Connect with Isthmus:         Newsletters 

Sunday, March 1, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 17.0° F  Fair


Neighbors rebuff efforts to light up Southwest Commuter Path

One evening in early April, Perry Sandstrom was talking with a friend on his front step in the Briar Hill neighborhood when two great horned owls flew by, about 10 feet overhead. "It was amazing," he recalls. "If I hadn't been looking up, I'd never have seen them, because they are so silent when they fly." >More
 Let the sun shine in: Madison is a hot spot for solar energy despite state cutbacks

For Courtland Maney, the idea was small, bright and persistent, like the morning sun through a chink in the blinds. What would it be like to generate my own power? During the 22 years he was living in Janesville and working construction, Maney's life was connected to the sun in a simple but vital way. If the sun shone, he worked. He can't really put his finger on when, exactly, he began to think of the sun as a big ball of ultra-dependable energy that comes up every morning and goes down again every night. >More
 The climes, they are a-changin'

The Farmers' Almanac promised a "wet, wild, very cold" winter for the upper Midwest. Instead, snowdrops appeared at Olbrich Gardens before the holidays. Daffodils emerged in late February. Where are we? Atlanta? Not quite. Try Chicago. According to the recently released USDA 2012 Hardiness Zone Map, Madison is no longer in Zone 4. We are now in Zone 5, along with Chicago. >More
 The end of the lawn (as we know it)

"Lawn" is said to come from the Middle English word laune, meaning a glade or clearing in the woods. In Tudor times, large swaths of grass, scythed by laborers, signaled a landowner's wealth. Over the centuries, a lush expanse of mowed grass became a symbol of tranquility and beauty. >More
 Farm-to-school lunch thrives in Mount Horeb

A huge tub of cranberry-apple salsa, made from Wisconsin-grown fruit, glows ruby-red under fluorescent lights in the Mount Horeb Area Schools' production kitchen. Two hair-netted food service employees spoon the salsa into little cups, working fast because they still have 1,650 main meals to put together for Mount Horeb students in grades K-12. But even at 7:30 a.m., the two wear big smiles. >More
 Badger Road project hopes to model the path to clean lakes

The middle-schoolers gawk as cranes swing two enormous concrete tanks, bigger than school buses, into the ground at the site of the new Resilience Research Center on Badger Road. All the rain and snowmelt will be captured on-site and funneled to the hulking underground tanks, project director Kate Stalker explains to the kids. The water will then be used throughout the growing season to irrigate four acres of organic crops. >More
 Madison author Jacqueline Houtman avoids labels in The Reinvention of Edison Thomas

Fact Number 3.14159 from the Random Access Memory of Edison Thomas: The loudest noise ever heard by human ears (in recorded history) was the eruption of the volcano Krakatoa in Indonesia on Aug. 27, 1883. The sound was heard 3,000 miles away, and shock waves from the explosion circled the earth seven times. >More
 Kids benefit from hobbies new and old

Does your kid have a hobby? Do you know anyone's kid who has a hobby? Adults have hobbies. Kids used to have them, too. There's a lot of anecdotal evidence that indicates there's at least a perception that the number of youngsters pursuing hobbies has declined. There seems to be a decrease in leisure time and an increase in TV-watching and videogame playing. >More
 Madison's schools are ahead of the curve with green and community programs

Sixteen-year-old Shalla Kujawa is a smallish girl who wears long flowered skirts and carries a canvas backpack scrawled with her own ink drawings. It's hard to picture her wearing waders and building a fish lunker. Yet that's how she spent a week last May, as a member of Madison's Shabazz City High School's "Project Green Teen." >More
 Madison vacation

There are moments when ordinary life in Madison feels suspiciously akin to a fantastic vacation. If you took a few days off work and took your fun straight up, you might find yourself more rejuvenated than if you drove or flew halfway across the country. One thing's for sure: You'd find yourself with a lot more cash in your wallet. >More
 Can you dig it?

When I asked my boys, ages 7 and almost 9, to describe their experience at our garden plot, here's what they said: "Hot. Endless toil. Mouse-eaten cantaloupe. Backbreaking, sun-scorching labor. Tomatoes going black." >More
 Scary toys

The toy-buying season is upon us, but there's a cloud over the joyful forays up and down the glutted aisles -- lead paint poisoning. >More
 Trust your sheets

Satara carries organic cotton sheets, blankets, and other bed linens, in addition to 100% organic cotton-and-wool mattresses. >More
 Fair rugs

Your best bet is to buy solution-dyed area rugs made of organic materials like wool, cotton or jute. The processing is easier on the earth, and off-gassing isn't a problem. >More
 From door to table

Furniture made from landfilled doors makes the world a better place - and your living room truly unique. >More
1 2 3 > >|
Select a Movie
Select a Theater

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar