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


Let the sun shine in: Madison is a hot spot for solar energy despite state cutbacks

For Courtland Maney, the idea was small, bright and persistent, like the morning sun through a chink in the blinds. What would it be like to generate my own power? During the 22 years he was living in Janesville and working construction, Maney's life was connected to the sun in a simple but vital way. If the sun shone, he worked. He can't really put his finger on when, exactly, he began to think of the sun as a big ball of ultra-dependable energy that comes up every morning and goes down again every night. >More


Soglin vs. the homeless: Occupy Madison conflict pits mayor against an unlikely group

Allen Barkoff was an early supporter of Paul Soglin, and helped campaign for him back in 1973, when Soglin first ran for mayor. Although he's only met Soglin a few times, he's always admired his politics. So Barkoff was stunned last Friday when he went with a few other Occupy Madison activists to see about getting an extension or finding a new home for the tent city. >More
 New Wisconsin chapter of Unite Against the War on Women forms to oppose GOP policies

Edna Kunkel was invited by a friend in late February to a Facebook "event" called "Organizing Against the War on Women." Kunkel, who lives in Verona, doesn't know Karen Teagarden, the Michigan resident who created the event, and says she can't even identify which friend invited her to the Facebook page. But within the week Kunkel had taken over the reins of the Wisconsin chapter of Unite Against the War on Women, which will host a Madison rally on April 28 at the Capitol as part of a national protest against attacks on women's access to health care. >More
 Where Santorum won in Madison in the 2012 Republican presidential primary

Because Wisconsin's election rules allow primary voters, regardless of party affiliation, to vote for candidates in any political party, there was much talk before the April 3 GOP presidential primary about whether state Democrats would cross over and cast a ballot for one of the GOP nominees. >More


Walker's lying ads: The governor slimes his recall opponents on jobs and taxes

We knew it was coming. The negative TV ads have begun -- and we're not even done with the recall primaries yet. Spending some of the millions he's been collecting from out of state, Gov. Scott Walker decided to take on two of his possible Democratic challengers at once, rather than waiting to see who wins the May 8 election. >More
 Celebrating Palm Sunday in Kentucky

The warm rain pours down on Palm Sunday in Louisville. Old Testament stuff. The drops must weigh a half-pound apiece. They thud across the tops of our umbrellas that keep the rain from splotching the dress suits worn by the men and boys and the pretty dresses chosen for the day by the women and girls. >More
 Tell All: Readers disagree on how to treat panhandlers

Dear Tell All: I don't think the letter writer who called himself Panhandling for Salvation needs to feel guilty for not giving a handout to a downtown panhandler ("Can You Spare a Dime?" 4/6/2012). All of us who pay taxes are already helping such people, given that we fund local social service agencies. Social workers are the ones best equipped to help the homeless and the indigent, not those of us who might give them a dollar or two for who knows what purpose. >More


Vinyl love: LP fans wax enthusiastic about wax

The first music I heard on a CD was the Beatles' Revolver. It was at my friend Tim's apartment on State Street in the early 1980s. An accomplished recording musician, Tim was pumped to share the new technology. Tim purposely chose a Beatles recording because he believed my first CD sampling should be something I was very familiar with, so I would better recognize the differences. I did. But it wasn't all for the good. >More
 Acid Mothers Temple improvises high-volume chaos

One Saturday afternoon in April 2009, a group of grizzled Japanese fellows climbed out of a van on East Washington Avenue. They loaded their amps and drums into the little Good Style Shop, played about 20 minutes of roaring psychedelic rock point-blank at the crowd, sold some merchandise on the sidewalk, then got back in the van to make a show in Minneapolis. >More



UW's Constance Steinkuehler shapes the White House's videogame policy

It's a Tuesday afternoon in March, and the woman the White House has tabbed to craft its national videogames policy is just a little stressed out. Her weekly flight from Madison to Washington, D.C., has been canceled, leaving only pricey last-minute alternatives flickering on her Macbook screen. And in less than an hour, she has to introduce her boss, Carl Wieman, associate director for science of President Obama's Office of Science and Technology Policy, to a crowded room of dignitaries at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. >More
 Game of Thrones has a taste for torture

Season two of Game of Thrones is in full swing, with five kings battling to claim the Iron Throne in fantastical Westeros. The series remains compelling and confusing, as a huge cast of characters jostle for survival in a realm of knights, savages and dragons. This universe is stunningly rendered, from the torch-lit castles to the wolf-infested woods. The actors give the antique dialogue the ring of authority, and they look striking both in and out of clothing. >More


Kill List is a flabbergasting genre-bender

Viewers will find themselves well into the intriguing Kill List before they get a sense of what it's about and where it's going. And even then, they'll never correctly predict the film's outcome or foretell its bizarre ending. Kill List is thoroughly unpredictable and derives a great deal of its disquieting power from that very fact. >More
 Margaret: The annoying teenager

Eleven years ago, esteemed playwright Kenneth Lonergan's debut movie, You Can Count on Me, received many accolades and a couple of Oscar nominations. He shot his second film, Margaret, in 2005. It has taken years of reedits and backstage wrangling for it to reach the screen. As it stands now in a final two-and-a-half-hour cut, Margaret is an ungainly mess, full of interesting moments and top-tier actors but extremely scattered. >More
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Whiskey rebellion: Madison's feisty pour houses

Whiskeys have character. There are rugged rye whiskeys that taste like exotic fruit, Scotch whiskeys that smell like torched rubber bands, and beguiling bourbons that rear up with alcohol blooms so hot they have the flavor of, well, burning. Establishments that are good for sipping whiskey are ones that have character too. Sure, you can get a shot of Jameson almost anywhere, but for the serious business of a good pour, Madison has a few bars with just the right requirements. >More
 Vintage Liquor in Black Earth emphasizes the unusual

Vintage Liquor in Black Earth is an alcohol retail emporium with a shot of estrogen, Antiques Road Show with a dash of Americana à la House on the Rock. I had to giggle inside a little when I saw "PMS" spelled out on the countertop mosaic. "We're the Party MavenS -- that's our initials," says co-owner Pat Michaels of the letters that represent her and co-owner Susan Meigs. >More


Fastpitch softball at Goodman Diamond

Steeply banked bleachers perch fans right on top of the action -- and provide a view of Lake Mendota, too. Goodman Diamond is an intimate sports venue that should be rocking for Wisconsin fastpitch softball doubleheaders on Saturday afternoons. But thanks to Wisconsin's climate, fans huddled under blankets are usually outnumbered by empty seats. >More
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