Bennet Goldstein


Sharon Vanorny

A woman sits at a bar, the lights beneath its surface transitioning through the colors of the rainbow. A man drapes his arm around her. At a nearby table, another man kisses his date's neck as his hands move through the folds of her dress. It's Ladies Night, and one of Madison's gay bars, Plan B, is filled with straight people. more

Sep 26, 2013 2:00 PM MUSIC


Bennet Goldstein

It looks like the Shamrock Bar & Grill will reopen after all. On Sept. 17, the Madison Common Council approved alcohol and entertainment licenses for business owner Robert Mahr, nearly two months after he applied for them. more

Sep 21, 2013 4:24 PM News

Any vendors that contract with the city of Madison must now agree they will not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Common Council unanimously approved an amendment Sept. 3 to the Madison General Ordinances to require the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the city's Affirmative Action Ordinance. more

Sep 10, 2013 2:01 AM News

The Shamrock Bar & Grill may not be opening in the near future after all. Robert Mahr planned to open the redesigned tavern the first or second week of September, pending the city's approval of new alcohol and entertainment licenses. However, lawyers say a previous owner's estate holds the rights to the Shamrock Bar's lease, name and goodwill and are challenging Mahr's right to operate a new business inside the bar's current location. more

Aug 31, 2013 8:13 PM News


Bennet Goldstein

Gary Stout, a retired preschool and kindergarten teacher, taught in the Madison Metropolitan School District for 13 years. "I remember being a kindergarten teacher in my first year and having a student with five or more cigarette burns on his forearm," he told the Board of Education at a public hearing of the proposed 2013-2014 budget Monday night. more

Aug 27, 2013 10:58 PM News


Bennet Goldstein

It sounds like UW Health deserves some credit for getting things rolling again on the redevelopment of Union Corners. "How we got to Union Corners was UW Health came to us and said, 'We need to replace our East Towne Clinic,'" Joe Schwenker, a project consultant for Gorman & Co., said at a neighborhood meeting Thursday night. "The doctors literally have to hold meetings in closets. They're out of space." more

Aug 23, 2013 11:07 PM News


Bennet Goldstein

With new ownership, a redesigned business concept and freshly exposed Cream City brick walls, Robert Mahr is excited to present the renamed Shamrock Bar & Grill to the LGBT and greater Madison community. Pending the approval of a new alcohol license, Mahr plans to reopen the tavern the first or second week in September. more

Aug 14, 2013 3:16 AM FOOD & DRINK


Bennet Goldstein

Amelia Royko Maurer remains hopeful that the Madison Police and Fire Commission will move forward with her complaint against MPD officer Stephen Heimsness, who shot and killed her friend and roommate Paul Heenan in November 2012. "I think we have sta more

Aug 10, 2013 10:43 PM News

While there may have been sparks of romance between two high school students during the early hours of May 2, the sparks from a fireworks-stunt-gone-awry ignited more than their hearts. That night, a 17-year-old student asked a girl out to prom and set fire to a children's playground in the process. more

Jul 29, 2013 1:41 AM News


Ryan Wisniewski

A storm looms over Lake Monona on a Sunday evening in early June, but votive candles cast a comforting glow in the walkout basement of Dave Mollenhoff's lakeshore home. A jazz number called "Mellow Guitar" keeps the mood low-key as neighbors filter in for their quarterly social gathering. Soon the basement is filled with conversation. more

Jul 25, 2013 2:00 PM People

For many southern Wisconsinites, the Shamrock Bar, 117 W. Main St., was their favorite place to grab brunch. For others, it was a safe space to be openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Second Saturdays were traditionally Bear Nights. At Christmastime, patrons plucked paper tags from the bar's giving tree, adding gift requests from AIDS Network Madison clients to their holiday shopping lists. The Shamrock opened in 1985, making it Madison's longest-lived gay bar based on a list maintained by the Wisconsin GLBT History Project. more

Jul 25, 2013 12:42 PM News


Bennet Goldstein

"What I don't see enough of is... options that we can create for kids who aren't quite making it," school board member Dean Loumos said Monday at the Madison Metropolitan School District's Board of Education work-group meeting. "Holding our own on what we do this year, so we can do it again next year, frankly isn't good enough for me." Loumos was referring to the district's proposed 2013-2014 budget, which Madison Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham and Assistant Superintendent for business services Mike Barry presented. more

Jul 16, 2013 7:19 PM News


Bennet Goldstein

The time may come when you will no longer see a new tavern, nightclub or cocktail lounge open on State Street. This is one possible outcome if a set of recommendations to revise Madison's Alcohol License Density Ordinance, released by city staff in June, are approved by the Common Council. more

Jul 6, 2013 8:50 PM News


Bennet Golstein

LeRoy Butler might have played for the Green Bay Packers for 11 years, but being a professional athlete was a long shot for him. Born with club feet, he required braces from an early age to correct the condition. "I remember being in a wheelchair and not being able to run and jump like the other kids," Butler said Sunday during a modestly attended speech at St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church in Madison. more

Jul 1, 2013 4:43 AM News


Bennet Goldstein

Although the recommendations for revising Madison's alcohol licensing process hold far-reaching consequences, the Alcohol License Review Committee determined Wednesday night it needed more information as well as a review by the city's legal counsel before it could have a meaningful discussion on the proposals. To expedite this process, the committee unanimously recommended extending the current ordinance, due to expire Aug. 1, to Jan. 1, 2014. more

Jun 20, 2013 12:11 PM News


Bennet Goldstein

The Wisconsin Senate's Committee on Economic Development and Local Government heard feedback from interest groups and residents Wednesday morning over a bill (SB 150) that would strengthen local and county governments' grounds for prosecuting individuals who possess natural and non-prescribed synthetic marijuana. more

Jun 13, 2013 2:06 AM News


Bennet Goldstein

"What is ALDO?" Mark Woulf, Madison's food and alcohol policy coordinator, asks members of the Madison Plan Commission at a meeting Monday night. "It's our Alcohol License Density Ordinance, which was adopted back in October 2007." Woulf's appearance before the Plan Commission was in preparation for the Common Council's upcoming review of the density ordinance. more

Jun 4, 2013 9:23 PM News


Bennet Goldstein

Jeff Gruenberger, who now lives near Appleton, found his community at the annual International Mr. Leather weekend, held each year in Chicago since 1979. An estimated 18,000-20,000 people (mostly gay and bisexual men) gathered this year for six days at the downtown Marriott Hotel to celebrate leather and kink. The festival also hosted a pageant, where 51 men who won regional feeder contests throughout the world competed for the title of International Mr. Leather. Jason Puls of Milwaukee, the only Wisconsin contestant this year more

Jun 3, 2013 9:41 PM Scenes


Bennet Goldstein

City officials presented updated plans Thursday to residents, businesses and property owners at Lapham Elementary School for the proposed 2014 reconstruction of Johnson Street. The proposal outlines the replacement of existing curbs, gutters, pavement and driveway aprons (the area between the sidewalk and curb) on the street from North Butler Street to North Baldwin Street. more

May 31, 2013 10:18 PM News


Bennet Goldstein

Every Friday, the group known as the Deadly Writers Patrol meets. Sometimes over sandwiches. Sometimes over pastries. Then they read their stories aloud. more

May 24, 2013 10:17 PM Books