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Monday, January 26, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 24.0° F  Light Snow Fog/Mist
The Paper


Patrick Farabaugh creates an extended LGBT family in Madison

The temperatures are pushing past 90 degrees and the sun is steadily warming the afternoon air, but Patrick Farabaugh is dressed in stiff blue jeans, a dark jacket and wool cap. He pushes open the door to the Madison Ice Arena and strides toward the ice rink for the weekly practice of the Madison Gay Hockey Association. >More


A Simpson Street reunion celebrates the bonds forged in the once troubled neighborhood

On a hot, sticky July morning, Lake Point Drive is quiet, peaceful and, in parts, shaded by mature trees. Diane Small, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than two decades, shows me the nearby community gardens where she grows tomatoes, collard greens and pole beans. Walking back to her small house, we pause at the intersection of Lake Point Drive and Fayette Avenue. Small says the decision to change the name of Simpson Street to Lake Point Drive took her by surprise. >More
 The search for a new Madison schools superintendent: Can anyone meet our expectations?

Everyone in Madison seems to have an opinion about who the next superintendent of the school district should be. Suzanne Swift, president of the Franklin Randall Elementary School PTO, wants a superintendent who can motivate a "demoralized staff," develop relationships and advocate for the district at the state and national levels. >More
 Paul Ryan: 'Traitor' or Republican ticket savior?

Bart Munger brings his "Paul Ryan is a traitor" sign to his daily protests against unrestrained campaign spending at the state Capitol. But the Milton resident (and Ryan constituent) brought some additional materials to the Dane County Farmers' Market Saturday morning, in response to the just-out news that Republican Mitt Romney had chosen Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate. >More


He's baaaack: Tommy Thompson survives the right-wing purge

With his narrow victory on Tuesday, Tommy Thompson proved that neither the national tea party organization, nor a rich opponent, nor a year of relentless attacks by the Club for Growth associating him with ObamaCare could overcome old-style, hail-fellow-well-met politics in Wisconsin. "I want you to drink a beer tonight," the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate declared in his acceptance speech. >More
 Leaving Facebook forever: It's not as easy as it sounds

Goodbye, Facebook. It's been real. I'm out. Right after I look at the guy holding the sleeping dog in Lake Superior photo one more time. There he is! All right, now. So long! As long as I'm here, I'll take a last look at the weather friend posts. Yesterday they said it was fall-like! And look there. The Frisbee game I'm not playing in is canceled. The Frisbee guy says it's fall-like, too! >More


Giving in to garage-punk revivalism

When rock veers hard to the hostile and visceral side, it often finds a wealth of sonic variety and eccentric musicianship, almost in spite of itself. That cycle has been playing out the last few years on labels like In the Red, Goner, HoZac and Douchemaster Records, whose releases often revel in some combination of garage, punk or power-pop revivalism, frequently harsh-edged but with a cheerful instinct for hooks. >More
 Searching for neo-Nazi bands in Wisconsin

Most Americans never encounter neo-Nazi music. Few even know it exists. Wade Michael Page -- the man who murdered six people at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin -- may be their only glimpse into this cesspool of hatred. Hours after Sunday's tragedy, reporters began stressing Page's role in racist rock groups End Apathy and Definite Hate. By Tuesday morning, they had thrust hate music into the national limelight. >More
 Stephen Kellogg is going solo -- with his bandmates

Stephen Kellogg needs a change of pace. He's fronted the country-tinged rock band Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers for nearly a decade, and time has started to slip away. Kellogg's most concerned about his bandmates, who leave their loved ones for weeks at a time during epic tours of the U.S. and Europe. Last month, he announced that the band will go on hiatus at the end of the year. For him, it's a chance to cut a solo album; for them, it's an invitation to see what lies beyond tour buses, greasy spoons and hotel rooms. >More



The Inbetweeners identifies a unique high school demographic

Based on a British series, The Inbetweeners puts its finger on high school's "in-between" cohort. Our four male heroes fit somewhere in between the lowest and highest social strata, and they're forever attempting to boost their status. These attempts inevitably end in humiliation, making them the object of derision for the jocks and popular girls. >More


ParaNorman explores a misfit's complicated emotions

This summer, the bane of my existence where animated features are concerned -- the "be true to yourself" plot -- has been pounded into an unrecognizable pulp. It started with Disney/Pixar's Brave, which complicated the tale of a young misfit with the notion that responsibility is just as important as marching to the beat of your own drummer. Now comes ParaNorman, which highlights how being targeted for your weirdness comes with additional burdens. >More
 The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a fairy tale about parenting

The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a modern-day fairy tale, but unlike most fairy tales, it's told from the perspective of the grownups rather than the child. It's a story about learning how to parent, accepting the mistakes that are inevitably made, and loving without possessing. >More
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PC Kitchen excels at bacon and steak fries

A few of us debriefed in the car after a brunch at PC Kitchen. "So, what do you think you're going to write?" one friend asked. I reflected on my last few meals there. They were okay. The eggs weren't ever quite over-medium when I ordered them that way. And the coffee was weak enough that, for this trip, I'd texted my friends to caution that they might want to have a cup at home first. But it was okay. >More
 Red wines that bear the heat: Berger Zweigelt and Cristom Pinot Noir

It's been a tough summer for reds. Usually this time of year there are a few occasions to drink big, complex fruit bombs -- wines that pair so well with foods like charred steaks and marinated portabella caps. But the sweltry mess that has been the Drought of '12 has left little room for the flavorful bottles -- oaked, even -- that I consider when I see grillmarks. >More


UW Lifesaving Station quietly rescues boaters and swimmers

Nestled on the southeast shores of Lake Mendota next to James Madison Park is the UW Lifesaving Station -- a concrete structure resembling a fortress. In many ways, the Lifesaving Station operates as a fire station does, except that its purpose is to provide lake rescue services. Four limited-term employees (LTEs) are on call 10 hours a day, seven days a week, April to October. >More
 Bret Bielema and the press

A couple years ago, an item in this space razzed Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema not just for his boring public persona, but for sounding like "a big jock raking through a limited vocabulary and coming up with clumps of clichés." >More
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