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Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 43.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Paper

FEATURED STORY

Everyday scientists

A full moon rises over Owen Conservation Park on Madison's far west side. The air throbs with the mating calls of chorus frogs. A pair of mallards try to corral their ducklings skimming through the rippling reflections on the surface of the pond. Barely visible, bats cut through the cooling air to scoop up the insects that have been drawn here by the pond and the street light. >More

NEWS

Does Capital Area Regional Planning Commission deserve to die?

One of the last things Kathleen Falk did before stepping down as Dane County executive was write a letter about an obscure body known as the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission. Most of the county's 490,000 residents have probably never heard of this commission, let alone know what it does. But in wonky bureaucratic circles, the letter was nothing short of earthshaking. >More
 Rivals united -- against Scott Walker

Whoever wins the election to fill Joe Parisi's seat in the state Assembly will be no friend of Scott Walker. The race in the liberal Dist. 48 heavily favors Democrats. Seven are running in the July 12 Democratic primary. With no Republicans or independents yet registered (the deadline is June 14), the Democratic primary winner will likely coast to victory in the Aug. 9 general election. >More
 Mayor Soglin puts brakes on Ride the Drive for September

Ride the Drive was started by former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz as a way to promote biking in Madison. The event closes major roads around downtown to motorized vehicles so people can enjoy them on bike or foot. It was so popular -- drawing more than 20,000 people -- that it became a twice-a-year happening. >More

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Mayor Sourpuss

On election night, April 5, I was covering Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg's non-victory party at the Edgewater Hotel. Around 10 p.m., the results of the Madison mayoral race flashed on a large-screen TV with no sound. Dave Cieslewicz was addressing his supporters, smiling and waving. Then there was Paul Soglin, standing glumly before a microphone, looking as though he had lost not just an election but a loved one. >More
 Tell All: How should a gay couple mark their anniversary?

Dear Tell All: My partner and I recently celebrated our 10th anniversary. At least I think we did. He's not so sure. We're gay, and the Wisconsin government discriminates against us, so it's illegal for us to get married. Because we don't have a wedding date, we can't agree on what our anniversary is. How should gay couples who can't get married celebrate anniversaries? >More

MUSIC

Isthmus Jazz Festival 2011 promises fun in the sun

The Isthmus Jazz Festival kicks off summer in swing time. The 2011 edition features a wide-ranging lineup on June 3 and 4 on the UW Memorial Union Terrace, from big bands to small groups, Latin to bebop. You can either sit and admire the musical virtuosity or get up and dance to late-night salsa and merengue -- a win-win proposition. >More
 The MAMAs keep growing in scope and ambition for 2011

Like some other 8-year-olds, the Madison Area Music Awards are getting precocious. The show and its parent organization, the Madison Area Music Association, expand their reach each year, donating instruments and awarding grants to bolster Dane County schools' music programs. >More
 David Bazan tackles timely issues on Strange Negotiations

David Bazan says the Great Recession and the Great Bailout were weighing on his mind when he wrote the lyrics to his new album, Strange Negotiations. "'Wolves at Your Door' is directly about that," says the 35-year-old indie-rock singer, guitarist and songwriter from Seattle. The lyrics tell a story of a man who lets wolves into his house. The condition? They must prepare him a feast. >More

AT A GLANCE

ARTS

Madison's Statue of Liberty replicas need some TLC

Efforts are under way to restore both of Madison's liberties: the distressed Statue of Liberty replica that has stood for 40 years in Warner Park, and the more fanciful Statue of Liberty that has appeared on Lake Mendota's ice off the Memorial Union Terrace at irregular intervals since 1979. >More
 The World According to Paris is a scam

The World According to Paris is the latest reality series to chronicle the life of brain-dead party girl Paris Hilton. Oh, sorry -- "singer/actress/author/fashion designer Paris Hilton," as she pompously describes herself in the intro. >More

MOVIES

Entertaining X-Men: First Class traces the heroes' origins

One way of looking at Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class is as a Holocaust film. A big, bright, loud, broadly pitched Holocaust story surprisingly outfitted with shape-shifting comic-book superheroes and multitudinous fireballs, but a Holocaust film nonetheless. >More
 Famous interviewees can't save self-absorbed I Am

Don't know who Tom Shadyac is? Let's allow the man to introduce himself -- believe me, he isn't shy: "I made Jim Carrey talk out of his ass." As a writer and a director, Shadyac first unleashed Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Nutty Professor remake on the world; later he directed what could charitably be called a string of film fiascoes (Patch Adams, anyone?). >More
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ARCHIVE

EATS

Former Lulu's chef opens a west-side bistro: The Nile

Thank god Lombardino's is still standing. It's hard to say how I would get through the summer without that sweet pea salad and the seafood linguini. But the redevelopment of Old University Avenue suggested something was going to have to give, and it turned out to be Lulu's, which means University Heights is pretty much in full-blown mourning. That's because Lulu's was one of the first Middle Eastern restaurants in town, at a time when ethnic restaurants still read as something exotic. >More
 Three strategies for no-fuss, healthy summer eating

All parents want their kids to be happy and healthy, but the rates of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes tell us we're missing the mark. School lunches and vending machine options have often been the focus of diet improvement efforts, though if we're being honest, meals at home aren't always the greatest either. >More

SPORTS & RECREATION

Up close and personal

From our general admission seats just three rows off the field at Appleton's Fox Cities Stadium, my 12-year-old son and I can hear every syllable of chatter from the players. Each of the UW-Whitewater players standing at their dugout rail gleefully holds up three fingers as the umpire calls a third consecutive ball. We can hear them discuss the tendencies of the pitcher from Western New England College. >More
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