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Saturday, January 31, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 33.0° F  Overcast
The Paper

FEATURED STORY

Build, baby, build! Is Madison getting too cozy with devleopers?

On the night of Feb. 5, 2013, the Common Council settled in for the latest in a series of long, bruising fights over development. Once again a controversial project had reached the body, this time a massive luxury student apartment building called the Waterfront, in the Langdon area, one of the city's historic districts. It's a neighborhood of frat houses, apartment buildings and some old lakeside homes, most of which have been converted to apartments. >More

NEWS

Discovery Outreach wants to demystify research for kids and adults

Imagine posing a choice of activities to a class of seventh-graders as a reward for getting to class on time: Would you rather go bowling, watch a movie or do some science? Nineteen students from Cherokee Middle School voted overwhelmingly for a science field trip, says Travis Tangen, education and outreach manager at Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Discovery Outreach. >More
 Will apartment boom bring more retail to downtown Madison?

For the past two years, A Room of One's Own has enjoyed a somewhat unusual situation for an independent bookstore: Business is doing pretty well. Sandi Torkildson, the store's owner, says the store got a boost from the demise of the Borders chain three years ago. But she sees another significant reason: "There do seem to be more people downtown." >More

OPINION & COMMENTARY

The student debt issue could decide the 2014 election

Watching all those happy Badgers in caps and gowns snapping selfies around Madison last weekend, you'd never guess they were buried under a debt load that now amounts to a heaping $1.2 trillion. Debt cast such a dark shadow over commencement ceremonies this year, it's hard to fathom what a different world today's college graduates are entering from the one we lived in not so long ago. >More
 Bike to Hell Day

Even though my hands were throbbing in pain, releasing even one from the handlebars wasn't a choice. The crosswind blew so hard a garbage can lifted and launched like a missile across the road just ahead of me. I'd lost sight of Peggy a half-hour before. For all I knew she was already in Milwaukee. This trip was turning into Bike to Hell Day. >More
 Tell All: Madison's bicyclists fight back

In a Dec. 5 column called "The Hell of Madison Crosswalks," I published a letter from a newcomer to Madison who wondered why cars here never stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks. In response, letters poured in attacking local drivers. >More

MUSIC

Anna Laube's catchy folk-pop is designed to lift spirits

"It's the biggest project I've ever worked on, including my college thesis, and probably college in general," says local singer-songwriter Anna Laube. She's referring to her yet-to-be-titled third album, which she hopes to release within the next few months. >More
 Jeffery Broussard gives zydeco music a modern twist with zesty accordion solos

Zydeco music is exciting to begin with, but Jeffery Broussard makes it even more so. Perhaps it's because music surges through his blood. While growing up, the Louisiana native played drums in bands led by his father and brother, and he taught himself to play the accordion. >More

AT A GLANCE

ARTS

Entrances and exits: 2014 is a season of change for American Players Theatre

This is the time of year that Spring Green's American Players Theatre awakens after its winter hiatus. Actors and technicians assemble. Rehearsals begin. Scene and costume shops bustle with activity. People learn their cues. As the company begins its 35th year, there are almost as many notable entrances and exits behind the scenes as there are on the two stages. >More
 Jim Dine's skull-themed art makes a bold statement at the Chazen Museum

Skulls have become such a commonplace motif these days that they seem drained of their meaning. From garish Ed Hardy T-shirts to faux-badass toddler clothes, they're everywhere, neither sinister nor edgy. Artist Jim Dine, known for his extensive reworking of a limited set of motifs (tools, hearts, bathrobes), can be exempted from this insipid trend. >More
 Mercury Players Theatre's Skin Tight paints an evocative picture of a couple's complicated relationship

The Mercury Players Theatre production of Skin Tight (through May 24 at the Bartell Theatre) opens with a woman's scream piercing the dark. As the lights come up, we see a couple lunging at each other from opposite sides of the stage. Grabbing, scratching, punching and flailing, they pause only long enough to catch their breath, then re-engage. >More
 Animal House meets ER in the hot-to-trot hospital series Night Shift

At San Antonio Memorial Hospital, the night shift is like a fraternity party. Doctors strip off their shirts to reveal hot bods, and a plastic surgeon demands sexual favors in exchange for an MRI. "Forget all the stuff you learned in medical school," counsels physician/party hound TC (Eoin Macken). >More

MOVIES

Gia Coppola's Palo Alto is a shattering tale about reckless suburban high schoolers

It's a storied tradition, the teenagers-in-trouble movie. One of my favorites is 1983's WarGames, which dates back to my own adolescence and concerns a teenager in trouble for bringing the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation. The stakes aren't quite as high in Palo Alto, but it's an apocalyptic vision all the same. At chaotic parties, kids swig liquor, smoke weed and have sex. >More
 X-Men: Days of Future Past goes forward to move backward

Director Bryan Singer, reclaiming the X-Men film franchise he launched in 2000, means to establish from the first reel that X-Men: Days of Future Past is not messing around. Via voiceover, Professor X (Patrick Stewart) explains the catastrophic present, in which killing machines called Sentinels have wiped out most of the world's mutant population and many of their human defenders. >More
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ARCHIVE

EATS

Haveli Indian Restaurant does dinner right, but buffet is lacking

The address at 5957 McKee Rd. in Fitchburg has a tortured history. It's been home to Fitch's Chophouse, Good Times, Kickshaw and Jimmy's American Tavern -- all in just eight years. After Jimmy's closed, the enormous space was wisely parceled out into smaller units. Chef Dan Fox of Heritage Tavern snapped up the large basement kitchen and now uses it for catering and a heritage pork wholesale business. Another section became a nail salon, another a software company. The remaining piece is now Fitchburg's only Indian restaurant, Haveli. >More

SPORTS & RECREATION

Storm clouds gathering for Milwaukee Brewers?

At this point in the year, your evaluation of the Milwaukee Brewers might reveal more about you than it does the team. If you're an optimist, then the pitching is just fine, the hitting eventually will come around, and the Crew is still in first place despite slumping through May thus far, so shut up. >More
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