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Sunday, January 25, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 25.0° F  Light Snow
The Paper

FEATURED STORY

Executive decision: The contenders for Dane County Executive are easy to tell apart

In the campaign for Dane County executive, the candidates at times sound as though the apocalypse is upon us. The Republicans have taken control of the governor's seat and Legislature, and severe cuts -- to human services, school aid and money to local governments -- seem all but certain. Almost all of the candidates paint a bleak picture of the next four years, while offering hope they can carry the county through it. >More

NEWS

A rebellion at Madison West High School over new curriculum

When Paul Radspinner's 15-year-old son Mitchell wanted to participate in a student sit-in last October outside West High School, he called his dad to ask permission. "He said he was going to protest, and wanted to make sure I had no problem with it. I thought, 'It's not the '60s anymore,'" recalls Radspinner. The students, he learned, were upset about planned curriculum changes, which they fear will eliminate elective class choices, a big part of the West culture. >More
 Bike sharing comes to Madison

Starting in May, Madison could have a full-blown bike-sharing program, similar to those in Denver and European cities. But even in bike-friendly Madison, the program is proving controversial. B-cycle is a partnership of three companies: Trek, the Innovation Center at Humana, and Crispin Porter + Bogusky. It has programs in Denver, Chicago and Hawaii and is now branching out to four other cities, including Madison. >More
 State Street project faces major hurdles

A six-story building contemplated next to Lisa Link Peace Park in the 400 block of State Street, Madison's iconic college strip, will likely be a tough sell. >More

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Why 4-K is a good idea

Mary was four years old when she entered the pre-kindergarten program in Marshall. Her parents were struggling with her behavior. She had a significant speech delay. She didn't like snuggling with them. She didn't want to read books. And she refused to let her parents touch her hair. "What are we doing wrong?" her parents wondered. >More
 Tell All: The benefits of a cat on a leash

Dear Tell All: I'm writing in response to Dog Catcher's question as to why his (I assume it's a he 'cause it's a stupid question) neighbors walk their cat on a leash (12/17/2010). I've got two cats; both grew up feral in my neighborhood. The first cat I got was very attached to my dog. When I took my dog out, I'd bring my cat out on a leash so she could be with us. When I bring her leash down she gets very happy, meowing. >More

MUSIC

Madison Hostel shelters traveling bands (fans, too)

Madison may have a lot of futons, but touring bands don't always know their owners, which can present a challenge when they need a place to crash after shows. Same goes for music fans who travel here to see performances. Lodging prices can make or break concert-going plans for those on a shoestring budget. >More
 DJ David Hollands melds house and techno

Even as a kid, David Hollands had a fascination with collecting sounds he could play with later. Growing up in Muncie, Ind., he'd replace his boom-box batteries and add a new cassette tape on family car trips to Wisconsin to visit his grandparents. >More

AT A GLANCE

ARTS

Shinique Smith uses our garbage to her own ends

It's no secret that American society is, to a large extent, obsessed with acquiring, using and throwing away stuff. We're a consumer culture. Says Brooklyn-based artist Shinique Smith, who deals with these themes in her work, "These things that we use and discard, it's akin to a cycle of life in a way. I became very aware of it when I moved to New York [in 2003]. The glut is more exposed there." >More
 The Lost Valentine benefits from World War II clichés

We now live in a hyper-ironic world, but The Lost Valentine comes from some other world entirely. This Hallmark Hall of Fame production tells the unapologetically sappy story of a woman named Caroline (Betty White) who lost her Navy pilot husband to World War II and, every Valentine's Day since, has made a pilgrimage to the train station where they last parted. >More

MOVIES

Jason Statham is a boring assassin in The Mechanic

Mere hours after extolling the gravelly British pleasures of Jason Statham's acting career thus far to an unconvinced friend (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels! The Bank Job! those Crank movies!), I walked out of The Mechanic remembering the downside of Statham's CV: Death Race, The Expendables, etc. >More
 Vision is a nuanced portrayal of a 12th-century nun

Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen is the fifth collaboration between writer/director Margarethe von Trotta and beautiful leading lady Barbara Sukowa, both icons of the German New Wave. It finds them in a nunnery. >More
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ARCHIVE

EATS

Merchant is downtown Madison's latest buzzing hangout

The food court that used to be the Capitol Square just keeps growing. In fact, the sheer number of new culinary players that have opened shop in the area, in the last year alone, can seem daunting, even to dedicated diners. The big question is whether there is room, after the fairly recent launches of, take a deep breath, Graze, 43 North, Nostrano, Underground Kitchen, King & Mane, Francesca's al Lago and the expanded Old Fashioned, for one more restaurant. Clearly Merchant Madison thinks so, and it has invested a lot of style and energy in that faith. >More
 Aldo's Cafe at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery features local foods, fair trade coffee

It seemed to pop up out of nowhere. One day the lot at the corner of University and Randall Avenues was desolate, the next day the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery towered over campus. The building's glass walls encase an interior that's heated geothermally. It's complete with state-of-the-art research labs, computers for public use, and a zenlike, tree-filled atrium called the Towne Center. The Towne Center houses places to lounge, waterfalls that chime in response to movement, and Aldo's Cafe, the newest place on campus to grab a sustainable bite to eat. >More

SPORTS & RECREATION

Ben Roethlisberger's bad behavior

Last March, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was accused of, but not charged with, sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman in a Georgia nightclub. The documents released by investigators chronicle a night of, at best, boorish behavior. In refusing to press charges, the woman's attorney said her client was concerned about intrusive attention that would come from a trial. >More
 Eleven fitness goals for the remaining 11 months of 2011

Remember those New Year's resolutions you drew up in December for keeping fit? Didn't think so. Own up: Four weeks into 2011, they're as abandoned as those kettle bells in the corner -- the ones you received as a holiday gift but now serve as dusty paperweights. Consider this your shot at do-overs -- a second chance to whip your lamentable derriere into shape this year. >More
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