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Thursday, July 10, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 56.0° F  Fair
The Paper

FEATURED STORY

What goes on in there? A peek inside places in Madison you've always wondered about

We were sitting around the Isthmus office talking about mysterious places around Madison. They're the ones we pass frequently, wonder about, but never go into. It occurred to us that others might ask themselves the same question we do: What goes on in there? With reporter's notebook in hand, we set out in search of answers. >More

NEWS

Stoughton High School blazes a trail with digital fabrication lab

High school shop classes that help students gain technical skills are nothing new, but what about a course called "How to Make (Almost) Anything" that actually means it? That will be the centerpiece of a new $206,000 "fab lab" at Stoughton High School, only the second public high school in the nation to have such a facility. Though the lab is already functional, formal classes will debut there this fall. >More
 'Bipartisan' deficit hawks seek youth buy-in for 'Fix the Debt'

There were a lot of statistics thrown around about rising federal debt and out-of-control budgeting, but one message rose above it all: Young people will eventually take the biggest hit, and they need to act now. >More
 Catching up with Kathleen Falk

Case studies are often used to give students a taste of the real world. But Kathleen Falk's Environmental Studies 402 class at UW-Madison's Nelson Institute takes it to another level. This semester, her students were tasked with figuring out how to build community support for ongoing lake cleanup efforts. On Monday, they presented their plans to the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission. >More
 Afterlife Antiques features enough oddities for this world and the next

I'm a sucker for strange, and there couldn't be a better place to fulfill my macabre window-shopping fantasies than Afterlife Antiques & Oddities, which opened at 2332 Atwood Ave. on April 5. Owner Nicole O'Connor's smile is bright. Still, I can't help but lock eyes with the mount of a two-headed calf bust behind her -- my two versus its four. >More

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Right-wing groups have made Wisconsin their testing ground for school choice

Almost all conversation about schools is both highly personal and intensely local, as anyone who pays attention to Madison school news can attest. People get pretty worked up about issues like whether their neighbors are moving the kids out of the neighborhood school and whether our largely white, liberal community is neglecting the needs of African American and Latino youth. >More
 Letter to a graduate

Dear Maggie: Thanks for planning to go to commencement. We know you're only doing it for us. Otherwise, after these past crazy weeks, you'd probably just sleep through it. I'll be the guy next to your mother, the one in the fetal position, bent into the shape of a square root sign. A baby girl with a college diploma. Good God. >More
 Tell All: Spoiled Madison children

Dear Tell All: What's the matter with Madison parents, who treat their kids as if the whole world revolves around them? I have a teen and a preteen, and I feel like I've got things in proper perspective. I'm supportive and loving, but I don't indulge their every whim. Most importantly, I don't force the rest of the world to do so, either. >More

MUSIC

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club jumpstart their career with the inspired album Specter at the Feast

Leather-clad rock trio Black Rebel Motorcycle Club sound tough in a Hell's Angels sort of way, but they're just as emotional as the rest of us. The death of lead singer Robert Levon Been's father, Michael Been, who was also frontman of new wave band the Call, was a loss for the entire group. Luckily, the loud and pouty group found solace in creating music. >More
 The Dillinger Escape Plan's complex tunes will make your head spin

The Dillinger Escape Plan are a band of dizzying possibilities, one of which is morphing into a pile of musical gibberish. With their heady fusion of metal and hardcore punk, the New Jersey group consistently set a high bar for technical accomplishment and merciless anger. >More

AT A GLANCE

ARTS

From poet to big-time novelist: Dale Kushner gains a national profile with The Conditions of Love

Madison's literati know Dale Kushner as a poet. That's why it's so surprising she chose fiction for her big national debut. Grand Central Publishing -- part of Hachette Book Group, home of notable authors such as Kate Atkinson and David Sedaris -- will release her first novel, The Conditions of Love, on May 14. To kick off her national tour, she'll read at A Room of One's Own on Sunday, May 19. >More
 Tara Ayres to step down as artistic director of LGBT theater troupe StageQ

Though Tara Ayres will relinquish StageQ's reins at the end of the 2012-13 season, she's nowhere near the end of her run with the LGBT theater company. In fact, you might now see more of her than you did during her past eight seasons as artistic director. >More

MOVIES

Koch examines a New York City mayor's controversial legacy

Like any big-city mayor, Ed Koch was controversial. That is made clear by director Neil Barsky's Koch, a compelling, thoughtful documentary that hits high and low points of the mayor's tenure. Koch, who served from 1978 to 1989, struggled with urban poverty, racial politics and organized labor, even as New York teetered on chaos. The city had verged on bankruptcy. The subway cars were covered in graffiti, and Times Square was a red-light district. >More
 West of Memphis raises tough questions about filmmaking's role in criminal justice

Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky saved Damien Echols' life. That wasn't their intent when they started making a documentary called Paradise Lost, about three murdered 8-year-old boys and the hasty trials where three teens were deemed responsible. Echols was sentenced to death at one of these trials. Thanks to the film, strangers spent years trying to clear his name. >More
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ARCHIVE

EATS

JB's Eat-A-Bite BBQ is a promising new South Park Street eatery

While Madison has been able to support some Creole and barbecue spots over the years, the eateries more focused on soul food have tended to come and go quickly. But now Harold's Chicken Shack, JD's and hometown favorite Melly Mel's are joined by JB's Eat-A-Bite BBQ on South Park Street. >More
 Tip Top Tavern will be rejuvenated by team behind Lazy Jane's and Mickey's

Benjamin Altschul and his mother Jane Capito have teamed up to purchase and re-open the Tip Top Tavern on North Street in Madison's Eken Park neighborhood. >More

SPORTS & RECREATION

Haudricourt nation

If you're a Milwaukee Brewers fan on Twitter and you're not following Tom Haudricourt (@Haudricourt), you're doing it wrong. The veteran Milwaukee Journal Sentinel baseball beat writer won't just serve up interesting stats and analysis throughout a game. >More
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