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Friday, October 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 49.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Paper


Madison community groups find a voice in low-power FM radio

Up the hill from Vitense Golf Course on Madison's west side sits an unassuming single-story home. I pull into the driveway on a recent sunny autumn day, double-check the address and look for a few clues that this, indeed, is a hub for perhaps one of the most important media revolutions currently under way. And there they are: a small purple neon swirl hangs from eaves of the garage announcing 99.1, and tucked between two pine trees is a tall, spindly radio antenna. >More


Recall Walker volunteers dig in with gusto

The clock started ticking on the statewide petition drive to recall Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday. On Monday night, hundreds of people jammed Hawk's Bar & Grill on State Street to sign the very first recall petitions at a minute past midnight. >More
 Edgewater project sinks

The Edgewater Hotel redevelopment project, which has consumed Madison politics for years, returned to the Common Council Tuesday night. But this time the council failed to muster the votes for the project, which appears dead. >More
 Warner Park master plan questioned

Residents are skeptical about the city spending $100,000 on a master plan for Warner Park next year. At a recent public meeting on the north side, people were given fliers questioning the expense. "If we have $100,000 to spend, let's put it to use right now helping people in our community who are truly hurting because of this Great Recession." >More


African Americans not allowed? Madison bars go too far in keeping out a 'bad element' (updated)

Here's a depressing stat: In Madison, half of African Americans don't graduate from high school. Here's a curious stat: In Wisconsin, half of African Americans don't have driver's licenses. How do these two figures relate? The first partially explains many of the problems facing Madison's black community, including poverty, crime and substance abuse. The second is what many Madison bars appear to be using to try to keep these problems out of their establishments. >More
 Homestead dreams

There's something about standing in the presence of a man who knows exactly what he's doing. It's a reminder that many of the rest of us get by on dumb luck, muscle and grit. Kris Nonn has muscle and grit. He's building his own luck. >More
 Tell All: 'Fatty brought it upon himself'

I got many responses to "Don't Hate Us Because We're Fat" (10/7/2011), in which a letter writer named Heavy But Human decried the bullying of overweight would-be presidential candidate Chris Christie. He argued that fat people are in the same class as gays or people of color, discriminated against just for being who they are. >More


Composer Shannon Mason, a.k.a. Pongball, unveils soundtrack for eco-themed videogame

Without music's bravery-summoning powers, Super Mario might not rescue Princess Toadstool, and Contra's commandos would struggle to foil the Red Falcon Organization's nefarious world-domination plot. Local composer Shannon Mason knows this cardinal truth. That's why she lives, breathes and sleeps videogame music. It inspires acts of heroism. >More



Yuletide in Madison: This holiday season, give yourself the gift of live entertainment

Nights are getting longer, trees are getting barer and mall-goers are getting acquainted with the 734th version of "Little Drummer Boy." It's that magical time of year when families gather 'round the hearth, children ring around the tree and I consume my weight in eggnog. Do you hear what I hear? >More
 Not all local poems deserve Willy Street immortality

Contemporary poetry is often printed in journals that few people see. But the Poetry in Sidewalks public art project on Williamson Street gives four local poets a shot at a mass audience, not to mention immortality. >More
 Woody Allen calls himself a failure in a revealing documentary

More than a decade after the disappointing Wild Man Blues, American Masters gives Woody Allen the documentary he deserves. Allen has long been a remote figure, loath to grant interviews or make personal appearances. The two-part "Woody Allen: A Documentary" allows us to get as close to the writer/actor/director/standup comedian/clarinetist as we ever have and probably ever will. >More


A man is haunted by visions in Take Shelter

In Take Shelter, Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) stands in his yard in Ohio, staring at the horizon and sensing that something is wrong. Storm clouds are massing in the distance, and when the rain begins to fall, it has the consistency of motor oil. It's just one of the many troubling sensations Curtis has recently noticed: Birds flock in strange patterns, his pet dog nearly bites off his arm and his living-room furniture levitates. >More
 Happy Feet Two is weird and incoherent

Late in the animated sequel Happy Feet Two, a penguin chick named Erik (Ava Acres) bursts into operatic voice at a moment when hope seems dim. "Nothing makes sense in this world," belts out young Erik. "It's all a big pile of crazy!" And that, friends, is about as pithy a summation as one could hope for. >More
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Old Sugar Distillery is a drinking destination

The Old Sugar Distillery's cavernous space on East Main -- beautiful copper still, banged-up old piano, low pendant barn-lights, walls painted a green that would not be out of place in a public school, soft indie rock, muted voices -- feels a bit like the site of a potentially awkward chemistry class lock-in. In a good way. >More
 Q: When is a pizza not a pizza?

Salvatore's Tomato Pies opened last month in Sun Prairie, with former Dane County Supervisor Patrick DePula at the helm and partner Drew Griffin, formerly sous chef at Natt Spil and a line cook at the Weary Traveler, running the kitchen. >More


Kids sports and sexual abuse

A couple years ago, I was recruited to help coach my son's football team, which is sponsored by a Catholic church. Before the season started, my fellow coaches and I were required to complete a church program called Virtus, which entailed spending a few hours going over the telltale signs of childhood sexual abuse and what to do should any become evident. There were also stern warnings about never being alone with a child and permission to view with suspicion those adults who seem to be looking for those opportunities. >More
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