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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 40.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Paper


Millions more for Monona Terrace

The way Mayor Paul Soglin sees it, the city's investment in Monona Terrace, which he spearheaded two decades ago, has paid off in all sorts of ways for Madison. But not all of them can be measured in dollars and cents. The investment, Soglin argues, caused a boom in downtown development and confirmed Madison as a happening place that people want to visit. >More


Schools expert Diane Ravitch warns Wisconsin off Common Core standards

Don't expect Diane Ravitch to pull any punches when she takes the podium Nov. 14 at the Orpheum Theater. The former assistant secretary of education is on a mission to expose the threat she says privatization poses to our nation's public schools. >More
 Madison's homeless advocates brace for winter

Steve Schooler is worried. With winter approaching, he wonders if the emergency shelters he runs for Porchlight will have enough space to accommodate all the homeless men in Madison. "In the last couple winters, we had 180 guests a night. That's stretching us to the virtual breaking limit," Schooler says. "If we bump up much further above that, there's going to be major issues. >More
 Madison Common Council puts 2014 budget to bed early

In a break from recent years, the Madison Common Council did not agonize all night for several days over adopting its 2014 budget. It wasn't so much that the council suddenly figured out the magic of budgeting, but that this year it had so little money to work with. >More
 A treasure trove of relief maps in UW Science Hall

Look up the Grand Canyon on Google Maps. Imagine running your fingers over your computer screen and actually feeling the topography, the jagged tip of the mountaintops, the unevenness of the rocky terrain. You trace the winding Colorado River and graze the mountainsides as you guesstimate how deep the valley must be in real life. >More


The attack on local control by Wisconsin Republicans

The last budget session was a lovely one for AT&T and other wireless phone providers. Lobbyists for these companies had pushed for legislation in countless states to end local control over the installation of cell phone towers, with mixed success. But no state was more receptive to these lobbyists than Wisconsin, where Republican legislators on the Joint Finance Committee grabbed the bill as written by telecom lobbyists, plunked it into the budget bill and sent it on to the full Legislature, which passed it. >More
 Tell All: Profane UW chanting

Dear Tell All: I'm a-shamed of UW students whenever I hear them do their "eat s***/f*** you" chant at Badger football games. It's a black eye for Madison, too. >More


A big suit to fill: Two bands bring Talking Heads songs to Madison

Talking Heads were one of the most interesting bands to come out of the late-1970s post-punk scene. Combining a New Wave sensibility with influences as diverse as funk, Americana and world music, their catalog still stands out even though they broke up in 1991. And images of frontman David Byrne in the oversized white suit he wore in the concert film Stop Making Sense remain iconic. >More
 Trombonist Papo Vazquez brings continents together with lively Afro-Latin jazz

It's easy enough to imagine what a cultural melting pot might look like, but how might it sound? Trombonist Papo Vazquez provides an attractive answer, presenting traditional Puerto Rican music through the lens of progressive jazz. His shows are funky, impassioned and ideal for dancing, so you're likely to see fancy footwork at his Nov. 14 performance at UW Music Hall. >More
 Madison Opera pulls off that demanding crowd-pleaser Tosca

The Madison Opera opened its season on Friday at Overture Hall with a guaranteed crowd-pleaser: Puccini's Tosca, the tale of a Roman singer who loves a painter, both of whom fall into the clutches of a violent chief of police. >More



Bollywood in Fitchburg

Many fans of blockbuster franchises have had Dec. 20 marked on their calendars for a long time. This isn't the debut of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. It's the Indian release date for Dhoom 3, one of the most anticipated Bollywood films of 2013. You don't need to travel to a big city to see it, either. AMC Star Fitchburg 18 has recognized the growing appeal of big-budget Indian films as of late. >More
 Sparks fly in 18th-century France in American Players Theatre's Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Beneath chandeliers draped in jewels, in the intimate Touchstone Theatre, plays out what is likely the steamiest production American Players Theatre has ever done: Les Liaisons Dangereuses (through Nov. 24). >More
 For and against JFK: American Experience offers a warts-and-all portrait of the controversial president

I'm powerless to resist a documentary about John F. Kennedy. Though I'm well aware of the late president's faults, I'm drawn in by his charisma every time. I cheer his triumphs and bemoan his tragedies. And I always respond to images of the assassination as if I'm seeing them for the first time. >More


In About Time, a man travels to the past to delete his dating blunders

Richard Curtis is known for romantic comedies like Four Weddings and a Funeral, which he wrote, and Love Actually, which he wrote and directed. But science fiction and fantasy fans needn't fret just because he's drifting into their realm with the amusing, entertaining About Time, in which a man magically visits his past. >More
 An Avenger chases a villain through space and time in Thor: The Dark World

Here's a recipe for geek gumbo. Put some elves in a Marvel superhero movie. Sci-fi elves from the distant past, led by a badass named Malekith. He's after something called the Aether, which can be used to rule the universe and was supposed to be destroyed way back when. And put some immortal Vikings on distant planets. >More
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Heritage Tavern's menu is generous, meat-heavy and perfect for sharing

Dan Fox's Heritage Tavern is far and away Madison's most anticipated restaurant opening this year. Fox -- late of the Madison Club, Chicago's celebrated Everest and local pork celebration SloPig -- piqued Madison diners' anticipation with his headlong devotion to local ingredients, including his self-raised heritage-breed pigs. With a pedigreed young chef, a storied location and all the local press a restaurateur could hope for, the one remaining question is, does Heritage live up to its hype? >More
 Madison's farmers' markets head indoors for winter, go year-round

Once upon a time, most farmers' markets lasted until Halloween. The pumpkin push was the last hurrah. No more. The Dane County Farmers' Market became a year-round concern in the winter of 2003-4. And now the smaller neighborhood markets are beginning to follow suit. More are moving indoors for sales in November and December. >More


Wisconsin Badgers in a BCS bowl -- really?

Late last week I was grazing through the online sports sites and noticed that football writers were already making BCS bowl projections. At, Mark Schlabach was predicting a Sugar Bowl match-up of South Carolina and...Wisconsin? His fellow soothsayer, Brad Edwards, had UW in a BCS bowl as well " the Orange, against Florida State. >More
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