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Friday, August 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 58.0° F  Fog/Mist
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FEATURED STORY

2012 Isthmus Photo Contest: My Madison Pet (slideshow)

We weren't just looking for cuteness in our annual photo contest, this year focusing on pets. If we were, the dogs in the Green Bay Packers jerseys would have won first, second and third place. No, we were looking for memorable images. Here are the ones that made us sit up on our hind legs and pant. >More

NEWS

Global warming activists with 350 Madison Climate Action Team want to force change through UW divestment campaign

When William Minter was a graduate student at UW-Madison in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was active in a group pushing the university to sever connections with companies doing business in South Africa, then under Apartheid. Most activists at the time were focusing on the Vietnam War, and the divestment campaign seemed trifling in comparison. "People said, 'It's really not going to have a lot of impact," Minter remembers. "The fact is, at first it wasn't that great." >More
 Law opening Wisconsin state parks to trapping and hunting sailed under the radar with minimal opposition

Their children have now left home, but Patty Lowry and her husband continue to spend a lot of time in the outdoors doing what they've always done: camping, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Almost always, they head to Wisconsin's state parks, including Governor Nelson State Park, which is near their Madison home. "We can't afford our own private cabin in the woods," says Lowry. >More

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Power to the Madison Common Council

The city budget just passed may be historic not only in its redirection of the mayor's agenda, but in its significance as a harbinger of an institutional power shift. >More
 Happy birthday, Jim Schwall

Singer, songwriter, teacher, blues-rock legend, photographer and former Madison mayoral candidate Dr. James Schwall turned 70 last week. He celebrated by doing what he's no doubt done on many birthdays past: by blowing the roof off a nightclub, in this case the Crystal Corner Bar. He had lots of help. >More
 Tell All: Dems and Republicans keep battling after the election

Dear Tell All: I'm a Madison Republican -- yes, we do exist. As you can imagine, I'm used to my local candidates losing elections, and also to post-election celebrations by Democrats. But it's been worse since the Nov. 6 election. >More

MUSIC

Make Music Madison would put local performers in public places for a full day

Mayor Paul Soglin wants to strengthen Madison music, but the most promising initiative he's backing comes from outside his office. During a Nov. 8 town-hall meeting, he and Ald. Scott Resnick struggled to explain why the city should spend $50,000 on a video to promote Madison as a destination for out-of-town music lovers. Only one of the night's panelists had many satisfying ideas about how to support local performers: Michael Rothschild, a retired UW marketing professor who's organizing an event called Make Music Madison. >More
 Ninety Miles Project uses jazz to mend U.S.-Cuba relations

Though Havana is about 90 miles from Florida's southernmost tip, most Americans have never experienced its wonderful sights and sounds. Diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S. ended more than 50 years ago, and trade and travel restrictions have existed ever since. But the ice has started to thaw, thanks, in part, to a partnership between jazz musicians in both countries. >More
 Scott Lucas builds a rich, layered sound with the Married Men

In alt-rock duo Local H, singer Scott Lucas bolsters his sardonic wit with just a few instruments. Drummer Joe Daniels pounds out beats while Lucas extracts crunchy riffs from his guitar strings and bass pickups. His Americana project, Scott Lucas & the Married Men, has a considerably larger backup crew. >More

AT A GLANCE

ARTS

University Theatre's revival of The Cradle Will Rock is an intriguing artifact of the New Deal era

On the face of it, the Liberty Committee in Marc Blitzstein's musical The Cradle Will Rock sounds pretty innocuous. Who's against liberty, right? But with a twisting of words similar to today's hard-right groups like Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth, you might want to think twice about what the Liberty Committee stands for. University Theatre's production revival of this 1937 musical runs through Dec. 8 at Vilas Hall's Mitchell Theatre. >More
 UW Dance's Facets explores a continuum of emotions with ballet, poetry, music and visual art

Marlene Skog, a UW Dance Department faculty member, reveals her liaisons with mediums such as music, visual art and spoken-word poetry in Facets, a contemporary ballet performance at Lathrop Hall's H'Doubler Performance Space. The show runs through Saturday, Nov. 17. >More
 Witness follows journalists into dangerous conflicts

"Rio" is the last episode in the documentary series Witness, which follows war photographers into hotspots around the globe. Rio de Janeiro's conflict is internal: police vs. drug gangs in the Brazilian city's 900 slums. Photographer Eros Hoagland ventures into dangerous neighborhoods to find the real story, despite the fact that journalists tend to turn up dead in a horrific manner of execution known as "The Microwave." >More

MOVIES

You'd never guess that an Oscar-winning director made The Twillight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

So here it is: the final installment of the Twilight saga, or "our long national nightmare," as I have come to think of it. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 picks up with former human Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) getting her first taste of vampire life, after her bloodsucker husband, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), saved her during the difficult childbirth that concluded Part 1. >More
 Stunning images redeem Life of Pi's tale of a man and a tiger

It makes almost no logical sense to turn some books into movies. Yann Martel's Life of Pi is one of them. While this novel is a critical success, it's hardly a household name. Make it a mix of gritty survival drama and otherworldly visuals, as though somebody dipped Cast Away into a vat of Avatar. >More
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ARCHIVE

EATS

Fanfare for fall dishes around Madison: Cult cheeses, goat dates and a late-night breakfast

The arrival of Rush Creek Reserve, the cult cheese from Uplands, has become a yearly harbinger of approaching cold weather. When the gooey local favorite appears, it signals that dining habits are in the midst of adjusting to warmer, richer and heavier foods. Here are some noshes, as well as some kitchen transitions, that stand out during these shortening -- and fattening -- days. >More
 Attention, Brussels sprouts fans: Instructions on taming the odiferous cruciferous orbs (recipe)

Brussels sprouts may be one of the most loved and most hated vegetables. I'm in the love camp, but I've met a number of people who abhor them. And I'm proud to say I've won a number of those people over. >More

SPORTS & RECREATION

Welcome, squash

Damon Bourne is used to hearing the stereotypes about squash: That it's a country-club sport, exclusive to wealthy Ivy Leaguers and corporate executives. "It's probably not an unearned reputation," says the owner of Madison Squash Workshop, which hosts a professional women's tournament at its south-side facility next week. >More
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