UP: Madison elections. Candidates come out in droves for this spring's municipal races. A startling 46 candidates file to run for the Madison Common Council's 20 seats, including nine open seats. Eight races will have a primary on Feb. 20. Four candidates will also face off in a primary for mayor: incumbent Dave Cieslewicz, Centro Hispano's Peter MuÃoz, Madison Times publisher Ray Allen and retired biochemist Will Sandstrom. Another seven candidates seek three seats on the Madison school board, with one primary. The general election is April 3. Local democracy is alive and well.
DOWN: Mute swans. The species loses its federal protected status, allowing the state Department of Natural Resources to begin shooting the birds later this month. The state's population of mute swans has been doubling every 6-7 years. The DNR says the non-native birds are aggressive, destroy wetlands and drive away other waterfowl.