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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 54.0° F  Overcast
The Paper

FEATURED STORY

The fearless Chris Taylor: Madison's state rep has quickly made a big impression

Chris Taylor had never planned on running for office. She loved her job as public policy director with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. And she had a new baby and a four-year-old at home. Getting into electoral politics was the last thing on her mind. Then Gov. Scott Walker and the Republicans in the state Legislature "dropped the bomb," stripping collective bargaining rights for most state workers and public school teachers. >More

NEWS

Local microfinance group Working Capital for Community Needs helps alleviate poverty

Coffee is a fickle crop. Production depends on the amount of rainfall, soil composition, pests, sun exposure and disease. Too much or too little of anything, and the output falls. Unpredictable rainy seasons and a new fungus have reduced yields in Central America and made income even less dependable in recent years. Farmers must usually wait until after coffee has been processed and exported to get paid, and often run out of money between harvests, forcing them to borrow or do without. >More
 Wisconsin Republicans ready slew of abortion bills

Republican lawmakers this week began circulating a number of bills aimed at regulating abortion services, restricting insurance coverage for abortions and birth control and bolstering constitutional protections for religious groups and activities. The bills would exempt faith-based groups from the 2009 state law requiring that all insurance policies with a prescription drug benefit also cover prescription contraceptives; ban coverage of abortion services in public employee health plans; and spell out requirements for the disposal of fetal remains. >More
 A different take on Wisconsin public employee 'double-dipping'

William Holahan takes issue with Republican efforts to curb the practice of so-called double-dipping by public employees, starting with the moniker. Double-dipping, says the retired UW-Milwaukee economics professor, is when you hold two jobs at once and do justice to neither. It is not when you hold "one job and then another" in succession. >More

OPINION & COMMENTARY

The latest WEDC revelations help explain Wisconsin's poor performance

How much evidence do we need that Gov. Scott Walker's pro-corporate, anti-government rhetoric adds up to a whole lot of freebies for his cronies and absolutely nothing in terms of actually creating jobs? Not only is Wisconsin 44th in the nation for job creation, we are dead last in the Midwest. >More
 Tell All: 'The Dalai Lama is a bore'

Dear Tell All: I sat here shaking my head as Madison went gaga -- again -- over the Dalai Lama's appearance last week. The Tibetan Buddhist leader is a regular visitor to our city, and every time it's the same thing. The media hang on his every word. The university fawns on him. People from my neighborhood scramble for tickets to his sold-out talks. This time, even the state Legislature and Gov. Walker sat at his feet, waiting for pearls of wisdom to drop. >More

MUSIC

Why yodeling still matters: The art form is alive and well in Wisconsin, for the time being

It begins simply, just a man singing. He bounds from word to word in an unfamiliar language. The cadence, however, is familiar. Suddenly his voice swells, and each syllable breaks into a flurry of harmonious notes. Parts of Swiss words roll and bounce into each other. The man is yodeling, but there's nary a "yodel-e-i-o." And there's a lot more to it than alpenhorns and Ricola commercials. >More
 Stoughton Opera House booker Christina Dollhausen makes herself part of the show

Stoughton Opera House boasts many traditions: historic preservation, intimate musical performances, and seats so hard that elderly patrons know to bring cushions. Plus, the venue's booker, Christina Dollhausen, has created a new tradition over the past year: introducing performers with short songs of her own. >More
 From hipster to hip-hopper: Netherfriends transcends his Pitchfork-driven past

Shawn Rosenblatt lives in a rap studio in Chicago. The artist, who goes by the moniker Netherfriends, isn't a rapper, though. He didn't even discover hip-hop until three years ago. Fans tend to compare his music to that of Animal Collective: experimental, psychedelic, textural. But he's so over that. Mention his 2010 performance at Pitchfork Fest, and he'll probably grimace. >More

AT A GLANCE

ARTS

A glimpse of Wisconsin Book Festival 2013

Wisconsin Book Festival events coordinator Conor Moran has been a book lover for longer than he can remember. There are, he says, baby photos of him reading his Richard Scarry books at the breakfast table while his dad read the newspaper. Hired March 1 by the festival's new host, the Madison Public Library Foundation, Moran has hit the ground running. >More
 MMoCA's Focal Points photography show examines American life from many angles

American faces and places are the heart of the newest Madison Museum of Contemporary Art show, Focal Points: American Photography Since 1950 (through Sept. 1). On display are more than 100 works from the museum's permanent collection. Taken collectively, they're an intriguing record of our country over the last half-century or so. >More
 The real Liberace: Behind the Candelabra portrays the showman as a monster

In Behind the Candelabra, HBO assembles high-quality artists to tell the story of a low-quality one: the glitzy piano player Liberace. Steven Soderbergh directs, Michael Douglas camps it up as the inexplicably popular musician, and Matt Damon throws himself into the role of Scott, Liberace's boy toy from the 1970s and '80s. >More

MOVIES

A man chooses between the U.S. and Pakistan in The Reluctant Fundamentalist

You'll recall that Roger Ebert longed to be chosen in The New Yorker's cartoon caption contest (and eventually was). Similarly, I longed to be chosen for Ebert's "Little Movie Glossary," the compendium of cinematic clichés maintained by the late critic, whom I really miss. True, I only bothered to send in one entry. It was this: The Go-Go's. In action thrillers, teams of trained operatives spring into action only when someone yells, "Go go go go!" >More
 Fast & Furious 6 is brisk and intense but often incoherent

Full of gimmickry and Vin Diesel's testosterone, 2001's The Fast and the Furious started out as a throwaway action pic about street racing. It wasn't franchise material. Different characters took over for its sequel, 2006's Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. >More
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ARCHIVE

EATS

Order carefully at Las Islas Del Mar

When seafood is good, it can be divine: boiled crabs, raw oysters, fish chowder. And when it's bad, it's really bad: chewy mollusks, odiferous fish. Seafood rarely falls somewhere in the middle. It's either fresh or it's not, and I get it: We're in Wisconsin. A few topnotch restaurants fly in their seafood catch. Elsewhere, compromises must be made due to geography. >More

SPORTS & RECREATION

More eyes turn to Madison's Ultimate Frisbee fields

About 570 spectators gathered at Breese Stevens Field on Mother's Day to watch Madison's new professional Ultimate team, the Madison Radicals, battle Chicago opponents the Windy City Wildfire for first place in the American Ultimate Disc League. >More
 Balanced Tray Yoga class designed for service industry aches and pains

Cass Hanson has been practicing yoga since she was 15 and began teaching it three years ago. She's now a regular instructor at the Studio, where she leads classes aimed at multiple ability levels. But it is the class she has designed specifically for service industry workers, called Balanced Tray, that is her passion. >More
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