Lake Effect

TKWA URBANLAB

Earlier this week, the new owners of the Shops of Grand Avenue unveiled their plan to redesign the space in downtown Milwaukee. Plans include adding office space, a possible grocery store and moving restaurants and food stalls into the first floor. They hope the new plans will revitalize the urban mall, which has faced a laundry list of problems over the last decade.

IMN World

Growing up in Israel, jazz trumpeter Avishai Cohen was surrounded by music.

"My dad was a jazz lover," says Cohen. "We used to listen at home to artists like Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald." But it wasn't just jazz on the airwaves in the household. "He played a lot of radio as well, so a lot of classical music. There was always music...always five different radios [on] in the house, wherever you walked."

Judy Schmidt / Flickr

Explaining complex concepts or theories to a general audience can be tricky. It's a problem many experts face when trying to describe their work. How do you explain it in a way that makes it understandable, without dumbing it down? 

Longtime Lake Effect contributor Jean Creighton is pretty good at doing that when it comes to astronomy. Not only does she help visitors at the Manfred Olson Planetarium, she's also been helping the Lake Effect team understand how the universe works for almost a decade and.

uwimages/Fotolio

Alverno Presents has made a lasting mark on Milwaukee’s performing arts scene. For 57 years, the presenting organization has worked out of the Alverno College campus to bring innovative modern dance companies, world class jazz, and world music to Milwaukee audiences.

James Beard Foundation / Instagram

The James Beard Awards are only a big deal if you’re a chef, or you’d like to be a chef, or you might eat at a restaurant sometime in your life. 

Excerpt: 'Latina Lives in Milwaukee'

Apr 28, 2016
Dennis Jarvis / Flickr

April is National Poetry Month and Lake Effect has been highlight local poets like Carmen Murguia. She shared her story of discovering her sexuality as a Mexican woman in Milwaukee in the book Latina Lives in Milwaukee by Theresa Delgadillo.

Here is an excerpt:

ebru / Flickr

It’s no secret that fast food is probably not the best choice if you’re concerned about fat, salt or the origins of the meat or dairy products. If that weren’t enough, new research shows you may be ingesting more than your recommended daily allowance of hormone disruptors, along with your side of fries.

A new study published by Environmental Health Perspectives found people who frequently eat fast food have nearly 40% more phthalates in their blood than those who eat less or no fast food. So what are phthalates? 

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Primary voters in five more states brought the primary season closer to its conclusion yesterday.  Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are still the most likely nominees of their parties for the presidency. 

The popularity of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump this spring is an indication that retail politics are still important, according to contributor Art Cyr.

Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Cleaning up the Milwaukee River Basin, made up of the Menomonee, Kinnickinnic and Milwaukee Rivers, has become a decades-long endeavor.

Over time crews have removed dams, hauled out contaminated sediment and naturalized some stretches of once concrete-lined waterways.

Volunteers have also played a part. Saturday marked the 21st annual cleanup coordinated by the group Milwaukee Riverkeeper.

Teams slipped on gloves and boots to remove debris by the bagful at sites from Campbellsport south to Cudahy.

It was site captain Mitch Kulis' third cleanup.

JohnPickenPhoto / Flickr

When catastrophes happen, we tend to look at them as stunning events that shock the places they hit and the world at large. Think of the collapse of the housing bubble, or the massive outbreak of Ebola in West African nations. But writer Michele Wucker says that there are far fewer complete surprises that we might think, and in many cases, catastrophe is something that can be foreseen and acted upon before it happens.

Dan Massie

The members of the Scottish indie rock band, Frightened Rabbit, are excited to be returning to Milwaukee this week.  They’ll play the Pabst Theatre on Thursday – one of their favorite places to play. The Milwaukee stop is one of many in a stateside tour supporting their new album, Painting of a Panic Attack.

Wyatt Massey

In a two-part series on the ongoing risk of lead poisoning in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service reports on how diminished federal funding for lead-abatement efforts prompted the City to limit subsidies to six North Side ZIP codes, leaving owners of old homes in other neighborhoods scrambling for help. The series also looks at how Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers responds to elevated blood lead levels in children on the South Side. 

Michelle Maternowski / WUWM

Barre studios and classes have become very popular over the past few years, but the practice itself has been around since 1959.

Professional ballerina Ladi Burke developed the barre method after injuring her back. Still wanting to be active and conditioned, Burke combined her dance exercises with rehabilitative therapy to maintain greater flexibility, balance and strength.

ballabeyla / Fotolia

It’s a rule of thumb around public radio that many of us got into the field so that we wouldn’t have to dress up.  Compared to other professional positions, the number of days in which I come to work wearing a tie is pretty low.

Lake Effect essayist Jonathan West takes a different view of dressing up:

Since you never asked...

Brian Hart/Flickr

Earlier this week, the Public Policy Forum released a report detailing the shrinking numbers in Milwaukee’s teaching workforce. Here’s a refresher: More teachers across Greater Milwaukee are leaving their jobs than ever before. On top of that, fewer students are going into the teaching profession. The next logical question, is why?

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