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Tuesday, September 2, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 77.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Paper


Why we love our Green Bay Packers

If you're like most Green Bay Packers fans, you've always loved the Green and Gold. You grew up watching the Pack with your family, spending too much money on memorabilia, poring over the sports page and making occasional pilgrimages to Lambeau whenever a ticket became available. You're number 2534 (Ryan Grant, Edgar Bennett) on the season ticket waiting list, with no preference given to your status as a team owner. >More


Farm-to-school lunch thrives in Mount Horeb

A huge tub of cranberry-apple salsa, made from Wisconsin-grown fruit, glows ruby-red under fluorescent lights in the Mount Horeb Area Schools' production kitchen. Two hair-netted food service employees spoon the salsa into little cups, working fast because they still have 1,650 main meals to put together for Mount Horeb students in grades K-12. But even at 7:30 a.m., the two wear big smiles. >More
 Next steps in Solomon controversy? West-side alder says he won't step down

Six Madison council members took the rare step of asking one of their colleagues to resign last week. A Jan. 4 letter sent to Ald. Brian Solomon asked him to step down in the wake of charges he sexually assaulted and harassed an assistant city clerk, after they had been out drinking together in April 2010. The state Department of Justice, the Dane County District Attorney's Office, and the city of Madison all investigated, but none pursued charges. >More
 City of Madison looks to tackle job growth

During the 2012 budget deliberations, the Madison Common Council agreed to fund a new position to help with job creation, a move that many are excited to make during a major recession. The job will pay $32,821 a year, starting in July. >More


Gov. Walker's fateful decision on rail

What was the single most important decision Gov. Scott Walker made in his first year of office? Hands down, the consensus judgment would be undermining the collective bargaining rights of public employees. But 20 or 30 years from now? Wisconsinites will probably point to Walker's fateful decision to reject an $810 million federal grant to build a passenger rail line connecting Madison and Milwaukee. >More
 Tell All: Mad about Madison Prep

Dear Tell All: My liberal neighbors are all worked up about Madison Preparatory Academy, the Urban League's proposed school for African American students. They're wildly in favor of it, believing it's the solution to the achievement gap for minorities in the Madison school system. >More


Scientists study music's effects on our brains and bodies

As we lie under the stars and listen to a Puccini aria or tap our toes in a nightclub to some earthy jazz, we're probably not thinking about how the music affects our brains. We're just feeling good and enjoying the moment. But it turns out that music is a good subject for brain research because it affects so many neurological pathways. >More
 The Project Lodge grows up

Madison's brave, all-ages performance and art space Project Lodge was on the ropes last summer. Noise complaints from neighbors of the East Johnson Street storefront sparked scrutiny from the city. Suddenly, instead of happily flying below the radar, Lodge executive director Bessie Cherry was in the crosshairs. >More
 Ha Ha Tonka turn to character sketches and guarded musings

Yes, Ha Ha Tonka are spirited and twangy without ever pretending to be crusty beyond their years. Yes, the band's goofy name belies their directness and exuberant, tight live sets. Yes, they represent rural Missouri with a conflicted eye, writing songs that tackle social and religious tensions, most notably "St. Nick on the Fourth in a Fervor" from the group's 2007 Bloodshot Records debut, Buckle in the Bible Belt. >More



Wired for Love is an opera for the Internet (scam) age

We are accustomed nowadays to operas on contemporary themes. But an opera about Internet fraud? About the results of an electronic duel between a Nigerian email scammer and his would-be victim? That is the subject of the opera Wired for Love. >More
 A hunky outsider gets his man in The Finder

If I had a dime for every pilot that failed at being simultaneously exciting, funny, sexy and poignant, I'd be able to finance my own series. (Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja TV Critic.) But The Finder actually gets the job done, thanks to a rare combination of great acting, writing and filmmaking. >More
 Bookless is a party in the stacks

If you've ever had a mad urge to speak loudly in a library, you'll get a chance to yell, dance and even eat during Bookless, a benefit for the new central branch of the Madison Public Library, which was vacated late last year ahead of a two-year renovation. >More


The Iron Lady offers too little, despite Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep has become so predictably astonishing in her versatility that her name is practically a verb -- a way of describing a performer disappearing into a role. The opportunity to see America's answer to Shakespearean acting royalty play Margaret Thatcher, that quintessentially British figure, is the main reason for checking out The Iron Lady -- and, as it turns out, it's really the only reason. >More
 Joyful Noise is a mess, and that's the gospel truth

Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton have built up much goodwill, and it carries them through the regrettable Joyful Noise. There are some appealing moments in writer and director Todd Graff's overlong backstage musical about a gospel choir, but the film collapses under too many dull characters and too many silly plot threads. >More
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Mermaid Cafe's got legs

Mermaid Cafe isn't new, but in late summer it added dinner to its previously daytime-focused kitchen. Making the jump from brunch to dinner can be a tricky business for a restaurant, as standards seem to go up as the day goes on. After all, a plate of eggs and toast in the morning can be pretty grungy and still satisfy; by dinner everybody's awake and ready to criticize. >More
 Lone Rock's Lonesome Stone produces local organic whole-wheat flours

"Humankind's been here before," says Gilbert Williams, co-owner of Lonesome Stone Milling in Lone Rock, Wis., about 40 miles west of Madison. "Stone milling goes back in every culture." >More


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