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Friday, April 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 53.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Paper


Yum: UW-Madison students raise their food IQ

When mealtime rolls around at the UW-Madison campus, 42,000 students empty their wallets and feed their appetites. But what are these students putting on their plates? Are they filling them with produce from the Dane County Farmers' Market, with local cheeses, with apples that haven't fallen too far from the tree? Michael Pollan's manifesto In Defense of Food was the pick for the all-campus read in 2009, but did the book's tagline -- "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants" -- dissuade college students from pursuing a typical diet of Pop-Tarts and ramen noodles? >More


Steve Nass, ideological warrior

Steve Nass has never made a secret of his dislike for the UW-Madison Havens Center and School for Workers. Back in 2007, the Republican state rep proposed completely eliminating state funding for both. Now, as chair of the Assembly's Colleges and Universities Committee in an era of total GOP control, he's in a position to make that happen. >More
 Soglin: The debt ceiling is rising!

Paul Soglin calls it a huge problem. Under Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, he alleges, the city's budget has become "structurally unsound." He compares it to (gasp!) the state's. "The state of Wisconsin has enormous structural budget problems," says Soglin, who served two stints as Madison's mayor and now seeks a third. "The Cieslewicz administration is patterned after [state] practices: have an excess of borrowing and bad ratios; move capital budget items to the operating budget." >More
 New Wisconsin school medication rules tie hands

Beginning March 1, public schools in Madison and across the state will be constrained in their ability to dispense medication to students and respond to health emergencies. "Our options are now limited," says Freddi Adelson, the Madison district's health services coordinator. >More


Tim Cooley's exit reflects ongoing struggle over mayoral control

In government, bad news often comes on Friday afternoons, in hopes it will be lost in the weekend shuffle. So it was telling that as the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend began on Jan. 14, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's office released economic development director Tim Cooley's resignation letter -- a mere two weeks' notice. >More
 Tell All: Responses to a soul-searching liberal

In "Liberal, But Questioning" (Jan. 21), a letter writer named Neo-Something described himself as a lifelong leftist who's begun parting ways with his Madison friends on certain issues. He doesn't understand why they're so upset by President Obama's compromises with Republicans, the Dane County sheriff's willingness to report illegal immigrants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the calls for public employees to contribute more money to their pensions. Here are conservative and liberal responses to his letter. >More


Milwaukee bands make a rare onslaught on Madison this week

Three Milwaukee bands are playing two Madison venues this week. You might think that's business as usual, but it's not a routine occurrence. That's surprising, considering only 70 miles separate the two metropolitan areas. Madison club owners say there's a musical disconnect between Mad Town and the Brew City. >More
 My Brightest Diamond is one sharp indie queen

Shara Worden is a musical renaissance woman. The indie star known as My Brightest Diamond developed her vocal chops in church and chamber choirs as a teen, studied opera in college, then became an in-demand arranger after some mentoring from the National's secret weapon, Aussie composer Padma Newsome. >More



The Threepenny Opera is a modern masterpiece about depravity

Once in a lifetime, a play comes along that crystallizes an era and changes our way of thinking about theater. Add some seductive music to the mix and you have that unforgettable concoction of political satire, love-gone-wrong and decadence that is The Threepenny Opera. The Madison Opera's production of this masterpiece lights up the Overture Center's intimate Playhouse this weekend and next. The cast includes American Players Theatre favorites James DeVita and Tracy Michelle Arnold, and the acclaimed Dorothy Danner directs. >More
 Naked Girls Reading Madison is naked girls reading

What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than being read to by naked women at a club? Anyway, that's the suggestion of the Madison chapter of Naked Girls Reading. The troupe will present "Love Stinks - Broken Hearts" to the literate and lovelorn on Sunday, Feb. 13, at the Inferno. >More
 The Chicago Code hits the mean streets

True to its name, The Chicago Code serves up the Windy City on a platter. Everything feels authentic in this new cop series, starting with settings that range from posh skyscraper offices to cruddy vacant lots. >More
 Arts Beat: Stoughton artists' space a no-go

Two years ago, Stoughton was hoping to create an ambitious "artspace." The plan called for transforming a three-story tobacco warehouse into quarters and workshop space for as many as 25 artists. >More


Tamara Drewe takes a novelistic approach to comedy

Tamara Drewe, generously entertaining, is based on Posy Simmonds' graphic novel, which was inspired by Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd. (It first ran as a cartoon in the U.K.'s Guardian.) It's easy to see Hardy in the film's tricky love affairs and its English countryside setting, and one character is even writing a book about Hardy, in case anyone misses the connection. >More
 Sanctum is a soaking-wet mess

Producer James Cameron's reputation for examining the deep, dark fissures in both man and nature takes a serious hit with Sanctum, a messy, atrociously written and unevenly acted descent into a subterranean adventure, supposedly based on true events. >More
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Green Bay Packers talking points for Super Bowl XLV

Green Bay Packers football has never been merely a pastime in Wisconsin. Some refer to it as a religion, but the number of churches that schedule services around kickoff each Sunday indicates it's much more serious than that. Still, some among us don't tune in live to Mike McCarthy's weekly press conferences, pore over Peter King's weekly Monday Morning Quarterback columns or rearrange our replica jerseys in numerical order. >More
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