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Friday, February 27, 2015 |  Madison, WI: -2.0° F  Fair
The Paper


Ben Heck: The God of Mods

Ben Heck is a modder. "Modding" is a term used mostly by videogamers, and generally means modifying a piece of hardware or software so that it does something its maker didn't intend. >More


Volunteers are told to move 'ugly' prairie at Warner Park

It all started in aerobics class. Rose Ann Scott was working out five years ago at the Warner Park Community and Recreation Center when she got to talking to classmates about a traffic circle in the parking lot. They all felt it was a bit of an eyesore. Then Scott, a neighborhood resident, got an idea: "I said, 'Let's put in a prairie.'" >More
 Ardita Bilalli is fighting for her life

Ardita Bilalli has been called a miracle child. After her premature birth, in war-torn Kosovo, she came to the United States in 2001 seeking medical treatment for a spinal condition. She was two years old. After receiving treatment in Chicago, Ardita came to Madison; she's attended Elvehjem Elementary since early childhood. Now age 10 and in the fifth grade, Ardita suffers from spina bifida, among other serious health problems. She uses a wheelchair and is often in pain. >More
 Madison seeks low-income housing grant

Madison plans to apply for its first federal Hope VI grant, which it hopes to use to revitalize three public housing developments: Truax Park Apartments, Wright Anderson Townhomes and Webb Rethke Townhomes, all on the city's east side. If the application is successful, the city would get about $22 million for the project, says Mark Olinger, the city's director of planning and community and economic development. >More


Mayor Dave is leading the wrong way on the library and the Edgewater

I'll say this for him: Mayor Dave Cieslewicz took the 11th-hour collapse of the Fiore Co.'s library plan in stride. Without missing a beat, he announced that the city will move quickly to Plan B -- renovating the existing library at its Mifflin Street site. But as unflappable as the mayor is, he can't really hide the disarray at City Hall. Too many big and potentially signature deals have collapsed at the city's feet during his stewardship, notably Union Corners and Avenue 800, both on East Washington Avenue. >More
 Tell All: Hands off my alcohol

Dear Tell All: Every time I read the Wisconsin State Journal, it seems like there's another article about alcohol legislation. They just passed a drunk-driving bill and people are already saying it's not strong enough. Now lawmakers want to raise Wisconsin's beer tax. Everybody I know at school drinks, and most of us have driven drunk, so what's the big deal? The government should stay out of our private lives. >More


The Pub adds more shows, fueling surge in UW campus music

Last month I wrote about the biggest local music story of the year so far: The UW-Madison campus music scene, and live gigs around State Street, are resurgent. At the center of the story is the Pub. The tavern at 552 State St. has hired Brett Newski to book music and has begun hosting Madison bands every Friday and Saturday night. >More
 She & Him: Volume Two

Restraint is not a virtue in modern pop. Overstatement rules the electric growls of alt-rock and the drenching synth of dance. >More
 John Brown's Body and Easter Bunny to visit Majestic

What do Easter eggs and chart-topping reggae band John Brown's Body have in common? As it turns out, quite a few things. >More



With The Flying Dutchman, Madison Opera at last stages Wagner

The Madison Opera marks another milestone with its production of Richard Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, which opens April 9. The work, which premiered in 1843, will be the first Wagner opera produced in the company's 49-year history, and Overture Hall's stage will be transformed into a vast ocean whose shores harbor the Dutchman's eerie ship. >More
 Mary Sweeney brings Baraboo to Wisconsin Film Festival

Mary Sweeney returns to the Wisconsin Film Festival to present Baraboo 10 years after appearing as writer-producer-editor of The Straight Story, directed by David Lynch. Her feature-length directorial debut focuses on a cluster of rural Wisconsin motel cabins where residents and staff compose an intimate micro-community. >More
 United States of Tara: Me, myself and them

Diablo Cody's United States of Tara makes Showtime a must-subscribe premium station, just as The Sopranos did for HBO. The subject is the mutability of modern identity. >More


Clash of the Titans is epically messy

If you're casting about, looking to remake one of Ray Harryhausen's beloved stop-motion masterpieces but unsure of where to begin, it makes a slanted sort of sense to kick things off with everyone's least favorite of his 15-plus forays into "the land beyond beyond." And that, of course, would be 1981's fondly recalled -- and frankly stodgy -- Clash of the Titans. >More
 Miley Cyrus turns dramatic in The Last Song

Miley Cyrus waves goodbye to her Hannah Montana tween-star identity with The Last Song, the latest Nicholas Sparks-penned romance to be made into a movie. Though she plays a troubled music prodigy, Cyrus is not heard singing in the movie until, literally, the final song plays over the closing credits. >More
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Capitol Chophouse at the Hilton offers Madison's most assured hotel dining

Almost any urban hotel trying to win attention these days reels in a top chef. In Chicago alone, you can eat your way down and around North Michigan Avenue, from the Peninsula's Shanghai Terrace and Avenues to the Park Hyatt's NoMI, and you'll dine well (though skip Marcus Samuelsson's inedible C-House at the Affinia Chicago, an example of what happens when a celebrity chef never cooks). >More


Bucking expectations

John Salmons debuted at guard for the Milwaukee Bucks in Detroit on Feb. 19. He led the team to a 91-85 win that night with 19 points and made three of six from three-point range. The Bucks went on to win their next six games, and now have won 17 of their last 21. Salmons has led the team in scoring 10 times, twice eclipsing 30 points. >More
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