Bubbler Talk

Bubbler Talk answers your questions about things you’ve always wondered about in the Milwaukee area.

While we are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Bubbler Talk is going to focus on just that — YOUR questions about COVID-19 and how it is impacting southeastern Wisconsin.

Submit your question below, and we will do our best to answer.
 

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Audrey Nowakowski / WUWM

Under Wisconsin’s safer-at-home order, outdoor activity is considered essential — and our state park system is here to help us stay active. For this week's Bubbler Talk, Mike from Wauwatosa was curious about what restrictions are in place for hiking in Wisconsin's state parks to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

Michelle Maternowski / WUWM

For this week's Bubbler Talk, we answer a question from a mom of two teen kids. She wanted to know if she could send her kids to their friends’ houses, including for sleepovers. Her take was no, but friends and family members thought it could be fine.

So did her kids, although to them she may have sounded like a character from the Peanuts comic strip.

The mom asked us to investigate. Turns out, she was right.

Chuck Quirmbach

For the latest Bubbler Talk, we respond to a listener question about the city of Milwaukee's plans in the event of a widespread, local outbreak of COVID-19. That's the disease caused by the coronavirus, which has now killed more than a dozen people in the U.S. and more than 3,000 worldwide.

The Bath Tiles Of Milwaukee's History

Feb 28, 2020
Milwaukee Athletic Club

A listener wondered if it was true that there were underground baths in Milwaukee where powerful men once met in secret to do powerful things.

To answer this Bubbler Talk question, Bonnie North met up with OnMilwaukee’s Bobby Tanzilo, who tends to know this stuff, and Eric Nordeen, of the Wells Building, to find out.

Michelle Maternowski

You’ve probably driven by The Domes many times and even visited them. Whether you love them or hate them, their future’s been hotly debated — should Milwaukee County restore or destroy them? To have a better understanding of their future, let’s take a look at their past.

Pat Faherty is fond of The Domes, officially called The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, but has one lingering question. So, Pat and reached out to Bubbler Talk:

Lauren Sigfusson

Heading into the library is a dazzling form of adventure. And with nearly 6 million books in circulation in the Milwaukee County Federated Library System, there are a lot of places to go and people to read about. 

For your browsing pleasure, our latest Bubbler Talk aims to find out the most sought-after books in the Milwaukee area. 

Steve Weinstein, our questioner, wonders: 

"What is the most checked out item from the Milwaukee Federated Library system? ... 

Chuck Quirmbach

On Tuesday night, the Waukesha Common Council may decide whether to OK tearing down a key part of the last intact resort from Waukesha’s springs era. It’s a controversial proposal. But before we get into that, let's share the story of how Waukesha became known as a 'Spring City.'

READ: Former Hotel From Waukesha's Springs Era Survives Demolition Request

WisDOT Traffic Camera

When you’re driving to work, there’s nothing worse than seeing a traffic sign that shows delays ahead. But if you’re like firefighter Drew Schuster, there's one thing you look forward to seeing: the witty safety messages.

"I travel to and from Mequon and Germantown, probably at least five or six times a week, to Milwaukee, so I passed by the signs all the time. Every week there's something new," he explains.

Olivia Richardson

Larissa Sevick was driving when she noticed that a lot of houses in certain Milwaukee neighborhoods have a flight of stairs leading up to the front entrance. Instead of being at street level, the houses are on hills. Why? That's what we explore in our latest Bubbler Talk.

The subject also intrigues Jonathan Bohrer — he even created a history podcast episode on the homes that caught Larissa's attention. Jonathan is a UWM master's degree candidate in public history and gives tours of the historic Brady Street neighborhood.

Emily Files

Have you ever noticed a place name on your Google Maps or GPS, and thought, "I wonder what that is?"

That's what happened to South Milwaukee resident Mary Holtz, when she was driving near Bay View.  

"My husband and I were interested in something we spotted on our navigation screen called the Town of Lake," Holtz told WUWM’s Bubbler Talk. "We were curious about its history. Does it actually exist anywhere other than this digital navigation? What happened to it? Where'd it come from? Where'd it go?"

Courtesy of TJ Meyers-Jansky

Every summer on Father’s Day weekend, a huge festival used to take place in West Allis. It was called “West Allis Western Days.” It started in 1964 and saw its heyday in the '80s and '90s. Its signature event was an elaborate parade that included up to 500 horses and dozens of marching bands.

And then one day, it just ended.

Phil Reimer grew up going. He still wonders what happened to the festival, so he reached out to Bubbler Talk to find out.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM/Flickr

When you look at a map of Wisconsin, it’s covered in names that remind us of this country’s original inhabitants. Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Waukesha, Kinnickinnic — all words derived from Native American languages.

Another is Oconomowoc, about 30 miles west of Milwaukee. This week’s Bubbler Talk questioner, Jeff Dittel, moved there about two and a half years ago.

OZAUKEE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY/THE KUBALA WASHATKO ARCHITECTS

Wisconsin has a nickname. You've seen it on license plates: America's Dairyland. And in Milwaukee, you may have heard this moniker: Cream City.

It intrigues Bubbler Talk listener Anne Bromfield, who asked: "Why was Milwaukee once referred to as Cream City?" The answer might surprise you. It has nothing to do with the dairy industry.

seven-mile-road-wisconsin-racine-bubbler-talk-milwaukee
Lauren Sigfusson

There are three types of people in this world: Those who notice nothing. Those who notice but don’t care to question. And then there are those who ask why. David Wagner is the last one.

David reached out to Bubbler Talk — our series where you ask, we investigate, and together we unveil the answers — to learn about a road he often passes.

What is Seven Mile Road 7 miles from?

Audrey Nowakowski

Milwaukee is known for a lot of architectural gems — cream city brick, the Calatrava, Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes, and on a smaller scale, its bungalows. This style of house can be found all over the Milwaukee area and typically have one, or more, classic stained glass window incorporated into its design.

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