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Thursday, September 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 54.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Paper


Heartbreak motels

Several low-budget motels dotting the West Beltline corridor that have over the years become magnets for drugs, prostitution and crime. Three of them -- the Highlander, Expo Inn and Kings Inn -- have generated more than 850 police calls in the last 18 months. And each is on pace to exceed last year's totals. >More


The boat to Vietnam

Dennis McQuade remembers seeing the graffiti scrawled on the canvas bunkbeds throughout the ship. He doesn't remember producing any, but who can say for sure? It was 42 years ago, and things like that are easy to forget. >More
 Fallow farmland proves unsustainable

Last year, Dane County grain farmer Neil Schlough pulled 12 acres of his land out of the federal Conservation Reserve Program. Schlough, who participated in CRP for 20 years, grew tired of constraints on the use of his land. His natural grasses were being lost to scrubby trees and noxious weeds. And program rules made it hard even to maintain walking trails. >More
 Art at street level

"The City Repair Project engages community members in solving their own problems," says Mark Lakeman, the project's co-founder. "It gets people off their couches and engages them in the public process." >More


That guy on the BMX bicycle

Julian Watkins is that guy you see zipping around downtown Madison on a little BMX bicycle. He wears the alert, focused appearance of someone intent on accomplishing whatever task might be at hand. >More
 WMC's predicament

Could there have been a more marvelous day for the pro-business leaders of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce than June 21, 2002? WMC President James Haney and Vice President James Buchen must have grinned like schoolkids when they read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. >More


Hard guys: Lucha Libre raps with an edge

On Lucha Libre's new album, The Takeover. The title track wanders into the aggressive side of male sexual bravado ("penetrate your ass until you hyperventilate"), arguably in a satirical context intended to be ridiculous and funny. >More
 Pyrotechnics keep Poison's flame burning

Poison weren't the biggest success story to come out of L.A.'s '80s hair-metal scene, but back in those laughably low-tech days when MTV ruled and every kid under the age of, say, 35 was mesmerized by music videos, Poison dominated the blatantly commercial precincts of metal. With their massive, hairspray-cemented coifs, peppy pop-metal melodies and lusty, party-hearty lyrics, they were comic-book creatures come to life. >More
 Scoops for the week of July 11 to July 17




Arts in Wisconsin, by the numbers

Wisconsin ranks 20th in the nation for number of arts businesses, but only 44th for paid arts workers. And Wisconsin ranks 33rd among the 50 states for the rate at which its number of arts businesses has grown in the last year. >More
 Stoughton develops an Artspace

A rambling, three-story, 75,000-square-foot building on East South Street in Stoughton began life as a tobacco warehouse. Artspace Projects takes buildings like these, and turn them into affordable living and working studio space for artists. >More
 Grand Theft Auto class

Games+Learning+Society isn't the biggest or best-known confab of its kind, but thanks to the work of the UW's Kurt Squire and former UW professor James Paul Gee, Madison has become a power spot for education-oriented gaming research. >More
 Picture This! Cinderella at the mall

In Picture This! (Sunday, 7 p.m., ABC Family), Mandy (Ashley Tisdale) is a self-proclaimed "crusty nobody" in her high school. The mean girls torment her, the gorgeous guy on campus doesn't know she exists, and her dad won't buy her the expensive video phone that all the cool kids have. If she was only beautiful and had the right merchandise, Mandy could make the gorgeous guy notice her and live happily ever after. >More
 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

This is the solo-mission game to beat this summer, and it should be regarded as a great work of art. You equip yourself with submachine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, a tranquilizer gun and handguns, and you top them off with scopes, suppressors, laser sights and rifle grips. You need all those guns, because the year is 2014, and you are an old hero soldier who must shoot through heavily populated battlefields in the Middle East, Africa and beyond in a very long action-adventure where villains and their expendable troops are rising up to conquer territory. >More


Gonzo: Writing up a storm

What can you say about the legendary Hunter S. Thompson that hasn't been said a thousand times before? He was a red Cadillac speeding down the highways and byways of the American Dream, his turbo-charged prose fueled by alcohol and.... >More
 Mountain man: The Children of Huang Shi

They don't make 'em like they used to, but they keep tryin'. The Children of Huang Shi is supposed to be one of those large-canvas, exotic-locations, cast-of-thousands epics à la Lawrence of Arabia. And, technically speaking, the ingredients are all there. The canvas is suitably large, the locations are suitably exotic, and the cast includes hundreds, if not thousands, of Japanese and Chinese extras. But the script's a real turkey. >More
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Nhia Vang, vegetable gardener

I've been doing this a very long time -- nine or 10 years. I came to the U.S. in 1982. When I came to the States I went to California, but I ended up in Madison in '85 because I had relatives here. I worked for many years as a cook at a Chinese restaurant, the Happy Wok, out by East Towne. While I was doing that I started renting a garden plot to grow food for my family. >More
 New Glarus Brewing: The brewhaus the Careys built

When we're enjoying a cold pint of beer, we may not think much about the next one. But lately Deb and Dan Carey, owners of the New Glarus Brewing Company, have indeed been contemplating the beer coming down the line. >More


The home of the Timber Rattlers

The first part of the drive from Madison to Appleton is pleasant enough, with broad expanses of farmland rushing by. But the view from Oshkosh on is dominated by strip malls, including the neighborhood surrounding the home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. >More
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