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Letter to the Editor: Capitol Neighborhood Inc. has potential OPINION
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
SPRING ELECTIONS 2009 DISTRICT 8
Winner: Bryon Eagon
Winner: Bridget Maniaci
Eagon defeats Woulf with 75 percent of votes
Maniaci upsets Konkel by 62 votes in close race
By Abby Sears
By Rachel Holzman
THE DAILY CARDINAL
THE DAILY CARDINAL
UW-Madison junior Bryon Eagon won the District 8 seat on the Madison Common Council Tuesday, ousting his opponent, fellow junior Mark Woulf, with nearly 75 percent of the votes. Eagon garnered a total of 450 votes to Woulf’s 155 votes in the four wards comprising the mainly student-populated District 8. Eagon said his hard-fought efforts to connect with students face-to-face largely contributed to his successful campaign. “I think people recognized my passion for representing student issues and my knowledge on these issues, that I’ve done my homework, so I think that came through in today’s results” he said. Eagon will be ofﬁcially sworn in April 21, just
Bridget Maniaci defeated former Ald. Brenda Konkel in the District 2 election Tuesday by a mere 62 votes. Maniaci won 52 percent of the total 1,862 votes with 962 ballots. Konkel lost in the close race with 48 percent of the District 2 votes. Maniaci, a UW graduate student and former intern for Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, held her watch party at Supreme Pizza Tuesday night. She expressed her excitement over the win and said she looks forward to working with other alders on issues in the next coming weeks. “My ﬁrst step is to sit down with many individuals involved with current proposals and city staff in all the different departments to really get caught up on the current issues,” Maniaci said. Maniaci said she already spoke with District
district 8 page 3
district 2 page 3
PHOTOS BY KYLE BURS AW AN
D LORENZO ZEMELLA/T HE DAILY CA RDINAL
Winner: Kathleen Falk
Winner: Shirley Abrahamson
Falk keeps her title for a fourth term in ofﬁce
Chief justice fends off challenger, set for fourth term
By Rebecca Holland
By Megan Orear
THE DAILY CARDINAL
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk declared victory in Tuesday’s election, defeating opponent Nancy Mistele and securing a fourth term in ofﬁce. Falk won by an ample margin, taking cities of Madison, Middleton, Fitchburg and Monona, among other areas, while Mistele won the majority of rural villages and towns. The results from the polls showed 57 percent to 43 percent in Falk’s favor. Falk’s campaign revolved around community safety, balanced budgets, services for seniors
and those with disabilities, and protecting natural resources. Public safety was Mistele’s top priority, and she also focused on economic development, transportation and controlling property taxes. Throughout the campaign, Mistele was highly critical of Falk’s oversight of the 911 Center and its involvement with Brittany Zimmermann, the UW-Madison student killed in her downtown apartment last year. County ofﬁcials said a call from Zimmermann around the time of her death was disconnected, and county page 3
THE DAILY CARDINAL
Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson secured a fourth term on the state Supreme Court Tuesday, defeating her opponent Jefferson County Judge Randy Koschnick by a margin of 18 percent of the vote. Abrahamson, 75, was appointed Wisconsin’s ﬁrst female Supreme Court justice in 1976 and is on track to break the record for longest-serving justice on the Court. That record currently stands at 37 years. At a reception in the Majestic Theater following the release of election results,
Abrahamson told supporters Koschnick had just called her to concede the race. She said this election was a race between a campaign that “used labels to try to mischaracterize and mislead” and a campaign that “emphasized judicial independence and the ideals that bring us together.” “Wisconsin voters respond positively to a positive campaign. Wisconsin voters would rather vote for something than against something,” she said. Abrahamson thanked all her supporters, court page 3
THE CARDINAL INVESTIGATES... An in-depth look into MADISON PROPERTY MANAGEMENT MPM’s accounting practices
By Ryan Hebel THE DAILY CARDINAL
On Tuesday, the ﬁrst part of our Madison landlord series looked closely at MPM security deposit deduction violations and controver-
sial interpretations of “normal wear and tear.” Recent UW-Madison graduate and Tenant Resource Center employee Elizabeth Gokey caught MPM’s photo ordinance omission almost immediately, but others, like UW student Josh Thornton, did not even know the recent ordinance existed.
“Misappropriating Funds” However, a close examination of Gokey’s summary account statement revealed Gokey was also the victim of an MPM accounting practice that, though complex, still cost Gokey nearly $50 in late fees and constitutes “misappropria-
PART 2 OF 3
tion of funds” according to Wisconsin Dept. of Consumer Protection Manager Jim Rabbitt. The problem stems from the way MPM handles some of its rent and utility checks. Most landlords require their tenants to either send utility checks mpm page 3
“…the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.”
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009
An independent student newspaper, serving the University of Wisconsin-Madison community since 1892
TODAY: partly cloudy hi 54º / lo 28º
Aren’t all the kids on Twatter these days?
Volume 118, Issue 126
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ASHLEY SPENCER back that ash up
henever I go home, I see that my family barely knows how to operate our DVD player, can’t yet ﬁgure out how to install wireless and thinks tamagachis are still tech-savvy. I try to teach my family all I can about iPods, laptops and youthfulness in general. But sometimes, it’s not enough to walk them through an instructional booklet or show them how to log on to a website. Sometimes you need to teach them a lesson by being completely and utterly inappropriate. “Do you TWAT?” my grandmother recently asked me on the phone during our ritual weekly phone call. I was feeling particularly vengeful toward my grandma, despite my usual love and fondness for her grumpiness and her unusual partiality toward spotless cleanliness. I recently went home and saw her for lunch, and during that one
hour, she sent back her chopped salad three times, asked the waiter for 3⁄4 cup of plain vinegar, and declared the pepper “too peppery.” This was all too embarrassing for me, and it likely resulted in her mixed greens having an extra sprinkling of urine, a dash of phlegm and quite possibly a touch of feces. “What?” I asked just to clarify. “Do I twat?” “Yes. I’m thinking of twatting myself.” This was a horrifying image, an image that still burns my brain when I lie awake at night. I suppressed my laughter despite the fact that my grandmother just unknowingly used a vulgar term for the word “vagina.” This is a woman who goes to church almost daily, opens her own bathroom door with a paper towel and yells at people in public bathrooms if they don’t wash their hands. I imagine her sitting on the computer, as she Urban Dictionaries “twat,” her recently anti-bacterial lemon-scented hands covering her mouth in horror. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her even say vagina. I think she calls that kind of thing “the princess privates.”
“Twat? Do you even know what that is?” “Yeah,” she said. “I saw it on ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’ I tell you that Bill O’Reilly is a genius, so sharp. Are you on Twatter? Because all the kids these days are.” “No, I don’t have a Twat.” This game was too fun not to play. “But I know a lot of people who are fond of Twats.” “I thought all the kids were Twatting.” “No,” I said. “I’d guess about 50 percent of the population have a Twatter account. You know, the better half.” “Oh.” “Can you just say Twat again?” “Twat.” “One more time. I just wanna make sure you’re saying it right.” “Twat.” “Put a little more emphasis in the W.” “Tw-att.” “That’s right. You’re so hip, Grams, you should deﬁnitely ask Jim if he Twats next time he comes over. To show him, you know, what’s up,” I said, referring to the young handyman in my grandma’s condo complex that comes around to
the daily cardinal makes fun of you
Political Views: I’m not even sure anymore... I should start a student org called College Moderates Religious Views: Catholicism is the shit
Year: Wisconsin ’10 Relationship Status: Single Looking for: Friendship, a relationship Birthday: November 26, 1988
Editorial Board l
help hang pictures and unclog toilets. We ﬁnished our conversation, and she promised to call me next week. I assure her that I will sign up for Twatter and do, if only so I can use the verb “twat.” A week later, my aunt from Atlanta called to check on me. Do you have a job? Do you have a boyfriend yet? “No, I don’t have a boyfriend. Guys suck,” I say in gruff voice, thinking of one particular boy with beautiful blue eyes who has about as much personality as a pizza cutter and is less useful. “Do you like girls?” my aunt asked me, after a particularly bitter answer on my end concerning my relationship status. Though I’m offended by her comment, I think of the cool lesbian who works at Trader Joe’s and decide I won’t give my prying aunt peace of mind by saying that I don’t prefer the ladies. “Yes,” I say, pausing for the sake of dramatics. “I’ve actually recently signed up for Twatter. Check it out and I’m sure you’ll see where I’m coming from.” If you’d like to see my Twats, e-mail me at email@example.com or follow me at GETitAspencer.
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The stance of the true moderate: Like a perplexed velicoraptor in search of a political party that speak to him.
Most Embarrassing Item: There’s nothing wrong with being mediocre, but preaching your own mediocrity is just depressing. If you’re looking for someone in your life to criticize your grammar, discuss your favorite Third Eye Blind songs or simply watch thunderstorms with you, Tyler Stenz is your guy. Tyler strives (though not too much) to master every facet of mediocrity he possibly can. He listens to “regular” music, whatever that means. He is ambivalent toward his own moderate political stance. And he generally enjoys any band, TV show or movie that was vaguely marketed toward the adolescent Caucasian male in the past 10 years. Stupid Fact About Your Hometown [Mount Calvary, Wis.]: Mount Calvary is located in eastern Fond du Lac County, Wis., an area known as “The Holyland” for its large number of small towns built around churches. Most towns are founded because of a resource of some sort, but Mount Calvary just seemed like the kind of place God would be hiding, so they settled in. Missed Opportunity: Item number one of Tyler’s personal information: “I am very active.” Tyler seems to have a rather mediocre threshold for “being active.” Whether he’s collecting Snapple bottle caps, pursuing females out of his league (probably a reference to his bowling hobby) or working toward one of his ambitious lifelong goals—such as passing college—Tyler just can’t seem to stand still (that was not sarcastic (neither was that (or that(ﬁne— maybe that last one was)))).
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Saving Grace: Tyler is a proud member of the group “La Catrina deﬁnes my Spanish speaking existence.” If you ever took a Spanish class, you were most likely exposed to this horrible Spanish soap opera. Jamie, la casa Jacaranda, all that good stuff... dios mio, that show was hilarious.
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Sexual Assault Awareness Month Fact of the Day: 43% of rapes occur between 6:00 p.m. and midnight. Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Students stress voter turnout By Beth Pickhard THE DAILY CARDINAL
Although the hype for Tuesday’s local elections was not as strong as the 2008 presidential election, many UW-Madison students stressed the importance of voter participation on campus. Molly Rivera, a member of the College Democrats of Madison, who encouraged students to vote at Library Mall Tuesday, said she thinks students should always vote in elections to express their interests to those who represent them. According to Sara Mikolajczak, chair of the UW-Madison College Republicans, voting in local elec-
tions is one of the best ways for students to participate politically. “If we want to have any say in what goes on at a local level, we need to get out there and we need to be voting,” she said. Despite a much higher awareness among students for the issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election, Rivera said it is imperative that students are conscious of smaller elections as well. “[Local elections] send an even bigger message saying ‘yes, we are involved, we do care who represents us,’ and that message is bigger when we vote at a local level,” she said. According to Claire Rydell,
chair of the College Democrats of Madison, students may have been more likely to vote in this particular election because some of the candidates were UW-Madison students. “Students are deﬁnitely inspired and energized by the fact that students are running,” she said. “Many of the candidates have really spoken out in favor of student issues and also for things that are important to the student body.” For future local elections, Rydell said members of the College Democrats of Madison are looking to improve awareness and participation among students.
mpm from page 1
district 8 from page 1 a few hours before his ﬁrst Common Council meeting. In the meantime, he said he will continue hearing student concerns and consider partnering with other downtown alders to address common issues, particularly student safety. “The next few weeks [are] going to be really important to me to have a knowledge base on the issues so on Day One I know where I stand and I know what steps need to be taken to really accomplish these goals that I set forth,” Eagon said. Woulf commended Eagon on a “greatly run campaign” and said he and members of his campaign staff are optimistic about the future of District 8 under Eagon. “We’re still encouraged. We know
district 2 from page 1
directly to Madison Gas and Electric (as Apex Property Management does) or bundle their utilities and rent into one cumulative check payable to the landlord (as Steve Brown Apartments does). MPM, on the other hand, requires some of its tenants to write two checks to MPM: one for rent and one for utilities. MPM’s attorney, Rachel Govin, said MPM requires two checks when different units in the same building share utility meters. MPM combines the utility payments from these tenants and sends lump-sum checks to MG&E for each property. Govin said a “small minority” of MPM’s units required two checks, but thought it was “less than 100 units.” The multiple checks are problematic because MPM does not apply its tenant checks to rent or utilities based on each tenant’s written designation. Instead, MPM ignores tenant intention and automatically applies each check to the oldest charge on a tenant’s account. The earliest charge, however, is not necessarily the ﬁrst due. Rabbitt said he had never heard of any a landlord agency disregarding its tenants’ payment intentions in this way. “If I buy two things from a store and say, ‘Here’s the money for one of those things and I’m going to make payments on the other,’ they can’t turn around and put that money toward something else,” Rabbitt said. The problem is ampliﬁed when utilities are charged just before the rent. For example, in February 2008, MPM applied part of Gokey’s monthly rent check to her utility bill that had been charged earlier but was not due until after rent. As a result, MPM charged
8 victor Bryon Eagon after the results were posted about possible partnerships. Maniaci said her ﬁrst duty in ofﬁce will be to help pass former District 8 Ald. Eli Judge’s downtown lighting initiative. “My ﬁrst step will be getting Eli Judge’s downtown lighting initiative functioning, because right now it’s still only on paper, and it hasn’t gotten worked out yet,” Maniaci said. Konkel, who will be replaced by Maniaci, met with her supporters at Avenue Bar on East Washington to learn the election results. After tearfully announcing she lost by only 62 votes, Konkel received a standing
court from page 1 GRAPHIC BY AMY GIFFIN/THE DAILY CARDINAL
Gokey a late rent fee equal to 5 percent of her total rent payment (the maximum allowed under a city ordinance). Gokey paid the fee, not realizing MPM’s error until later. Even more troubling, Govin said the faulty late fees were a frequent problem that occurred “every month on many properties” at MPM. Govin said she veriﬁes all accounts with late balances exceeding $300—approximately 400 per month—to correct for the mistake. However, this would still overlook numerous overdue balances, as Gokey’s case illustrates. Although the accounting glitch is difﬁcult for tenants to spot, Govin said time constraints prevented MPM from checking every fee. Late fee notiﬁcations, she said, are e-mailed to each tenant, and tenants are encouraged to
Troubled Past —MPM’s accounting problems are especially troubling because its president, James Stopple, was convicted of “felonious racketeering” in 1993, according to court documents. The conviction referred to a period from 1983 to 1986 when Stopple was vice president at Farm Loan Services (FLS), a Madison-based auction company for farm assets. —In 1986, FLS went bankrupt and failed to repay $1.5 million in securities to 17 farmers who agreed to receive their auction proceeds in interest-bearing notes rather than immediate cash payments. According to Dane County Court records, Stopple gave his employees incentives to sell the security notes and had advised employees not to mention that FLS had been losing money from 1983 to 1985. Stopple recently said he had “no intent to defraud at all.” —Stopple was sentenced to probation, had his real estate license suspended for two years and, according to a letter obtained from court records and signed by Stopple’s parole ofﬁcer, William Busch, Stopple was originally ﬁned $341,171. That ﬁgure, however, was either inaccurate or negotiated since Stopple said he ended up paying approximately $110,000 and could not recall the original ﬁne being more.
examine the attached account statements themselves. A simple solution would be to apply all tenant checks to the ﬁrst payments due instead of the earlier charges. However, Govin said MPM’s accounting software, Timberline, would not allow it. A few weeks after being interviewed for this investigation, Gokey said MPM had changed its policy on late fees and would now “personally review each charge to make sure it was being assessed correctly.” Govin declined to elaborate on why MPM was suddenly addressing the problem, or how it was overcoming the “time constraints.” Madison attorney David Sparer, who specializes in tenant-landlord law, said he recently worked with a woman who had a similar experience with MPM. Although the woman chose not to be interviewed, Sparer said MPM misallocated her rent check toward repairs that had been charged to her account before rent. Like Gokey’s utilities, however, the woman’s repair costs were not due until after rent. “Then they hit her with a late fee,” Sparer said. Rabbitt said MPM’s late fee practices, though unprecedented as far as he could remember, clearly violated a Madison ordinance stating all rent payments must be used to offset late rent “before charging a late rent fee.” Govin said MPM was not violating the ordinance because their leases speciﬁcally state that all rent and utilities are considered “rent,” though she gave no reason for the clause. Rabbitt did not think MPM was allowed to redeﬁne rent and utilities to get around the ordinance. Check out tomorrow’s paper for the ﬁnal part of our landlord investigation, which takes a closer look at maintenance practices at MPM and in the UW campus rental industry.
volunteers and contributors. Over 5,300 donors made contributions averaging less than $250 a piece, bringing her total campaign funds to well over $1 million. “Even in the regrettable absence of public financing for judicial campaigns, Wisconsin voters will provide financial support that makes it possible to reach the families of this state with a message about the least known, but hardly the least important branch of government, the judiciary,” she said. Healther Colburn, campaign director for Abrahamson, said the campaign staff worked until the polls closed. “We worked hard to show people what Shirley Abrahamson
county from page 1 the dispatcher failed to call back. Zimmermann’s family ﬁled a federal lawsuit against the county and the 911 operator who handled the call. In what turned into a bitter campaign, Mistele used radio ads to highlight Falk’s involvement with the center. In the ads, a sinister male voice described Zimmermann’s killing and said, “it was the negligence of Kathleen Falk that led to the death of Brittany Zimmermann.” Falk also used radio ads, but stressed that hers were self-promot-
that there’s students out there that really care about the issues and the voter turnout was decent today, so that’s a good sign,” he said. “I do think that Bryon is going to reﬂect those needs well.” Eagon will replace current District 8 Ald. Eli Judge, a UW-Madison senior who opted out of a second term to attend law school after graduating this May. Judge, who along with Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz endorsed Eagon last month, said he feels “bittersweet” about his two-year term coming to an end. “You’re not going to miss the 4 a.m. meetings, but you’re deﬁnitely going to miss the ability to really be that voice,” Judge said. “But the reason that the happiness outweighs the sadness is because I know the district is in such great hands.” ovation from the crowd. “My tears are almost overwhelmed by this group’s support,” Konkel told her backers at Avenue Bar. Konkel is trying to stay positive about the loss of her position city council and is looking forward to more time for other endeavors. “This obviously gives me a lot more time to return to the things I love the most which is community activism around the issues that are important to me and organizing in the community,” Konkel said. Konkel also wished Bridget “the best of luck on the council,” and advised her to “stay strong and be your own person.” stands for, and clearly that message resonated with the people of Wisconsin,” Colburn said. Koschnick campaigned as the “judicial conservative” candidate in opposition to Abrahamson’s “judicial activism,” but his funds remained signiﬁcantly lower than Abrahamson’s, and he could not attract enough undecided voters through grassroots efforts to unseat the court’s chief justice. “I knew when I entered the race that I would be an underdog. However, I felt it was important for the voters to have a choice, to understand the signiﬁcant role of the Court as well as the contrast of our different philosophies,” Koschnick said in a statement, after congratulating Abrahamson for her victory. ing and positive, rather than hits at Mistele. Her Web site though, was harsher, and featured Mistele enthusiast Dave Blaska’s words of, “She is, like my Sarah Palin, a force of nature.” Falk’s campaign used this to their advantage, saying, “Finally, something Dave Blaska and the rest of us can agree on: Nancy Mistele is Dane County’s Sarah Palin.” Falk told the Wisconsin State Journal, “I’m really energized to continue to move us forward on good jobs, and clean energy and clean lakes and to reduce the public safety problems from the misuse of alcohol.”
Today on the web8 www.dailycardinal.com/news Noam Chomsky visits Madison Controversial political activist discusses U.S. involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conﬂict. Health-care summit held in Madison Congessional and business leaders meet to offer bipartisan solutions to the nation’s health-care crisis. UW-Madison School of Journalism to honor four alumni Four UW-Madison alumni will win awards for their achievements in journalism and mass communication.
4 Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Ariel prepares for Passover while abroad This past columnist takes time to reﬂect on a past Passover cooking disaster at home while in London
Tropical Glazed Ham
ARIEL KRAUT sweet-n-sour kraut assover is a weird holiday to me. In theory, it’s great—Jews getting together and commemorating our freedom from bondage in Egypt. We drink at least four glasses of wine, watch “The Ten Commandments” on NBC, sing—sometimes poorly—and celebrate with our closest friends and family. However, in practice, it’s also kind of tough. After enjoying two fantastic food-filled Seders—ceremonial meals—you’re still left with over a week of forgoing all leavened bread, wheat, rice, corn, corn syrup and legumes. It’s difficult to define a legume precisely, but the category basically consists of most beans, peas, peanuts, soy, lentils and the like. In addition, you have to rid your house physically and monetarily of the prohibited foodstuffs.
Yes, it’s a lot of work and dedication—a sort of forced Atkins diet, if you will—without Pokey Stix, but we enjoy matzah pizza for late-night cravings. Luckily, Manischewitz is our savior. This company, and other similar brands, has conjured up an expansive array of substitute ingredients to observe a kosher Passover without questioning your continued existence. Salvation comes in the form of matzah baking flour, ketchup without corn syrup and even different mixes for sub-par cakes that you eat only when you get really desperate for something sweet. Maybe the cakes aren’t that bad. So one day, my friend Amy and I decided to throw a little Pesach party and cook for all our friends. A quick note: aside from being alimentary hell, Passover is also a time when everyone decides to flex their culinary skills, get really creative and throw eating parties for no reason. Most of our intended dinner guests were busy with other
Glaze ham Remove ham from oven. Maintain oven temperature. Using pastry brush, dab all of glaze over ham, being careful not to dislodge crisp diamonds of fat and rind. Return ham to oven. Roast until ham is heated through and glaze is brown, about 35 minutes. Transfer ham to platter; let stand 15 minutes. Spoon chutney into bowl. Slice ham and serve with chutney.
Red Wine Mushroom Ragoût
Roast ham Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Using sharp knife, cut parallel lines 1 inch apart in fat layer and rind on ham. Cut more lines in crosswise direction, making diamond pattern. Stick 1 whole clove into center of each diamond. Place rack in roasting pan. Place ham on rack. Roast ham 2 hours. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Continue to roast ham until golden, about 1 hour.
Make glaze Meanwhile, combine mango nectar and next 6 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Cook until glaze thickens and coats spoon, stirring often, about 14 minutes; set glaze aside.
Courtesy of Bon Appetit 1/4 cup vegetable oil 5 pounds meaty beef neck bones, cut into 2-inch pieces 1 pound onions, sliced 7 cups water 2 750-ml bottles dry red wine 1 large plum tomato, chopped 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 cup unsalted pareve margarine 1 cup chopped shallots 1 large fresh rosemary sprigs 3 lbs mushrooms, thickly sliced Heat oil in large pot over high heat. Add bones and onions and cook until brown, turning mixture over and scraping bottom of pot frequently, about 25 minutes. Add 1 cup water and boil until reduced to glaze, scraping bottom frequently, about 8 minutes. Add remaining 6 cups water, wine, tomato and cloves. Bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer 4 hours. Strain stock into bowl, pressing on solids. Chill at least 1 hour. Can be made 4 days ahead. Remove fat from surface of stock. Boil stock in medium saucepan until reduced to 2 cups, about 30 minutes. Melt margarine in heavy 14inch skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. Add chopped shallots and rosemary and sauté 2 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until juices are released, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add stock and boil until sauce coats spoon lightly, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made 3 days ahead. Refrigerate. Rewarm ragoût over low heat. Add degreased pan juices from roast if desired.
Caissa celebrates Easter Sunday and its partner: an enormous ham dinner By Caissa Casarez THE DAILY CARDINAL
Easter is an entirely unique holiday. Unique is good, especially when talking about holidays. Easter doesn’t promise the gifts that Christmas brings or the visions of walking romantically down snow-dusted sidewalks that Valentine’s Day entertains. Most people think of Thanksgiving as the go-to holiday for eating until your “fat pants” don’t fit anymore. Easter’s binge potential is underestimated. Easter Sunday is usually associated with a ham dinner and all the fixin’s. My family managed to suppress the all-out bingeing Easter celebration until about seven years ago. My immediate family wasn’t too religious when I was growing up. My sister and I usually attended church with my aunt. My parents and two youngest siblings just joined us whenever we had performances or parties, but that was it. We stopped going to church for awhile after my aunt and parents had an argument that caused them to temporarily part ways. When I was in seventh grade, however, my mom wanted to go to church. So she talked with her old pastor and we started going to services again. She wanted to get my siblings and me baptized—all four of us at the same time, which was a pretty epic move in my opinion. Usually, baptisms happen with one or two babies at a time. Easter Sunday of 2002 was different—those in the packed pews of Faith Lutheran Church witnessed a baptism of 12-year-old me alongside my 10year-old, 7-year-old and 5-yearold siblings.
Besides everyone officially welcoming me to the church, the one thing I distinctly remember about that day is the food. Before the actual service on Easter Sunday, my family and I ate to our hearts’ content at our church’s annual potluck breakfast. After the service was over, we snacked on a few pieces of candy from our baskets while watching movies the ‘Easter Bunny’ left us. Finally, to cap off the celebration, we sat down to a hearty, traditional Easter dinner of ham, mashed and sweet potatoes, Jell-O eggs and, my personal favorite, broccoli in cheese sauce. Maybe the mundane campus atmosphere and absence of my mom’s homemade pancakes and sausage is why Easter really isn’t a big deal for me now, even though my mom tries to make up for it by putting on the classic film “Here Comes Peter Cottontail.” Or maybe it’s because this year, my spring break was a month earlier than my siblings’ (theirs begins the Friday before Easter). Either way, I’m excited to go home this weekend for a small break from school, though I’ll be working on a paper. As I’m devouring as many slices of ham, rolls and fuchsia-colored Starburst jelly beans as possible (and bringing the rest back to campus with me), I’ll think about my baptism, as I always do. Whatever you celebrate this weekend, whether at home or on campus, participate in the true coming of spring, and take advantage of the candy sales at the local drugstore. If you have an insatiable hunger for Jell-O eggs and baked ham, or feel nostalgic for Peter Cottontail movies, e-mail Caissa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
laughed Amy. We continued to watch our movie while they consumed this literally raw cake, caused by improperly cooked matzah flour, but we didn’t really have any other options. I was not about to eat raw eggs, because even though Passover is a time for restriction, it is not a time for salmonella. Disgusted, I began to heat the oil for my civilized (and fully cooked) fries. The raw coffee cake indulgence happened almost four years ago. But whenever Passover rolls around and I’m travelling down the kosher aisle, I smile to myself and instantly recall the cake batter oozing out of that tiny pan from all angles. The image of the batter still sends shivers down my spine. But Amy and Steven still ate it and lived to laugh about it. Good times. Ariel is celebrating Passover in London this year, if you’d like to send her some encouragement to keep on fighting the good fight, send her an e-mail at email@example.com.
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1 16-pound bone-in fully cooked whole ham with rind 1/4 cup whole cloves 2 cups mango nectar 1/4 cup apricot preserves 4 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel 1 tablespoon grated lime peel 2 teaspoons ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
I’ll admit, but Amy proceeded to prepare it according to the directions. We sat on the couch, popped in a DVD and waited. So there we were—Amy, Steven and I—hungry, lazy and watching “The Big Lebowski,” such a traditional Jewish pastime. We heard the ding of the oven and Amy jumped up, put her apron back on and went to extract the concoction from the oven like a picturesque ’50s housewife. She brought it in to the living room. We “oohed” and “ahhed,” but then we noticed something strange—is a cake supposed to drip out of the pan? A more thorough investigation revealed that the cake was, in fact, undercooked—way, way undercooked. Like, not cooked at all. “Ew! Amy, throw it out!” I screamed. “Looks fine to me,” Steven said. “No! You can’t eat that!” I shouted. “I’m going to eat it, too,”
Courtesy of Bon Appetit
plans, i.e. earlier and more efficiently planned eating parties, but we found a few to come over and eat whatever we could muster up given our limitations. I brought a two-pound bag of Yukon Gold potatoes and a vat of olive oil, since I had this genius idea to make obscenely large amounts of French fries. Amy’s mom went shopping for the rest. We were stocked. Our friend Steven arrived first. It was about 3 p.m.—not exactly dinnertime—and we had some time to kill until the others arrived. We shot the breeze for a while, talked about the holiday and then decided we were famished. I could’ve started frying the potatoes, but hand-cut fries take time, and we needed a quicker fix. Rummaging through the pantry, we found an odd item purchased by Amy’s mom. It was labeled as a box of coffee cake mix, including all the ingredients except water and a cake pan. It looked kind of sketchy,
By Jia Luo
Glass Nickel Pizza Co. Madison doesn’t suffer from a shortage of delicious pizza places, and Glass Nickel rates among the best. Trekking to Glass Nickel is not suitable since its nearest locations to campus are on Atwood and past Copps on University, but the environmentally friendly delivery trucks can make you feel at ease. Their trucks run partially on used vegetable oil. The pizza at Glass Nickel is superb if you stick to their many specialty pizzas. Typically a devout meat pizza eater, I seriously cannot get enough of the Fetalicious pizza. Other excellent options include the all-meat pizza (aptly named Cardiac Arrest) and uniformly spicy Border-to-Border. In addition to the tasty pizza, Glass Nickel also has an amazing appetizer called Nickel Nuggets: soft and chewy fried pizza dough topped with Parmesan and parsley for dipping in marinara sauce. Glass Nickel is a wonderful option for your next pizza night in the apartment, or as a suggestion for your next student org kickoff or lunch seminar. Overall 3/4 For more information, check out madisonculinary.blogspot.com.
arts Dissecting the ﬁnales of medical dramas dailycardinal.com/arts
ALI ROTHSCHILD season ﬁn-ali
he series ﬁnale of any longrunning television show is usually cause for lamentation, complete with a montage set to the tune of Green Day’s “Time Of Your Life.” A show can end prematurely, like “Arrested Development,” which is scoring huge DVD sales and will likely rake in big at the box ofﬁce when the movie comes out. Or, a show can end at almost the right time, when the series has shown signs of age but still manages to pull through with a strong last season or a memorable series ﬁnale like “Seinfeld” or “The Sopranos.”
What will be missed even more than “ER” is NBC’s medical comedy, “Scrubs.”
But sometimes a show has lingered on a few seasons too long to warrant such warm feelings. Slowly, the characters are butchered, plotlines become contrived and guest stars are used desperately for ratings boosters. Once the highest-rated show on TV, “ER” had its series
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
ﬁnale last Thursday on NBC. This 15-season drama, set in a Chicago emergency room, premiered in 1994 and was one of the first shows to pave the way for medical dramas, a phenomena responsible for the success of shows like “House” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Considering the highpressure atmosphere of an emergency room buzzing with a team of good-looking doctors, the genre virtually writes itself, and “ER” set the standard. Like many others, I thought “ER” had ended years ago. Apparently not. But the majority of shows continue for too long. If a network has a semi-consistent block of loyal viewers, it’s a better bet than spending money on a brand new, high-risk show. Although “ER” aired for 15 seasons, it never bothered me as much as other shows that overstayed their welcome, such as “7th Heaven.” That stupid show whored itself as long as it could, then had a highly publicized season finale only to be renewed soon after for another season, which attracted about seven viewers total. True, “ER” slipped into the background of NBC Thursday nights. But instead of an irritation, it was comforting knowing that “ER” was still on—a relic from the ﬁnancially stable ’90s that didn’t claim to be more than it was: a straightforward, reliable drama in an age of increasingly
complex television shows. The cast was ever-changing and avoided character contrivances. The “ER” ﬁnale wasn’t spectacular, but it was an appropriate salute, especially for longtime fans. What will be missed even more than “ER” is NBC’s medical comedy, “Scrubs,” which will have its series ﬁnale on May 6. After eight seasons and a network switch, “Scrubs” had its weaker moments toward the end, but will ﬁnish on a high note—the l
writing improved signiﬁcantly once it switched to ABC. “Scrubs” was always a sleeper hit—popular with critics, but not big with viewers until the last few years. As someone who doesn’t have patience for medical dramas, “Scrubs” worked for me because the lighthearted comedy gave way to subtle emotional moments. And who isn’t rooting for J.D. and Elliot to get together once and for all? Does this mean the medical
series is on its way out? “House” and “Grey’s Anatomy” say no, but it cuts out two major players of the genre. “Scrubs” will be greatly missed. “ER” not so much, but as the launchpad of careers like that of George Clooney and some of the most popular shows on TV, it deserves a hearty salute. Do you think “ER” had ofﬁcially overstayed its welcome when John Stamos was hired? E-mail Ali at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Albums of the Week Even though The Daily Cardinal reviews tons of albums each week, there are still many new releases which slip through the cracks. Here are some of the best new albums coming out this week, including our editor’s pick of the week. New Releases The Hold Steady - Positive Rage Rascal Flatts - Unstoppable Arcade Fire - “Miroir Noir” (DVD) Doves - Kingdom Of Rust Pet Shop Boys - Yes Editor’s Pick: Neil Young – Fork in the Road Neil Young represents the ideal rock star and he is still the man: he does whatever he wants. Nearly, 40 years after his initial success, he is just as unpredictable as the day he followed Harvest with Time Fades Away. Now obsessed with the energy crisis and the need to produce energy efﬁcient automobiles (search him on Hufﬁngton Post), he created Fork in the Road after becoming inspired by his own attempt to contribute to this cause with his Lincvolt project. As much an activist as he was in the ’60s and ’70s, Neil Young’s music is guaranteed to entertain whether you’re familiar with his catalog simply because it is so emotionally transparent. So check out Fork in the Road if you’re interested in hearing what Neil Young has been thinking about this past year, and check out his online video for the song “Fork in the Road” to see him rockin’ out on his air guitar and losing it while lip synching to his own track.
Air Moo. February 17th is the 68th aniversary of 1930’s ﬁrst ﬂight by a cow in an airplane. dailycardinal.com/comics
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
By Eric Wigdahl email@example.com
© Puzzles by Pappocom
Angel Hair Pasta
By Todd Stevens firstname.lastname@example.org
Sid and Phil
By Alex Lewein email@example.com
Solution, tips and computer program available at www.sudoku.com.
Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. The Daily Code
a b c d e f g h i
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
“Bmfyjajw! N its’y jajs pstb bmt dtz fwj, dtz ozxy xmtbji zu tzy tk stbmjwj, Qfynst Rfs. ” Quote from Milk From there we move on to more lubricated flack-catchers specificially, bananas. Step one: Peel the banana. Step two: Slip the peel over your Randy Johnson and start pitching.
Today’s Crossword Puzzle
The Graph Giraffe
Evil Bird Answer key available at www.dailycardinal.com
I’VE GOT CONNECTIONS ACROSS 1 “All About Eve” actress 5 Hidden supply 10 “Are you ___?!” 14 Hodgepodge 15 Not terrestrial 16 Czech runner Zatopek 17 “Kon-Tiki” embarkation country 18 Cousin of a dik-dik 19 Historic ship 20 No-goodnik 22 Six, for the big hand 24 Makeshift tables 26 Sculling piece 27 Checkers, compared to chess 30 How some slug it out 35 Crookedly 36 Zodiac dozen 37 Coffeehouse container 38 Fed. procurement overseer 39 Held title to 40 ___ for tat 41 Midback muscle, brieﬂy 42 Moccasin without laces 43 Play boy?
45 How some like to see things 47 Quick on the uptake 48 Humble dwelling 49 Less common 51 Uno, por ejemplo 54 After a while 58 Holder of combs, needles, etc. 59 Marlon Brando’s birthplace 62 Heavenly glow 63 Give some lip to 64 Pat or Richard 65 Fund-raising need 66 The other team 67 Wield, as inﬂuence 68 Princely Italian family DOWN Brewing ingredient Bar with no alcohol Capital of Italy, once Canadian cop Salad ﬁt for a king? Admixture Virginia creepers? Brood creator Contiguous La Motta portrayer Weighty Kuwaiti? Substandard contraction 13 Scold scathingly
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
21 Accepted a gunslinger’s challenge 23 Roles, ﬁguratively 25 Word in a Bugs Bunny catchphrase 27 Bird of prey 28 Ore examination 29 Do axels and lutzes 31 Molding type 32 “___ Frutti” 33 Celestial hunter 34 What a pass provides 36 Dance romantically 39 Simple ratio 42 Whisky concoction 43 Vicinity 44 Slaughter 46 Belief in one God 47 Legendary Bear of Alabama 50 Find loathsome 51 Woodpecker pad 52 Home to ﬁve national parks 53 Erato, for one 55 Twosomes 56 Little terror 57 School since 1701 60 Be sociable 61 What a woodsman wields
By Yosef Lerner firstname.lastname@example.org
By Caitlin Kirihara email@example.com
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
view Cardinal View editorials represent The Daily Cardinal’s organizational opinion. Each editorial is crafted independent of news coverage.
ban on cheap liquor a benefit to downtown
n another effort to combat Madison’s ongoing problem of chronic street alcoholics and alcohol-related crimes, Ald. Michael Schumacher, Dist. 18, proposed a ban that would limit the sale of cheap alcohol. The ban would prohibit the sale of a pint of liquor or fortified wine and less than a sixpack of beer. Schumacher said the ban would limit alcoholics from accumulating enough money through panhandling to purchase alcohol or pressuring others into purchasing the alcohol for them. “This will slow down their potential drinking, or it’s going to make it more difficult,” Schumacher said.
This should not be viewed as a cure to Madison’s alcoholism problems, but as a measure to reduce violence downtown.
For the average Madison resident, this ban would likely cause no change in alcohol consumption. Students and other residents who purchase alcohol are unlikely to buy a single can of beer or minuscule amount of hard alcohol, as those with a home and a steady income will buy in bulk for a cheaper price and store it. However, for the chronic street alcoholics that panhandle and have to save more money,
the ban could potentially disrupt their normal habits of acquiring alcohol, delay binges and in turn limit their overall alcohol consumption.
Reducing the convenience of feeding alcoholism downtown can improve the area.
A ban like this has already succeeded in other communities, according to Katherine Plominski, Madison’s Alcohol Policy Coordinator. “Specifically, reductions were seen in Detox admissions, emergency medical services and police service calls,” she said. With little effect on the average resident and with evidence of success elsewhere, we encourage the Common Council to support and advance this ban into policy. However, this should not be viewed as a cure to Madison’s alcoholism problems, but as a measure to reduce violence and predatory behavior downtown. Reducing the convenience of feeding alcoholism downtown can improve the area, but the Common Council should also advance efforts to treat the actual problem, which is not an availability of cheap alcohol. More support networks and counseling services, especially directed toward detox regulars, can potentially curb the actual alcoholism, whereas this ban will likely just disperse or delay it.
Cross-collaboration is essential for scientists SEAN MCMASTER opinion columnist
cientiﬁc research is the basis of our ever-evolving understanding of the universe. From the search for the Higgs boson particle in physics to the latest advancement in stem-cell research, science logically and progressively reveals the workings that were either never thought to be possible or were otherwise attributed to mythical sources. Since the adoption of the Postulate of Objectivity and standardization of the scientiﬁc method, science and technology have fed off one another much like electric and magnetic ﬁelds feed off one another in an E/M wave. The Postulate of Objectivity is the sole assumption made in science and states that the “universe follows rules that do not change, [allowing us to] learn them.” Therefore, to identify these rules, you must be able to repeat your results; the scientiﬁc method provides a thought process for the elucidation of such rules. If not for advances in the sciences, progression in technology would be mind-numbingly slow. However, science is changing, and it is a necessary change. Now more than ever, collaboration is needed in the sciences. I am not talking about two academics in the same ﬁeld of study working on a common problem; I am referring to the need for cross-ﬁeld collaboration between the biological and physical sciences. Cross-ﬁeld collaboration is required because our problems are becoming increasingly difﬁcult. Developing new fields of study for undergraduates could aid in promoting this muchneeded collaboration. This technique is best exemplified in the establishment of MD/PhD
programs. Such programs were established to remove the disconnect between researchers and physicians and to foster a collaborative atmosphere so that the most fundamental research can be honed to innovative medical technology in a process called translational research.
Cross-field collaboration is required because our problems are becoming increasingly difficult.
In fact, the UW campus has already adapted this mindset. Faculty and students are working to establish a new bioinformatics program with the long-term goal of breaking up the giant “biology” major into more specialized fields, including those that embrace the cross-field approach. A lack of training relatively early in a researcher’s post-secondary education means that needed methods would not come into fruition and pertinent problems would not be solved. Perhaps if Chancellor Martin’s Madison Initiative passes, it will further programs that more effectively prepare researchers of tomorrow for the challenges of today. In doing so, problems focused on improving the world’s standard of life can be addressed. For example, genetic disease and the inheritance of complex traits can now be completed with the sequencing and comparing of numerous genomes using bioinformatics. However, to be fully competent in such a ﬁeld, one must possess an understanding of mathematical methods including a solid foundation in statistics as well as the biological or genetic background which ultimately drives the research and focuses the scientiﬁc question.
The heightening of efficient energy use can be improved through the search for room temperature superconductors, requiring expertise in both chemistry and physics. The harmony of studying electron flow, resistivity and the properties of metals at the atomic level are key to identifying the material which would decrease energy costs almost overnight. Synthetic biology capitalizes on the interdependency of biology, chemistry and engineering to examine problems from a systems approach, making a single complex problem into multiple problems that are easier to solve. On campus, interested undergraduates are currently recieving training in this field early in their collegiate careers. The UW-Madison International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition team take novel and collaborative approaches each year to address problems ranging from regulating the formation of scar tissue after a heart attack through artificially engineered proteins to improving the efficiency of biofuel synthesis through bacterial pathways. Without a proper understanding of each topic or a willingness to collaborate with individuals who possess different skills, researchers will fail in truly addressing the question at hand, or will simply make incorrect inferences. The publication of these incorrect conclusions is the cause of delay and confusion in solving current questions in the sciences. Therefore, modern researchers will only be able to address the challenges of our generation once cross-ﬁeld collaboration and the accompanying new frame of postulating are adopted. Sean McMaster is a junior majoring in biochemistry and mathematics. Please send responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Capitol Neighborhood Inc. can serve as a conduit for change It is easy to criticize an organization, and the ﬂaws of Capitol Neighborhood Inc. are pretty apparent. Sitting through a meeting, the butchered parliamentary procedure is frustrating—the discussions often lack focus and the body is sometimes out of touch with its priorities. Not to mention the fact that members devote hours of discussion to geranium sales and garden walks. At the February 24 meeting, I raised several concerns over the Alcohol Issues Committee description. CNI approved it, even though the majority of members present had voiced concerns over the language and the content. At the next CNI meeting a month later, committee suspended the AIC. In recognizing the weaknesses of the organization, CNI’s strengths are apparent. The individuals who dedicate their time to the activities of the organization are passionate
about helping downtown Madison thrive. Recognizing the potential within CNI, I brought an issue before the Executive Council that has impacted the greater downtown area for quite some time: “Homeless Night.” Although historically a student issue, “Homeless Night” is the period between the end of a lease (typically August 1) and the beginning of a new lease (usually August 15). This day-long transitional period renders students without a home or place to store their belongings.
It is apparent that CNI is willing to collaborate with student entities regarding Madison issues.
In order to identify possible solutions, ASM surveyed 4,000 randomly selected students. Of those who responded, 86.5 percent identified “Homeless Night” as an issue for students and 83 percent wanted their elected student government representatives to work on this issue. Approximately 88 percent of those surveyed said a free parking lot could alleviate the issues associated with “Homeless Night,” especially if it included police surveillance. Utilizing the information gathered from the survey, I presented a tentative plan to CNI, asking for input into the downtown issue. Bob Holloway, the former president of CNI, identified several city parking ramps that students could use at a reduced rate. I have been in discussion with Transportation Services,
the Offices of the Dean of Students, UWPD, ASM and the Chancellor’s Office in an effort to make this initiative a true campus-community collaboration.
In recognizing the weaknesses of the organization, CNI’s strengths become apparent.
This is a dummy pull quote, of Through this initial experience utilizing CNI as a conduit for student-friendly initiatives, it is apparent that CNI is willing to collaborate with student entities regarding Madison issues. However, in order for such cooperation to take place, students must take a proac-
tive approach by introducing potential issues or projects. I encourage you to contact me with ideas or problems you have identified in the downtown area. I have begun to foster a positive working relationship with the downtown neighborhood association as the only student voice currently attending CNI meetings. This is only the beginning. Any downtown resident can run for a position on the Executive Council. The next CNI meeting is April 28 and is open to the public. I encourage students to participate in this organization, as it has potential and just requires some guidance. —Hannah Karns Vice Chair of ASM Political Science
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Wisconsin meets Panthers for two By Joe Skurzewski THE DAILY CARDINAL
As the Wisconsin softball team (1-5 Big Ten, 12-24 overall) practiced Tuesday in preparation for their Wednesday doubleheader, the players carried themselves with a mild sense of urgency. The Badgers dropped a pair of games to conference rival Illinois last weekend, leaving them in a tie for seventh place in the Big Ten. The Badgers will face off against Northern Iowa (8-5 Missouri Valley, 24-13 overall) Wednesday, looking to get back on the winning track. Northern Iowa brings a losing streak of its own into Madison. The Panthers enter Wednesday’s competition on short rest, after
STEPHANIE MOEBIUS/THE DAILY CARDINAL
Sophomore Dana Rasmussen’s playing time is up this season.
playing a doubleheader against the Creighton Bluejays. Northern Iowa struggled against a talented Creighton pitching staff which allowed only one Panther run over two games.
“I don’t really think our opponent matters right now, it’s all about us.” Chandelle Schulte head coach UW softball
Head coach Chandelle Schulte had her team doing various offensive drills Tuesday, many of which fell under their usual practice repertoire. However, the coach made sure to have her players work on different facets of their offensive game in preparation for meeting Northern Iowa’s pitchers. Schulte spent extra effort working with sophomore pitcher Dana Rasmussen on hitting outside pitches. Rasmussen, who has been used largely as a pinch runner this season, saw considerable playing time against Illinois. “Right now it’s kind of a hard thing for me, but I’m working on it,” Rasmussen said. “She hasn’t had as many opportunities, so she’s going to be behind in that respect,” Schulte said. If Wisconsin pitchers want to get the team back on the winning track,
they will have to shut down a trio of Northern Iowa juniors in outﬁelders Megan Machovec and Rachel Gerking, and ﬁrst basemen Jen Larsen, as well as freshman inﬁelder Mackenzie Daigh. The quartet of hitters comprises the heart of the Panther lineup, accounting for 163 of the team’s 300 hits and 88 of the team’s 176 RBIs. But the challenge that Badger hurlers will face Wednesday goes beyond these four players. Northern Iowa has a potent lineup from top to bottom. “There are some deceiving good hitters at the end of the lineup in addition to the start of that lineup, and we’re prepared for everyone and we’re not taking any hitters lightly,” sophomore hurler Kristyn Hansen said. With the potent Panther offense, Schulte said that the Badger lineup must capitalize off of a weak Northern Iowa pitching staff. “For us, it will be about taking care of our opportunities once we get on, and then taking advantage of their pitching,” Schulte said. To come out with a successful result on Wednesday, Wisconsin must improve its offense, which scored two runs in two games last weekend against Illinois. “It’s something that we’ve got to ﬁx,” Schulte said. The Badgers should expect to face Northern Iowa’s Larsen in the circle. The junior leads the team with a 13-6 record and an ERA of 1.77. No member of Northern
ISABEL ALVAREZ/CARDINAL FILE PHOTO
Sophomore Kristyn Hansen knows the Panthers cannot be taken lightly Wednesday. Hansen is 0-1 with a 3.87 ERA this season. Iowa’s pitching staff aside from Larsen has an ERA below 3.00. Amid scouting reports and statistics, Schulte said that the Badgers need to focus on their own game. “I don’t really think our oppo-
nent matters right now,” she said. “It’s all about us.” The Badgers and Panthers will face off at 4 p.m. at the Goodman Softball Complex, with game two slated to start at 6 p.m.
Anticipation, optimism run wild as MLB sets into motion MATT FOX the fox hole
h ere’s something in the air during baseball’s opening week that thoroughly rejuvenates fans. It could be that they sense spring weather quickly approaching (Madison might be exempt from that). Or maybe it’s because even elderly people are suddenly presented with the chance to wear their favorite teams’ jerseys like they did back in the third grade. In my case, it was an excuse for my roommates and me to soak
our apartment in the sweet aroma of delicious hot dogs. But in all seriousness, the beginning of the season provides a miraculous sense of optimism for all those who are emotionally invested in their teams. For a few days, even the lowliest of franchises (I’m looking at you, Nationals) are on the same level as the most highly regarded ones. And why shouldn’t the fans be excited? By far the most appealing part of baseball is the wild unpredictability that shapes every season. This characteristic holds true not just for minor events, but also World Series championships. No team has won consecutive titles
since the Yankees’ three-peat from 1998 to 2000. And it seems that every year, it becomes increasingly difficult for a defending champion to duplicate its previous success. The craziness began in 2001, when the Mariners won 116 games and tied for the highest single-season total of all time. Seattle followed this achievement by barely escaping the first round of the playoffs before losing to the Yankees in just five games. In that same season, the Diamondbacks, who were only in their fourth year of existence as a franchise, beat the three-time defending champion, the Yankees.
There’s been plenty of parody since then. The Angels, Marlins, White Sox, Cardinals and Phillies were far from heavy favorites, but they won the World Series anyway. And let’s face it—before 2004, any Red Sox title would have been deemed a shocker after such a historic tradition of collapses. Even recent losers in the World Series, such as the Rays, Rockies and Tigers have made surprising appearances. And for seven consecutive seasons, at least one Wild Card winner has made it all the way to the World Series. So what accounts for all this randomness? Length of season might be a major factor making the game an endurance contest. It’s highly likely that the injury bug will hit your team at some point. Oftentimes, the healthiest teams enjoy the most success, even if they aren’t necessarily the most talented. Teams tend to gain or lose their magic at crucial times. The 2007 Rockies are an excellent example of this. They made it to the playoffs after winning a wild card tiebreaker, and then used that momentum to win seven straight games and earn a trip to the World Series. Meanwhile, last year’s Cubs followed an excellent regular season with three straight losses to the Dodgers and an abrupt exit from the playoffs. Further parody lies in the psychology of baseball, as a game of streaks and slumps that can strike players at any time. Last year, Indians pitcher Cliff Lee began the season in the minors after his 6.29
ERA in 2007. He ﬁnished the season with a 22-3 record, a 2.54 ERA and an AL Cy Young Award. Former Dodgers outfielder Andruw Jones signed a two-year $36.2 million contract in December 2007 after ten consecutive seasons of more than 80 RBIs and 150-plus games. Last season, Jones hit .158 with 14 RBIs in 75 games. The Dodgers released him in January.
The most appealing part of baseball is the wild unpredictability that takes place every season.
This season, I fully expect the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, Cubs, Angels and Dodgers, teams that continue to spend, to be in serious contention. But, I also think experts should pay closer attention to clubs with less star power, such as the Athletics, Diamondbacks and Twins. These are three wellrun organizations without glaring weaknesses. If they’re able to avoid the injury bug and get hot at the right time, these teams will have a lot of potential come October. Of course, if you’re adhering to my system of unpredictability, the no-brainer pick has to be the Cubs. No World Series victory since 1908? It might ﬁnally be time for the most unlikely event to take place. Think any other sleepers will break through this year? E-mail Matt at email@example.com.
Published on Jun 10, 2010
Falk keeps her title for a fourth term in ofﬁce Chief justice fends off challenger, set for fourth term Maniaci upsets Konkel by 62 votes in...