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Monday, March 2, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 25.0° F  Overcast
The Paper


The life of a UW-Madison teaching assistant

Rachel Gross emerges from a classroom to face the crush of students charging through the corridors. The labyrinthine hallways and riot-proof walls make the UW Humanities Building feel like a medieval fortress under siege during class change. Gross has just a few minutes to herself before her next skirmish -- with a room of 13 undergraduates. >More


Madison explores ways to improve arts education

For a city its size, Madison has a thriving arts community. And all artists start out as students in the schools. But it doesn't take an Einstein (or a Yo-Yo Ma) to note that a student in the Allied Drive neighborhood doesn't have the same exposure to the arts as a Shorewood kid. Now, amid a growing consensus that the arts are a critical element of educational success, Madison has become a demonstration city for boosting access to arts education for all students. >More
 Cash for conventions: Madison offers incentives to groups to book Monona Terrace

Heywood Sanders warns Madison that the convention industry has gotten so competitive that cities are offering cash to lure events to their facilities. The public administration professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio gave a series of lectures on the subject last week, as the city contemplates spending more on Monona Terrace. In fact, Madison pays upwards of $150,000 a year to attract visitors to Monona Terrace, says Deb Archer, president and CEO of the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau. >More
 Backyard homes begin to sprout around Madison

Pamela Porter and Mare Chapman have been together for 25 years. They love their home on Riverside Drive in the Marquette neighborhood. But as they grow old together, they realize they might not always be able to live there, either because it's too difficult to maintain or too expensive. Madison's new zoning laws, however, provide an option: The couple could build an "accessory dwelling unit" in their backyard. >More
 New DAIS shelter a safe place for pets

Candy and JJ can't tell us what happened at their town of Bristol house on Sept. 16. According to news reports, animal control officers removed the cat and dog from their home after Kevin Herskind shot and killed his wife, Julie, their German shepherd, and then himself. I learned about the incident when I saw the sweet-looking animals on Facebook. >More


The Republican-led Wisconsin Legislature rams through antidemocratic bills

Poor Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha). The Assembly minority leader's role seems to be as the face of a bygone, good-government era in Wisconsin history, looking on in horror as state Republicans run roughshod over everything from open meetings law to voting rights in their frenzied rush to convert our state into a one-party kleptocracy. >More
 Tell All: Student defends Camp Randall chant

Dear Tell All: Thank you for taking the students' side in the debate over chanting at Camp Randall football games. You are one of the few people to acknowledge what the chanting is really about: fun. >More


Golden Donna takes synths out of the dance club and into the psyche

If you're a regular at local rock concerts, you've probably encountered Joel Shanahan. His driving-capped head bobs in the crowd at many metal shows, and he's played guitar in at least a half-dozen groups, including faux-German comedy act Butt Funnel and the backing band for lo-fi artist Julian Lynch. But these days, Shanahan rarely picks up a guitar. Instead, he heads for the synthesizers, where he turns into Golden Donna. >More
 Rapper Lupe Fiasco tours Tetsuo & Youth, an album that isn't quite finished

Typically, an artist will put out an album and then tour. But when Lupe Fiasco visits the Orpheum Theater on Nov. 27, he'll give a sneak peek of the forthcoming Tetsuo & Youth, his fifth full-length. After canceling Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 2 earlier this year, the Chicago rapper is probably anxious to get back in fans' heads. >More
 With violinist Augustin Hadelich, the Madison Symphony Orchestra celebrates the Spanish rhythms of Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole

A burst of enterprise can be found in the November program by the Madison Symphony Orchestra, launched on Friday, Nov. 15, at Overture Hall. >More



Gus Paras: A State Street Love Story

Standing in the dusty, cavernous basement of the historic Orpheum Theater, which he just purchased for $1.7 million, Gus Paras lets out a heavy sigh. "Nothing has been easy with this. Look at this place," Paras says. "I don't even know where to start; it's a mess." >More
 Echolocations shares poetry about Madison's nooks and crannies

Which local spots define Madison? Madison poets laureate Wendy Vardaman and Sarah Busse, along with local poet Shoshauna Shy, find answers through creative writing projects. A recent project called Echolocations has local writers compose poems about specific places in our city, to create a "map" of location-based reflections and observations. >More
 Mercury Players celebrates a Madison-born playwright's legacy with Thornton Wilder & Companions

When I went to the Bartell for Thornton Wilder & Companions by Mercury Players Theatre, I overheard the man sitting next to me say, "I love coming to Mercury's shows. They're always...weird." This is a surprisingly apt description of the evening of nine short plays (through Nov. 23). >More
 In Generation Cryo, a teenager searches for her sperm donor dad

Breeanna, a 17-year-old from Nevada, is on a mission to find her biological father. She knows him only as donor #1096 " the guy who happened to provide the sperm for her lesbian mothers. Through a website, she has tracked down 15 half-siblings scattered throughout the country. Generation Cryo is a video diary of her journey to meet them and, ultimately, to solve the riddle of her birth. >More


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire asks thorny questions about heroism

Katniss Everdeen's life is over. The life she once knew, anyhow. The protagonist of The Hunger Games survived her country's eponymous battle to the death, but it's not cause for celebration. In Hunger Games: Catching Fire, we find her having a horrific flashback in her "safe" place: the secret hunting grounds on the fringes of the district where she grew up. >More
 In Dallas Buyers Club, AIDS turns an uncouth jerk into a rough-edged humanist

Dallas Buyers Club is proof that Matthew McConaughey has resurrected his acting career. His ascent started in the 1990s with a standout performance in Dazed and Confused, but he got waylaid over the next decade with a series of wan romantic comedies. Over the last two years, however, McConaughey's choice of roles has improved. >More
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Shining examples of fish fries within a half-hour's drive of Madison

While there are plenty of great fish fries right here in Madison, outside the city limits the ritual takes on a whole new meaning. In small towns around the state the Friday tradition runs deep; the community comes together to dine, drink, laugh and live the fry life. These fish fries demonstrate the greatness small towns have to offer, and all are within 30 minutes or so of Madison. >More


Encouraging signs for the 2013-14 Badger men's b-ball season

It's a testament to the prosperity of UW basketball under Bo Ryan that fans don't give a second thought anymore to the Badgers making the NCAA tournament. Of course they will. Likewise, it's a given that the Badgers will finish among the top four in the always tough Big 10, regardless of any weaknesses they might show in November. >More
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