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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 65.0° F  Overcast
The Paper


Transsexual Rhiannon Tibbetts struggles to find herself

Rhiannon Tibbetts is wearing a pale pink sweater, a small gold cross around her neck and a touch of eye makeup. She's soft-spoken, very tall and slim, with shoulder-length wavy blond hair. Her hands flutter a bit as she speaks about battling the discrimination that's a fact of daily life for people like her: transsexuals. >More


John Matthews rips MTI contract concessions

A dispute has developed between Madison teachers and the school district over changes to contracts secured during quickie negotiations in March. John Matthews, executive director of Madison Teachers Inc., is upset about what he calls an "unfair and unreasonable" process. >More
 A Mifflin Street hangover

Norm Stockwell remembers when the Mifflin Street Block Party was about more than getting hammered. When Stockwell worked for the old Mifflin Street Co-op, which sponsored the party in the '80s and '90s, he helped organize it. Each year had a different political theme: the environmental effects of pesticides, U.S. military intervention in Latin America. Between bands, speakers would address these topics. Proceeds from beer and food sales went to the co-op, community organizations and charities. >More
 No end to Edgewater Hotel fight

The Madison Trust for Historic Preservation has sent a letter to Madison Mayor Paul Soglin asking the city not to defend against part of a lawsuit over its handling of the Edgewater Hotel project. A win by city will "seriously jeopardize the integrity of the Landmarks Ordinance" governing historic districts, wrote the group's executive director, Jason Tish. >More


The politics of hate

The Republican Party of Dane County last week put out a press release condemning the recount, now taking place, of the April 5 state Supreme Court election. It demonstrates, though further evidence is hardly needed, how wildly unhinged from reality political claims have become. >More
 Tell All: Drowning out Sarah Palin

Dear Tell All: I have a question about civility. Out of curiosity, I went to the Capitol on April 16 to see the tea party rally featuring Sarah Palin. Personally, I haven't done any protesting of Gov. Scott Walker since the craziness started this year, though I'm generally sympathetic to the protesters' views. And I've been impressed that, from all reports, the pro-labor rallies have been peaceful and respectful. >More


What started as a fib became Cait and the Girls

Sometimes little white lies morph into big, dark problems. Other times, they inspire people to reach beyond their comfort zones. For local chanteuse Cait Shanahan, the latter was the case. >More
 Guitar genius Tony Rice takes bluegrass to new places

Virginia-born, California-raised and Kentucky-seasoned, guitarist Tony Rice is bluegrass royalty. He's a Clarence White-inspired flatpicker whose fingerprints are dotted across every innovation of the form in the past 40 years. >More
 Rocker Ted Leo salutes Wisconsin's labor protesters

Wisconsin's union protests got Ted Leo thinking. "I wondered why we're always talking about 'labor struggles' and 'union battles,'" he says. "I think it's incredibly messed up. The captains of industry and the people in the head offices force workers into an adversarial position." >More



A survey identifies Madison's urgent cultural needs

Artists and other cultural workers in Madison tend to be less white, feel alone, and be self-employed. 40% of them earn less than a living wage. Understandably, some of them are even a little bitter, with 19% reporting that community response to their work is "unsatisfactory." >More
 Lady Gaga appoints herself supreme freak

Three things are certain in this life: death, taxes, and the fact that Lady Gaga will put on a good show. It's hard to be bored during Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden, with its delirious beats, crazily shaped costumes, sexy dancing and glittering sets. And yet, I can't deny feeling uncomfortable in certain parts. >More


Sticking to formula, Thor provides a few satisfying twists

Movies based on Marvel characters are about as sure a thing as there is in the uncertain world of theatrical exhibition. But what separates the good ones (Iron Man) from the bad ones (Daredevil, Ghost Rider)? It comes down to tone and casting, and Thor shows that director Kenneth Branagh grasps this. He nails a unique tone, and he's got a lead actor who seems to understand how to play a god. >More
 Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune is a sad look at the folk star

If you're just getting acquainted with the music of Phil Ochs and you're not sure how important he is, you'll be struck by something Pete Seeger says in the documentary Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune. "Here I am with two of the greatest songwriters in the world," says Seeger, remembering a 1960s jam session. One of the songwriters was Ochs. The other was Bob Dylan. >More
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Krispy Kreme finally opens a doughnut shop in Middleton

It has been almost two decades since I lived in the South, but certain foods still take me back to my Nashville youth. That's especially true of glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts, the signature product of the company founded 74 years ago in Winston-Salem, N.C. So I welcome the news that a Krispy Kreme has finally opened here, at 2019 Deming Way in Middleton. The doughnuts I remember are for sale there, and some of them are very good. >More


Great expectations for Bart Houston

Remember Xavier Harris? News in 2006 that he had committed to play wide receiver at Wisconsin caused members of the Badgermaniac message board to dub him "Xavier the Savior." Some predicted the Fort Lauderdale native would start as a freshman and lead the Badgers to national prominence. >More
 Kids get back to nature in the unlikeliest of preserves at Upham Woods

On a chilly morning in late April, snow still frosting the ground, Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center is quiet. Another group of school kids is due to arrive the next day, but for now the woodland paths to the cabins are empty, and just a handful of staffers are afoot, feeding the animals at the nature center and continuing to get the camp out of winter mode and into full-on summer. >More
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