Lake Effect

Illustration by Lauren Marvell / Milwaukee Magazine

Sheepshead – it’s a family gaming tradition that is as uniquely Wisconsin as fried cheese curds and bubblers. This card game is (to simplify it) a trick-based, team-oriented game. Sheepshead is a bit complicated, and the variations are as unique as the different people and families that play it.

Chris Drosner, executive editor of Milwaukee Magazine comes from a sheepshead family and wrote “An Ode to the Game of Sheepshead” for this month’s issue. 

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The holidays are a great time to spend time with friends and family — particularly in Milwaukee where there are many holiday events. And Adam Carr knows all about it.

Carr is the deputy editor for community engagement at the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, which covers the central city, a diverse group of neighborhoods on the near north, west, and south sides of the city. Carr shares some of the many community events happening this month.

Bonnie North

About six years ago, a group of Milwaukee musicians got together to form Panalure. The band is Americana with a touch of blues and Celtic thrown in. Some of the members had played together in different configurations, but the group came together when bassist, Ken Hanson approached frontman Fred Ziegler.

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The holiday season can be a difficult time for people experiencing homelessness. Harsh and frigid weather can mean fewer spaces at local shelters and warming centers, leaving many people vulnerable to the cold.

Winter came early this year in Wisconsin, leading to an influx of people seeking shelter earlier than expected. After state senators failed to pass bills that would provide necessary funding, advocates for Wisconsin’s homeless are concerned about the future of these shelters and warming centers.

Courtesy of Peter Stathas

In just two years, Peter Stathas went from his first dance class to performing with the José Limón Dance Company on Center Stage in New York City. "I was just so in love with learning something like this that it probably didn't occur to me until I got on some bigger stages and realized I was in a different stratosphere now," he explains.

He admits to having a big learning curve initially. "Some of my best performances were in malls, funny places like that because I didn't have the feeling of pressure," he says.

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Over the past few years, the game Dungeons & Dragons has enjoyed a renaissance of popularity. When it was first created in the 1970s, the game was revolutionary. Its publication is even credited with being the beginning of modern role-playing games.

What some may not know is that Dungeons & Dragons has a strong Wisconsin connection. The game was created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in Lake Geneva, Wis., which still has deep ties to the role-playing community.

Audrey Nowakowski

Milwaukee was once called the city that "feeds and supplies the world." It was also known as "the machine shop of the world." Milwaukee began to industrialize around the Civil War, thanks in big part to a canal on the bank of the Milwaukee River to supply hydropower.

"Having hydrofacilities available allowed companies to move in, then use the hydropower as a resource to drive machinery and the like," notes Thomas Fehring, author of The Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee and the Engineers Who Created Them.

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Here at Lake Effect, one of our favorite holiday traditions is our annual Games to Gift list. Complied by our resident games expert Jim Lowder, the list is in its 10th year.

Lowder says there continues to be an oversaturation of games in the market. The influx of new games not only causes shelf shortage in hobby stores, but an attention shortage for players. So no matter how fantastic a game is, "finding a market now is really tough because the competition is very, very rigorous," says Lowder.

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For Lake Effect contributor Art Cyr, Thanksgiving has him thinking about the very first White House proclamation in 1863 that declared Thanksgiving a national holiday:

The iconic PBS program Firing Line with William F. Buckley ran from 1966 to 1999. The show was known as a platform for debate and discussion for everything from politics to philosophical issues with experts. It was the longest running program with a single host in television history. And with over 1,000 programs in the archive at the Hoover Institution, it has quite the legacy.

Bonnie North

Jesse Malin has been playing music professionally since he was 12 years old. His first band, Heart Attack, was hardcore punk and active in the New York scene in the early '80s. He then became the lead vocalist for D Generation, a glam punk band. Since the early 2000s, Malin has been a solo act, although he adds a band when he's on tour.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The impeachment investigation and hearings have dominated headlines (and air time) for weeks. Thursday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the House will be moving forward with articles of impeachment. Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has been at the center of these investigations. 

Courtesy of Greater Equity 2030

Milwaukee nonprofit Greater Together has announced a challenge to Milwaukee's creative industry to hire at least 1,600 minority employees by 2030. The project, called Greater Equity 2030, will be in part led by Ken Hanson, who founded Greater Together to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. 

The initiative will team up with Milwaukee Public Schools to organize summer internship programs for historically underrepresented groups. 

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Leading up to the 2020 election, America’s unusual approach to health care is on full display. The hot-button issue is a consistent talking point for both Democrats and Republicans since it has a huge impact on all American citizens.

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The world seems to be exploding in the last month of 2019. Populism is on the rise, and there are massive protests occurring in Iran, Iraq, Hong Kong, and Chile, to name just a few. And in all of those places, the governments in charge have been ruthless about cracking down on the dissent. Elsewhere, Britain’s Brexit process chugs along and Israel’s prime minister has been indicted.

Lake Effect contributor Art Cyr joins us to help make sense of what’s going on, starting with the likely outcome of the U.K. general elections next week: