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Monday, October 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 54.0° F  Overcast
The Paper


Just like family: Big Brothers Big Sisters is turning lives around in Dane County

Dora Zúniga grew up poor in south Texas. "My parents had a third-grade education and spoke little English," says Zúniga, the executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County. "The poverty rate in that community was 60%, and the unemployment rate was 30%." >More


Walker's Medicaid gamble: Shrinking BadgerCare could cost Wisconsin in the long run

Gov. Scott Walker's plan to shrink the state's BadgerCare program could end up costing the state about $250 million more by 2020, according to a Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo. Walker announced last week that rather than expanding Medicaid in Wisconsin -- as called for in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) -- he would reduce it. >More
 Wisconsin Right to Life makes questionable claim about Planned Parenthood clinics set to close

Wisconsin Right to Life worked hard to eliminate state funding for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin in the last biennial budget. So the group was delighted at the news this week that four Planned Parenthood family planning clinics around the state were closing due to the loss of this aid. >More
 Spring 2013 primary races in Madison promise to generate heat

After writing about the school board primary, Amy Barrilleaux tweeted: "Who knew covering the education beat would be so dramatic!" Indeed. Barrilleaux talked to both Sarah Manski and TJ Mertz Tuesday night right after Manski emerged the top vote-getter, finishing 14 points ahead of Mertz with 8,451 votes. Ananda Mirilli came in third, with 22% of the vote. >More


Is Madison still special?

Late one night in November, trying to turn back some spending by the Madison city council, Mayor Paul Soglin blurted out, "We're not special anymore!" Under the circumstances it didn't appear to be a strategic or long-considered remark carefully uttered at just the right time, but a spontaneous expression of frustration over a legislative body that wanted to spend more than he did. >More
 Tell All: No honor for Boy Scouts

Dear Tell All: It's been painful to watch the Boy Scouts of America puzzle over the issue of gay rights. They can't figure out whether to allow gay people to join the organization as if they were, you know, real human beings. I was struck by something the Scouts said in an official statement when they decided to postpone their decision on lifting their gay ban: "Due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review." >More


Evan Murdock eschews studio tricks on his first solo album, Feel Bad No More

Evan Murdock has been blazing a trail through Madison's music scene for nearly 13 years. Before striking out on his own in 2011, he played in acoustic duo Kentucky Waterfalls and bluegrass band the Lonesome Rogues, which was a fixture at Wonder's Pub, Alchemy Cafe's predecessor. But when it came to making his first solo album, Feel Bad No More, he was uncertain which direction to go. >More
 Passion Pit try to figure out mainstream radio

Passion Pit is experiencing an identity crisis. The electro-pop band's last two albums -- 2009's Manners and 2012's Gossamer -- have received considerable airplay on alternative radio, but now that mainstream radio has noticed upbeat numbers like "Take a Walk," a whole new world is opening up. >More
 How Tegan and Sara counteract their creepiest song titles

Twin pop-rockers Tegan and Sara Quin possess memorable voices that brighten the dark corners many of their lyrics explore. Their newest release, Heartthrob, lightens the mood even more, becoming their most accessible record to date. The album swims in sugary synths and bubbly beats that match its sweet vocal harmonies. The sisters also find other ways to take the sting out of the scary thoughts they conjure. Look closely and you'll see they've been defanging spooky song titles throughout their career. >More



Wisconsin Historical Society Press takes a fresh approach to telling Badger State stories

By now, you've probably gotten used to hearing bad news from the world of publishing. Mergers, layoffs and declining sales have been in the headlines for more than a decade. But not all the recent developments have been negative. Many independent booksellers are seeing sturdier bottom lines, according to industry publication Publishers Weekly, and total book readership has held steady, according to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. >More
 In Pillars, the UW Dance Department restages a riveting piece by famed choreographer Bill T. Jones

Pillars by the UW Dance Department (through Feb. 24 at Lathrop Hall's H'Doubler Performance Space) features thought-provoking premieres by faculty as well as a rare chance to see one of the most iconic modern dance works from the late 1980s, D-Man in the Waters (Part I) by Bill T. Jones. The piece has been restaged for the students by guest artist Germaul Barnes, a former member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. >More
 StageQ's love story Gertrude Stein and a Companion is alluring but lacks nuance

Gertrude Stein once wrote, "Your identity [is] not a thing that exists but something you do or do not remember." The StageQ production of Win Wells' Gertrude Stein and a Companion (through March 7 at the Bartell Theatre) portrays exactly that. The play examines the relationship between Stein and her companion, Alice B. Toklas, the woman Ernest Hemingway aptly called Stein's wife long before anyone had heard of marriage equality. >More
 Good cop, bad cop: In Golden Boy, they're the same person

Golden Boy is a new cop drama that takes an original approach to its protagonist. Walter Clark (Theo James) is not only a smart, capable police officer with a vulnerable streak (nothing new there), but an opportunist. He has a lean, hungry look, watching for the main chance at all times. That's not necessarily an attractive quality. >More


Snitch is an action film with an ax to grind

Snitch is a socially conscious action-adventure film that's also an indictment of the federal government's minimum-punishment guidelines for drug offenses. Though it criticizes drug gangs for being violent and corrupt, it slams the legal system even harder for punishing minor-level offenses with prison terms much harsher than those rapists and murders receive. >More
 Charlie Sheen, train wreck: A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III crashes and burns

Films as spectacularly wrongheaded as the comedy A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III don't come along very often. It's bad. I hardly know where to start. I guess I'll start at the beginning. >More
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Lucky vegans: Five divine dishes at Madison restaurants that are also animal-free

It's a great time to be a vegan in Madison, especially for those who enjoy dining out. Local chefs and restaurateurs are making an effort to welcome vegans to their establishments by clearly identifying vegan choices on their menus and going beyond the ubiquitous hummus wrap to offer tasty, satisfying meals that also happen to include no meat, dairy products, eggs or other animal-derived ingredients. >More
 Food carts spawn weekly 'Let's Eat Out Madison' gathering

"Let's Eat Out Atwood," last fall's ad hoc ongoing Wednesday-night gathering of food carts just off Atwood Avenue at the BP gas station, will be back March 13, just after daylight savings time kicks in, says Slide food cart owner Christine Ameigh. The name is also changing to "Let's Eat Out Madison," since plans are to expand to Tuesday nights on Midvale Boulevard, starting March 12. >More


The new Big Ten hockey conference: Exciting?

Quoted in the Lansing State Journal a few weeks ago, Michigan State hockey coach Tom Anastos was enthusiastic about the new Big Ten hockey conference, which begins play next year. "I think Big Ten hockey will be a real exciting brand of hockey," he said. >More
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