Lake Effect

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The last time wine contributor Ray Fister joined Lake Effect's Bonnie North, he talked about the impact that a historically bad wildfire season in California was having on the wine grape industry.

It’s been several months since those fires, and Fister says, "It's amazing how things have come back" in the Napa and Sonoma regions.

Lacy Landre

Milwaukee history is inextricably linked to immigration, from the first German, French, and English immigrants who shaped the city’s founding, to Polish and Irish immigrants that helped build it into an industrial powerhouse, to the Latino immigrants that have redefined the near south side.

Thursday on Lake Effect:

We listen back to a 2002 interview with Milwaukee civil rights pioneer Vel Phillips, who died this week.  Plus, historian John Gurda helps us look back at the heyday of Boston Store and its place in Milwaukee history.  Writer Barbara Miner examines the face of immigration in Milwaukee today.  And wine contributor Ray Fister updates us on how the industry is doing since last year's devastating California wildfires.

Guests:

Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts And Letters

Humans have visually oriented brains. Our vision evolved to help us survive predators and also helped us capture our dinner. As Shiela Reaves says, our vision evolved to help us defeat camouflage.

Reaves is a professor of Life Sciences at UW-Madison, and a member of the UW McPherson Eye Research Institute.

But today there is a different stress on our vision. We are bombarded by images. Some of us look at computer screens all day, absorbing the pictures Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other apps offer us. We watch many hours of television.

NPR photo

Longtime NPR newscaster and Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me sidekick Carl Kasell died this week of complications from Alzheimer's disease.  He was 84 years old.  On today's show, we revisit our 2012 interview with him, recorded while he was in town recording an episode of the comedy quiz show.

kjekol / Fotolia

A series in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other USA Today Network newspapers around Wisconsin is looking at the impact of mental health issues on kids and teens in the state. 

The series, titled Kids in Crisis - and its accompanying podcast, This Is Normal, features personal stories from young people who have gone through significant emotional challenges.

Ex Fabula: Family Matters

Apr 14, 2018
Art Montes

Ex Fabula held the last StorySlam of the season - Last Straw - last Tuesday. Thanks to everyone who came out.

This past Thursday Ex Fabula had the pleasure of joining forces with UW-Waukesha for a Storytelling Workshop inspired by the themes in The Round House by Louise Erdich. With family being the heart of Erdich’s novel, family became the theme of the workshop as well, and this week we’ll be sharing some family stories from our own archives.

Wauwatosa writer Tom Matthews was inspired by a dream to write his latest novel, Raising the Dad. When Matthews was 10-years-old, his father died. Years later, he had a dream where a close family friend told him his father was still alive, but due to the massive trauma, his father's personality had changed. The book explores how the protagonist and other family members process that development.

Bonnie North

Milwaukee band Various Small Fires performed in, and outside of, our studio recently. This is their original tune Shine:

The band plays a full set at The Up and Under Pub Saturday night during the Battle of the Bands competition. The award is a place on the 2018 Summerfest lineup.

Bonnie North

A pipe organ in full throttle can literally rumble the floor beneath your feet. The sounds they make - sometimes grand, sometime soft and intimate - all depend on the combination of stops, keyboards, and foot pedals the performer uses.

How would you react if a member of your family suddenly died, and then you realized they didn’t?

That’s the conundrum faced by members of the family at the heart of Wisconsin writer Rebecca L. Brown’s new novel, Flying At Night. The book tells the story of a Madison woman named Piper; her son, Fred; and her very difficult father, Lance.

Brown joins Lake Effect's Mitch Teich to talk about her new novel, ahead of an event at Boswell Book Company.

Win McNamee / Getty Images

The latest in a seemingly endless series of political earthquakes shook the country Wednesday, when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin announced he will not seek re-election. There had long been rumors that he would retire in the next year or so, but Ryan’s announcement stunned both Republicans and Democrats.

The decision comes during a difficult period for Republican officeholders, as Democrats have won special elections and statewide races for seats that had previously been seen as safely in the hands of the GOP.

Jeff Zmania Photo, Twitter

Danceworks’ spring performance, Secrets From the Wide Sky, takes flight Friday evening at the Danceworks Studio Theatre on Water Street. The show is a mix of original choreography, music, and the shared secrets of its performers.

Danceworks’ Artistic Director Dani Kuepper explains more about the show, which originated with company founder Sarah Wilbur’s idea of a wide sky performance:

Michael Brosilow

Wisconsin native Thornton Wilder's Our Town is an iconic and Pulitzer-prize winning piece of American theatre. In the 80 years since it was first produced, there have been innumerable productions from grade school to Broadway.

Max Eicke / Facebook/Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell

At first blush, the overlap between European Jewish musical forms and African-American spirituals may seem unclear. But singer Anthony Russell says the connection is not only deeply rooted in the histories of these two peoples, but in the history of American pop music.

Russell, who trained as an opera singer, is African-American and Jewish - a conversion prompted by both his love of Jewish culture and his husband, who happens to be a rabbi. 

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