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


Dancing fool

The trick, they tell me, is to form the tango connection. I learned that much when I studied tango one evening with the Madison Tango Society. The tango connection has to do with how the man and the woman -- or, in dance-class parlance, the lead and the follow -- hold each other. "The follow tends to push out a lot," said society co-founder Steven Fosdal. The pushing creates a certain tension, so that when the two dance, they move practically as one body. >More


But think of the children!

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk says she's just trying to do District Attorney Brian Blanchard a favor. In her 2008 budget, Falk wants to move the nearly 200 child protective cases that Blanchard's office handles every year to the county's corporation counsel, as state law allows. >More
 The CDA's no-bid contracts

A division of the Madison Community Development Authority charged with providing housing to the needy has entered into no-bid contracts with outside companies worth tens of thousands of dollars, despite rules requiring the solicitation of bids for all contracts over $5,000. >More


Republican death wish

You have to hand it to the Republicans. They really know how to think outside the box. After enduring a sharp rebuke at the polls in the last election, party leaders came up with the perfect response to disaffected voters: Let's withhold funding for needed services! >More
 Playing around with playing around

I was perfectly happy thinking we were going to be exclusively each other's forever, which is what we've agreed upon, by the way. But I have this sneaking suspicion my partner wishes it had gone the other way, even though he says he doesn't. And I wonder if I'm just being a big coward. What do you think? >More
 Funky finds

The Bohemian Bauble, on West Lakeside Street, is a nice destination shop in a sweet, old-fashioned area of old Madison. The shop may not be selling anything you necessarily need right this second, but you'll probably feel better just for having looked. >More


Questions and answers

Rick Tvedt doesn't want to be acting executive director of the four-year-old Madison Area Music Awards forever. In a year or two, the MAMAs founder hopes the nonprofit can hire a full-time staff member to do much of the day-to-day work, thus freeing time for the award show's primary mission: supporting music education in the schools. "What gets lost to people," says Tvedt, "is that we're a charity. Our mantra is 'Putting musical instruments into kids' hands.'" >More
 Let us entertain you

Rob Cantor, 24, paused briefly before acknowledging that he's about to ditch medical school to pursue a rock 'n' roll dream with his band, Tally Hall. >More
 All that glitters

The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra opened this season's "Masterworks" concerts at the Capitol Theater on Friday with truly delightful variety. >More



Flights of fancy

For Momix's silver anniversary, artistic director Moses Pendleton put together a repertory retrospective, "The Best of Momix." This company's somewhat collectively choreographed works are fun and fabulously inventive. The downside is that they veer dangerously close to glitzy dance-tainment -- personally, I prefer the shock and awe of pure dance, a la Balanchine's ballets or Alvin Ailey's gloriously funky, message-laden choreography. But I have high hopes for the set of Momix's greatest hits coming to the Overture Center on Oct. 13. >More
 Passion times two

Sometimes the world makes it pretty hard to be yourself -- even if you're not, say, a wacky German monarch or a gay teen in 1940s Texas. But if you do happen to be Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria, James Avery of Dainsville, or anyone else with a hankering for beauty and the rashness to act on impulse, life can be difficult indeed. >More
 A whole new me

Samantha (Christina Applegate) awakens from a coma with amnesia. Her parents sit with her in the hospital room, but they're not much comfort. Her self-absorbed mother videotapes herself enacting "grief" with an eye to a guest slot on Extreme Makeover. When her distant father realizes that Samantha doesn't recognize him, he hands her his business card. Samantha Who? (Monday, 8:30 p.m., ABC) is a very good comedy about very bad people. >More
 Shoot, score

For a few years, sports games have been inconsistent. But two new hockey games with pedigrees -- EA's NHL '08 and NHL 2K8 -- are keepers. >More


George Clooney tires of skirting the law in Michael Clayton

George Clooney is one of those actors who have trouble turning off the charm. Cary Grant was another one, and Clooney's starting to look like Grant in his silver-fox period. In both cases, there's something about the carriage; they look like they were born in tailored suits. >More
 The Rape of Europa

I'd always heard Adolf Hitler referred to as a failed painter, but I'd never realized just how resentful he was about it until I saw The Rape of Europa, a documentary about the role that art and architecture played in his thinking. >More
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Dubbel your pleasure: Madison brewers make Belgian-style beers

Belgian-style beers are the holy grail of beer-making, according to Eric Brusewitz, brewer at the Great Dane Pub and Brewing Company. "These beers are not for everyone," he says. "But the more of them you try, the more you learn to like them, and your appreciation just grows." >More
 Perseverance in a box

If ever Richard DeWilde questioned the loyalty he's developed with the members of his community-supported agriculture program, the catastrophic flooding that devastated his and other farms in southwestern Wisconsin in late August has silenced any doubt. "Being a member of your CSA has meant more to me than I can say," writes one of his members. "I find it an extraordinary privilege to stick with [Harmony Valley Farm] for the long haul." >More


Getting a grip

Funny thing, unexpected consequence. It has strolled right up to me, smiled its enigmatic smile and bared its pointy teeth. Back in March, I wrote a column about an introductory rock-climbing class for women over 40 years old. As a consequence, I am now an enthusiastic paying member of Boulders Climbing Gym, 3964 Commercial Ave. On the scale of unexpectedness, this falls somewhere between alien abduction and world peace. It is so counterintuitive that I'm still trying to come to grips with how it happened. >More
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