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Saturday, January 31, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 30.0° F  Overcast
The Paper


Mark Pocan and Kelda Helen Roys spar over progressive values

In a campaign ad for the 2nd Congressional District, Kelda Helen Roys stares into the camera and declares herself an independent with moral conviction. And then she adds, in a clear jab at her chief opponent, Mark Pocan: "Here's the kind of experience I don't have. I don't cave in when things get tough. And I don't make backroom deals. In Congress, you'll know where I stand." >More


SeatSwapr will help airline passengers trade seats

Ah, the joys of flying. You're a hundred dollars in baggage fees poorer, and you've watched your valuables totter away on the conveyor while a TSA agent eyes your three-ounce duty-free bottle of honey liqueur for possible "confiscation." When at last you fall into your seat, it's at the farthest point between the two bathrooms. If only there were a way to bribe someone in, say, aisle row 5 to switch seat assignments. Wouldn't it be nice to grab back just a speck of control over your flying experience? >More
 Critics question safety of wireless water meters

Over the next year, workers from a company called Corix will fan out across Madison, gradually making their way into most of Madison's 67,000 properties -- every home, business and apartment in the city -- to install new wireless water meter systems. To some, that's great news. >More
 Orpheum Theatre on the brink: Code violations, legal dispute plague historic venue

The city's fire marshal was ready to close the doors on the Orpheum Theatre last month, because its owner had made no progress on fixing several fire code violations the city issued in May. "We were within probably an hour or two" of shutting the theater down, says Madison fire marshal Ed Ruckriegel. "And that's unprecedented. We've always gotten compliance. And I've been an inspector since 1994." >More
 Soglin shares vision for Madison public market, promotes location outside downtown

Mayor Paul Soglin is enthusiastically supporting plans for a public market in Madison, although, unlike his predecessor, he does not think it is feasible to locate the market downtown. Soglin spoke Tuesday evening to the Madison Local Food Committee, which has been charged with, among other things, looking at possibilities for a public market. >More


Dane County should kick in for Overture

The recent report that the Overture Center has met its $2.3 million private fundraising goal for this year is cause for celebration, but it's not time for chest pounding. Mayor Paul Soglin said famously, soon after taking office, that he expected the arts center's new private management and fundraising structure to "crash and burn." You might expect me to be among those rubbing it in now that Overture has been so successful in its first full year of operation. >More
 Tell All: Wisconsin either should or shouldn't mind its manners

Dear Tell All: Thank you for standing up for civility and reconciliation in Wisconsin in the midst of the divisive recall election ("Where Are Wisconsin's Manners?," 6/14/2012; and "Screw Manners," 6/29/2012). When things are going our way, it is easy to spout off bumper-sticker sayings such as "Let peace begin with me" or "Be the change you want to see in the world." When things go the exact opposite of what we want, are we willing to put action behind our platitudes? >More


Blueheels just want to have fun

The idiosyncratic combination known as Blueheels is convened at the Weary Traveler on Willy Street. Three of them, anyway: drummer Adam Cargin, guitarist Justin Bricco and singer/songwriter Robby Schiller. It's been two years since the group's last record, and the rockers who once played five shows per week have been in a rare live-performance hiatus as well. >More
 Aesop Rock piles on the complexity

Don't take an Aesop Rock rhyme word-for-word, left-to-right. Think of it as a dense verbal fiber made up of cryptic phrases and the veteran underground rapper's drawling flow. It's fun to really hear all those words crumpling and congealing together before zooming in and trying to decipher what he's actually saying. >More



Laugh, cry, shout: Madison poetry readings get 'gloriously messy'

In the fall of 2009, some poets were concerned about the lack of contemporary poetry at the Wisconsin Book Festival. They addressed the omission by putting together a reading of their own. They invited friends and favorite local poets, and because it was nearly Halloween, they called the reading Monsters of Poetry. When over 100 people showed up, it dawned on them that they had a monster of a new poetry reading series on their hands. >More
 Historic Wisconsin Union Theater materials are unearthed

Hidden treasure was recently discovered at the Wisconsin Union Theater: a massive collection of documents and conceptual artwork dating back to the venue's earliest stages. "I think it's very important," says David Null, director of UW Archives. "It's really rare to have something like this, documenting the whole process." >More
 Bartell Theatre improves fundraising, pursuing more support

The Bartell Theatre is doing somewhat better. It won't close due to lack of funds until July 2014. >More
 Zombies at the London Olympics? Expect the unexpected at the opening ceremony

I was put off by the militaristic strain in Beijing's opening ceremony for the 2008 Olympics, complete with goose-stepping soldiers. But it didn't dampen my enthusiasm for Olympics opening ceremonies in general. I love the parade of nations, the torch ceremony, the sense of epic dramas waiting to unfold. >More


A little girl stars in the jaw-dropping Beasts of the Southern Wild

In Beasts of the Southern Wild, 6-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis, who may turn out to be the youngest actor ever to win an Academy Award) lives an almost feral existence on a wild, low-lying island of the Louisiana coast known as the Bathtub. Hushpuppy narrates her vivid life story in the particular manner of kids. >More
 Dark Horse is pure Todd Solondz

Todd Solondz's Dark Horse probably isn't going to make anyone's list of best date movies of 2012, but the director's claustrophobic vision of optimistic youth slowly curdling into a hellish maelstrom of middle-age malaise is still a fun ride if you enjoy that sort of thing. >More
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Biscuits! Pie! Pork! 4 & 20 Bakery and Cafe's triple threat

It is such a relief that 4 & 20 Bakery and Cafe isn't riffing off the other cultural reference encoded in its name. There are no mega-munchies breakfast bowls or mid-afternoon mood-lifter sandwiches here. 4 & 20 plays it straight with the 18th-century nursery rhyme. >More
 A pretty currant variety works for salads and snacking (recipe)

Champagne currants are almost too pretty to eat. Almost. A cross between red and white currants and closely related to the gooseberry, these blush-hued globes are one of my favorite treats of the year. >More


How UW resembles Penn State

The report prepared by former FBI director Louis Freeh on how Penn State officials reacted to reports of sexual assault by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is 162 pages long, plus exhibits and appendixes. It is excruciatingly detailed, much of it as heartbreaking as it is blood-boiling. >More
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