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Sunday, February 1, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 11.0° F  Light Snow Blowing Snow and Breezy
The Paper


The mystery of dying bees: Madison beekeepers, UW researchers look for answers

Enjoy a nice crisp apple recently? Chances are you can thank a honeybee for that. Like to snack on almonds or perhaps sip a glass of orange juice in the morning? Those foods were also made possible by bees. Bees pollinate much of the food we eat, but they're dying in huge numbers. This year was worse than most, a new low in a trend that's only getting worse. What will this mean for us and our food supply? >More


The cost of rejecting Medicaid funds for Wisconsin

Last week, the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted 12-4 on party lines to reject federal money to expand health insurance for the poor. As a result Wisconsin lawmakers saddled the state with a bigger price tag in return for less health coverage. >More
 Catch-all budget motions are a controversial Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee tradition

Around the Capitol it's sometimes called the Christmas Tree amendment. The omnibus motion that wraps up Joint Finance Committee action on the state's proposed biennial budget gets its nickname because it often delivers presents (a.k.a. "pork") to lawmakers' districts or takes up wish-list items, even if non-fiscal in nature. >More
 Mark Pocan on taping The Colbert Report

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) took no chances when prepping for his interview with Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert. "We watched 15 other members' interviews," says Pocan, who appeared June 3 on The Colbert Report's "Better Know a District" segment. >More
 Four Lakes Wildlife Center helps wild animals and their would-be rescuers

Last May, the girls next door found a baby bunny hopping near their tomato garden, scooped her up and placed her in a box in their garage. "What should we do with her?" they asked me, the neighborhood's token animal rescuer. >More


The Wisconsin budget's private bail bond system spells the return of debtors' prison

Of all the measures included in the mammoth budget bill that was recently completed, none is more questionable than a provision that returns commercial bail bonds to Wisconsin. Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn called bail bondsmen "basically legal loan sharks" who "prey on the poorest communities." >More
 Tell All: Unmasking the Dalai Lama

Dear Tell All: I read Rational Rodney's complaint about Madison's misguided love for the Dalai Lama during his recent visit (The Dalai Lama Is a Bore," 5/24/2013). I agree that he's boring, having heard him countless times. All the religions teach love, compassion and forgiveness, by the way. I have a Ph.D. in the subject, for what it is worth, and I happen to know that the Gelugpa Order deems anything too "in-depth" as improper teaching for the commoners. That's how they view us: We are not ready yet. >More


Can Make Music Madison and the MAMAs get along?

Next weekend may be one of the noisiest in Madison history. Most of the noise will be joyful: live music at more than 100 pop-up venues on Friday, June 21, for Make Music Madison, and nearly a dozen performances at the Madison Area Music Awards at Overture Center on Sunday, June 23. >More
 Souls of Mischief celebrate a West Coast hip-hop classic

East Bay hip-hop foursome Souls of Mischief will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut, '93 Til Infinity, by performing the entire album at the Majestic Theatre on June 19. Its production still feels funky and warm, and MCs Opio, A-Plus, Phesto and Tajai still come off as both thoughtful and happily obnoxious. >More



Mystery to Me opens on Monroe Street

Madison's buy-local ethos will face a curious test when Mystery to Me opens at 1863 Monroe St. on June 15. Joanne Berg retired from a long career in higher education to open the bookshop, something she's wanted to do for a long time. She bought the inventory and shelving from Booked for Murder, a long-running store specializing in mystery novels. But she would have gone with plan B -- "retire and maybe do some consulting" -- had she not noticed a For Lease sign on Monroe Street while walking to Trader Joe's from her nearby home. >More
 Aaron Bohrod's Madison Public Library mural is preserved; UW studio faces demolition

The good news is that Aaron Bohrod's mural in the Madison Public Library is saved, restored as a centerpiece of the remodeled central facility, slated to reopen Sept. 21. The bad news is that University of Wisconsin-Madison is poised to demolish Bohrod's historic studio, "Farm Place." It's one of the oldest buildings on campus. >More
 Michael Lucero's suspended sculptures give life to the inanimate at the Chazen Museum

These days Michael Lucero is known for his clay sculptures, but he got his start building human-like figures from old wooden crates in the 1970s. The oversize works in his installation at the Chazen Museum of Art (through Aug. 18) point to a larger-than-life imagination and a big interest in ancient cultures. >More
 Leslie Smith III's paintings explore trauma through abstraction at MMoCA

Leslie Smith III's new painting exhibition at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (through Sept. 1) is called "I Dream Too Much," but it's clear that the UW-Madison art instructor isn't asleep in the traditional sense. Like many of his paintings, these recently created works use abstract imagery to explore anguish, anxiety and other byproducts of trauma. >More


Before Midnight shows how love can sweeten over time

Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004) became touchstones of modern romantic cinema by capturing the optimism of people in their 20s and the regrets that begin to encroach in their 30s. Intercontinental lovers Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meet on a train in the first film and reunite during a book tour in the second. >More
 Man of Steel brings the hero down to earth

Warner Bros. has struggled to make Superman relevant in the 21st century. After all, he was kind of square, a throwback to a pre-Marvel Comics era in which superheroes didn't need psychological baggage. Perhaps that's why the studio turned him into Spider-Man for Man of Steel. >More
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Summer sips from Madison's developing cocktail culture

The revival of the television comedy Arrested Development has caused a rift among Madison bartenders. Many think the comedic timing is off -- the new episodes simply aren't funny. But even if the series is not a complete hit, it has at least helped revive bottle service in Madison. >More


Ryan Braun's other stats

Earlier this week, an unscientific ESPN poll asked fans if they believe Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun's denials that he has used performance-enhancing drugs. Overall, 57% said they didn't believe his original denial in 2012 and don't believe him now, with only 9% saying they believed him both times. In Wisconsin, 42% trust Braun both times and 27% believe him neither time. Nationwide, 18% say they don't know what to believe, which lines up pretty well with Wisconsin's 16%. >More
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