Phil Davis

​How has the community model worked out for small farms? Even with the economic boost of money paid upfront, farmers face many challenges and need to keep innovating. Read more

Isthmus Cover Stories


John Hanrahan

There are some sports you play when you're young that you know you'll grow out of and never do again. Baseball always seemed like one of those sports, but apparently the players in the Greater Madison Senior Softball (GMSS) league didn't get the "You Read more

A & E


Paul Stroede

The enormity of just how much needs to be done to spruce up your digs can freeze you in your tracks. Paralysis sets in, then depression. Tweaking the interior suddenly seems futile, hopeless. It's an impossible mission you do not want to accept. Read more

Isthmus Abode

Norma Smith vividly remembers the day Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in March 2010, effectively rewriting the rulebook for health insurance coverage in the United States. "I thought, 'This is going to put me out of business!" says Smith, an account executive for the Murphy Insurance Group who works as a broker between businesses and insurance companies. Read more



Eric Oxendorf

The Wisconsin Film Festival heads back to State Street this year after limiting screenings to the UW and Sundance Cinemas in 2013. April 6 features events at Overture Center's Capitol Theater, which offers the festival's largest screen and seating area. When festival coordinator Ben Reiser and his colleagues went to look at the theater's capabilities, they came away impressed. Read more


Even if you have all the money in the world, you'll never have enough time to explore every corner of the globe. Luckily, you can travel vicariously through the 2014 Wisconsin Film Festival, which transports you to the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and a perplexing orgy in France. It also tells stories from parts of Wisconsin you may never have seen. Read more

, , Movies

Produced in Madison, "Sabbatical" follows professor Ben Hardin (Robert Longstreet) to his rural hometown to care for his dying mother, who has suffered a stroke. The home and hometown he knew have changed. As he interacts with his mother, brother, old girlfriend, and hometown buddy, Ben's journey "home" grows more painful. He really doesn't know them anymore, small talk is strained, and the ties to the past that bind them together either threadbare or broken. Read more


"Dostoevsky Behind Bars", a Wisconsin's Own selection at the Wisconsin Film Festival, informs through osmosis. It does not preach, judge or pretend to be anything more than it is: a marvelous and assured documentary about graduate students who volunteer to discuss literature with inmates at the Oakhill Correctional Institution, a minimum-security prison in Oregon, Wis. Read more


"Dostoevsky Behind Bars", a Wisconsin's Own selection at the Wisconsin Film Festival is that rare film that informs through osmosis. Screening Saturday, April 5, it does not preach, it does not judge, nor does it pretend to be anything more than it is: a marvelous and very assured documentary about university graduate students who volunteer to discuss literature and writing with inmates at the Oakhill Correctional Institution, a minimum-security prison in Oregon, Wis. Read more



Steven Noreyko

Station-surfing in my car recently, I stopped at 96.3 FM, Star Country. The DJ was talking about growing up as a "food-stamp kid" in a trailer park. He had a soft Southern drawl and recounted details about his mother's substance-abuse problems, explaining why he'd never had a single alcoholic drink in his life -- and might never have one. Read more


Nirvana's producer is Butch Vig, who co-owns Madison's Smart Studios. Vig became the producer of "Nevermind" through a series of lucky coincidences, and he was shocked when his first project for a major label ended up selling nearly 2.5 million records and hit number one on the Billboard pop album chart. Read more

Isthmus 35

Reaction in the Madison arts community to new Civic Center director Robert D'Angelo's 1991-92 season varies widely from enthusiastic support to extreme disappointment. D'Angelo himself admits that the new season is more conservative and less risky than past ones because of the economic times. Although he's bringing in innovative acts like the American Indian Dance Theatre and Reduced Shakespeare Company, a hefty chunk of the season is filled with proven-though-tired perennials, Broadway road shows and middle-of the-road balladeers like Maureen McGovern, John Gary and the Fifth Dimension. Read more

Isthmus 35

Call me Melville. Some weeks ago-never mind how long precisely-I was in my office smoking my favorite Italian cigar when the phone rang. I was still recovering from a very ugly divorce case, and the shrill ring felt like an attack on my life. For a moment, I thought about poor Owen Groit and the death in his face when I showed him the photos of his beautiful but unfaithful wife doing things he'd probably never even dreamed of. I almost didn't have the heart to answer the call. But in the end I always answer them. Read more

Isthmus 35

Staff writer Phil Davis reports that local promoters have come to view the Madison Civic Center's Isthmus Playhouse as too expensive for concerts. Unless the shows are underwritten, he explains, the 330-seat venue is not viable due to the costs of sound and lighting equipment, hall rental and other fees. Read more

20 Years Ago