Lake Effect

Gianofer Fields

Alex Hohlstein is a man of many titles. Husband, father, musician, carpenter, and luthier. That last one is a maker of stringed instruments like lutes, guitars, and mandolins. Hohlstein says he's been playing music a lot longer than he's been making guitars, but was always interested in how the instruments were constructed.

Sarah Kendzior is the kind of journalist people love to hate. She is relentless in her pursuit of the truth, she does not mince words, and she is unafraid of powerful people. She is not in this business to make friends and she’s had the death threats to prove it.

Kendzior is also something of a seer - her essays written for the Al Jazeera English Channel in 2012 and 2013 predicted the rise of Donald Trump and the outcome of the 2016 election before anyone else in the media was taking the campaign seriously.

Image courtesy of Pardeep Singh Kaleka

Aug. 5 marks the six-year anniversary of the Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek. The hate crime left six people dead and four others wounded, and the killer later committed suicide. Among those who died in ambush was the temple’s leader, Satwant Singh Kaleka.

Milwaukee Public Museum Seeks New Home

Aug 2, 2018
Matt Rinka, Rinka Chung Architects

Downtown Milwaukee has been undergoing a building boom in recent years — from completed projects, like the Northwestern Mutual tower and the newly named Fiserv Forum, to current ones, like the BMO Harris tower on Water Street.

The Wisconsin State Fair is in full swing, and horticulturist extraordinaire Melinda Myers spends more time at the Wisconsin-centric celebration than most. The renowned gardener talks with Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich about what kind of gardening questions she expects to hear from this year’s fairgoers:

What’s with this crazy weather?

Ladies Rock Milwaukee Welcomes Rockers Of All Ages

Aug 2, 2018
Ladies Rock MKE Facebook

Is there any teenage rocker who doesn't dream of taking the stage and performing in front of an adoring audience? Even though our youthful dreams of rock 'n' roll stardom may become harder to achieve as we age, they rarely fade from our conscience completely.

Wikimedia Commons

There are songs out there that we think of as "standards." They might have been recorded decades ago, but they still are part of our collective consciousness, whether they show up in the soundtrack of a movie, at a wedding dance or somewhere else.

We might have heard them so many times, in fact, that we've stopped paying attention to the words, almost allowing them to take on the role of aural wallpaper. Lake Effect essayist Meagan Schultz has reclaimed one such standard. 

Diego Brito / Flickr

It’s been more than two decades since the Salvadoran Civil War ended, but the refugees the crisis created are once again in the news.

Since 1990, Salvadorans have been granted Temporary Protected Status in the United States. But earlier this year, the Trump administration stripped them of their protection, ordering nearly 200,000 people to return to El Salvador.

Audrey Nowakowski

Fitness trends come and go. So do so-called boutique fitness studios that specialize in one particular format such as spinning, Pilates, or hot yoga.

Now with 1,000 locations and 700,000 members worldwide, Orangetheory Fitness isn’t exactly the new kid on the block: it's been around for almost a decade. But it's really taken off in the past couple of years.

The last eight years have represented a sea change in the Wisconsin political environment. The election of Scott Walker as governor in 2010 ushered in an era of Republican dominance at many levels, including the 2016 Presidential election. Donald Trump won Wisconsin, a result that surprised many national political observers.

The story of Wisconsin’s transformation is familiar to those who live in the state, but writer Dan Kaufman believes it also holds relevance to the rest of the country.

Lauren Sigfusson

To honor the end of World War I - 100 years ago on Nov. 11 - two Frenchmen are riding a vintage Harley-Davidson across the U.S. The motorcycle recently made a stop at Milwaukee's Harley-Davidson Museum.

“This bike arrived in France in 1918 with an American soldier to liberate France and Europe,” says Christophe de Goulaine, owner of the vintage motorcycle. What, exactly, happened to the bike after it left the American solider is unknown.

Wisconsin High School Summer Baseball Comes To An End

Jul 30, 2018

Although baseball here in Wisconsin starts as soon as the snow melts in the spring, it doesn’t really heat up until summer. For many fans, baseball and summer go hand in hand, and high school baseball has been a summer staple here in Wisconsin for the past 54 years. All that is coming to an end though, as the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletics Association Board of Control voted this spring to end summer baseball and move all teams to spring rather than giving them the choice of seasons.

Ex Fabula: Family Secrets

Jul 28, 2018
Art Montes

Family trees sure can be complicated. From roots that remain unseen to limbs that twist in unexpected ways, it's not uncommon for surprises and secrets to be nesting in those branches, hidden from view. Family secrets can exist in the present or the past, and often range from mysterious and scandalous to embarrassing and upsetting. They are part of the DNA that make up any family's tree – whether they are ever discovered or acknowledged.

Susan Bence

The Urban Ecology Center started humbly with a small team working out of a trailer near a forlorn park above the Milwaukee River. Today the park is flourishing, the river is healthier, and the Urban Ecology Center has grown to three neighborhood-based, ecological-steeped educational centers on Milwaukee’s east, central and south sides.

This week more than 20 people from around the world traveled to Milwaukee for the Urban Ecology Center's first 4-day Intensive to find out what makes the UEC tick.

Milwaukee Comedy Festival

Summer is, of course, festival season in Cream City, and its funniest fest is just around the corner: the Milwaukee Comedy Festival. Now in its 13th year, its unofficial pre-kick-off event has become a tradition of its own. The event, called the Milwaukee Roast, aims to get us all laughing — at ourselves.