Lake Effect

Clare Peterson / Marquette

As President Obama prepares to give the final press conference of his presidency on Wednesday, NPR's Michel Martin is looking towards the next Administration with a wary - but not entirely pessimistic - eye.

"I've just never been a fan of being mad in advance," the weekend host of All Things Considered says, "or being afraid in advance.  I think you give people the benefit of the doubt until they give you a reason to think otherwise."

whim_dachs / Fotolia

When you think of cities that have a parking problem, Milwaukee most-likely doesn't come to mind. For those who live and work in the city, the biggest issue with parking is usually finding a free spot.

But then of course, there’s Summerfest. Or the State Fair. Or the myriad of other events that take place in and around the city. And waiting in line for parking, when all you really want is a corn dog, can be incredibly frustrating.

For thirty-five years, Ed Block taught English at Marquette University. And though he continues at the university as a professor emeritus, his current work is more rooted in the writing world. 

The Milwaukee poet's new collection is called Anno Domini. Like much of Block's work, his new collection explores religious themes and references his Catholic beliefs.

Block believes that many poets - even those who don't ascribe to a particular religion - use spirituality as a source for their writing. 

Loozrboy / Flickr

The proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline project and the protests against it got a lot of international media attention for what its backers said it would do, and what opponents feared it would do.

Christine / Fotolia

Although ballet dancers begin training quite young, their professional lives are often short. Most dancers have moved on to another career by the time they’re in their mid-30s. But when you’ve spent hours a day in class and rehearsal since you were a child, it’s hard to imagine yourself doing something else.

Fortunately for the dancers at the Milwaukee Ballet, they have a resource to help them. The Milwaukee Dancers’ Fund, Inc. exists to help dancers transition from being full-time performers into other careers.

nateemee / Fotolia

As the stock markets opened today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was running at just over 19,885.  If things go especially well today, it could very well finish over the 20,000 mark for the first time in history. 

This may seem monumental, but award-winning Washington Post financial columnist and Marketplace Morning Report contributor Allan Sloan says not to get too excited.

T. Krueger / WPR

Last week, Milwaukee was one of four cities nationwide that participated in NPR's A Nation Engaged project.  The idea behind the project was to gather together citizens to ask them what they wanted the incoming Presidential administration to know about their towns and cities.

Milwaukee’s event was moderated by NPR’s National Political Correspondent Don Gonyea, who stressed the importance of events that bring reporters into the field, particularly in swing states like Wisconsin. 

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

One of the concerns on many people’s minds is what will happen to the Affordable Care Act. Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank is one of them:

As plans to repeal and replace Obamacare pick up steam, historically minded Republicans are thinking about the bloody shirt - no, not a medical bloody shirt, but a political one. For decades after the Civil War, the Republican Party used "waiving the bloody shirt" as a sure-fire device for winning presidential elections.

Rachel Morello

The term project-based learning is a buzzword in education these days. Teachers are constantly looking for ways to make learning more fun and engaging, through hands-on experiences that show students how to apply academic concepts in real-world situations.

A pair of science and technology teachers at South Milwaukee High School have found a way to do just that. They’ve started a “Fab Lab,” or “Fabrication Lab” on their campus. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a place where students create with their hands.

Earlier this week, Milwaukee Magazine and Lake Effect kicked off a new, monthly live conversation series. This month’s MilMag Live! event focused on two topics. The first of those was the influence of insiders and outsiders in shaping Milwaukee.

The discussion was led by Lake Effect's Mitch Teich and Carole Nicksin from Milwaukee Magazine. One of the areas of richest discussion was what brings people to Milwaukee, and what drives them away. 

The panel included: 

Much of writer Emily Fridlund’s new novel, A History of Wolves, plays out in a remote part of a lonely town in northern Minnesota. But anyone who reads it could probably substitute the north woods of Wisconsin as an appropriate image.

Check cashing stores and payday loan centers have a checkered reputation, to put it mildly. Critics say their high interest rates and fees take advantage of people who are already financially disadvantaged. But the truth is, these alternative financial systems are proliferating in Wisconsin and around the country.

Writer Lisa Servon wondered why. Servon is a professor of city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania and her new book is called The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives.

lalaland.movie / © 2016 Summit Entertainment, LLC

La La Land made Golden Globe history this past weekend – winning 7 awards, including best Musical or Comedy Motion Picture, best actor and actress and musical score. But, whether it will continue its success at the Oscars remains to be seen.

Paying homage to MGM’s golden age of movie musicals, classics such as Singing In the Rain, Funny Face and An American in Paris are just a few of La La Land's inspirations. There’s singing, dancing, piano playing, painted sets and a star-studded cast.

Maayan Silver

From the outside, it appears as though not much is going at the Milwaukee Mall. But inside, local entrepreneurs are running businesses, and running them without a lot of outside support. Located on the triangular intersection of Fond du Lac and North Avenue, the building was originally a Sears, Roebuck & Company store, built in 1927. Local newspapers at the time reported that it brought hundreds of jobs into the area.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Habitat for Humanity is known for partnering with Milwaukee families to build or improve the places they call home. A few years ago, volunteers created a program to help fund those homes - a deconstruction crew.

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