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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 48.0° F  Overcast
The Paper


The powerful Pat Roggensack

One of the ugliest incidents in the 160-year history of the Wisconsin Supreme Court occurred on June 13, 2011, with an extraordinary physical altercation between two of its members. As Justice Ann Walsh Bradley would later tell investigators, Justice David Prosser put his hands around her neck, "full circle skin-to-skin...holding my neck as though he were going to choke me." >More


Occupy Madison homeless community sticks together, despite threat of city fines

For Keith Valiquette, the attraction of the Occupy Madison encampment isn't complicated. "We want to be a community," Valiquette says. "We all generally like each other. This dividing up of men and women between the shelters breaks up families." >More
 More Wisconsin Capitol protest tickets dismissed but state prosecutors forge on

Brandon Barwick has been ticketed 22 times for demonstrating at the state Capitol without an appropriate permit and once for disorderly conduct. An active participant in the noontime Solidarity Sing-Along gatherings, he has refused to pay the fines. In fact, he and many of the other activists ticketed at the Capitol have demanded jury trials. >More
 Gov. Scott Walker doesn't rule out 2016 presidential bid; Occupy Madison relocates to Portage Road; Rebecca Blank selected as new UW-Madison chancellor



Welcome to Wisconsin, Rebecca Blank: Advice for the new UW chancellor

The search committee has recommended Rebecca Blank to be the new UW-Madison chancellor. Assuming the Board of Regents accepts her, I have some unsolicited advice for Dr. Blank. >More
 Tell All: Don't have sex with a friend

Dear Tell All: I have the opposite problem of the Biggest Loser, your letter writer who never got around to telling his lifelong female friend that he loved her in a romantic way ("The One Who Got Away," 2/14/2013). If only he'd had the nerve to confess his real feelings to her, he said, he and his beloved could have found eternal bliss. >More


Sexy Ester channel their passions through sultry rock songs

Rock bands aren't known for being quiet or humble. Oddly enough, singer Lyndsay Evans and guitarist Adam Eder are both of these things. Offstage, anyway. The couple helm Madison band Sexy Ester, which earned a WAMI nomination this year and picked up four MAMAs in 2011, including Alternative Artist of the Year. >More
 Chelsea Light Moving pair discord with delirium

Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth's iconic guitarist and singer, helped create a new musical language in the 1980s and '90s. In addition to defying traditional song structures, he dared listeners to broaden their definition of rock 'n' roll. But all good things must come to an end. >More
 Madison Symphony Orchestra's 2013-14 season honors John DeMain's 20th year at the helm

Today the Madison Symphony Orchestra announced its plans for the 2013-14 season, which will celebrate John DeMain's 20th anniversary as conductor and music director. >More



Let your mind bask in these books over spring break

If you're lucky enough to get a spring break this year, you may be tempted to do the unthinkable: sleep past noon, drink a neon-blue cocktail, or -- sacre bleu! -- read an entire book. Even if you're stranded in an airport or recovering from a morning of snow shoveling, vacation is the time to transport your mind to somewhere different from where you spend most of your time. Here are three new books and one classic to consider, whether you're seeking a light read for the beach or a deep question to ponder on the long trip home. >More
 James Watrous Gallery's Vital Skills honors the talents and traditions of Wisconsin artisans

At first glance, Vital Skills seems tailor-made for a history museum. So what is this study of traditional handicrafts doing in an art space, the Wisconsin Academy's James Watrous Gallery (through May 5)? Some answers emerge upon closer examination. >More
 University Opera's L'amico Fritz is an enjoyable tale about a wealthy bachelor and a shy peasant girl

The spring production by University Opera, which launched Friday night at Music Hall, is a seldom-heard work by a composer famous for only one. In 1891, in the immediate wake of his smash hit, the one-act Cavalleria rusticana, Pietro Mascagni was commissioned to compose this new, three-act opera, which became L'amico Fritz (vaguely translatable as "our friend Fritz"). It was based on a play, in turn based on a novel set in Alsace-Lorraine. >More
 Phil Spector tries to humanize the notorious music producer

Phil Spector has a startling premise: that the freaky music producer might be a human being. Against the backdrop of his 2007 trial for murder, writer-director David Mamet tries to figure out what makes Spector tick. The movie forces viewers to confront their prejudices about the oddballs in our midst, especially the artist-oddballs. >More


A gay couple try to adopt a disabled boy in Any Day Now

I admire the premise. In the indie drama Any Day Now, a gay couple (Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt) in 1970s Los Angeles take in a teenage boy (Isaac Leyva) with Down syndrome. The men bond with the kid, who has been all but abandoned by his junkie mother (Jamie Anne Allman). Then, in court, the men try to get permanent custody. >More
 In Spring Breakers, reality fades faster than a suntan in March

Harmony Korine, writer and director of Spring Breakers, launched his career as a teenager by writing the script for Larry Clark's incendiary opus Kids. His output since has included a movie about pranksters roaming the streets humping trash cans. But don't presume that Korine's work revolves around empty provocation. >More
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Doughnut debate: Isthmus' blind taste test reveals a clear winner for Madison

Isthmus hasn't indulged in the blind taste test since we did a roundup of cinnamon rolls a decade ago. We remain committed to our breakfast sweets, though. What office isn't? What continues to be the time-honored coworker birthday treat? Sure, bagels are a nice change of pace, and kringle has its devotees. But early-morning meetings really call for doughnuts. >More
 Wisconsin has its own all-natural soda business with Wisco Pop

"Oh, I made some real horrible stuff," says Austin Ashley as he thinks back on the early days of his new business, Wisco Pop. For years Ashley had puttered around in his kitchen experimenting with scobies for kombucha and soda alike. Yes, scobies -- a culture of bacteria and yeast and one of the bases of the fermented tea drink kombucha -- are also found in some sodas. >More


Great expectations for Bo Ryan's Badgers in March Madness

Sports commentators keep using the word "improbable" when talking about the Wisconsin men's basketball team. The Badgers were an improbable fourth seed in the Big Ten tournament and made an improbable run to the finals thanks to the leadership of Bo Ryan, the conference's improbable coach of the year. >More
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