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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 67.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Paper


Isthmus 2011 Independent Business Awards: Hats off to one-of-a-kind Dane County businesses

All hail independent businesses -- the ones that are based in Dane County and really care about our community. The Isthmus Independent Business Awards, presented by Isthmus and Heartland Credit Union, honor these indispensable operations, giving props for sustainable practices, bold leadership and innovation. >More


Gov. Mahlon Mitchell?

Mahlon Mitchell, the firefighter and union leader, usually brings a bit of Wisconsin with him when he speaks at events around the country. He likes to begin each speech with a chant, one that's familiar to anyone who spent some time around the Capitol in the spring. He coaches crowds in places like Los Angeles or Portland, Ore., to answer "tell me what democracy looks like" with "this is what democracy looks like." >More
 Is Wisconsin Assembly ban on cameras and signs unconstitutional?

When Progressive magazine editor Matt Rothschild got arrested for using a camera in the Assembly chambers, he was wearing a sign taped to his shirt that spelled out his constitutional right to free speech and assembly, as well as his right to petition his government. Seventeen other protesters were arrested Nov. 1, and many of them wore similar signs. >More
 Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board grant program draws scrutiny

A contentious nine-hour debate in the state Assembly over whether to give minorities preferential treatment for a Higher Educational Aids Board grant program appeared to have been a waste of time when the agency announced the next day it had not used race as a criterion for more than a year. >More
 Madison SOUP mixes business and pleasure

The phrase "Madison SOUP" might bring to mind something saucy based on cheese and beer, or, conversely, one of those extended common council meetings that drag on until 4 a.m. It is, however, our local branch of an international network of meal-based micro-granting initiatives. Uh, say again? >More


The circus leaves town

The good news is our state legislators have packed up their concealed guns and headed home to their castles until January. The bad news is what they managed to get done during their misnamed "jobs" session that ended last week. >More
 Tell All: Scandals put Herman Cain and Kim Kardashian right where they want to be

Dear Tell All: I'm disgusted by the national discussion over Herman Cain's sexual harassment scandal. Almost everybody minimizes the victims' experience, including media types obsessed only with how it will affect his run for the Republican presidential nomination. Many mainstream pundits are actually expressing sympathy for this creep, despite the acknowledged settlements to women employed at the National Restaurant Association during Cain's sleazy tenure as CEO. >More


Rock pioneers the Millingtons still fight stereotypes

June Millington was 13 when her family moved from the Philippines to Sacramento, Calif. The year was 1961. "We felt blatant prejudice when we first came here," she says. "It was horrible." But June and her sister Jean knew how to play ukulele, and they used their musical talent to win friends. "We played at the junior high school variety show," recalls June. "Kids started coming up to us and telling us they liked it. So it dawned on us this was a way to make friends." >More
 Sweetback Sisters re-create 1950s Nashville in modern NYC

The Sweetback Sisters made their way into hearts and record collections in 2007, when their lush vocal harmonies and vintage country melodies appeared on A Prairie Home Companion. Since then, the group has added Peter Bitenc, a Milwaukee-bred bassist who trained at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and cut his teeth with some of that city's most legendary jazz musicians. >More



Lorine Niedecker is a solid portrait of the Wisconsin poet

Lorine Niedecker wrote small poems packed with the power of nature, poems that appear made to sit nicely on the shelf but harbor a life's worth of emotions. The work is usually filed under "Objectivism," an early 20th-century style that grew out of Imagism and focused tightly on imagery. Niedecker's poems can seem fragmentary, like reading Sappho, as if portions are lost from the original. >More
 Chuck expertly mixes spy action and comedy in its final season

Despite its awesomeness, the comic spy series Chuck has been under threat of cancellation ever since it premiered in 2007, and NBC has finally decided to pull the plug after the current season. But until then, we can enjoy the adventures of Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi), the lowly retail clerk who became a superspy when an "Intersect" downloaded amazing skills into his brain. >More
 Amid construction, UW-Madison protects 70-year-old works

Murals by celebrated regionalist John Steuart Curry are getting exceptional attention on campus, though the public can't tell so far. Collectively entitled The Social Benefits of Biochemical Research, the painter's 1941-43 works were encased in place, inside a special "jewel box," while the surrounding Biochemistry building, on Henry Mall, was gutted. >More


UW Cinematheque leads a growing downtown film scene

It's been a good year for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Cinematheque, and also for its first director of programming, Jim Healy. The organization has two gorgeous new venues, at the Chazen Museum of Art and Union South. Celebrated director Joe Dante just paid a three-day visit to screen Gremlins, as well as his personal favorites. Attendance for the summer series was up 70%. >More
 Higher Ground can't settle on a tone

It's a chilling Bible verse, Psalm 137:9: "Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rocks." Really? God says killing children could be associated with happiness -- or blessedness, as it's sometimes rendered? >More
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Middle Eastern in Middleton at Palmyra

There were several surprises waiting for us at Palmyra. The first was the location. It was hard to tell if we'd ever been to that Middleton mall before, because it looked like it came out of the same box as most new malls. And then, despite rumors of a Moroccan flourish at Palmyra, and the shelves of tajine pots by the door, there was nothing Moroccan to eat. Instead the menu, like the mall, looked familiar, as if we had seen it before. >More
 Cranberry relish recipe borrows from the Wisconsin state drink (recipe)

The brandy old-fashioned was a drink I hadn't recognized as classically Wisconsin until I started serving at a restaurant in Middleton some years ago. The cocktail was ubiquitous in its many forms: sweet, sour, press and soda, standard with bitters, muddled orange and maraschino cherries. >More


The cult of Joe Paterno

When you walk the charming streets of State College, Pa., and the Penn State campus, it's clear that Nittany Lions football isn't just a pastime there, it's what drives the community and university life. Images of "JoePa" are everywhere, particularly in the windows of the college bookstore, where you can buy life-sized cardboard cutouts of coach Joe Paterno. >More
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