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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 48.0° F  Fair
The Paper


Tera Johnson's big idea: tera'swhey

Tera Johnson begins the tour of her one-of-a-kind organic whey processing plant at its back entrance, in front of a double-wide delivery bay. Here, on busy days, 20 tanker trucks roll in to deliver up to a million pounds of the sloshy cheese byproduct. >More


Is pig wrasslin' a crime?

As the Wisconsin State Journal recently acknowledged, the Madison-based Alliance for Animals has been on something of a roll lately. It's forced the UW-Madison to deliberate the ethics of primate research and lined up support on the Dane County Board for an outside review of same. >More
 Dean Health Plan sued over coverage denial

A Madison law firm has filed a small-claims lawsuit against Dean Health Plan over its partial denial of a customer's medical bills, as detailed in an Isthmus article last year. >More
 Many train questions remain

Dan Melton and his neighbors have a long list of questions they'd like the state Department of Transportation to answer about the high-speed train that in a couple of years will, if everything goes as planned, be zooming through their neighborhood. >More


Rejection of Wisconsin medical marijuana bill was a profile in cowardice

Jason Glaspie did everything he could. The former Marine, a veteran of the first Iraq war, has endured numerous treatments for brain and spinal cancer that left him disabled and often in terrible pain. One thing that alleviates his suffering is smoking marijuana. >More
 Huipiles for the people at Terra Experience

Persson is the founder of Terra Experience, a socially and environmentally responsible shop (and website) that carries the torch for fair trade goods. She and her husband, David Ward, an astrophysicist/oceanographer turned antiques dealer, have been making yearly trips to the Guatemalan Highlands since first visiting there 15 years ago. >More
 Tell All: Should I take a trip that involves packing my own poop?

Dear Tell All: A guy I met through Hoofers asked me if I wanted to join him on a trip to climb California's Mount Whitney this summer. I love backpacking, so I'm really excited about the invitation. Plus, I'm looking forward to spending more time with this guy. But I found out recently that you have to pack out your own poop. Apparently, so many people visit Mount Whitney each year that the park service has started handing out special bathroom bags. After you use them, you have to carry them with you until you leave the park. >More


Zola Jesus has the buzz

Before last week, I'd never sent an email to a national publicist to line up an interview with a Madison musician. But that's what I had to do to ask a few questions of Nika Danilova, who performs as Zola Jesus. The 20-year-old goth singer-songwriter has become a phenomenon in the national alternative music press. Danilova is so frequently on tour out of state or overseas, I wasn't even sure if she still considered Madison home. >More
 Totimoshi's members bow to their legendary tour mates the Melvins

The Melvins have inspired countless bands, from Nirvana to Tool to Mastodon, but the one they're bringing with them to the High Noon Saloon June 26 is among the most refreshing. Built upon two Oakland residents' shared embrace of heavy music and Latin American identity, Totimoshi transforms sludge-rock into a celebration of culture clashes and musical mashups. >More
 Icarus Himself: Mexico

Icarus Himself made one of my favorite Madison albums of 2009. Coffins was a collection of emotional indie rock that proved songwriter Nick Whetro's ability to blend storytelling and dreamy acoustic guitar. >More



Union Cab is a hotbed of artistic expression

While Commie Taxi Drivers sprang from Moore's imagination, there's plenty of creativity inside those yellow cabs. Schepartz is a great example. When he's not writing books, such as his 2007 novel Vampire Cabbie, he's taking photographs and editing Mobius, a journal dedicated to literature, poetry and social change. >More
 Overture Center settles debt with lenders

The Overture Center's $28.6 million debt has suddenly vanished. News officially came at a press conference Tuesday morning: Lenders will write off part of the outstanding construction loan. The rest, $15.1 million, will be settled by donors led by Overture patron Jerome Frautschi. >More
 The cops look like supermodels in Rookie Blue

Tell me if ABC's new Rookie Blue sounds familiar: A group of young cops who look like supermodels graduate from police academy and pair up with crotchety veterans. The veterans have little patience for the rookies' mistakes, but the rookies try hard to redeem themselves. They succeed right before the last commercial break. >More
 Nintendo DS games that aren't games, plus Tetris

Maybe you'll find this funny, or maybe you'll find it tragic. But apparently the United States has turned into such a "books-hurt-my-brain" country that the Nintendo DS title 100 Classic Books was finally released in America only a few days ago -- after being available around the world forever. >More


Knight and Day lacks both logic and sex

They say everything old is new again, which I suppose must explain the popped collar and Members Only-style jacket that Tom Cruise, peacocking, sports in Knight and Day's opening minutes. It's unclear if the filmmakers meant for our collective brain to jog back to the mid-'80s, when Cruise first began making a name for himself in pictures, but so it does -- the effect made all the more unnerving given the actor's seeming agelessness. >More
 Despite great acting, Mother and Child sinks into banality

If the mother-child bond is the core human relationship, then this movie implies that we are an emotionally doomed species, though I do not think this was writer-director Rodrigo Garcia's intent. >More
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Madison Sourdough returns to Willy Street

When Escape Java Joint moved down the block from 916 Williamson to the space behind La Rocca's (and later, sadly, closed), I tantalized myself with thoughts of what might fill that space. How about an east-side outpost of Shish Café? What if Star Books came back, bigger and better than ever? Lo and behold, the new tenant turned out to be Madison Sourdough, back on Willy where it began. >More
 The Barge Restaurant keeps Yahara boaters sated

The southern stretch of the Yahara River has a lot of traffic. Test-paddlers from Rutabaga, pleasure boaters and, steaming toward Lake Waubesa, Madison's only nautical food cart: the Barge Restaurant. >More


A World Cup of difference

The most pleasant surprise of this year's World Cup isn't the quality of soccer but the richness of the media coverage. Soccer fanatics are used to seeking out the foreign press for insight and attitude (I highly recommend Marina Hyde and "The Fiver" at, but this time around U.S. outlets are providing some welcome edge. >More
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