Bubbler Talk

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Lauren Sigfusson

There are three types of people in this world: Those who notice nothing. Those who notice but don’t care to question. And then there are those who ask why. David Wagner is the last one.

David reached out to Bubbler Talk — our series where you ask, we investigate, and together we unveil the answers — to learn about a road he often passes.

What is Seven Mile Road 7 miles from?

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Maayan Silver

Walk into the public area of Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport, and you’ll see traditional airport sights: monitors for departures, places to grab coffee and food. But you’ll also see a 2,600-square-foot used bookstore, Renaissance Books.

The latest Bubbler Talk — our series that allows you to ask WUWM questions about Milwaukee —  takes us to the bookshop. Question asker Susie Hoglund, of Shorewood:

Jimmy Emerson, DVM/Flickr

When you look at a map of Wisconsin, it’s covered in names that remind us of this country’s original inhabitants. Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Waukesha, Kinnickinnic — all words derived from Native American languages.

Another is Oconomowoc, about 30 miles west of Milwaukee. This week’s Bubbler Talk questioner, Jeff Dittel, moved there about two and a half years ago.

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Chuck Quirmbach

Northridge Mall was one of several large suburban malls built in the 1960s and '70s. It was at the far northwestern edge of Milwaukee — at 76th Street and Brown Deer Road. But the glory days didn’t last. The mall closed 15 years ago and has gone into extended limbo. 

Most of the buildings remain, but they're empty. It's a big-box ghost town with a chain link fence around it.

Beach Trash: Where Lake Michigan’s Litter Originates

Aug 17, 2018
Gabrielle Powell

*Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that 21.8 million pounds of trash end up in Lake Michigan every year. That number is actually the total for all of the Great Lakes. 

Almost every day since last June, Marla Schmidt has walked along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Bay View. But she’s not lounging around enjoying the beach — she’s picking up trash. 

Lauren Sigfusson

A fire truck making its way to a scene, sirens blazing, is a common sight in cities and towns across America. But within the Milwaukee Fire Department (MFD), there's a support staff responsible for maintaining all the equipment firefighters depend on.

For this week's Bubbler Talk — our series that allows you to ask WUWM questions about Milwaukee —questioner Jay Blanchett wanted to know about a special kind of fire truck:

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Tom Lynn/Stringer, Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers' Miller Park has a roof hotline – 414-902-4636 – that tells callers the weather and if the roof is open or closed. That way fans know what to expect when they head to a ball game. But how do the Brewers decide whether the Miller Park roof is open or closed at game time?

That’s a question Bubbler Talk received from listener Lila Johnson.

Lauren Sigfusson

For this week’s Bubbler Talk, we tackled a request from Kathy Yanoff of Shorewood to provide an update on the Brady Street Beasts. The beasts Kathy refers to are actually part of a sculpture featuring fanciful creatures on Milwaukee’s east side, called Cavorting Critters. 

It’s tucked away near the corner of Brady and Holton streets north of downtown, and you can get the best view while walking or driving over the Holton Street Bridge.

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Courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

What was the Eagles Ballroom before it became The Rave? That’s a question we’ve heard a lot at Bubbler Talk and it turns out there are a lot of answers.

The Eagles Club on Wisconsin Avenue was first completed in 1926. It was the headquarters for the Milwaukee Aerie of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles – a national social organization with a rather illustrious history.

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Lauren Sigfusson

If you do much walking through Milwaukee neighborhoods, say in the Historic Third Ward or Bay View, you’ve probably stumbled across vibrant schools of fish painted on the sidewalks.

They're koi, the large decorative fish some people keep in outdoor ponds.

I spotted a few of the paintings on the East Side, where several clusters of koi are depicted in orange, black and white patterns. 

Maayan Silver

This story originally aired September 8, 2017. According to TMJ4, At Random closed on May 19, 2018 and is up for sale.

Pink Squirrel, Grasshopper, Brandy Alexander, Banshee... Is there something uniquely Milwaukee about ice cream cocktails? 

Audrey Nowakowski

If you live, work, or drive through downtown Milwaukee, chances are your route has been interrupted by the sound of a dinging bell and the bellow of a horn as a bridge prepares to allow a boat pass.

After all, Milwaukee is home to 21 movable bridges, which cross the Menomonee, Kinnickinnic, and Milwaukee rivers.

Courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Summer is the favorite time of year for most beach-goers. But Milwaukee once was home to a unique fellow who tanned year-round at the lakefront. Our Bubbler Talk questioner wanted to know: Who was that guy?

Many people who lived in Milwaukee before 2000, like Cynthia Hoffman, know the answer. The man was the late Dick Bacon.

Susan Bence

A Bubbler Talk listener was curious about Milwaukee's breakwater, wondering where the rocks came from, and how they ended up standing in the middle of the harbor. WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence explored the subject for this week's segment.

To kick off our sixth season of Bubbler Talk, Susan turned to Larry Sullivan, chief engineer with Milwaukee’s Port Authority. She asked him about the history of the breakwater structure.

“It was built by the federal government to create a harbor of refuge, for boats to get away from the storm,” Sullivan says.

Chuck Cooper Foundation

When you think of the NBA in Milwaukee - of course, the Milwaukee Bucks come to mind. We’ve got Giannis, Jabari, and a new arena in the works. But what was pro basketball like here before the Bucks?

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