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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 74.0° F  A Few Clouds
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FEATURED STORY

The Madison-Milwaukee divide

What is it about Milwaukee and Madison -- that potent mix of mutual disdain, disregard and ignorance that characterizes their odd relationship? In fall 2011, I found myself mulling that question as I sat in the lounge of Uihlein Hall in Milwaukee, having a pre-concert drink before the Milwaukee Symphony performed Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Why didn't I see a single familiar face from Madison milling in the crowd of music lovers? >More

NEWS

Renovated downtown Madison branch will showcase the future of libraries

It's 4 p.m. on a Tuesday at the Goodman South Madison library on Park Street, and the brightly lit community room is packed with teenagers. A seated pair aim Wii controllers at the jumbo screen on the back wall, leaning to and fro in the synchronized sway of gamers everywhere. Another four sit focused in front of laptops, headsets firmly in place, pulling swigs on bottles of water or soda. >More
 Walker's next big move on Obamacare: Is Medicaid expansion too sweet to pass up?

Although Gov. Scott Walker announced last month that Wisconsin won't set up a health insurance exchange as part of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a decision with much bigger consequences looms for Wisconsin. The governor must decide whether he will expand the state's Medicaid programs to serve more people, as called for in the federal law nicknamed Obamacare. Walker has made no bones about his hatred of the law, writing in a Washington Post op-ed that it "will devastate Wisconsin." >More
 Challengers emerge in 2013 Madison Common Council races

When Tim Bruer was first elected to the Madison Common Council in 1984, one of the council leaders told him he "had a district nobody else wanted." Alders came and went, in rapid succession, Bruer remembers. He took the comment as a challenge. Almost 30 years later, Bruer is still serving the south-side district, which he brags has seen unprecedented development and revitalization. "Now I have a district that everyone else should envy." >More

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Wisconsin is a national leader in tax handouts to business

In 2009, the company that ran Mercury Marine's Fond du Lac plant put a gun to the head of its workers: Either agree to wage givebacks, they warned, or we'll move your jobs to our plant in Stillwater, Okla. The drama soon involved Gov. Jim Doyle, who was bashed for not being pro-business enough to prevent the company's move. >More
 Tell All: Hands off my body!

Dear Tell All: Your letter writer Relieved expressed his gratitude to Wisconsin voters for showing a spirit of tolerance toward gay people in the Nov. 6 election ("Gays Up, Haters Down," 11/15/2012). Wisconsinites voted for Tammy Baldwin, making her the first openly gay U.S. senator. We voted down Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who oppose equal rights for gay people. >More

MUSIC

How Madison venues, labels and performers have evolved in 2012

Year-end lists tend to be nice and trim, while local music is messy: provincial yet sprawling, repetitive yet ever-changing, frustrating yet exciting. To provide some perspective, I'll discuss a few factors that altered Madison's music community in 2012, and what these changes mean for the future. >More
 PHOX celebrate an eventful year on Madison's music scene

For the alt-rock collective PHOX, the holiday season marks the anniversary of their move to Madison and a curious incident that brought them closer. After forming in their hometown of Baraboo, PHOX plunged into Madison's music scene when they started getting offers to bring their eclectic sound to the area. >More
 A quantitative assessment of Mac Lethal's rhyme-slinging skills

What kind of Mac Lethal will show up at the Frequency on Dec. 7? The hardened battle MC from Kansas City? The blazing-fast rapper from the Internet? The happy fellow with the charming, self-deprecating sense of humor who appeared on 2011's Irish Goodbye? It's a crapshoot, though crowds should hope to catch glimpses of all three. >More

AT A GLANCE

ARTS

What's new at the Chazen Museum

Last year's expansion of the Chazen Museum of Art, formerly the Elvehjem Museum of Art, didn't just double the square footage of the exhibition space. It shifted the focus of the permanent collection to modern and contemporary art, including works by artists born just a few decades ago. >More
 American Players Theatre's The Gift of the Magi pairs splendid music with a touching holiday story about love and sacrifice

It's impossible to see a play you've seen before without making comparisons. Last night in the small Touchstone Theatre at American Players Theatre, I was eager to see how The Gift of the Magi stacked up against the debut version I saw in 2010. While a few of the show's inherent limitations remain, I found it stronger overall. In its third annual run (through Dec. 22), The Gift of the Magi is truly special for its organic melding of storytelling and music and its just-right holiday message. >More
 Madison Theatre Guild's Next to Normal analyzes mental illness through music

Next to Normal tells the story of a woman struggling with mental illness and explores how her struggles affect her family. Madison Theatre Guild stages this contemporary rock musical at the Bartell Theatre through Dec. 15, donating a portion of the proceeds to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). >More
 Hunted comes to a stunning conclusion

While other critics were obsessing on Homeland, I urged you to watch Hunted, an even better spy series about a troubled female heroine. After this week's thrilling conclusion, I know you will want to thank me in some way. Chocolates are always nice. >More

MOVIES

A Late Quartet stars Christopher Walken as a musician in decline

If you long to see Christopher Walken play a character other than a wacky eccentric who speaks with a weird cadence, get yourself to the cinema to see A Late Quartet. But beware: This is the most interesting part of the movie, despite its intriguing premise and stellar cast. A Late Quartet remains earthbound when it should soar. >More
 In Another Country examines cultural barriers and cinematic illusions

At the start of In Another Country, the newest dramedy by Korean writer-director Hong Sang-soo, we meet a Korean film student distraught about a situation involving her uncle. "He's not even a human being," she insists to her mother, who, in turn, pledges to fix the problem. This promise does not satisfy the young woman. >More
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ARCHIVE

EATS

DLUX's burgers and drinks don't always make the connection

To get the most out of a visit to DLUX, pack your bags. Then dress as though for an uneventful business trip and wheel your luggage into this latest Food Fight iteration. Because DLUX, despite its downtown location, is an airport bar. >More
 December 2012 food news: Good Food Award, Yahara Bay, Quince & Apple

The 2013 Good Food Award finalists have been announced for excellence in conscientious food production. >More

SPORTS & RECREATION

Hoops, Big Ten style

With six teams currently ranked in the top 20 of the Associated Press poll, the Big Ten looks like the toughest conference in men's college basketball this year. But thanks to some pretty weak nonconference scheduling, we won't really know how good these teams are until they start playing each other in January. Wisconsin fans get to see five of those teams -- all but Indiana -- play at the Kohl Center. >More
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