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Thursday, July 10, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 59.0° F  Fair
The Paper


Sex for sale in Madison

"Donna" has spent most of her life as a prostitute. She started sleeping with men for money at 21 and didn't quit until last December, at the age of 57. She remembers walking King Street, back when it used to be Madison's seedy red-light district. "I hate to glorify it," she says of that era. "There was a lot of money out there, a lot of girls making a lot of money." >More


What Ron Johnson stands for

One year ago Ron Johnson was not even a dot on the Wisconsin political radar. Today, he is the presumed frontrunner for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Equipped with no political experience except a few appearances at Tea Party rallies and a willingness to spend millions of his personal fortune on the campaign, Johnson is now running even with his opponent, Sen. Russ Feingold, in some polls. >More
 Madison city attorney notices called improper

It may not qualify as the crime of the century, but Madison attorney Erik Guenther suggests it might be a crime. On July 14, Guenther's law firm colleague, Marcus Berghahn, was served a subpoena ordering him to a hearing six days hence. The subpoena, issued by Madison Municipal Court Judge Daniel Koval, included an official-looking sticker asking Berghahn to contact the City Attorney's Office to "discuss your testimony." >More
 Dean Health Plan pays to settle lawsuit

Dean Health Plan, a Madison-based HMO, has settled a lawsuit alleging wrongful denial of an insurance claim. Andrew Erlandson, a local attorney who filed the suit on behalf of Joe "Kay," says the insurer agreed to pay $3,250, several times more than the $646 it initially refused to pay. >More


Dave Cieslewicz may be best for Madison -- but what are our other options?

You have to like Dave Cieslewicz as mayor. He seems almost the perfect fit for a progressive-minded city filled with gently graying baby boomers. He's funny in a self-deprecating way. He's calm and reassuring when he speaks to civic groups. He knows the city's history. He extols its quirkiness. He bikes a lot. He's green-minded. And, like everyone else in Madison, he's an amateur urban planner. He sounds perfect, but for a nagging concern: Dave Cieslewicz seems to play the role of mayor better than he performs its duties. >More
 Tell All: Does John Roach hate Madison?

I live in the Regent neighborhood, and I'm skeptical of Chris Berge's proposal to build a cafe on the southwest bike path. I worry about a commercial use for a peaceful natural area that's precious to the neighborhood. I understand that others feel differently, and that's fine. What I don't understand is a response like columnist John Roach's in the current Madison Magazine. >More


Folk-rocker John Statz finds his muse on the road

From Alaska, John Statz sent me an urgent message last week: If we didn't talk by phone soon, we might not be able to for days. He was leaving Anchorage for parts of the state where cell service was no sure thing. It didn't surprise me to find the Madison folk-rock musician a few thousand miles away from home. Statz has built a reputation as one of Madison's most adventurous touring musicians. His blog is called There Is Nothing That the Road Won't Heal. >More
 Jeremy Messersmith's tales from the crypt are strangely sunny

Jeremy Messersmith's got a death obsession, but he's not writing tunes inspired by Twilight or Bauhaus. The Minneapolis musician's approach falls somewhere between that of Elliott Smith and Camera Obscura, marrying sad lyrics to warm-and-sunny melodies. >More
 Wall of Funk: Vital Hiatus

This Madison trio is less about funk than bluesy hard rock topped with vocals that are slurred, growled and screamed. So why call the band Wall of Funk? The album's liner notes explain the band's intent: It's a symbol of their existence, "what ties everyone and everything together. It can be built up or torn down." >More



Madison stages present plays for every taste in the coming 2010-11 theater season

Whether you're looking to catch the latest Broadway blockbuster or witness the world premiere of a local novice's creation, Madison's many theater companies have it all. From the retro to the risqué, the sheer volume and diversity of productions in the 2010-2011 theater season is staggering. You're bound to find something that appeals to you and gives you good return for your entertainment dollar. >More
 Michael Feldman celebrates 25 years of Whad'Ya Know?

It has already outlasted TV's Ed Sullivan Show (which aired for 23 seasons) and Merv Griffin Show (22). Now, as Madison-based radio quiz show Whad'Ya Know? marks its 25th anniversary, host Michael Feldman is on the verge of surviving Larry King Live (ending this fall after 25 years). >More
 Characters in Susanna Daniel's Stiltsville merely float

Stiltsville is a real place, a tiny huddle of homes built on platforms and spindly legs sunk into the hurricane-threatened waters of Biscayne Bay, off the coast of Miami. Stiltsville the novel is equally precarious, an insubstantial structure of largely inconsequential events that creak and groan on a flimsy foundation. >More
 The Teen Choice Awards lies!

The Teen Choice Awards is shiny and exciting on the outside, corrupt and evil on the inside. Teens are whipped up into a frenzy over their ability to "choose" their favorite movies, music and TV shows, not realizing that elderly marketing millionaires are actually foisting these choices on them. >More
 Limbo is a wonder to behold

Limbo is a beautiful and creepy game that ought to fascinate students of art and video games. The plot is no more than one sentence from the game's tagline: "A boy -- uncertain of his sister's fate -- enters limbo." That's limbo, as in a purgatory for children only. Other than that tagline, this game contains no dialogue. And there's no storyline development until the very last 30 seconds. >More


Will Ferrell is back in his comfort zone with The Other Guys

Reeling himself back in from the career crash-zone territory of Land of the Lost, Will Ferrell returns to more familiar stomping grounds with The Other Guys, his fourth comedy pairing with director Adam McKay (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Step Brothers). Again, Ferrell plays a big boob, although his Det. Allen Gamble in The Other Guys is not as clueless or as extreme a doofus as his characters in these previous movies. >More
 The Killer Inside Me is a vast miscalculation

The ridiculously prolific director Michael Winterbottom (A Mighty Heart, 24 Hour Party People) fouls out badly with his screen adaptation of Jim Thompson's 1952 crime novel The Killer Inside Me. Nearly everything about the film is off, although the primary offenders are the casting of reedy-voiced Casey Affleck in the title role and the misinterpretation of the term "pulp fiction" to mean something on the order of beating all women to bloody pulps. >More
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Desperately seeking sandwiches at Capriotti's, Sub Hero, and Full of Bull

In sandwich terms, this is Milios' city. If subs were organized crime, the fellow formerly known as "Big Mike" would be the capo di tutti capi. But the Milios grip is loosening -- if only a little. On the far west side, Capriotti's has opened, a weighty competitor with nationwide distribution. In Middleton, there's the mild-mannered Sub Hero. And in the heart of the city that does indeed sleep from time to time, Full of Bull Famous Roast Beef. >More
 Chef Ann Cooper is a fighter in the movement to improve school food

Ann Cooper has been concocting the recipe for school-lunch change for about a decade. Inside schools across the country, the self-proclaimed "Renegade Lunch Lady" works through her Lunch Lessons consulting firm and, more recently, the Food Family Farming Foundation, to reform the way schools feed kids and change how we all think of children's relationship to food. >More


It's not over till it's over

Last Wednesday afternoon, minutes before Isthmus went to press, the Milwaukee Brewers were mired in the late innings of a 10-2 loss at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds. An editorial decision was made not to update the team's win-loss record, as listed in Scoreboard and this column, rather than assume the loss and risk an embarrassing inaccuracy. >More
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