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Thursday, January 29, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 33.0° F  Overcast
The Paper

FEATURED STORY

Fabulous Farm Babe Pam Jahnke is a bold voice for Wisconsin agriculture

On a soggy spring morning Pam Jahnke greets me from the top of the stairs at Mid-West Family Broadcasting's west-side office. A broken foot bone makes walking up and down steps painful for her. Her tennis shoes are loosely laced. "Boot cast?" I suggest, having fractured a few metatarsals myself, and she scoffs at the idea. >More

NEWS

Madison's high-poverty schools could be serving free meals to all their students by fall 2014

Sherman Middle School counselor Bert Zipperer spends most lunch periods eating with the kids in the school cafeteria. As such, the 27-year-veteran of the Madison Metropolitan School District is familiar with the struggles of Madison's low-income students. >More
 Women's rights, gay rights and Hobby Lobby

Of the 200 people who turned out to South Towne Mall last weekend to protest Hobby Lobby's refusal to cover select forms of birth control for its employees, three stood out in the crowd: Samantha Burden, 17; Olivia Ravenscroft, 16; and Anna Schmidt, 16. >More
 Madison commission to reconsider ban on dogs in parks

Madison is the fourth-best city in the country to own a dog, according to NerdWallet, a finance blog. The site based its rating on the number of off-leash dog parks per 100,000 residents (3.4); average cost of a veterinarian visit ($44.07) and "walkability." Yet some of the most walkable urban green spaces are off limits to residents who would like to take a stroll with their four-legged friends. >More

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Don't believe the anti-environmental lobby

As vice president of government relations for the big business lobby Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Scott Manley's fun job is to convince us the new regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency will destroy our economy. Its requirement that coal emissions be cut by 34% by 2030 could be "devastating," he has warned, forcing Wisconsin to "commit an act of unilateral economic disarmament." >More
 A Central Park for the people

I've served as an emcee for all nine of the annual La Fête de Marquette music festivals. That means that, over the course of nearly a decade, I've introduced 100-plus acts. I've only mispronounced one. And friends, that was a king-hell bummer. It was the very first year. >More
 Tell All: Why don't friends write me back on email and Facebook?

Dear Tell All: I'm confused about the etiquette of writing people back in the age of email and Facebook. Way back when, I'd write someone a nice letter on a piece of paper and mail it; a nice reply usually came within a few weeks. But now, I often get no reply to an email or Facebook message I've sent. >More

MUSIC

La Fête de Marquette brings French and Cajun acts to a grassier version of Central Park

La Fête de Marquette is going home. On July 10-13, the annual celebration of French-speaking cultures will head back to its original spot between Baldwin and Ingersoll after six years of sweating it out on a patch of blacktop off East Washington Avenue. But the rocky lot La Fête made do with in 2006 has been replaced with the new Central Park. >More
 Sharon Van Etten's Are We There is a violent, brilliant masterpiece

Sharon Van Etten understands ultraviolence. Lana Del Rey has cultivated an ill-gotten notoriety with her album and song of the same name. But while Del Rey earns groans by shoehorning in an obvious Crystals reference, Van Etten causes deep pain by breathing smoke into troubling imagery with her mournful voice. >More

AT A GLANCE

ARTS

Madison's 2014-15 classical music season focuses on legendary composers

As long summer days make way for crisp autumn nights, the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra prepare for the first shows of the 2014-15 season. After giving us many American works last season, they'll now explore European music in greater detail, including the cool, earthy aesthetic of Scandinavia and the vibrant orchestral colors of Russia. >More
 Sarah Day grapples with grief as Joan Didion in American Players Theatre's The Year of Magical Thinking

"Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends," writes Joan Didion in her arresting 2005 memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking. She returns to these phrases over and over throughout the book, as if by repeating them she can ultimately accept them. Through plain yet penetrating language, Didion explores both the rawness and the very ordinariness of grief. >More
 Concerts on the Square celebrates Independence Day 2014 with salutes to Copland and show tunes

Even with unseasonably cool weather, the "American Fanfare" performance at Concerts on the Square was a perfect prelude to the July 4 holiday. Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra music director Andrew Sewell led a vibrant concert of nostalgic works that celebrated patriotism and community. >More
 A virus creates vampires in Guillermo del Toro's exciting thriller The Strain

Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) co-wrote and directed the first episode of The Strain, a stylish thriller about a virus with vampiric origins. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), head of a Centers for Disease Control unit in New York City, is called in to investigate the mysterious deaths of 200 airline passengers. >More

MOVIES

A man tries to reclaim his identity from himself in The Double

I feel for Simon James, protagonist of The Double. A meek fellow prone to anxiety and self-doubt, he's adrift in a bleak dystopian world. People constantly forget his name. Sometimes they forget he exists. He throws himself into his job, as if to justify his existence, but he's mired in the role of worker bee. It's a predicament that would drive many people mad, and it gets a whole lot worse. >More
 A troubled record exec helps a shy musician find her voice in Begin Again

Back in 2007, there was a magical musical called Once. Set in Dublin, it was the tale of two emotionally damaged musicians whose lives intersected just enough for them to start healing through a collaborative project. >More
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ARCHIVE

EATS

Palmyra Mediterranean Grill offers the greatest hits of the Middle East

The new Palmyra Mediterranean Grill on State Street serves lots of Middle Eastern basics, with a backlit photo menu hoisted high (too high, for those straining to see dish details) over a large ordering counter. Is it hard to believe this boxy space used to be a bike shop, not a restaurant? It's not hard at all. >More

SPORTS & RECREATION

Standup paddleboard yoga requires a different kind of balance

Leave your yoga mat at home. Here, downward dogs and sun salutations are gingerly executed atop a standup paddleboard surrounded by nature and open water. >More
 Mallards mania remains strong in Madison

After a disappointing first half, in which the Madison Mallards finished third in the Northwoods League South division, the team has shown early signs during the second half of regaining the form that carried it to last year's league championship. >More
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