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Sunday, October 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Fair
The Paper


Funky Town: Can Willy Street go upscale and still maintain its character?

As John Martens tells it, Willy Street is losing that special something that makes it, well, Willy Street. It's overdeveloped, he says, with new buildings that lack imagination. Gentrification is choking its social diversity. A small handful of politically savvy residents leverage too much power. Williamson Street, he says, is beginning to look like Monroe Street. >More


Atwood-area businesses seek to band together

If you've lived in Madison for more than 20 years or so, you may remember when the east-side neighborhood surrounding Winnebago Street and Atwood Avenue had a pretty seedy reputation. The neighborhood cinema, a 1928 Italian Renaissance-style movie palace equipped with a Kilgen theater organ, had become a disreputable porn house. Like much of the surrounding neighborhood, it had fallen into disrepair. Many Madisonians considered the area a crime magnet. >More
 Kevin Corcoran's plight reveals holes in Dane County's safety net

While waiting to meet with an eviction mediator at the Dane County Courthouse, Kevin Corcoran rubs one hand over his arthritic right knee while clutching a court notice in his other. Corcoran, a liver transplant recipient who gets around slowly with the aid of a four-legged walker, is just coming off a highly resistant staph infection known as MRSA. >More
 Neighbors with Yahararocks object to city plans for shredded rubber surface

Mark Adkins sent out the first SOS on Sept. 20. The subject line on the email: Yahara Park destroyed today! Adkins was dismayed that city workers were at the park that morning digging out playground gravel in order to replace it with shredded rubber from recycled tires. >More


Crunch time for Madison Prep charter school

Ed Hughes has a problem. Like most of his fellow school board members and practically everyone else in Madison, he was bowled over by Urban League president Kaleem Caire's vision for Madison Prep, a charter school that would aggressively tackle the school district's entrenched minority achievement gap. >More


The Type revive iconic 1990s sounds

The members of the Type offer no apology for sounding like a throwback to 1990s grunge and riot grrrl bands. "We kind of play to what our influences have been," says guitarist and songwriter Jeri Casper. What's influenced them is rock music with a dark edge, a punk ethic and an urgent feel that's high on angst. On Sept. 30, the Type celebrate the release of their second CD, Sirens and Storms, with a show at the Inferno. >More
 Girls explore California nostalgia with hazy pop

Despite their name, Girls have no female members. This two-dude band loves to subvert expectations. Based in San Francisco, singer Christopher Owens and bassist JR White tap into the city's countercultural history, extracting pop sounds from the 1960s and 1970s and splicing them with dreamy bits of glam, psych-rock and good old-fashioned lo-fi. >More



Kate Corby: Mover and shaker

Looking disheveled in a tattered dress, a dancer is surrounded by a ring of red fabric. She explores her confines, swirling and collapsing. Broken, then completely still until fingers twitch, she arches her back and tilts her pelvis. Suddenly she slides forward on her belly, pushing the fabric out and creating messy heaps of clothing. We see this action over and over, but each time it is startling. Finally, the circle of red is destroyed. >More
 Suburgatory sets out to destroy the suburbs

Suburgatory runs roughshod through the suburbs, laying waste to the malls and manicured lawns. This new satire stars Jane Levy as Tessa, a Greenwich Village wild child whose dad moves her to suburban hell for a supposedly more wholesome life. >More
 Be a penny pincher at Ben Franklin

I'm in love with Ben Franklin. Oh, I know what you're thinking: He's old and set in his ways. What could he possibly have to offer? Well, girlfriend, what makes him so lovable is that he always has what I need, whether it's a pincushion or a piñata, and he's easy on the pocketbook. The Ben Franklin I'm referring to, of course, is the old-fashioned variety store, what used to be called a five-and-dime. >More


Entertaining 50/50 never commits to any one subplot

In the opening scene of the comedy-drama 50/50, 27-year-old Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) jogs through downtown Seattle. As he comes to a stoplight, another jogger trots past him across the street, ignoring the illuminated red hand. But Adam stays put. >More
 A man chases and is chased in Point Blank

Point Blank opens at a frantic pace. Unknown men run in a stairwell, spilling onto the street and into a tunnel. Random cars and motorcycles get involved, too. Then, but for a few brief establishing scenes, the film never lets up for the next 80 minutes. >More
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Tempest Oyster Bar is ambitious, promising, and even overwhelming

2011 hasn't been the best year for Madison dining. Genuinely creative new restaurants aren't opening, and the sad fire at the Underground Kitchen in June read a little like a metaphor. But then, of course, 2011 hasn't been the best year for Madison in general, so there is something almost heroic about Henry Doane's decision to launch an ambitious, expensive restaurant in the middle of all the gloom. >More


Westport natural area increases from 14 to 217 acres

A little north of Madison, on the way to Waunakee on Hwy. 113, turn right onto Bong Road. Yeah, it's an easy name to remember, Beavis. You're heading for the Westport Drumlin State Natural Area, 217 acres of conserved land devoted to remnant prairies, the hills of glacial till known as drumlins, and the largest stand of the threatened prairie bush clover in southern Wisconsin -- 1,400-some plants. >More
 Rucks and scrums: Wisconsin rugby squad looks to qualify for nationals

The UW-Madison rugby club plays its home matches on the western edge of the University Bay fields, prudently near UW Hospital. Its out-of-the-way location recalls an Oscar Wilde description of the sport: "Rugby is a good occasion for keeping thirty bullies far from the center of the city." >More
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