Ann-Elise Henzl Reporter Milwaukee Public Radio

Supporters Promote Bus Routes that Take Workers from Central Milwaukee to Suburban Jobs

Hundreds of Milwaukeeans ride the bus every day to jobs in Waukesha County. But the funding that helps pay for the routes will dry up in a couple of years. So leaders are spreading the word about the routes' successes in hopes the service will continue -- and even grow.
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The Affordable Care Act has moved center stage in some political campaigns – including in the presidential race.

The government announced this week that across the country, premiums are expected to rise by around 25 percent for plans on the federal exchanges. The percentage is lower in Wisconsin.

The Affordable Care Act took effect in 2010. The goal was to ensure that all Americans had access to healthcare. Robert Kraig says now it’s time to focus on improving the law. Kraig is executive director of the advocacy group Citizen Action Wisconsin; it supports the program.

Rachel Morello

Fall marks a season of uniquely American traditions – football, hay rides, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Schools often observe of few of the customs.

At the Hmong American Peace Academy, the mission is to immerse kids in both their Hmong and American heritages. This time of year, the school celebrates some American traditions with its annual “Fall Family Festival.”

It’s a Saturday, and about 50 kids are in the cafeteria, circled around a DJ.

“Who knows how to do the Hokey Pokey?” the DJ asks, to squeals and cheers from the crowd around him.  

Michael Fleshman / Creative Commons

If you had to guess, which demographic of American society do you think votes, in the highest numbers?

The answer – in the last two general elections: black women.

Theatre RED /

At a time when only men were allowed to have adventures, some 18th century women had other ideas.

Milwaukee’s Theatre RED produces the world premiere of local playwright Liz Shipe’s Bonny Anne Bonny. It's a female pirate adventure based on real people - Anne Bonny and Mary Read. "It's highly fictionalized...we use the ideas and the spirit of these characters, but we use them to tell this really fun high seas adventure story," explains Shipe.

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.

Niki Johnson

The feminist icon Gloria Steinem was in Milwaukee earlier this month to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the organization Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. Milwaukee artist Niki Johnson was a part of the event, unveiling a new work called, “Hills and Valleys.”

The piece is constructed from signs collected from now-shuttered Planned Parenthood offices around the state, which have been defunded by the current gubernatorial administration. 

Essay: In Praise of Small Towns

Oct 26, 2016
Michael Shake / Fotolia

This campaign season has brought many divisions this country faces to the forefront. But beyond the liberal-conservative, black and white, and male and female divides, essayist J.F. Riordan says there is another division that has become a regular part of life in America:

A writer in a national magazine recently theorized that small town voters who are worried about the deterioration of American culture are “insular”, and unenlightened, stuck in the past, resistant to progress.

Cavan Images / Fotolia

For all the attention scientists and others have paid to climate change, the issue has hardly registered during this year’s Presidential campaign. Even when it has surfaced in American politics, the debate is often not about what to do about it but whether it exists at all.

Doctor Ben Santer is an atmospheric scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and has recently begun traveling to the Juneau Icefield in Alaska to examine, first-hand, the impact of climate change. He says the science is irrefutable – climate change is happening. 

Since You Never Asked: 'Selfie, Schmelfie'

Oct 25, 2016
jamesbin / Fotolia

If you stop by Lake Effect’s website, you can see pictures of each of our contributors.  That includes essayist Jonathan West, who would like to point that he did not take the picture of himself:

Since you never asked…

…I’m not good looking enough to curate a gallery of Jonathan West selfies. Besides, I almost always look like I need a shave, and who really needs to see that?

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Trains rumble through downtown Milwaukee on a daily basis. Each week, up to 14 of them haul crude oil.

While the city has not experienced any accidents with those tankers, there have been disasters elsewhere, both in the U.S. and Canada.

We wondered, is Milwaukee making progress in protecting the area from a potential accident?

Ask Cheryl Nenn of the group Milwaukee Riverkeeper - her answer is an unequivocal no.