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As I have been keeping a close eye on the conversations, social media posts and reactions to media reports and various governmental orders across our state and country, I am beginning to see increased frustration with the drastic changes we have all been forced to make because of the coronav…

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For the last few weeks, I’ve been receiving notifications about cancellations – school events, alumni banquets, humane society clinics, church events, library programs, Easter egg hunts, and government meetings.

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Today's farmers are continually innovating when it comes to new methods of growing and raising our food supply. Aquaponics, a process which allows producers to raise and grow both a protein and vegetable crop simultaneously, has seen an increase in popularity.

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Last week, I attended a concert and played bar trivia. My friends and I are planning to see a movie as part of our Spooky Tuesday series (seeing a scary film one Tuesday a month). I’m even thinking about exploring a museum or animal sanctuary.

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With the outbreak of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, most of us are staying inside to keep ourselves and others healthy. As the kids get bored and your list of things to do dwindles, it might be tempting to visit the library to check out some books or movies, or attend a program or storytime. …

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The way we live our lives has rapidly changed in the last week. One day, we’re going about life as normal and the next, the store shelves are quickly being emptied of toilet paper and hand sanitizer is hoarded. Parents are scrambling to find childcare as schools close for an extended period …

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The world has been moving pretty fast lately; events are unfolding rapidly, and that can be unsettling.

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For generations, farmers have been caring for the land, the water, and their environmental resources. While many traditions run deep in the farming community, innovation and ingenuity are the keys to success in agriculture. Today, farmers across our state are leading the way when it comes to…

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My thoughts and prayers go out to those who tragically lost their lives at the Molson-Coors Brewery. It will take time for the healing process to begin and for family, friends, and co-workers to return to a somewhat normal life. Also, we are all wondering that one question, Why?

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When I go to my parent’s home to visit (or eat) they usually talk about how there is nothing on TV. Unless there’s a specific show they want to watch, they end up channel surfing for a movie, an episode of Law & Order: SVU they haven’t seen for a few months, or a house show on HGTV.

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My parents took a five-day trip to Las Vegas last week – they flew out of Milwaukee Feb. 15 and returned home Feb. 19. I’ve never been, but according to my dad, visiting Sin City involves a lot of walking in roundabout ways where a destination that seems only a short walk away actually requi…

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We walked up the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol under February blue skies and sunshine last week, excited to talk with state leaders about Wisconsin’s public libraries. Librarians, library directors, and library board trustees from across the state of Wisconsin, including several libra…

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When I was growing up, going to the mall always meant traveling to the east side of Madison. It was closer than West Towne, less upscale than Hilldale and at the time, the outlet mall in Johnson Creek wasn’t even a concept. Every shop was filled, there were water fountains where you could to…

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South Main Street in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, had deteriorated into a tree-lined cattle path. When the Prius’ and mini-vans started to bottom out and we lost a Smart Car in a sink hole, it was time to repave.

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As founder of We the Irrelevant, a website that tracks how well (or poorly) the actions of legislators match up with what the public has asked them to do, I have sent multiple open records requests to Wisconsin legislators on a variety of controversial initiatives. Each time, I’ve asked them for related citizen correspondence.

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It hasn’t been long since many Wisconsinites have had to vote on referendums to keep their public school doors open, and now in this new year, our schools continue to be underfunded. This spring 50 school districts will go to referendum, with 29 seeking $915 million in operating costs alone.

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I’ve been spending some time clearing out the remnants of my youth from my grandparents’ house. Thankfully, I’m not close to being a certified hoarder, I’m more of a “toss it in a box and figure out what to do with it later” person. Obviously, it saves times when putting things away but mean…

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The story is starting to become cliché. Wisconsinites overwhelmingly support a proposal that benefits our state, Republican leadership cries “partisanship”, and blocks action until an undetermined future date.

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Despite the short daylight hours and the chill in the weather, farmers throughout the state of Wisconsin are still hard at work. Livestock farmers are busy keeping their animals warm and dry, crop growers are replacing parts on their field equipment, and producers of all commodities are plan…

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Representative Barbara Dittrich (R-Oconomowoc) shared her reaction to the State of the State Address Jan. 22, detailing her pride in the progress being made in Wisconsin thanks to Republican leadership over the past nine years. While Rep. Dittrich doesn’t agree with many of the Governor’s (T…

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I have forgotten more interviews than I’d like to admit; when you’ve been working in newspapers for almost 14 years there’s no way to remember all the people you’ve talked to. Or at least, I can’t.

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There have been two consistent addresses during my life – my parents’ home and my grandparents’ house. I can recall the physical addresses of both without needing a moment to think. I kind of know what it’s like to undergo a big move when my parents’ bought a new mobile home but there was ne…

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Just shy of two years ago, this column explored the heightened importance of open government when public health is at risk. Multiple examples showed the government was not sharing timely information with the public, or even other branches of government, on issues such as clean drinking water…

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Anyway, as someone who is technically a millennial I expected to know every word on this list. Reader, I did not.

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Sweetie is the feline equivalent of that old lady who lost her filter. She’s a sixteen-year-old Persian with an unruly mane, who has to be sedated for her spa appointments. Sweetie doesn’t hold her liquor like she used to. The day after her most recent style and perm, she was still feeling a…

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I grew up during a time when Hanna-Barbera classic cartoons were still aired on TV. I can’t recall what networks they played on but I remember watching The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Where are You! (and all of its spin-offs), Wacky Races, The Yogi Bear Show, The Smurfs, Shirt Tales, Pound Pupp…

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For the past few years I have set new year goals; I like this word instead of resolution because a goal feels like a less rigid word to me. And some of these goals were completed while others were pushed to the wayside. Sure, I planned to read 40 books in one year and accomplished that, but …

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Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Or do you choose a word or an intention to guide the direction of your year? After the busy holiday season winds down, it can be fun to step back and dream about the days and months ahead. One of my favorite things to do is get a blank planner and start to…

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Not many elected officials have the good fortune to represent an exceptional place like Dane County,but after serving 10 years on the Dane County Board – including six years as Board Chair – it’s time for someone else to take over the leadership position.

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The other week I was having difficulty unlocking my car door. I knew the lock couldn’t be frozen because despite the cold, the temperatures had not reached the freezing-locks-shut point.

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It was about 6:30 p.m. Saturday when I decided it was time to put up my Christmas tree. When I was growing up, the tree always went up Thanksgiving weekend and I suppose it’s just stuck with me. It allows the decoration to be on display for just the right amount of time — not too soon or too late.

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Last week I was at Swan Park in Beaver Dam setting up the annual Rotary Lights Christmas display. I saw two teenagers pushing a tree branch through a chain-link fence which protects the electrical equipment. I couldn’t understand why they were attempting to tamper with the electrical equipme…

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It’s apparently common for adults to bring some type of food to a Thanksgiving meal. My friends talk about the need to make some type of casserole or dessert for their family’s Thanksgiving meal. For people who know me, it should come as no surprise that I do not cook anything for Thanksgivi…

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Property crimes, suspicious activity, and drug activity continue to be problems no matter where you live across our country. Some communities do a really nice job of making thieves and other criminals uncomfortable, while other communities have room for improvement. This month, I am going to…

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During my childhood, I found myself in a challenging school environment. Through no fault of myself or my siblings, our peers did not welcome us. It was the civil rights era and we had recently enrolled as the first black children in the well-funded “white school” in my Southern hometown, af…

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Bennett celebrated his first birthday last week while “Sesame Street” is celebrating 50 years this week. A lot has changed on the children’s TV show, but it’s still very much the program I grew up watching in the early 1980s.

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Joe and Sam tamped solid the gravel around the last post. They stepped back, Austin Kind stepped in, drew his DeWALT, and sunk the last two screws on the final board. The origin of the fence was a quarter mile north. The first post had been planted a month ago.

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Last week I took three days of vacation in honor of my favorite holiday – Halloween. When I initially planned to take these days off months ago, I hoped to head to Chicago for a day to see the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Art Institute. Then I remembered how early I’d need to wake up to get ei…

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Last weekend marked year five of working for Wizard World Comic Con when it made its stop in Madison. I signed up initially because it was a way to experience a comic/fan convention without needing to pay admission, plus it would give me something to do during a winter weekend (the first yea…

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Wisconsin sure loves to read. In 2018, Wisconsin’s libraries joined Overdrive’s Million Checkout Club after Wisconsin residents checked out over 5 million digital materials (eBooks and digital audiobooks) in 2018. 5 million! Wisconsin’s Digital Library is a statewide library collection share…