Lake Effect

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The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust many of us into isolation — both physically and in some cases socially. While this isolation can feel disheartening, for most of us it will be temporary. But that’s not the case for people with dementia.

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The Second Annual Minority Health Film Festival kicks off in Milwaukee Thursday through Sept. 24. Fifty films, events and discussions will highlight how relationships, communities and institutions impact the health of marginalized groups.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival is virtual, except for some drive-in events.

Aliza Baran / Milwaukee Magazine

The recent protests and demonstrations for racial justice and police accountability are undoubtedly some of the defining moments of this era. For some, this summer was a breaking point. But for others, like Khalil Coleman, it was the next step of a movement that’s been building for years. 

Coleman is a local community activist and protest organizer, whose work has been crucial to demonstrations in Wisconsin. He was profiled in an article for this month’s Milwaukee Magazine, alongside fellow protest leaders Franky Nitty and Vaun Mayes.

Getting wrapped up in a spoken word performance and feeling a part of an artistic experience looks and sounds different since the coronavirus pandemic closed venues. Artists rely on gifting a connection to people in exchange for making a living. Performers have had to adapt to moving their creative endeavors into a digital space. 

Lake Effect recently launched the series Pandemic Performers — where we’re highlighting some of the work coming from Milwaukee artists, performers and venues at a time when many of us are still isolated. 

Alison Becker & Kimmy Gatewood, Tibo Pinsard, Rosella Joseph, Paulina Bugembe

While some larger cinema chains are just starting to open and show films to audiences again, yet another Milwaukee festival moved to a virtual platform this year.

The Milwaukee Short Film Festival usually takes place over two days at the Fox Bay Cinema. But as the coronavirus hit during the festival’s submission period, organizers realized they had to change course.  

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Every month, Adam Carr from the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service joins us to talk about some of the community events happening in Milwaukee. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the list has included a wide array of things - from virtual exhibits to Zoom events, and now some socially distanced, in-person gatherings.

1. Cafe Con Arte at Latino Arts

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Ever since COVID-19 was discovered and started spreading, scientists around the world have not only been trying to learn all about it and treatments for it but also how to quickly develop a vaccine for it.

In this worldwide effort, the company AstraZeneca has now started a large-scale human trial of its coronavirus vaccine in the United States, with hopes to enroll up to thirty thousand adults.

Becky Mortensen

Milwaukee’s history as a manufacturing hub goes hand in hand with a long history of unions. But unions have impacted workspaces that go far beyond manufacturing — and the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted unsustainable practices in the workplace.

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WUWM is partnering with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee PBS and the Milwaukee Public Library on an initiative we call Listen MKE. Its goal: help Milwaukee’s north side residents get the information they want and need. More specifically, we want to better understand what's most important to people who live in these Milwaukee neighborhoods and help fill information gaps.

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Kenosha has been in the national spotlight for less than ideal reasons. After Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a police officer, it became the nation's next rallying location in a summer of protests for racial justice. 

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Child abuse is far too prevalent in Wisconsin and across the country, but it’s not always easy to spot the maltreatment. Ideally, that’s where child-abuse pediatricians come in to help. But what happens when they get it wrong?

Susan Bence

The COVID-19 pandemic caused millions of people to lose their jobs and many are facing economic hardship. For some families, it’s been challenging to access fresh food.

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The Milwaukee Bucks shocked some fans on Aug. 26 when they chose to not take the court for their scheduled playoff game in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake. Blake was left paralyzed after being shot in the back multiple times by Kenosha police Officer Rusten Sheskey.

Nile, Daydream Retrievers, Desi, The Quilz

As we all muddle through the dog days of summer, it can be refreshing to have a good summer playlist. Although most live shows have been put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, Milwaukee musicians continue to make music and, as always, Matt Wild has been listening. Wild is the co-founder of Milwaukee Record, which describes itself as an online source for music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. 

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Over the last week, the national spotlight has been on Kenosha, Wis. Demonstrations began there after Jacob Blake was shot in the back by Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey.

Emily Files / WUWM

The city of Kenosha is in the national spotlight after Jacob Blake was shot seven times by a police officer. Since then, the city has seen nightly protests, buildings set on fire, tear gas and two protesters shot to death. 

How Robert Jordan Went From Truck Driver To Entrepreneur

Aug 28, 2020
Photo courtesy of Robert Jordan

Robert Jordan spent 20 years as a trucker, driving loads of cheese and other dairy products across the country. Over the miles he educated himself by listening to books on tape and spent hours thinking about how to solve some of the problems he encountered on the road.

One of those problems was the enormous cost and environmental damage related to idling, when truckers run their engines all night at truck stops and rest areas to warm or cool their cab while they sleep.

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During his campaign for governor, Tony Evers promised to decrease Wisconsin’s prison population by as much as 50%. But while other governors in the U.S. have issued health-based clemency to prisoners during the COVID-19 pandemic, Evers hasn’t.

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Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, is facing charges for fatally shooting two people and injuring another during protests in Kenosha. Rittenhouse, who's from Illinois, was one of several people openly carrying a weapon as protests in Kenosha over the police shooting of Jacob Blake turned to unrest late Tuesday night.

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For those of us who don’t relish the extreme heat or humidity of summer, fall weather is a welcome reprieve. And the cool air isn't just good for sweaters: it's also great for adding new trees and native grasses to a landscape.

Every month, Lake Effect contributor Melinda Myers gives her expert tips on gardening. This month, she gives her tips and tricks on adding trees and native plants. Myers says one of the most important things to remember is how tall a tree is expected to grow and where it sits in your yard.

Chuck Quirmbach

When George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, people in Wauwatosa focused their attention on a local police officer responsible for killing 3 people on the job. /

If you’re a writer, describing places and people in your life can be important to the context of your stories. But writers also come across the predicament of whether or not to use a person’s real name.

For Lake Effect contributor Joanne Nelson, she hadn’t really thought about asking her family’s permission to use their real names for her memoir. But, she came to realize it wasn’t something she should’ve assumed was alright. Nelson shares this in her essay titled, “Who’s in a Name?”


The primary pieces of the International Space Station (ISS) were delivered over 42 assembly flights more than 20 years ago. Independent elements were constructed around the globe and assembled for the first time in space, starting the groundwork of nearly continuous human presence in space. 

The ISS has grown into an impressive research complex that continues to model not just international cooperation, but research that can help solve problems in space and on Earth.

Courtesy of Hayward Williams

Among the group of artists we’ve had in the Lake Effect Performance Studio, singer-songwriter Hayward Williams has been a consistent local performer. However, this time around we feature Williams in our Pandemic Performers series, where we highlight some of the work coming from Milwaukee artists and performers at a time when many of us are still isolated.

Courtesy of Tom Daykin

After nearly a century in residence, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will be moving. The building, built in 1924, was first created for the Milwaukee Journal which merged with the Milwaukee Sentinel newspaper in 1995. It was sold late last year, and while developers had planned to turn the space into affordable housing alongside student housing, their plans have recently changed.


In normal times, Lake Effect features a variety of in-studio performances from local musicians and artists. But of course, these are not normal times and many artists have been struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. Most live events have been canceled and recording music in isolation presents lots of challenges for Milwaukee musicians like Andii Heath, who performs under the mononym Andii

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Adverse childhood experiences, also known as ACES, are difficult or potentially traumatic experiences that happen before a person turns 18. ACES are based on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study conducted in the mid-1990s. And while there’s no perfect definition for what qualifies them, they have been shown to have a negative impact on mental and physical health in adulthood.

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This year’s Democratic National Convention promised to be an extravaganza here in Milwaukee. Instead, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the convention was almost entirely virtual with speakers joining in from places around the country.

Samer Ghani

As most things in our lives have turned virtual, it turns out tourism can as well. VISIT Milwaukee collaborated with two photographers and videographers to create a series of videos narrated by Milwaukee community members to help people explore the city virtually.

Courtesy of Chris Czubakowski

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has faced backlash for cuts and changes he’s been implementing at the United States Postal Service (USPS). Many of those changes raised questions about the mail-in voting process for the presidential election in November.