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Sunday, December 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Overcast
The Paper

FEATURED STORY

They're biting! A guide to fishing in Madison's bountiful lakes

Kurt Welke believes strongly in a certain kind of eating local. "I have been catching bluegills for the table lately, and I will tell you it gets no better," he says. "These are a true gift of spring, like roadside asparagus or morels or wild blackberries." >More

NEWS

Renovated Madison Central Library will have expanded mission

For Trent Miller, the tricky part is coming up with a catchy name. Miller, who is program coordinator at the Madison Public Library, is about to have a world of possibilities open up. Madison's Central Library will reopen in September, and Miller and other library staff have grand plans to use the space in some nontraditional ways. >More
 Dane County supervisors expect real results from new Poverty Commission

Dane County Supv. Jenni Dye knows what many people think about committees. "Sometimes people think of committees and commissions as where ideas go to die," she says. "We're hoping the opposite happens." The commission in question is a new one that Dye helped form, the Dane County Poverty Commission. >More
 New Madison planning head Katherine Cornwell moves to town in Gypsy Farm Bus

Katherine Cornwell was busy packing her beehives in Denver on Tuesday afternoon. Due to start her job as director of the city's planning division on June 10, Cornwell first had a bit of an adventure to take on. Cornwell is moving to Madison in an old school bus dubbed the Gypsy Farm Bus. She used the bus in Denver as a mobile farmers' market, an extension of her urban farming efforts there. Now she's bringing it to Madison. >More
 American Girl dolls teach positive lessons in a complex world

American Girl, created here in Middleton, was from the beginning aimed at a "boutique" demographic: intelligent, self-aware girls, not "teen queens" like Disney's Hannah Montana. >More

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Republicans' budget a disaster for Wisconsin

State Republicans and lobbyists went into a back room to work out a budget deal this week, and guess who the big losers were? Yup. Ordinary Wisconsinites. The deal involved expanding school vouchers statewide, in exchange for a modest per-pupil spending increase for public school students. >More

MUSIC

The sounds of Marquette Waterfront Fest

It all begins with a smoke signal of sorts, the scent rising from the sausages at Madison's many brat celebrations. Whether you're at World's Largest Brat Fest, Wurst Times or the People's Brat Fest on Memorial Day weekend, it's clear that festival season has begun. >More
 Digital Leather pours rock, metal and more into its trashy synth-pop

Digital Leather is not a plug-in for Photoshop. It's Sean Foree's trashy synth-pop project. Foree has maintained a prolific pace, releasing nine albums and EPs along with tons of singles in just seven years. He'll be touring behind his latest full-length, 2012's Modern Problems, when he and his band stop by Revolution Cycles June 8. >More
 Joan Baez, troublemaker: At 72, the folk icon continues to stir things up

In late April singer-songwriter Joan Baez sat at the bedside of her 100-year-old mother -- lovingly nicknamed Big Joan -- absorbing the final moments before she died. Despite the sad occasion, Baez felt satisfaction in remembering a lifetime together. "We got a lot of work done in our souls," says Baez, 72, who plays Overture Center'sCapitol Theater June 7. "There's no way around the sadness, but it doesn't have to be suffering." >More

AT A GLANCE

ARTS

American Players Theatre in transition: The Spring Green troupe prepares for new directions in 2013 and beyond

For many local theatergoers, summer means grabbing the sunscreen and bug spray, packing a picnic basket and heading to American Players Theatre in Spring Green. While theater options are plentiful year-round, outdoor shows are a fleeting pleasure here in the frozen North. And though APT opened an indoor stage in 2009, its 1,148-seat, open-air amphitheater is still an integral part of the experience. >More
 Broom Street Theater's Lekker Mann is drenched in drama, disease and desire

Tracy M. Smith is a microbiologist at UW-Madison, but she hasn't traded experimental theater for Erlenmeyer flasks. She drew upon both of her careers when writing Broom Street Theater's Lekker Mann (through June 22), which is billed as a "visceral disaster drama." >More

MOVIES

Lyrical storytelling propels Kon-Tiki's tale of a raft-borne adventurer

The color blue dominates the filmmakers' palette in Kon-Tiki: the azure expanse of open sky, the aquamarine sheen of boundless ocean, the cerulean eyes of Pl Hagen in the role of real-life adventurer Thor Heyerdahl. Geir Hartly Andreassen's beautifully saturated cinematography nourishes the senses like a photo spread in National Geographic. >More
 The Purge is an unlikely assault on America's culture of violence

It seems implausible, even for a movie: A decade from now, America's unemployment rate is 1%, and crime is virtually nonexistent. It's all thanks to the Purge, an annual 12-hour free-for-all during which all crime, including murder, is legal. >More
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ARCHIVE

EATS

Road food in Fort Atkinson

Summer is upon us, and so is the season of wanderlust. Who knows why suddenly a trip southeast on Highway 12 seems like a good idea? Maybe you're heading to Lake Koshkonong or the southern Kettle Moraine, or planning to paddle the Rock River, or just roaming. Whatever you're doing, you're hungry. >More

SPORTS & RECREATION

Jester Weah is a three-sport all-star

When Jester Weah was a standout junior basketball player at Madison Memorial, he and a couple teammates allowed Isthmus to shoot video of their annual trip to get intricate designs shaved in their hair for the state basketball tournament. Despite getting the most elaborate haircut, Weah was overshadowed in the piece by his more loquacious teammates. "Jester is a man of few words," Memorial basketball coach Steve Collins told me later. >More
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