Lake Effect

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As gyms reopen, members are weighing the risk of working out in common areas again. While coronavirus safety policies can vary gym to gym, the Wisconsin statewide mask mandate requires that everyone 5 and up wears a mask indoors — even while working out.

Courtesy of Ozaukee Youth United

After the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in May, there's been an emergence of local activist groups in and around Milwaukee.

They’re working toward raising awareness around racism and fighting for racial equity. One of those groups is Ozaukee Youth United. This group was founded by Natalie Peters and Nathan Baker, both soon-to-be seniors at Grafton High School. It was created to be a bullhorn for student activists for all different issues. 

Essay: My Face, My Beautiful Face

Aug 4, 2020
rocketclips /

Our parents pass many things on to us. Our looks, our habits and sometimes our outlook on life. Lake Effect essayist Jan Wilberg learned some tough lessons from her mother on mental illness, aging and acceptance. 

Jan Wilberg is a writer and community activist living in Milwaukee. Her daily blog, Red’s Wrap, deals with politics, feminism, disability, and dogs. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, and several anthologies.

Here’s her essay "My Face, My Beautiful Face":

Maayan Silver

Updated at 2 p.m. CT

Wisconsin is a pivotal battleground state in the 2020 race for the White House. In addition to voting for president, Wisconsinites will be electing key state positions — all during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chuck Quirmbach

Thirty years ago this summer, the landscape slowly started to change for people with disabilities in the U.S. The change in 1990 came through the passage of major legislation known as The Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in four adults in this country has some type of disability. Those include people with vision or hearing impairment, loss of movement, mental health concerns, speech and memory loss. 

Lauren Sigfusson

Every month, Adam Carr from the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service joins Lake Effect to talk about some of the community events happening in Milwaukee. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the list has included things like virtual museum exhibits and Zoom events. Now, it includes some socially distanced, in-person things to experience.

1. Alice's Garden artisan and farmers markets 

Liz Brodek / East Side Business Improvement District

As restaurants and businesses in Milwaukee enforce capacity limits, many are using their outdoor spaces. But what if a business is on a busy street with few options for sending patrons outside?

Barbara Miner

Milwaukee’s empty storefronts and alleys have become a lot more colorful since the protests over police brutality began. Artists have been putting up murals all around the city. The work is a tangible expression of the energy behind these demonstrations.

But as essayist Barbara Miner found out, you might miss them if you’re not looking in the right places. She talks about her own discoveries in her essay Milwaukee’s Alleys: A Hidden Treasure.

burdun /

Ladarius Marshall was just 16-years-old when he was accused of murder. Despite little evidence, Marshall was sentenced in May of 2010 to 20 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision. 

B~Free & Quinten Farr, The Beat Index, Abby Jeanne, Space Raft

Although most live shows have been put on hold by the pandemic, Milwaukee bands are continuing 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. 

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Restaurants have had the go-ahead from the city of Milwaukee to open dine-in services and operate with safety and capacity limits for over a month, but many are still struggling. Some decide to close temporarily if any coronavirus cases arise amongst workers, but there’s actually no strict protocols to follow.

As restaurants research and adapt best new operation practices largely on their own, culinary historian and contributor Kyle Cherek says this lack of top-down instruction has caused a significant drop in public trust. 

Courtesy of Beny Perez-Reyes

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed each July since 2008. Formally known as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, it honors the late American author, journalist and teacher Bebe Moore Campbell. Her work centered on bringing awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face regarding mental illness in the United States.

Courtesy of the H.H. Bennett Studio and Museum

What comes to mind when you think of the Wisconsin Dells? Among the water parks and the pancakes at the Paul Bunyan restaurant, you may think of the Dells’ unique landscape with narrow gorges defined by steep, sandstone bluffs.

Before the Dells became a tourist destination, it was known as Kilbourn City. But H.H. Bennett opened a photography studio there in 1865, and soon his landscape photography of the area helped make it into a top tourist destination.

How Ralph Kauten Leans Into Life Sciences Market Trends

Jul 28, 2020
Courtesy of Ralph Kauten

Ralph Kauten is a true serial entrepreneur. He co-founded two life sciences companies that sold for a combined $200-plus million and was involved very early in three more. The biggest of those, Promega, has about $450 million of revenue and operations around the world.

Maayan Silver

The Democratic National Convention is three weeks away. A lot has changed since we first learned Milwaukee would be the host city. The coronavirus pandemic forced much of the convention to go virtual. All of the large events have been canceled and delegates have been told to stay home.

What convention week in Milwaukee will really look like remains to be seen. But what we do know is that conventions are a significant part of the election process.