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Friday, November 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 25.0° F  Overcast
The Paper


Bleak house: An inside look at the Porchlight homeless shelter at Grace Episcopal Church

In 2007, when Donna Asif began volunteering at Madison's emergency shelter for men at Grace Episcopal Church, she started hearing stories about a man named Larry. Larry had been banned from the shelter -- in downtown Madison on Capitol Square -- because he had lice and scabies. Told he couldn't come back until he got a doctor's note saying he was free of the vermin, he simply stayed on the streets, often sleeping just around the corner on the church's steps. >More


A nonbelievers club at Madison West

A few weeks back, Isthmus wrote about a club at West High devoted to teaching kids to fight, through mixed martial arts. Turns out the club's adviser, bilingual science teacher Kirk Mefford, also advises another student group that's potentially way more controversial: West High's Freedom from Religion Club. >More
 Psst! Wisconsin Dist. 4 Court of Appeals election looms

What if they gave an election and hardly anyone knew about it? That's the challenge facing the three contenders for Wisconsin Dist. 4 Court of Appeals in next Tuesday's primary, which will narrow the field to two candidates. Most voters haven't a clue there's an election -- or even an office. >More
 Mayor is sold on the virtues of a Yahara River site for Madison rail station

Now that the cash has been officially awarded for a high-speed rail line from Milwaukee to Madison, residents pushing to have the station at the Yahara River by East Washington Avenue, instead of the airport, are hoping officials will see the wisdom of their argument. >More


Supreme Court ruling threatens democracy

If you think elections are bad now, you ain't seen nothin' yet! The recent Supreme Court decision granting corporations unrestricted rights to engage in political speech will make it increasingly difficult for flesh-and-blood voters to avoid being overwhelmed by the corporate agenda through corporate-sponsored campaign ads. >More
 Tell All: The evil eye

Dear Tell All: A woman in my office constantly winks at me and it gives me the creeps. I don't know if she's flirting with me or just trying to be friendly, but either way, I don't want anything to do with it. This woman is loud and obnoxious and just plain weird...the type of person I imagine lives alone in an apartment filled with stuffed animals and two frightened cats. >More


Brazil's Luciana Souza looks to poets for inspiration

If you're looking for a fun way to start your Valentine's Day weekend, you could do worse than Brazilian singer Luciana Souza's concert Friday night at the Wisconsin Union Theater, as part of the Isthmus Jazz Series. But the evening will cover a lot more than just romance. >More
 Fall in love with Django this Valentine's Day

Which style of music is best suited for Feb. 14? Last year, many locals made a valentine of the Alliant Energy Center's Mötley Crüe concert. Others found Journey on the jukebox, locked lips to Iron & Wine or serenaded a sweetie with a Neil Diamond karaoke tune. >More
 Dawes revives the Laurel Canyon sound

The Mamas & the Papas longed for the Golden State's warm embrace on "California Dreamin'" more than 40 years ago. Taylor Goldsmith, songwriter for Dawes, grew up living that dream in a modest 1950s Malibu ranch house. But Goldsmith had dreams of his own. >More



Judging from Overture's books, the arts center is doing okay

During the first quarter of Overture Center's current fiscal year, ticket sales fell short by 48% of what was budgeted. Is the Overture Center for the Arts dying? Short answer: Nope. Long answer: Read on. >More
 Antiques Roadshow finds valuable objects and stoic owners in Madison

Last July, Antiques Roadshow set up its booths and blue banners in Madison's Alliant Energy Center. Local folks showed their antiques to Roadshow's appraisers, who offered insight into the objects' origin and value. Now the three episodes filmed here will finally air, and I thought they'd give Madison a chance to look cool on national TV. >More
 Chocolate rabbits, plaid sunflowers: My Garden by Kevin Henkes

Inside the front cover of My Garden, the new picture book by local author Kevin Henkes, the Library of Congress dryly catalogs it as "Gardens -- Fiction." That's an understatement. The wide-eyed, straw-hatted little girl in the book imagines a garden in which jellybean bushes flourish and flowers reappear immediately after being picked. >More


The Messenger is an anguished war story

The funeral march from Chopin's second piano sonata is a very sad piece of music. In The Messenger, it is also a very sick joke. When Captain Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson) is called on to notify a slain soldier's next of kin, his pager beeps a discomfitingly chirpy rendition of the familiar tune. That pager is one of many precise and telling details in a graceful film. >More
 Giant cast can't sustain Valentine's Day

Three-quarters through Valentine's Day, director Garry Marshall pops in for a seconds-long cameo as a mariachi band player. At the sneak screening, you could feel a little ripple go through the crowd -- sort of a "ha!" coupled with an "aww!" >More
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A creative guide to Valentine's Day weekend

When people ask for restaurant recommendations, it's easy to rattle off a bunch of downtown options. But lately, I've been making sure to include Inka Heritage because it's just that good. The atmosphere is composed and naturally elegant with buttery yellows and warm oranges. It's a nice place to take your sweetheart. >More
 Five great plates at Madison restaurants

When I wrote about my favorite bites of 2009 for Isthmus' year-end dining roundup, the exercise triggered an inevitable digression. I started thinking about the dishes I return to consistently as my fail-proof Madison meals. In their own way, these constant personal favorites have become my own little pantheon of local classics, and the answer to the question any food writer gets asked a lot: What is the plate that won't disappoint? >More


Getting a bead on the Badgers

It was fun to browse Twitter and fan message boards after the Wisconsin men's basketball team beat Duke on Dec. 2. The nationally televised game had Badger fans living in Asia exchanging virtual high fives with UW alums in New Jersey. >More
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