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One UWM student at the debate last night offers her take on the two candidates.
One UWM student at the debate last night offers her take on the two candidates.

A college student's perspective on last night's Democratic debate

As an informed college student who was picked to attend the Democratic debate held Thursday night at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, I have some thoughts on what was said by both the candidates.

The debate touched on many issues close to my heart, one of which is about universal health care. Bernie Sanders compared America to other countries where healthcare is guaranteed, like the U.K., where the people spend three times less per capita and 50 percent less than in France. I appreciate the comparisons because America has more wealth than these countries. Shouldn’t we be able to have healthcare available for everyone? Should we really have the highest prescription prices in the world, as Sanders pointed out? A whopping 29 million people without coverage is rather staggering.

While Sanders wants to copy other countries, Clinton felt Sanders should solely focus on ours even though their system works better. Although Sanders wants to build healthcare coverage from the bottom up, Clinton just wants to focus on the 10 percent not being covered currently which makes more sense in her eyes. However, if something isn’t working incredibly well, why finish it? Why not create a healthcare plan that’s great than rather than just mediocre?

To get good healthcare, you need a good job. To get a good job, you need a college degree – which costs thousands and thousands of dollars. The ever increasing tuition rate is a problem for many students including myself. Clinton says she has a compact which would give students debt free tuition, which sounds great compared to what we have now. I’m personally $20,000 in the hole currently so this idea sounds pretty good. Her plan would cost 35 billion.

However, Sanders proposed that, since we bailed out Wall Street, they should pay a tax so public colleges and universities are tuition free. "We bailed them out. Now it is their time to help the middle class," he argued. Sanders also mentioned that having a college degree…

Florentine Opera will fill the air with romantic songs on Valentine's Day weekend.
Florentine Opera will fill the air with romantic songs on Valentine's Day weekend. (Photo:

Florentine Opera delivers a Valentine's Day combo of romance and music

It could be candy or flowers or a stuffed bear or a quiet dinner for two or a hot fudge sundae at Kopp's or a movie or walk through Lake Park while holding hands.

But nothing says "I love you" like great romantic music.

And there is going to be nothing like the music from the Florentine Opera to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

There is a temptation to think that Valentine’s Day is the creation of the florist industry, kind of like Best Friend’s Day or My Favorite Teacher Day. But it’s a real holiday with roots stretching back to the Middle Ages.

This Valentine’s weekend is going to feature some of the most romantic songs from the world of opera, light opera and musical theater thanks to the Florentine's "Vienna: City of My Dreams," a romantic revue coming to Vogel Hall in the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Friday, Feb. 12 through Sunday, Feb. 14.

One treat will be the four artists singing the classic "Edelweiss." You can see the four Von Trapp great grandchildren singing it here, but I'd bet the Florentine version will be significantly better. 

Four Florentine Studio Artists will perform: soprano Ariana Douglas, mezzo-soprano Katherine Fill, tenor Thomas Leighton and baritone Leroy Y. Davis. Accompanying them will be pianist Ruben Pilirainen and double bassist Barry Paul Clark.

Another highlight will be the fashions designed by Timothy Westbrook, a former Pfister Hotel Artist in Residence and "Project Runway" contestant now working as a designer in New York.

Information on tickets and showtimes for the event is available here.

Pere Marquette Park is one of the venues participating in Fringe Fest.
Pere Marquette Park is one of the venues participating in Fringe Fest.

Milwaukee Fringe Festival premieres this summer

Milwaukee Fringe Festival, a new, city-wide art festival, is a two-day performance and visual art event celebrating Milwaukee’s arts scene.

The non-profit event is open to emerging and experienced artists and will showcase local theater, music, dance, comedy and visual art. All of the events will be free or at a low cost.

Milwaukee Fringe Fest will take place Saturday, Aug. 27 and Sunday, Aug. 28 at Pere Marquette Park, Marcus Center’s Wilson Theater at Vogal Hall, Todd Wehr Theater and surrounding venues.

In addition, Fringe Fest will feature food trucks and a beer garden provided by Old German Beer Hall.

Milwaukee Fringe Festival is presented by renowned television and film actor Willem Dafoe, John Schneider (Theatre Professor at Marquette University, Theater X), Eric Engelbart (Shepherd Express), Matt Kemple (Milwaukee Comedy Festival), Karen Raymond and Katie Rhyme (MKE Follies) and Brian Rott (Quazimondo Physical Theatre).

Those interested in sharing their work can apply here, beginning Monday, Feb. 15. The submission fee is $15 until March 1 and $20 through March 31.

"Fringe Fest is a collaborative, interactive, inter-generational, multidisciplinary performance exhibition meant to thank the people of Milwaukee for sustaining an environment in which the arts are genuinely valued and great work is possible," says Schneider.

Company Brewing's George Bregar talks beer with Barley's Angels at a recent meeting.
Company Brewing's George Bregar talks beer with Barley's Angels at a recent meeting. (Photo: Matt Janzen, State of Craft Beer)

Local beer collaboration goes beyond just the ingredients and brew day

Barley’s Angels, a Milwaukee women’s craft beer enthusiast group, is going to be collaborating with Company Brewing to bring an exclusive beer that will be sold during Riverwest FemFest 2016.

A tropical porter with toasted coconut is on the schedule for brewing later this week with Barley’s Angels members and Company Brewing’s owner/brewmaster George Bregar working together. To make this, they will use a combination of dark roasted malts with the addition of toasted coconut to play well off the chocolate notes the malts will provide in this beer. An ABV of around 6 percent is expected and the batch size will yield only about five barrels. With this beer being such a small batch, it should spark the interest of many local craft beer lovers who like to get their hands on limited brews.

The idea behind bringing this beer together is a collaborative effort between FemFest founder Olivia Doyle, Bregar and the recipe’s developer Amanda Kindig, a member of Barley’s Angels. A vote was brought to the table in the women’s beer group, and Kindig’s recipe won.

"I've brewed the base porter four times now," Kindig noted. "I have two three gallon kegs to put my finished beers in, so this is my favorite recipe to make since I can have three gallons of plain porter and then add some flavoring additions to the other half of the batch."

Some other ingredients she has added in the past were chipotle peppers, cocoa nibs and orange peel. Kindig has been homebrewing for about two years and has had an affinity for craft beer since college. The inspiration for the addition of the toasted coconut to this porter came from Church Beer Works while visiting in Pittsburgh, where she drank their coconut stout.

Barley’s Angels Milwaukee is part of an international group with more than 80 chapters around the world whose main mission is to bring women together and learn about craft beer. They meet on the first Thursday of each month at various beer related venues around Milwau…