we can in bringing you as complete and accurate information as we can. We also strive to deliver lively and entertaining writing that is relative to your daily lives in Madison and its surrounding areas. This edition of Isthmus is no different.

In our inaugural issue of 2013, we take time to look back at certain aspects of 2012 in the arts community. Aaron R. Conklin surveys local arts organizations about what they learned last year, and contributor Alan Talaga identifies the most notable local comedy shows during the period.

But after that, we're in with the new. Nora Hertel profiles new Henry Vilas Zoo director Ronda Schwetz. Marie Loeffler interviews Wisconsin's new poet laureate, Max Garland. Joe Tarr interviews the soon-to-be-new Dane County Clerk, old downtown legislative hand Scott McDonell. And there's plenty more where that came from in the latest issue of Isthmus, on its inexorable march toward 56,000.

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