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Monday, January 26, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 18.0° F  Light Snow
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Isthmus Indie Awards 2012

The Isthmus Independent Business Awards pay tribute to Dane County companies that care not only about their own success, but about the whole community's success. Winners have been chosen in eight categories, honoring such locally important qualities as innovation, sustainability, and bridge-building. These are the folks who will keep our region prosperous and livable in the 21st century. >More


Retiring Sen. Herb Kohl got a lot done while shunning the spotlight

Current polling suggests that whoever wins the 2012 race for Wisconsin's open Senate seat -- Republican Tommy Thompson or Democrat Tammy Baldwin -- it will probably be by a narrow margin. That alone will mark a significant change from the person who's held the seat for nearly a quarter-century. >More
 Madison Mayor Paul Soglin calls out Dane County over proposed homeless facility

Madison and Dane County are feuding over the need for a day shelter for homeless people. On Friday, Mayor Paul Soglin fired off a letter to Dane County executive Joe Parisi, complaining that the county hadn't consulted with the city before announcing it was considering running a day shelter this winter at 1439 Wright St., off East Washington Avenue near Madison College's Truax campus. >More
 Interpreting the Affordable Care Act

For Jambul Akkaziev, it's not about the money. Last April, he emailed his doctor requesting some basic tests for sexually transmitted diseases. His doctor ordered a series of tests -- standard stuff for most adults -- which he got at Dean Health's clinic on Fish Hatchery Road. The new Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to cover 100% of testing of some STDs -- including HIV and syphilis -- as preventative care. >More
 STEM = science, technology, engineering and math

It's worth seeking out fun activities that nurture children's interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). A good STEM education is "as important to being well rounded as soccer, ballet and piano lessons," says UW-Madison learning science professor David Williamson Shaffer. >More


Wisconsin loves Obama after all

The day I returned from the Republican convention in Tampa, I bumped into a friend at the grocery store. She had been out canvassing for Obama, she told me, and was just about ready to quit. People were so hostile, she said, it was too discouraging -- she'd had enough. Since I'd been hanging around with Paul Ryan, Scott Walker and Reince Priebus for a week, I immediately assumed she was talking about Republican hostility to the president. But then I came to my senses. >More


Jazz musician Tia Fuller comes into her own after touring with Beyoncé

Two days before 9/11, a young jazz saxophonist named Tia Fuller moved from her native Colorado to Jersey City, N.J., a few miles from Manhattan, ready to make her mark. Then the local economy collapsed along with the Twin Towers. But she pressed on, landing a gig at a fish fry that very weekend. Soon she was in the funk band at a poetry slam, and before long, she was touring the world with R&B superstar Beyoncé. >More
 Furry friends lure musicians into Madison's recording studios

Sadie greets everyone like a rock star. As singer-songwriter Anthony Lamarr and his crew load into Madison's DNA Music Labs to record, the 3-year-old terrier mix ecstatically jumps into the air and skitters around their feet. She's a superfan. But she's careful not to trip people with armfuls of expensive instruments. She knows better. It comes from being a seasoned studio dog. >More



Henry Rollins recounts his global travels during a tour of state capitals

The former lead singer of punk band Black Flag and an ardent proponent of human rights, Henry Rollins is a prime example of a rocker turned activist. This year, he's hitting the presidential campaign trail with Capitalism, a two-month tour that will bring him to every state capital. He'll share his perspective on our nation's political process and anecdotes from his trips abroad. >More
 As Goes Janesville details a homegrown economic crisis

Independent Lens' As Goes Janesville takes an up-close look at the Wisconsin city devastated by the closing of its GM plant in 2008. The documentary goes into the kitchens of laid-off workers, who are scrambling to remain in the middle class. It also goes into the boardrooms of Janesville's corporate executives, who desperately brainstorm ideas for creating new jobs. >More
 The urge to collect

When I was 8 years old, I collected beer cans. Although I didn't know it at the time, it was a brief national trend. For several months, I picked up and rinsed out discarded cans from the teenagers partying at Garner Park across the street from my parents' house and lobbied every relative to bring cans back from exotic places like Cincinnati, San Francisco and Honolulu. >More
 Remodel an underused space instead of adding on

It's not like I'd actually grown up with a garage to begin with. Back in 1972, when my family made the big move to a newly constructed suburban contemporary, the first thing my father, a professional artist, did was to remove both overhead doors from the attached two-car garage and replace them with sliding glass ones. >More
 How green is your cookware?

It's fall, when many of us crank up our stoves and ovens as the weather cools down. Just as there are decisions to be made about what to put in this casserole or that pie -- is it local? is it organic? is it humane? did it really have free range -- there are certain ethical concerns edging into what we're cooking with. >More


Tim Burton rekindles his creative spark in Frankenweenie

In 1984, Tim Burton, a 25-year-old Disney animator, made a 29-minute live-action film called Frankenweenie. In this lively tale, a schoolboy named Victor Frankenstein (Barret Oliver) revives his beloved dog, Sparky, who's been killed by a car. >More
 Neil Young Journeys needs a bit more direction

Rock concert movies are a distinctly mixed bag. Filmmakers long ago realized that they can't convey anything like the near-religious experience of a great show, and better rock films come at the issue sideways. Consider Woodstock, which conveys in such marvelous detail that festival's ups and downs. >More
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Jordandal Cookhouse is a unique takeout deli

Carrie Johnson said it, and it's true: This is not something most farmers do. Johnson, owner of Jordandal Farms (along with her husband, Eric, and business partner Matthew Walter), knows most farmers don't set up a storefront for selling frozen meats 30 miles from the farm. Most farmers don't make pizzas. And most farmers definitely don't open a takeout cafe to serve lunch and dinner to locals and nearby hotel patrons. >More
 The Cider Farm near Blanchardville is a dedicated hard cider orchard

With the resurgence of interest in hard cider, there's a return of interest in cider apples. Enter Deirdre Birmingham and The Cider Farm. Located near Blanchardville in southwestern Wisconsin, it is an organic orchard dedicated to growing apples truly meant for hard cider. Apples you've probably never heard of, like the Ellis Bitter, Tremlett's Bitter, Dabinett, Chisel Jersey, Akane, Redfield. >More


Wisconsin Badgers football's QB quandary

When I approached Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave at media day and asked him to make the case for being named the team's starter, he pulled off the difficult trick of projecting confidence without sounding arrogant. "I think I'm a pretty good natural athlete," the Greenfield native said. >More
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