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Friday, July 11, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 75.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Paper


What happens to Madison's bad teachers?

It's absurd to believe anyone wants ineffective teachers in any classroom. So when President Barack Obama, in a speech last fall at Madison's Wright Middle School, called for "moving bad teachers out of the classroom, once they've been given an opportunity to do it right," the remark drew enormous applause. Such a pledge is integral to the president's commitment to strengthen public education. >More


Madison Parks employees left over Briski

Fritz Kroncke notes proudly that in his 42 years with the Madison Parks Division, much of them spent overseeing city beaches and lifeguards as its recreation services supervisor, "I never lost a swimmer." The only lifeguard-on-duty drowning happened in the early '70s, and he "was not working that summer." But Kroncke says he left his job last June in part because he wasn't sure this streak would continue, due to changes wrought by Parks Superintendent Kevin Briski. >More
 Unionist takes aim at racial disparities in UW-Madison campus jobs

Mark Thomas worries about the message it sends. The union steward for Local 171, which represents certain workers at the UW-Madison, says great efforts are made to recruit students of color to the predominantly white campus. And then when they look around, they "see that all of the people of color are hired into the lowest-paying jobs." >More
 Madison unplugged - mostly

The New York Times ran a story last week on how communities across the nation are busily preparing for an influx of electric cars. So what's happening in the greener-than-thou tree-huggers' paradise of Madison? >More


Wisconsin juvenile justice bill deserves support

Wisconsin needs to finally awaken to the folly of tossing 17-year-olds into the adult corrections system. And one significant step toward this goal is a bill just introduced by Rep. Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee). >More
 Tell All: The lip thing

Dear Tell All: When my boy-friend performs oral sex, he does...something...that is so wonderful it makes my toes curl. I've been with other guys, and I've had good sex before, but this is on a totally different, spiritual level. >More


Yid Vicious celebrates the holiday with chutzpah

The members of Yid Vicious just observed their 14th anniversary, but not until Saturday, Feb. 27, the Jewish holiday of Purim, will they really fete the night away. That's when they'll team up with Stevens Point's Shuvani Belly Dance Troupe and the Sockrates Sock Puppet Players for a full evening of revelry, storytelling and music at the Frequency. >More
 Free Energy makes classic rock cool again

Paul Sprangers thinks members of his generation like the kind of catchy, melodic rock that ruled pop music in the 1970s. They just feel guilty about it. >More
 pat mAcdonald teams with uw pRess

You don't often see local pop music in a university press catalog. And for musicians, so few marketing opportunities arise at grouse-appreciation events. But leave it to Wisconsin music veteran pat mAcdonald. >More



Textile artists show some edge at a Watrous Gallery show

Embroidery and cutting-edge contemporary art may seem like strange bedfellows. Unless you do some form of needlework yourself, embroidery probably sounds old-fashioned, corny or kitschy. But just as knitting has undergone a popular revival in recent years -- spawning books for alt-crafters like Stitch 'N Bitch by BUST magazine founder Debbie Stoller -- needlework techniques are being adopted by fine artists looking to confront contemporary issues. >More
 Forward Theater production is a fundraising success

The figures are in, and Forward Theater Company's first full-blown production was not only a critical success, it made a lot of money, too. Kind of. Ticket sales covered only a little more than half the cost of Forward's first big production, revealing how ambitious the company's business model is. >More
 pat mAcdonald teams with uw pRess

You don't often see local pop music in a university press catalog. And for musicians, so few marketing opportunities arise at grouse-appreciation events. But leave it to Wisconsin music veteran pat mAcdonald. >More
 Jay Leno rightfully returns to The Tonight Show

Jay Leno returns to The Tonight Show after the failed experiment of his primetime talk show, displacing successor Conan O'Brien. NBC has been savagely attacked for this series of moves, but I really can't see why. >More


Tolstoy stops at The Last Station

When I saw the trailer for the Leo Tolstoy picture The Last Station, I felt a pang of sadness for Christopher Plummer, still trying to get out from under The Sound of Music after all these years. The new film stars, we're told in great big letters, Academy Award winner Helen Mirren, Academy Award nominee Paul Giamatti and... Christopher Plummer. >More
 Nicolas Cage camps it up in The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans

Either The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans is highly entertaining meta-kitsch in the mode of Ken Russell, or it is exquisitely bad. Or it's both. Ask me tomorrow. >More
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Inspiration from indoors

I can't stop making soup. Ever since the gods dumped 14 inches on us in early December, I've been averaging two or three pots a week. The routine starts on Saturdays at the Winter Farmers' Market downtown, where in quick order two canvas bags fill up with locally grown soup fixings. At home there are numerous half-hour occasions to chop-and-let-simmer: after the Sunday crossword puzzle; whenever I'm avoiding work; when the first plane flying overhead jolts me awake at 5:45 a.m.; anytime instead of Facebook. >More
 Cathy Erway on the joys of cooking

Culinary school is no longer the natural route to publishing a cookbook. Food bloggers are getting the book contracts, from Pim Techamuanvivit (Chez Pim) to Molly Wizenberg (Orangette) to Julie Powell of Julie & Julia fame. Cathy Erway, whose site Not Eating Out in New York chronicles a two-year experiment in cooking at home (no restaurants -- not even for dates), has just published The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove (Gotham). >More


High drama at the Palace

More than at any other Madison high school, East hosts basketball games that are community events. You're likely to spot all sorts of characters, from Harmony Bar owner Keith Daniels to musical satirist Peter Leidy, exhibiting their East Side Pride at the gym affectionately dubbed "The Palace." But East's allotment of 600 tickets for tonight's tilt against Madison Memorial sold out in 20 minutes on Monday, and it didn't take Memorial students much longer to scarf up theirs, leaving none for the general public. >More
 Title Nine opens store at Hilldale Shopping Center

My first experience with Title Nine was via a catalog left behind by a coworker. As I thumbed through the pages of gorgeous activewear in come-hither colors, what appealed to me most were the models. No fragile, haughty clotheshorses, these were real women, with kids, jobs and worries, who still managed to lead strong, adventurous lives -- kayakers, climbers, surfers, skiers, bikers. >More
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