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Sunday, December 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 19.0° F  Fair
The Paper


Let's have a meal together: Will 2013 be the year of the community dinner?

"The meals are for the hungry first and foremost," says Meg Nielsen, one of the founders of Shared Table in McFarland, "but there are many kinds of hunger." Shared Table is a new program that serves a free community meal every week. It is for "those who are hungry for friendship and conversation and those who just need a break from the weekday grind of work and meal preparation," says Nielsen. >More


UW-Madison gets serious about supporting student software developers

So here's the deal: Coupon users are a huge market. Heavy coupon users -- whether they're frugal adults or poor students -- number an estimated 24 million Americans. So what if you had a mobile app, priced at $5, where these folks could scan coupons, organize them in a file and match them to the week's grocery list? "My Coupon Manager" is the bright idea of Mitch Davenport and Shubham Singal, two UW-Madison computer science seniors. >More
 Tammy Baldwin takes her fight for the middle class to U.S. Senate

Sure, Tammy Baldwin might be operating out of a double-wide trailer for the first few months of her U.S. Senate career, but she wants to be clear about one thing: "I'm not complaining in the least." Like all freshman senators, Baldwin must wait while more senior senators decide whether they will stay in their current offices or move to new ones. That means Baldwin is not expecting to move into her permanent office until late April or May. >More
 Meet the Meetups: My foray into the world of online social groups

Andrea Rutledge, 43, an organizer with Madison's Forever Young Meetup group, decided to become more active as she faced the prospect of the empty nest. "I knew my son would be graduating in a few years, and at that point my life had revolved around him," she says. Through the Forever Young group, Rutledge has since taken part in "lots of really fun activities that I'd never heard of before or done by myself." >More


Republicans' tax plan will help Wisconsin win the race to the bottom

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos lives in the tiny village of Rochester, population 3,682, whose website boasts of a "unique small town charm that mixes urban, farming and country life styles." It's located just 23 miles from downtown Racine, but might as well be on the other side of the Earth when it comes to the tax policies Vos wants to pursue. >More
 Tell All: Opting out of Christmas

Dear Tell All: I hate to say it, but you missed the mark on the response to the lady whose husband is a real Grinch at Christmastime ("My Husband Hates Christmas," 12/20/2012). Insinuating that he will be magically transformed by a child's wonder, like some kind of Hallmark movie, or else he's "too far gone," is a real disservice to the guy, and to all of us who don't like Christmas. >More


Six classical works that may surprise Madison listeners in spring 2013

Unexpected discoveries often illuminate Madison's musical life. A number await us this winter and spring. Here are six examples of wonderful novelties to come. >More
 Nick Brown's Slow Boat traverses stormy emotions with clever country music

Nick Brown trades lots of smart-assed banter with his bandmates when playing bass in Madison-based country act Brown Derby. Those who've enjoyed the band's playful honky-tonk at the Crystal Corner Bar might not expect to find a nuanced persona and quiet arrangements on Brown's first solo album, Slow Boat. He'll celebrate its release Friday, Jan. 11, at the High Noon Saloon. >More
 Wisconsin punk acts are seizing the national spotlight

Enough about how Eau Claire native Justin Vernon, frontman of indie-folk band Bon Iver, has turned the nation's attention to Wisconsin musicians. That's so 2007. Wisconsin punks have earned coast-to-coast recognition over the past few months, from Milwaukee's Direct Hit! landing in Alternative Press to Madison's Masked Intruder getting signed by Fat Wreck Chords, a label founded by NOFX's Fat Mike. Even Jetty Boys, a poppy trio from humble Sheboygan, have performed at big events like Insubordination Fest. >More



Madison Public Library to move ahead with Wisconsin Book Festival in 2013

It's official: The Madison Public Library has assumed responsibility for the 2013 Wisconsin Book Festival. In a meeting this evening at its Sequoya Branch, the library board voted in favor of the library taking over the event from the Wisconsin Humanities Council. The board also gave library director Greg Mickells authority to head the festival. >More
 Lena Dunham is on a roll with the second season of Girls

Part of me would love to be 26-year-old Lena Dunham: widely hailed as a comic genius when her series Girls premiered on HBO last year. Another part of me wouldn't want to be Dunham at all: forced to show that season one wasn't a fluke by delivering an equally brilliant season two. But the premiere episode proves that Dunham has plenty more up her sleeve. >More


Zero Dark Thirty explores the human cost of hunting bin Laden

A lot of bright people have said a lot of dumb things about Zero Dark Thirty. Some have argued that it glorifies torture by showing that "enhanced interrogation methods" were needed to find and kill Osama bin Laden. Others have argued the exact opposite: that the movie illustrates how torture failed as an intelligence-gathering technique. >More
 Gangster Squad rips off The Untouchables

Early in Gangster Squad, 1950s Los Angeles crime kingpin Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) tells a Mafia rival that he's no longer beholden to the Italians in Chicago because he's got a new vision for doing business. It's kind of ironic since Gangster Squad ends up doing nearly everything "the Chicago way." >More
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Roast Public House ups the ante on campus casual

Recent UW-Madison grads Doug Hamaker and Henry Aschauer are entering the area dining scene with what could be a wise concept: a convenient hangout for campus-area diners looking to eat from-scratch and local, yet on a student's budget. Roast Public House is the type of place anyone could go with friends or even a visiting mom or dad. Or to have dinner with a date, after a few rounds of ping-pong in the basement (one of my favorite surprises at Roast). >More
 Saving Mildred's Sandwich Shop

Mildred's Sandwich Shop at 827 E. Johnson St. is a Madison institution, never flashy but always a reminder that sandwiches, done well, need not resemble something coming off the assembly line at Subway. When longtime owner Nels Nelson died this past April, the future of Mildred's was in limbo. >More


Tough times for Wisconsin Badgers' hoops

Fifteen games into the 2012-13 men's college basketball season, the numbers aren't telling a hopeful story about the home team. >More
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