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Friday, March 6, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 29.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Paper


Will Madison run dry? We can't take our water supply for granted

The operations center for the Madison Water Utility doesn't exactly have a panic-room vibe. Large windows overlook the lawn and trees of the Alliant Energy Center. There are more than a dozen monitors showing security feeds, chemical levels, truck locations and key-card swipes. Two idle screens feature -- really -- cat pictures. But the four monitors that track the heart of the operation were blinking an urgent green last summer as the hot drought of 2012 stretched on. >More


Amelia and Nathan Royko Maurer continue crusade for shooting victim Paul Heenan

If you've been following the controversy over the death of Paul Heenan, chances are you've heard of Amelia and Nathan Royko Maurer. Heenan was living with the married couple when he was shot and killed by Madison Police Officer Stephen Heimsness on Nov. 9. >More
 City of Madison solicits budget proposals online

It isn't the most practical idea to ever percolate through the city's budget process. But it also sounds kind of awesome: a special event where people can ride go-carts around Capitol Square. The idea, as suggested on the city's new interactive budget site, is simple: "The City of Madison would try to hire Wisconsin natives Danica Patrick and Matt Kenseth to make this one of Madison's most popular weekend events; professional, amateur, and public racing categories; zoom-zoom." >More
 Group pushes for new 24-hour-a-day homeless shelter in Madison

Ulysses Williams is trying to get everyone to focus. The 58-year-old was homeless for about 14 months until he finally saved enough money to get his own apartment last August. Since then, he's made it his mission to corral those interested in helping the homeless -- churches, city and county officials, and activist groups like Occupy Madison -- to build a new homeless shelter. His vision is a 24-hour-a-day shelter that would serve men, women and children and provide access to social services. >More
 The Memorial Union Terrace is re-imagined and, at last, reopened

Our long local nightmare is over. The Terrace will soon be open. Really open, that is. The iconic sunburst chairs were set out on April 24, but entry points have been limited, and there's been no direct lake access. The deck area between the theater and the lake has been closed for construction, as has the outdoor brat stand. >More


Keep the feds out of our schools!

Not everything worth doing should be done by the federal government. That may be the understatement of the millennium, but it's the key to understanding why the current push for "common core" standards in education is a bad idea. >More
 Tell All: Foursome, anyone?

Dear Tell All: I've had a similar experience to Valerie Vanilla, who got embarrassed when her couple friends shared details about their sexual activity (Enough with the Kinky Sex!," 4/25/2013). But in my case, our married friends actually want my wife and me to join in! >More


Reinventing classical music: These six ensembles are breaking boundaries in Madison

These days, Madison's classical music scene is a movable feast that travels from bars to coffeeshops to traditional venues. Its new look is more casual, its sound more American, and its mission more humanitarian. Boundaries between genres have crumbled, and audiences like it. Here are snapshots of six local groups that put a new spin on the time-honored art form. >More
 UW Union ends WUD-organized concerts early, frustrating bookers

Madison's Dharma Dogs were one of the first bands to play the Memorial Union Terrace this year. They opened for touring bands Pleasure Leftists and Heavy Times in late April. As they delivered their spirited take on grunge and punk, abrasive sounds almost felt normal at UW venues. >More
 Anaïs Mitchell breathes new life into old folk with Child Ballads

Like many singer-songwriters, Anaïs Mitchell has a gorgeous voice and writes deeply felt songs about heartbreak. She's anything but ordinary, though. Her albums are conversation pieces that explore different types of stories, from ancient myths to modern-day mysteries. She'll visit Redamte Coffee House with singer-guitarist Jefferson Hamer on May 17. >More



Children's Theater of Madison honors departed founder Nancy Thurow

Nancy Thurow, cofounder of Children's Theater of Madison, refused to acknowledge the word "impossible." Roseann Sheridan, the troupe's artistic director, remembers this well. Sheridan considered Thurow a kindred soul, "diminutive in height yet powerful in spirit." More importantly, they both valued theater's ability to cultivate discipline while fostering imagination. >More
 Booked for Murder gets a new owner, new location and new name, Mystery To Me

The long-running mystery-centric bookstore Booked for Murder has found a buyer. With Booked for Murder owner Sara Barnes moving back to her hometown in Minnesota, UW-Madison Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Joanne Berg has purchased the business and will reopen it June 15 under the name Mystery to Me. >More
 Mercury Players Theatre considers a Wisconsin town's reactions to Ed Gein in The Arsonists

I've probably seen the same portrait of Christ in hundreds of Wisconsin homes and churches. Dated and pastel, with a white Jesus beaming at the sky, it tells me a lot about the place I'm visiting and the people who congregate there. Seeing the same picture in Mercury Players Theatre's The Arsonists (through May 25 at the Bartell Theatre's Evjue Stage) helped me figure out exactly where I was. >More
 Strollers Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream is a confusing yet engaging take on Shakespeare's comedy

The Strollers Theatre production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (through May 25 at the Bartell Theatre's Drury Stage) brings to mind psychiatrist Carl Jung. Jung says dreams have logic, and Shakespeare seems to agree. The Bard set Midsummer in a dream world filled with kings, courts and mischief, all of which seem to function as symbols. Strollers gets the dreamy vibe right, but the dreamworld itself is far too complicated. >More
 The Goodwin Games pits family members against each other

In Fox's promising sitcom The Goodwin Games, three estranged siblings reunite after their father (Beau Bridges) dies, only to learn that he has set up a series of competitions to determine which one of them will win his fortune. This questionable approach to an inheritance echoes his questionable approach to childrearing. >More


Star Trek Into Darkness is a sci-fi tale for a post-9/11 world

Something about Star Trek Into Darkness makes me very sad. It's not the perfect storm of an opening that evokes the old-school adventures of the starship Enterprise and also -- hilariously -- Raiders of the Lost Ark. >More
 Baz Luhrmann favors visual flourishes over complex characters in The Great Gatsby

What if Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby didn't have to live up to the legacy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Great American Novel? An adaptation of this kind faces assaults from two camps: those outraged by any violation of the sacred text and those who were really frustrated in high school English classes. Too literary or not literary enough: That's a lose-lose scenario. >More
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Meeting for coffee: Just Coffee and Ancora combine roasting operations

Matt Earley wants to be clear about Just Coffee's new relationship with Madison's Ancora Coffee Roasters. "The most troubling thing I've heard is that we somehow 'bought Ancora,'" says Earley, a cofounder, who works with farmer relations and outreach. "Just Coffee doesn't buy companies. We're not interested in doing that. It's also not a merge. As a worker co-op, we don't do that either." >More
 Easy-to-love spring wines: Pair them with a savory panna cotta

Savory versions of panna cotta, the Italian cream and gelatin dessert, have been a trending item at restaurants. Flour + Water in San Francisco recently made a pea leaf rendition served with huckleberry jam. Why not employ cheese? >More


Madison 56ers season opener

Jed Hohlbein is not used to watching soccer games from the sidelines. As a player for Middleton High School, the Wisconsin Badgers and the Madison 56ers over the last 15 years, Hohlbein has logged a lot of minutes at center striker because he's adept at putting the ball in the net. >More
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