Lake Effect

sudok1 / stock.adobe.com

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office expects to break 2019’s fatal overdose rate by nearly 100 deaths if current trends continue.

According to a Sept. 15 tweet, in the span of one week the office investigated: 43 natural deaths, eight homicides, eight probable overdoses, six accidental deaths, five COVID-19 deaths, and two suicides. 

Vine Leaves Press

You may have heard or read Lake Effect contributor Joanne Nelson’s essays before. For her, writing has always been a way to not just escape but process.

Her new memoir, This Is How We Leave, is a collection of essays that span Nelson’s life — from her Milwaukee working-class Catholic school upbringing to building her own family while juggling her difficult past.

Courtesy of Jewish Museum Milwaukee

The past year has been difficult for museums. At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many scrambled to move their work into the digital space. As the pandemic continued, there was the question of how to keep visitors engaged in a nontraditional museum space.

Now, as in-person exhibits begin reopening, there’s a question of how to engage visitors in person and safely.

Marina Zlochin / stock.adobe.com

Masks are a proven and effective tool in fighting the spread of COVID-19, but some people still resist wearing them. Just last week, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers extended the statewide mask mandate until Nov. 21 as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the state.

seventyfour / stock.adobe.com

As we inch closer to the election, the importance of Milwaukee voters is becoming more and more clear. It’s the largest city in Wisconsin and home to a large portion of the state’s minority populations. In 2016, when Hilary Clinton was running against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, she was criticized for not stepping foot in Wisconsin. 

encierro / stock.adobe.com

The Milwaukee area has been blessed with some amazing weather this week. Warm days that turn into cool nights with just a hint of what’s to come. As we celebrate the turning of the seasons, many of us are looking to prepare our lawns and gardens for the cold months ahead.

Every month, gardening expert Melinda Myers shares her tips and tricks on how to make the most of your garden. As the weather begins to chill, she says you can begin to lay the groundwork for winterizing your garden.

Screenshot / Historic Milwaukee, Inc / YouTube

Historic Milwaukee’s Doors Open event is usually one of the most popular fall activities in the city. It allows people to explore sites and buildings normally off limits to the public. But with the coronavirus pandemic, the organization had to go virtual.

Susan Bence

Calls to end systemic racial injustice are reverberating throughout the country. That includes around issues of environmental injustice.

One of the people in the Milwaukee area guiding organizations and corporations along the path is August Ball. She calls herself an inclusive culture coach. She works to help groups fold inclusivity in and push racism out of their operations.

Screenshot / Google Maps

An affordable housing project is breathing new life into a 130-year-old school building in Milwaukee. The city's Department of City Development plans to turn the dilapidated building that used to be the McKinley School into apartments for low-income individuals.

monsitj / stock.adobe.com

John Splude began his career in public accounting, auditing some of the biggest companies in the area. But he stayed involved with his firm’s smaller clients along with the Fortune 50 companies. And he became more and more interested in the operations side of the businesses. 

Pelo Blanco Photo / stock.adobe.com

As the weather shifts to fall, there’s also a shift in the sky. While it’s now technically autumn, the fall sky offers us the best of both summer and winter stargazing.

Lake Effect astronomy contributor Jean Creighton shares how to find the best constellations and planets the fall sky has to offer:

1. Summer Triangle

Essay: Black Women And Size Stigma

Sep 23, 2020
lpictures / stock.adobe.com

Sizeism or size discrimination is the idea that people are prejudged or discriminated against because of their body type or size. Sizeism can cause problems in one’s workplace, social and love life, and can affect health outcomes.

Community activist and essayist Jessica Young touches on the negative consequences of sizeism, especially among women of color, in her essay “Black Women and Size Stigma."

Tuesday marks the end of Jeanette Kowalik’s tenure as Milwaukee’s Commissioner of Health. Kowalik has been on the job for two years. She was hired at a low point in the health department’s history — after news broke that the city’s childhood lead poisoning prevention program had been grossly mismanaged.

celiafoto / stock.adobe.com

There has been an on-going conversation about mental health care in the U.S. After tragedies like the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School, some political actors are quick to blame mental health issues.

Despite these political talking points, public funding for mental health care has plummeted over the past few decades. And the history of mental health care in this country is fraught with mismanagement and abuse, often exacerbated by a lack of funding.

Mark Savage

Crossover vehicles have been steadily growing and taking over the auto market. Starting at just 4% of car sales in 2000, they reached about 40% of sales in 2018.

Mariia Korneeva / stock.adobe.com

In the not-so-distant past, going to conferences was common. Whether for work or a hobby, conferences can give people meaningful experiences.

For Lake Effect contributor Joanne Nelson, writers conferences would energize her and help hone her craft. But she sometimes wonders if her desire to be out exploring instead of at home could lead to unforeseen consequences:

Photo courtesy of "Sisters Rising"

Four out of 5 Native women have experienced violence in their lives. Native women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than all other American women. One out of 3 Native women report having been raped — over 80% of the time, it's by non-Native men.

The terrible fact that attributes to this: people exploit gaps in tribal authority. Native women have no legal protection for domestic violence committed on tribal lands, particularly if it’s done by a non-Native man.

Fizkes / stock.adobe.com

As the pandemic drags on and unemployment remains high, people continue to struggle. That struggle can mean difficult choices on how to spend money — pay the electric bill or buy groceries? For people with young children, buying diapers and sanitary products only further complicates the equation.

The Milwaukee Diaper Mission hopes to become a resource for people so they don’t have to make that difficult decision. The organization provides free, reusable and disposable supplies to Milwaukeeans in need.

Sara Tomilin

As we continue to look for things to do outdoors during the pandemic, one of Milwaukee’s first parks, Forest Home Cemetery, hopes to become a place for safe and socially distant leisure. The idea of going to a cemetery for recreation may seem odd, but in its peak popularity, Forest Home attracted thousands of visitors a day to picnic or walk around the gardens, fountains, and monuments.

Marta Sher / stock.adobe.com

COVID-19 has changed political campaigning. Large rallies meant to drum up support aren’t happening, and the Democratic and Republican National Conventions were mostly virtual events. This means the already cavernous echo chamber of social media has the potential to become even more influential.

LUCI Creative

This month, the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) and Betty Brinn Children’s Museum (BBCM) agreed to co-locate. The new building will be on the northeast corner of Sixth and McKinley streets near the Deer District in downtown Milwaukee. 

Fizkes / stock.adobe.com

The people who work at big businesses and corporate jobs in the greater Milwaukee area are overwhelmingly white. Even before protests over racial inequity and social justice began months ago, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) had set out to increase Black and brown representation at Milwaukee-area corporations.

Conspiracy theorists were once relegated to the fringes of society. But now, the popularity of these theories is rising and the impact could be devastating.

BottlewoodMKE / commons.wikimedia.org

When we hear the word “Holocaust,” we tend to think of Nazi Germany. But a local organization known as, America’s Black Holocaust Museum, invites us to look at that word and concept in a different light. 

Image courtesy of SapSap

The word "sap-sap" literally translated from Laotian means "delicious delicious." SapSap owner Alex Hanesakda strives not only for good taste, but for community outreach as well.

Hanesakda learned the traditions of Lao cooking from his parents, who used food as a way to connect with neighbors when they settled in Burlington, Wis. after fleeing Laos as war refugees.

Courtesy of Disney Enterprises

Last Friday Disney premiered their latest live action remake, Mulan, on their streaming platform Disney+. The 1998 animated film told the story of a heroine who disguises herself as a man to take her ailing father’s place in battle. 

While the animated version came with an array of characters, both human and animal, it’s actually based on a 6th Century poem called “The Ballad of Mulan.” The newest live action remake takes the more serious tone of the ballad and strays away from a shot-by-shot musical replication as Disney’s previous remakes have followed.

COURTESY OF DAVID CROWLEY

This week the U.S. Senate has been negotiating a new stimulus package as the country enters the sixth month of the COVID-19 pandemic. Negotiations have seemingly stalled with Republicans and Democrats at odds on how much money to give to states and municipalities that are struggling to survive during a historic economic downturn.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Today marks 19 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks killed almost three thousand people and injured many more at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

Most of us look back on that day and remember where we were and what we were doing before news of these events would change the course of history.

Lake Effect contributor Bruce Campbell shares his experience of being in the operating room the morning of 9/11 and what has happened in the years that followed:

Courtesy of Ava Rheeve

Back in July, school districts were in the throes of deciding how to safely reopen during a pandemic. The Cedarburg School District was initially not going to require mask-wearing in its buildings. But two high school students put up a fight. 

Kevin J. Miyazaki for Sculpture Milwaukee

At least one Milwaukee attraction never had to close during the coronavirus pandemic. Sculpture Milwaukee is a non-profit organization responsible for filling downtown Milwaukee with outdoor exhibitions. The current works will be on display through winter, spring, summer and fall.

Pages