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Saturday, January 31, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 34.0° F  Overcast
The Paper


Could Rhythm & Booms go bust?

On Wednesday, July 3, couples, families and friends will again gather at Warner Park to watch Madison's annual fireworks show, Rhythm & Booms. It's an Independence Day tradition as American as apple pie and baseball " except that many of the fireworks are made in China, but we won't go there. >More


Union Corners on course again

Aaron Olver sees Union Corners as an important entry point to the city. "As East Washington curves around and lines up with the Capitol downtown, this is really the site that feels like the gateway into the isthmus," says Olver, director of economic development for the city of Madison. In the months to come, the gateway is about to be transformed. >More
 Madison to train staff in "dignified" communications after hostile emails by police officer Stephen Heimsness

Amelia Royko Maurer wants to know what's so special about 15 seconds. The 15 seconds in question are the ones when Madison Police officer Stephen Heimsness shot and killed her friend Paul Heenan outside her home on Nov. 9. Heimsness was exonerated in the shooting, but Police Chief Noble Wray now wants to fire him for numerous incidents in the months leading up to the shooting. >More
 Wisconsin goes back to budget deficits

Andrew Reschovsky is disappointed. The economics professor at UW-Madison's La Follette School of Public Affairs has been studying the state's problem with budget deficits for decades. And say what you will about Gov. Scott Walker, one thing he did do was eliminate that pesky deficit in his last budget. But, Reschovsky says, the 2013-15 $68 billion budget recently approved by the Legislature and awaiting Walker's signature shows a government up to its old tricks. >More
 Little Free Libraries have created a city of book curators

Becky Abel sat on her front porch on a quiet street just off of Williamson Street and talked about her father. An English professor, he owned an extensive library of thousands of volumes, which Abel inherited when he died earlier this year. >More


Scott Walker's high-speed fail: Train service would have started now

Train cars are referred to as "rolling stock." Now, thanks to Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislators who run this state, Wisconsin is thought of as a "laughingstock." Had Tom Barrett won the election for governor in 2010, right now, June 2013, would have seen the opening of Madison's high-speed rail station, connecting us to Milwaukee and Chicago immediately and the Twin Cities eventually. >More
 Tell All: No cross-dressing allowed

Dear Tell All: Recently my girlfriend came home to find me dressed in her clothes. My attraction to cross-dressing was something I had not shared with her. Needless to say, she freaked! I tried to explain that it was only a fetish, that I did it for enjoyment only, and that I'd appreciate it if she would participate with me. >More


Hamell on Trial finds an eager new audience for his irreverent tunes

This year Ed Hamell is finding a younger audience for his improbably loud acoustic guitar and impishly profane rant-songs. The Uncluded, a duo composed of singer-songwriter Kimya Dawson and rapper Aesop Rock, picked his one-man act Hamell on Trial to support their current tour. Hamell's delivery tends toward the frantic and nasal, so he'll sound at home opening for the deceptively jolly-voiced Dawson and the cryptic, thick-voiced Aesop when they visit the High Noon Saloon on June 29. >More
 Caveman aim for a cinematic sound on their second album

Caveman are anything but primitive. These New York indie rockers have grown more sophisticated since releasing their 2011 debut, CoCo Beware. Looking for a bigger, more cinematic sound, they recorded much of their new, self-titled album live. The approach paid off, drawing praise from Pitchfork and Filter. I asked singer Matt Iwanusa about both albums before the band's July 1 show at the High Noon Saloon. >More
 Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra chooses new executive director

There will be a new face at the helm of Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra when the indoor season begins on Oct. 11. The change isn't happening on the podium, though. In addition to renewing music director Andrew Sewell's contract for five years, the orchestra has hired Mark Cantrell as its new executive director. The board of directors announced the news on Monday. >More



Promising visual artists work under the radar in Madison

At first glance, Madison seems like a fertile environment for visual artists. We have two quality museums: the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the UW's Chazen Museum of Art. We also have a smattering of galleries, a top-ranked printmaking program with award-winning alumni, and several residents who show and sell work in major cities. But do these elements add up to a flourishing scene for drawing, painting, photography or sculpture? >More
 Gifts of the Ebb Tide highlights some of the Chazen Museum's finest Japanese prints

Every museum collection has its particular strengths. Local lovers of Japanese prints " or elegant design in general " are lucky that the UW Chazen Museum of Art has significant holdings of high-quality prints. The museum is showing off a recent purchase and some long-held prints in the exquisite "Gifts of the Ebb Tide: The Sea in Japanese Prints," (through Sept. 1). >More
 City of Madison launches survey about local performance venues

The Madison Arts Commission hopes a new Performing Arts Facilities Study will help it better understand the needs of local performance venues. As part of the data-gathering process, it's inviting the public to participate in an online survey about their performing arts interests at >More
 Anna Nicole shows surprising compassion for scandalous model Anna Nicole Smith

The TV movie Anna Nicole imputes a soul to the late Anna Nicole Smith, the model and gold digger who flaunted her self-destruction in the media. Anyone who remembers the barely sentient Anna Nicole will have a hard time buying that proposition. And yet the movie works hard for our sympathy and finally wins it. >More


A volatile sleuth and a chilly FBI agent find common ground in The Heat

Director Paul Feig was savvy to reenlist breakout star Melissa McCarthy for his follow-up to the 2011 smash Bridesmaids. She's the best thing in The Heat, an amiable but routine action-comedy about a mismatched law enforcement pair trying to bring down a Boston drug lord. >More
 A Secret Service wannabe must save the president in White House Down

Roland Emmerich sure has an edifice complex: The filmmaker who severed the Statue of Liberty in The Day After Tomorrow, pulverized Manhattan in Godzilla and dive-bombed the White House in Independence Day is back for another shot at the president's abode. Following Olympus Has Fallen, White House Down is the second movie this year that has as its premise the takeover and destruction of the White House " and the similarities don't end there. >More
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Winer's Wiener Wagon hot dog cart features Wisconsin franks

At Charter and West Johnson across from the Psychology building, there's a new hot dog cart, featuring a rotating cast of wieners from local producers. It's called Winer's Wiener Wagon and is operated by Fred Winer. >More


An introduction to Madison billiards subculture

Bars from Madison to Sydney have pool tables. But you don't see many 10-by-5-foot carom billiards tables, the kind with no pockets. And these days you mostly won't, unless you're obsessed with the antique game of three-cushion carom billiards, an intensely challenging pool-like game from a distant era. It turns out that some Madison residents are carrying the billiards torch. >More
 Time to show LeBron some love

The scene at the end of game seven of the NBA finals last week evoked a flurry of compliments on social media and talk radio. Before donning their championship caps and T-shirts and preening for the media, or even gathering to celebrate together as a team, members of the Miami Heat embraced their opponents, most notably San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich, a notorious grump. >More
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