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Friday, March 6, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 5.0° F  Fair
The Paper


1968: A wild time in Madison

In 1968, Madison was in fiscal and political disarray. There was chaos and destruction on campus. A large segment of the industrial east side was on strike, and city workers waged sick-leave job actions. The bus system teetered on the edge of failure. Crime spiked. Some Madison men died in Vietnam, while others -- along with some Madison women -- waged their war at home. >More


The good ol' boys at CUNA Inc.

Mike Miller was once described by his boss as a "rising star" at CUNA Inc., "destined to run it all." That was before Miller complained about his Madison-based supervisor, John Franklin, for making racist, sexist and homophobic remarks. >More
 Children die, oversight committee snoozes

When a Dane County social worker last summer sent six-week-old Anastasia Vang back home, where police say her mother tortured her to death, county officials called this an "aberration." >More
 Madison seeks MOH-better Muzak

The city of Madison, bowing to behind-the-scenes prodding from the guy who writes Isthmus' popular "Watchdog" column, is moving forward with a plan to drop the hideous, heinous, god-awful hold music on the city's phone system. >More


Welcome to the Nerad era

Toward the end of a 70-minute interview, Supt. Dan Nerad was discussing the 24,000-student Madison school district when he used an interesting term: tipping point. >More
 Souvenir keeps on truckin'

This poster from one of Paul Soglin's early mayoral campaigns came to light over the weekend. I was sorting through a bunch of old stuff, clearing some of it out to make way for new stuff that will, itself, become old stuff someday. >More
 That'll teach 'em

I was riding my bike around the lake the other day, and I happened to pass a lemonade stand. Normally, I wouldn't stop, since I carry a water bottle, but the sign the kids had put up intrigued me. Under "LEMONADE" it said, "Pay What You Want." So I pulled over and asked them how they were doing. They said they were doing great. >More


Freshman class

It's that time of year again, when Madison reinvents itself. Old stuff gets set out at curbsides. New gear arrives by the truckload. Matriculating students settle in and re-energize downtown. >More
 Madison goes electronic as Reverence Festival heats up

Look no further than the MySpace page dedicated to Madison's Reverence Festival for proof that the three-day electronic music event has developed a niche following nationwide. >More
 Will Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra musicians strike?

After seven bargaining sessions, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra's 34 core musicians and the WCO aren't close to hammering out the terms of a new contract. In fact, musician representative Todd Jelen says that the players became so discouraged with the WCO's unwillingness to bargain on key issues they requested that a mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service join the proceedings. >More



Widowers' House is thin and gimmicky, but still Shaw

Roger Ebert once wrote that in comedy funny names aren't funny unless they're used by W.C. Fields or Groucho Marx. I am reminded of that dictum by American Players Theatre's production of Widowers' Houses, George Bernard Shaw's first play to be staged for an audience. >More
 Hell to the chief

Helen Thomas, the dean of the White House press corps, specializes in asking uncomfortable questions. Thank You, Mr. President: Helen Thomas at the White House (Thursday, 8 p.m., and Sunday, 9:30 a.m., HBO) begins with one such question she asked President George W. Bush: "Your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, and every reason given has turned out not to be true. My question is, why did you really want to go to war?" Bush offered his spin, but Thomas wouldn't drop it. So he dropped her, shutting her out in future press conferences. >More
 Madden NFL 09: Back to form

For the past few years, Madden games have been riddled with too many turnovers, or a "lateral" button that makes you fumble accidentally, or other dumb little mistakes. But finally, Madden NFL 09 brings back fantastic pro ball that is perfect and addictive. >More


When Did You Last See Your Father?

Dear old dad takes another left hook to the chin in When Did You Last See Your Father? - well, not a hook so much as a series of jabs. Colin Firth, as handsomely dour as ever, stars in this adaptation of British writer Blake Morrison's memoir about having grown up with a man who never got around to growing up himself. >More
 Elegy: Hot for teacher

Old age is creeping up on David Kepesh (Ben Kingsley), something that this New Yorker has managed to outrun until recently. In his 60s, with enviable work as a cultural critic and part-time academic, Kepesh remains strong in body and mind, but his illusory island of self-preservation begins to crumble once he becomes sexually involved with Consuela Castillo (Penélope Cruz). >More
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Otto's Restaurant: Summer classic

In case you hadn't noticed, summer is quickly slipping away. The afternoon sky has that golden August haze. Thousands of isthmus apartments have new tenants and old furniture. Sports fans must juggle the Badgers, Packers and Brewers all at once (not to mention the Cubs). >More
 Morgan Heiser, waitress

C's belongs to the dying diner species. Too many of Madison's authentic greasy spoons have passed on, but C's is clean and suburban - and not likely to go the way of the dinosaur any time soon. >More


Farewell, Mallards, till next year

Most Mallards fans don't pay much attention to what happens around the Warner Park Duck Pond immediately after a game. As the final autograph seekers shout their thank-yous and vendors count their cash, the college kids who spend their summers learning how to hit with wood bats and survive the rigors of a 68-game schedule emerge from the clubhouse in shorts and flip-flops to chat. >More
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