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Saturday, July 12, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 76.0° F  Overcast
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FEATURED STORY

Where the wild places are: Get lost in nature around Dane County

Summer is a classic time to get away from the asphalt jungle, but that doesn't mean you have to make reservations and pack your bags. Anyone in Madison is just minutes away from some impressively preserved natural areas tucked in and around the city. In no time you can leave the pavement behind and begin exploring some of the remarkable landscapes that south central Wisconsin has to offer. >More

NEWS

Neighbors rebuff efforts to light up Southwest Commuter Path

One evening in early April, Perry Sandstrom was talking with a friend on his front step in the Briar Hill neighborhood when two great horned owls flew by, about 10 feet overhead. "It was amazing," he recalls. "If I hadn't been looking up, I'd never have seen them, because they are so silent when they fly." >More
 'Obamacare' court decision expected soon: Regardless of the outcome, Walker remains staunch opponent

This month -- possibly as soon as Thursday -- the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Affordable Care Act, branded by opponents as Obamacare. Conservatives revile the law as socialism, while liberals see it as the best hope for creating universal health coverage and holding down health costs. >More

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Liberals must see light on smaller government

Now that the recalls are over, some Madisonians believe our most urgent task is mending a body politic that's been bruised and battered by the electoral combat of the last 16 months. Confrontation, demonstrations and petitions are out. Respect, tolerance and dialogue are in. >More
 Tell All: Readers respond to criticism of Bishop Morlino

Dear Tell All: Your letter writer All Prayed Out despaired of authoritarian tactics in the local Catholic diocese and considered staying away from church ("Losing My Religion," 5/25/2012). She's not the only one who would like to see Bishop Robert Morlino in the dunk tank for his response to dissenters in Platteville and other such iron-fisted policies. Do not give up your faith. >More

MUSIC

Girls Rock Camp Madison has a radical effect on its students

I walked into the middle of a neon-colored riot: a mess of pigtails and ponytails, excited chatter, apprehensive faces, fidgeting fingers and exuberant energy. It was the first-ever Madison edition of Girls Rock Camp, a weeklong day program in which girls ages 8 to 18 form bands, write songs and then perform them in front of a huge, appreciative crowd. >More
 Wisconsin Historical Museum looks at Madison's rock past in Smart Sounds, Alt Music, Mad Scenes

As Wisconsin Historical Museum staffers assembled the exhibit Smart Sounds, Alt Music, Mad Scenes, they had it confirmed that aspects of Madison's 1980s and 1990s music scene aren't appropriate to a family-friendly setting. The first time they printed out a big sheet of show flyers from the era, they realized the skull and crossbones in a poster for notoriously profane punk band Dwarves was actually a skull and two crossed erect penises. >More
 Gardens & Villa cultivate lush musical landscapes

When California indie-popsters Gardens & Villa debuted in 2008, journalists pegged them as quasi-hippies with a penchant for sunny melodies and gardening. Lately, though, they've been flouting expectations with a slightly sinister sound that's been honed during a year and a half of touring. I spoke with bassist Shane McKillop about their eponymous 2011 LP and their creative process. And their green thumbs. >More

AT A GLANCE

ARTS

Aaron Sorkin screws up TV journalism in The Newsroom

In Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom, complacent TV anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) rediscovers his inner Edward R. Murrow with the help of passionate new producer (and old flame) MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer). All the Sorkin trademarks are here, familiar from The West Wing: smart dialogue, prickly professionals immersed in their high-powered jobs, even the long tracking shots as characters barrel down a hallway in mid-conversation. >More

MOVIES

Brave explores the struggle between mothers and daughters

At first glance, it looked like Pixar's Brave was going to be another one of those animated tales of frustrated outcasts who just wanna be accepted for who they are. But directors Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell pirouette back from that precipice to discover something considerably richer. >More
 Seeking a Friend for the End of the World has a novel take on the apocalypse

When it comes to the end of the world, Hollywood movies have heightened our expectations for an apocalypse full of surround sound and digital fury. But what of the doomsday that's merely a date on the calendar, something that spurs humans to finally tackle their bucket lists or reveal their true selves? >More
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ARCHIVE

EATS

Kim's Noodles has hot pot, banh mi and...avocado smoothies

The banh mi, a glorious product of French colonial Vietnam, was the perfect candidate to become a cult food obsession. The sandwich has an exotic pedigree; its ingredients brilliantly complement each other; it's cheap; and it is open to creative variation. Such conditions make otherwise indigenous street foods ripe for international stardom in our food-crazed era. >More
 The native aronia berry is healthful, sustainable and quite tasty

The native Wisconsin aronia berry, or black chokeberry, may be the ideal fruit for this area. It's more grower-friendly and pest-resistant than many common fruit crops, and although its potential to be marketed fresh is limited, it offers an abundance of health benefits. >More

SPORTS & RECREATION

The Ryan Braun report

Popular sentiment at the beginning of the baseball season was that Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun would surely see a drop-off in productivity from his Most Valuable Player numbers of a year ago. His detractors insisted that even though Braun was cleared of charges that he used performance-enhancing drugs, he was let off due to a technicality when his sample was mishandled and would undergo increased scrutiny. >More
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