Regional News

In the final days before the November election, a letter by President George H.W. Bush was widely circulated on the internet and across the traditional media. It was a letter he wrote to his successor, Bill Clinton, as Clinton prepared to take up residency in the White House. The letter was a lot of things: gracious, thoughtful and for a lot of people, surprising.

NIAID / Wikimedia

You are currently surrounded by microbes. These single-cell organisms are the oldest life forms on earth and are by far the most abundant. And although they can’t be seen with the naked eye, microbes are the force behind all life on earth. 

It’s this hidden world all around us that inspired Animolecules, a sci-dance show conceived and created by Quasimondo Milwaukee Physical Theater and co-directors Jenny Reinke and Brian Rott. 

Michael Brosilow / Milwaukee Rep

For more than four decades, the Milwaukee Rep has presented an annual production of the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol.  For many of those years, the show has moved from the usual Milwaukee Rep stages to the historic Pabst Theater. This year is no exception.

MG / Fotolia

Whether you enjoy holiday traditions, or find them stressful, there’s one thing most people can agree upon this time of the year: we could all use some comic relief. Of course, not everyone has it in them to be a stand-up comedian who talks politics. Some of us would be more comfortable being political comedy writers. It’s to those people whom essayist Joel Habush is speaking:

NASA / mars.nasa.gov

On this day in 1964, the Spacecraft Mariner 4 was launched into its 228 day mission that would bring the spacecraft within about 6,000 miles of Mars. That mission resulted in the first close-up photos of the Red Planet.

In celebration of that historic mission, November 28th is known as Red Planet Day.

"At first, all we wanted to do was learn more about the environment, but now, of course we want to get [to Mars]. We want to send a person there," says astronomy contributor and director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium at UW-Milwaukee, Jean Creighton.

Courtesy of Mark Speltz

There are many images associated with the modern Civil Rights Movement: crowds of people holding signs, policemen attacking children with dogs and fire hoses, or students sitting at lunch counters with jeering crowds behind them.

But nearly all of the photos in popular culture depict incidents that happened in southern states. For many Americans these images form our view of that time period, and frame the fight for civil rights as a largely southern issue.

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Earlier this year, the documentary Gleason made its Milwaukee premiere in a private event. The film tells the heartwrenching story of Steve Gleason, a former NFL player who suffers from ALS.

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In our plugged-in world, we all can forget to take time for face to face conversation. But as our family members age, those conversations about family memories and our shared history become ever more important. Hearing the stories can help us connect with our relatives in a more profound way, and asking the questions can help us understand ourselves better too.

And when it comes time to commemorate the lives of those we’ve lost, those stories become a bridge between the living and the dead.

Mark Makela / Getty Images

Almost three weeks have passed since the Presidential election. News analysts and regular people alike are still trying to assess what transpired on November 8th.

Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says contrary to much public opinion, there was some precedent for the way the electorate swung:

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” The ironic statement is from the durable comic strip “Pogo” by cartoonist Walt Kelly, widely syndicated in newspapers from the late 1940s into the 1970’s.

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Cheese is a part of the Wisconsin table whether it is a holiday celebration or an average weeknight. What is not on the cheese plate as often is a different variety of cheeses such as ones made with goat and cow milk, or 15 year aged cheddar. Food writer and occasional Lake Effect contributor Jeanette Hurt came by the studio to share a bagful of cheese that is a cut or two – or ten – above that Velveeta that’s sitting in the back of your refrigerator with Mitch Teich.:

Once a month, Milwaukee singer-songwriter John Sieger brings friends and fellow musicians into Lake Effect's performance studio to play a song.

For the November special edition of The Monthly Beatdown with John Sieger, the singer-songwriter has a Thanksgiving themed song called "No One to Thanks But Myself." 

John Sieger, and a host of other musicians, with “No One to Thank But Myself,” a Thanksgiving edition of The Monthly Beatdown with John Sieger.

Pen Waggener / Flickr

Cranberries are one of the only truly traditional foods present at the Thanksgiving table. While a full-turkey likely wouldn't have been on the menu at the first Thanksgiving, cranberries were a staple part of early American diets. 

Lake Effect food contributor, Kyle Cherek, says the cranberry is one of the only fruits native to North America. The tiny fruit was originally cultivated by Native American tribes in bogs in the Northeast, but eventually made its way to Wisconsin. 

Michelle Maternowski

Milwaukee has a long brewing tradition and more recently the city has become home to a variety of spirit distilleries. Now a local company is stirring up the beverage market with a new brand of artisanal mixers. 

Mary Pellettieri and Noah Swanson are both experienced hands in the beverage world, and founded Top Note Tonics a couple years ago.

Brett Smith

Telethons. They’re the television equivalent of radio’s venerable pledge drive: kindred spirits, if not bitter rivals in the ongoing quest for money. And while Milwaukee-based band Telethon isn't explicitly asking for funds, they're not opposed to receiving them. 

ra2 studio / Fotolia

There are a variety of treatments for people who suffer from the brain disorder known as OCD, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  Treatments such as cognitive behavior therapy have been effective in helping many patients who deal with the disorder, which can cause severe and often crippling anxiety.

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