November 2016


John Brogan & the Bank of Kaukauna: Social Justice and Equality For All

Photo by Mary Santaga provided by Bank of Kaukauna

Election season is almost over and it seems, among many other things, a large focus has been placed on small-town America, where industry left town and the need is significant for jobs and better resources. Candidates make big promises, but folks in these towns realize they must do for themselves and provide what the community needs. At some time or another, weve all driven through these towns, but more frequently they are being bypassed by new roads and highways. They are now places to be sought out. Kaukauna, Wisconsin is one such place.

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Madison Gets Inked: Tattoo Shops That Make Madison Buzz

Photo by Copper Key Visuals provided by Iron Quill Tattoo

Thought I would drop a line. The simple sentence, in my grandfathers handwriting, is tattooed on my left forearm in black ink. Its from a letter he wrote in 1945 while at sea serving for the United States Navy. The sentence is placed next to the stamp used on the envelope for the letter. There are plenty of reasons why someone gets a tattoosad, funny, beautiful reasons, such as remembering your grandfather. But what are the stories behind the artists who create the tattoos? Madison is full of rich history, and its tattoo shops are no exception.

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Line of Fire: Deconstructing the Path of a Gun

Spring 2016 stands out for me for several distinct reasons. I landscaped my front yard, a greatly overdue project that had been put off for some time. It was when the company I had been working for in a part-time capacity promoted me to a full-time position, which likely enabled the aforementioned project. It was also the spring that six people died in approximately a months period, in and around my community, from gunshot wounds.

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Mid Town Pub

Photo by Eric Tadsen

If Mid Town Pub in Middleton were a novel, it would be the textbook example of why you should never judge a book by its cover. Anchoring a mostly abandoned strip mall with a liquor store on one end, this locally owned eatery boasts some of the best food in the city, despite its outward appearance.

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Villa Dolce Does Italian Right

Photo by Eric Tadsen

In a city where the average restaurant may not make it past a year or two, Villa Dolce Italian Restaurant in Middleton is not only celebrating 10 years in business, but co-owner Faton Tony Lumani plans to update the eaterys look and menu this fall.

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Balance a Barrel on Your Palate: Barrel-Aged Beers

Photo by Kyle Jacobson

I recently engaged in discussion with a well-traveled brewer on beer palates in the United States. He told me there exists the perception that the Midwest beer palate is behind when compared to the West Coast. Immediately, I brought up German styles and argued that the West seems so focused on IBUs and blasting the tongue with unexpected flavors that something seems lost in the process. I find accentuating flavors that already exist in the malt, hops, yeast, and water to be the primary concern for a good beer before forcing a controlled outbreak of lactobacillus or pediococcus.

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Hop Haus Brewing Co.

Photo by Eric Tadsen

With roots almost two centuries deep entangled amongst art and architecture, Madison is a tree from which many have found a branch to trust and a fruit to savor. Restaurants, galleries, the state capital, and a top university to boot, there isnt much missing if you know where to look. Thats why it shouldnt be too surprising to learn that the Madison area has over 20 breweries putting out some of the greatest beers Wisconsin has to offer. Who in their right mind would think to put their dog in this fight?

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The Rise of Rush Creek Reserve

Photo by Uriah Carpenter

Between September and November, the cows in the dairy barn at Uplands Cheese near Dodgeville get more sleep than their owner, Andy Hatch, maker of two of the most famous cheeses in America: Pleasant Ridge Reserve and Rush Creek Reserve. Thats because autumn is peak cheese-making season. Every morning, Andy and his crew make Pleasant Ridge Reserve, the farmstead cheese that put Wisconsin on the map with triple American Cheese Society Best in Show wins between 2001 and 2010. Then, from late afternoon until long past sunset, he crafts a soft, bark-wrapped cheese, Rush Creek Reserve. For three months, Andy makes cheese 17 hours a day.

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Family Carves a Niche in Lumber

Photo by Brunsell Lumber and Millwork

Andrea Brunsell Parks is following the path her great-grandfather started in 1938. Four generations of her family have concentrated their skills on providing the Greater Madison area with premium-quality building materials, and although this is not the career path she originally envisioned, she is now fully engaged.

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Garden Sheds, Tools, and Tips

Photo by ZDA, Inc.

Garden sheds and good garden tools may be worth their weight in gold for the time and aggravation they can save. Selecting the proper tools for the job and knowing when and how to use them also helps to reduce wear and tear on your body. The right tools and a convenient place to store them can turn the battle of the bushes and war of the weeds into the joy of gardening.

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Crosse House

Photo by Jeanne Engle

Doctor, city father, politician, newspaperman, education advocate, inventor. These are the many distinctions of Dr. Charles Giles Crosse. Dr. Crosse arrived in Sun Prairie from Sauk County on January 1, 1860, with his wife, three children, and $10 in his pocket. Dr. Crosse set up his medical and surgical practice, established a drug store, and five years later enlisted in the Civil War as a surgeon with the 50th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

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Preventing Pet Weight Gain

This past summer was absolutely wonderful for spending time outside with your dog. Plenty of daylight to take walks morning and evening, and great weather for hiking on weekends, visiting the local dog park, and swimming in the lakes. If your dog gained a few extra pounds over the winter, hopefully the increased activity throughout the summer meant slimming down. But, like people, as your dog ages, it becomes harder to lose that weight. Being overweight is hard on an aging dogs joints, as well as on the heart. Becoming more sedentary because of weight gain means less mental stimulation to help ward off signs of cognitive decline (senility). It would be great if we lived somewhere conducive to daily outdoor activity, but that isnt always possible during the Wisconsin winters.

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Community Living Alliance: Bringing Health, Independence, and Dignity Home

Photo by Community Living Alliance

Getting dressed, making dinner, and dusting the furniture is quite easy for someone who is young and able bodied. But if one is getting up in years or has a physical disability, the simple tasks of daily living may present quite a challenge. Thats when Community Living Alliance (CLA) can help. This community-based, nonprofit agency supports people with physical disabilities or long-term illnesses who wish to live with dignity and independence in the community. CLA is a Wisconsin Medicaid Certified Personal Care Agency.

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DIGS

Photo by Porchlight, Inc.

The phone begins to ring at 8:30 a.m. with calls from single mothers, fathers, sons, and a couple expecting a child. All are making one last effort to avoid eviction from their housing. With the help of over 25 faith organizations, businesses, and individuals, Porchlight is there for those who need it. The Dwelling Intervention Grants and Sustenance (DIGS) program receives these calls, aiming to prevent homelessness in the wake of a short-term financial emergency by providing counseling and small one-time grants of financial assistance. Reflecting on the work he has done for the past decade, Hasan Mohr says, The best part is being able to come through for these people.

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This Cake Decorating Shop is Anything But Vanilla

Photo by Eric Tadsen

Tom and Jane Stunkard left their home state of Minnesota to pursue their dream of opening a store that caters to the do-it-yourself home baker. After a Wisconsin statewide road trip, the couple landed in Madison, drawn to the citys lakes and stable economy. Vanilla Bean opened its doors in 1983 at 6805 Odana Road.

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Winter is for the Birds

Photo by Wisconsin Department of Tourism

Nature can be at its best in winter. Snow reveals backyard neighbors through the tracks and other signs of activity left behind. While many birds migrate, those that stay around can be a joy to watch. Here are some ways to get out and enjoy our feathered friends during the winter months. Be a citizen scientist, celebrate eagles, and design your own bird trail through a part of Wisconsin.

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How to Be in Therapy

In the previous issue of Madison Essentials, I talked about how to go to therapy. Youve found a solid licensed psychotherapist who is a good fit for you and your needs. Now what?

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