Joy Powers

Lake Effect Producer

Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as a producer for Lake Effect. Before coming to Milwaukee's NPR, she was a director and producer for Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.

Joy grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where she started off her career in radio as an intern at WLKG-fm, The Lake. She has worked as an intern with several companies, including SiriusXm, Fujisankei Communications and the Department of City Planning for the City of New York. At SiriusXM, she was a programming intern and helped launch Studio54 Radio.

She earned a bachelors degree in broadcast journalism from Emerson College, Boston, where she worked with several radio and television stations. She was the public affairs director at WERS-fm, and produced the station’s AP-Award Winning program, You Are Here.

» Twitter: @thejoypowers

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When the Democratic National Convention was first announced, hotels in the area quickly booked up. Between the rooms and the convention hall rentals, hotels in Milwaukee and throughout southeastern Wisconsin were expecting a huge influx of business. But since the DNC has been scaled back, hotels are looking at a much smaller gathering and far fewer guests. 

Daderot / Wikimedia

Late last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court announced its decisions on key cases concerning the power of the state’s executive branch. The rulings effectively limit the power of Wisconsin’s attorney general and overruled several of Gov. Tony Evers' vetoes from the 2019 state budget.

Courtesy of Earnell Lucas

Protesters around the country have been taking to the streets since May to speak out against police brutality. Here in Milwaukee, activists are calling for accountability and police reforms.

Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas has publicly said he supports discussions about reforming police departments. But he’s quick to emphasize that in his opinion, police officers are asked to solve too many of the problems in our community and he takes issue with people faulting police for many of these failures.

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For cultural institutions, like the Milwaukee Art Museum, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly painful. Like other groups, the museum closed its doors back in March and was forced to find alternative ways to engage with the community.

Brigid Globensky, the senior director of education and programs at the museum, says this experience has been a crash course in digitizing their work but one she thinks will ultimately make the museum stronger.

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In another timeline, this would have been the week the Democratic National Convention came to Milwaukee. The event was expected to bring tens of thousands of people to Milwaukee and bring millions in revenue to the area. But then the coronavirus pandemic hit, upending everything.

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The United States surpassed 3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. The number is a dark milestone in the ongoing fight against this disease.

Thursday on Lake Effect

A local respiratory therapist talks about her experiences caring for COVID-19 patients out east. Then, we learn about how the Wisconsin Elections Commission is helping people vote by mail in the November election. We meet two local entrepreneurs who created a market-based solution to extreme poverty with fruit that would have gone to waste. Plus, an essay pays tribute to comedy legends Jerry Stiller and Fred Willard.

Guests:

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Milwaukee is facing a lot of systemic problems. Evictions, unemployment, and segregation, to name just a few. Most of these issues are well-known and despite seemingly well-intentioned efforts, they persist.

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Every month, Adam Carr from the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service joins Lake Effect to talk about some of the exciting events happening in the area. In normal times, these events spanned the city, encouraging people to get out and engage with the community. But of course, the times we’re living in are anything but normal. 

"What’s happening in our community with the pandemic and the protests is kind of constantly evolving. We almost don’t know what’s going to happen from day to day," says Carr. 

Aliza Baran

The Fourth of July is fast approaching. And with COVID-19 infections on the rise once again, many people are looking to their backyards as the best option for celebrating the holiday this year. 

People will be bringing the grills out of the garage and firing them up with hopes of making tasty or at the very least edible treats. To help get us started, Milwaukee Magazine’s Ann Christenson shares some of her grilling tips and tricks.

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When the state of Wisconsin first announced safer-at-home orders in March, it also ordered a temporary ban on evictions and foreclosures. Unlike the coronavirus pandemic, the order was limited to a 60-day-period that ended in May. Now, as COVID-19 infections are spiking, so too are evictions.

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Although most live shows have been put on hold by the pandemic, Milwaukee bands continue to release new songs  — and Matt Wild has listened to most of them. Wild is one of the co-founders of Milwaukee Record, which describes itself as an online source for music, culture, and gentle sarcasm.

Among the many cultural things Milwaukee Record keeps track of is a nearly exhaustive list of new music from local musicians. Wild is the curator of that list and he joins Lake Effect every month to share a sample of what he’s been listening to for our Milwaukee Music Roundup.

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The summer is in full swing and gardens are looking green. But there are always ways to make our flower beds sparkle a bit brighter. 

Every month, Lake Effect contributor Melinda Myers gives her expert tips on gardening. This month, she explains the process of deadheading flowers.

Jamie Taylor / Courtesy of Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project

Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer rose to infamy after human remains were found dismembered and preserved in his Milwaukee apartment. He murdered at least 16 people in Milwaukee. Fourteen were people of color and many of them had been part of the city’s gay community.

A Bubbler Talk listener wanted to know how much harm Jeffrey Dahmer’s crimes caused Milwaukee’s gay community. But to understand Dahmer’s impact, we first need to look at what life was like for LGBTQ Milwaukeeans in the 1980s.

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Despite the pandemic, construction has continued on new projects in the Milwaukee area. Although many of us are more focused on this health crisis, social unrest, and economic turmoil - we’re still experiencing a shortage of affordable housing. That shortage, mixed with the financial burden of housing, adds even more stress to these issues.

Random House / Brown Books for Young Readers / Beacon Press

Right now, many of us are engaging in conversations about race and systemic racism in the United States. In some ways, it’s a conversation our country has been having for generations. But our nation’s legacy of racial injustice is often obscured by the books we read in school. That’s left some people to ask: how can I learn more?

The answer: more books.

Courtesy of Gothic Milwaukee

As businesses continue to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, there are still concerns about how to do it safely. For most places, that means limiting the number of people allowed inside at one time, spacing out tables, and taping down socially distant spots to stand in line. But that can be a bit tricky when your business model depends on going in and out of other businesses, surrounded by a crowd of people. 

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Over the last couple of decades, the gender pay gap has been narrowing nationwide. But it still remains a very real problem. A new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum finds that women make around 85 cents for every dollar that a man makes in Milwaukee County. In Waukesha County, it’s just 76 cents to every dollar made by a man.

Courtesy of Milwaukee Journal

The recent protests in Milwaukee have drawn a lot of comparisons with the Civil Rights protests in the 1960s. Most notably, activists marched for 200 consecutive nights from 1967 to 1968 to protest the city’s fair housing standards.

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Since the pandemic began, many of us have been glued to our couches binge-watching TV. And for fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race it’s been a good time to be stuck at home. The series, which features a cast of drag queens competing for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar,” premiered its 12th season as shutdowns began to sweep through American cities.

Kamil Krzaczynski / Getty Images

Lake Effect's Joy Powers talks with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett about protests, policing, COVID-19 response and the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

We’re only halfway into 2020, and already Milwaukee has faced so many surprising and extraordinary challenges. A global pandemic shut down businesses, kept our communities in isolation, and brought the economy to a screeching halt. 

Joy Powers

The demonstrations erupting in cities around the country have brought thousands of people into the streets. They’re chanting, singing, and shouting in protest of police brutality. And as each word is articulated, they’re spreading minuscule water droplets into the air.

That’s a problem. Our communities are still in the middle of a global coronavirus pandemic, and many people are still being infected. So how can people demonstrate while maintaining their safety?

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Historic Photo Collection / Milwaukee Public Library

Every month, Adam Carr from the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service joins us to talk about some of the community events that generally happen in Milwaukee. But this month, like seemingly every month lately, is different.

Milwaukeeans have been marching and protesting in neighborhoods throughout the city, calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality, among other social reforms. We’re also still in the middle of a global pandemic, which has many people stuck in their homes. 

Joy Powers

Milwaukee is no stranger to civil rights protests. The city’s open housing marches have become the stuff of legend. For 200 consecutive nights, demonstrators marched from Milwaukee’s predominantly black north side to the predominantly white south side. 

Space Raft, Lauryl Sulfate & Her Ladies Of Leisure, Yum Yum Cult, L'Resort

Despite the coronavirus pandemic and the cancellation of most live shows, Milwaukee bands continue to release new songs. And Matt Wild has listened to most of them.

Wild is one of the co-founders of Milwaukee Record, which describes itself as an online source for music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. Among the many cultural things Milwaukee Record keeps track of is a nearly exhaustive list of new music from local musicians.

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Working from home has been met with mixed reviews from people who’ve had to do it during the COVID-19 pandemic. But for most pets, this time has been a bonanza of extra petting, treats, and time with the people they love.

But now that businesses are opening up and people are returning to their places of work, how will these pets respond?

James Steakley / Wikimedia Commons

It finally feels like spring outside, which can only mean one thing: rain. The Milwaukee area has been hit with some torrential downpours, leading to flooded yards and, even worse, flooded basements.

But there are some ways to manage water through gardening. These techniques can improve drainage in your yard and also lead water away from the foundation of your home, keeping your basement dry.

MILWAUKEE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

Late last year, police officers were called to Estabrook Park when gunshots were heard. When they got there, they found a lot more than a few guns. They found Geoffrey Graff, the man who would become infamous for building two bunkers along the Milwaukee River, where he’d lived for 15 years.

Alesandra Tejeda

As many Wisconsinites continue to work from home, the future of office buildings could be very different from how we left them.

Like many of you, the Lake Effect team has been working from home the past few months. And while we sit at our kitchen tables, couches or closets, our office building is relatively dormant, leaving our cubicles and offices empty. While the transition has been difficult for some employees, some people and companies hope to make working from home a permanent solution.

CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES

When the Democratic National Convention (DNC) first announced it would be coming to Milwaukee, there was a lot of hope for what it would bring to the city. Now, the future of the convention is unclear.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made large gatherings risky. And while the Democratic National Committee has pushed the date of the convention to August, it seems almost certain that we’ll still be dealing with this pandemic in some form.

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