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

4 hours ago
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.

Precious Lives

This is Precious Lives episode 93. We’re almost at our goal of telling 100 stories about gun violence and young people in Milwaukee. We’ve covered the family members who have lost loved ones, the activists fighting to make the city better, and the political leaders overseeing it all. Each week, we ask our interview subjects to be emotionally honest with us as we try to understand the problem of gun violence. This week, the microphones are turned on our reporters.

If you applied for an absentee ballot – you need to know about a new state law. It requires you to mail back your ballot earlier than in the past, so that it arrives by 8:00 P.M. on election night, otherwise, your vote won’t count.

Under Wisconsin’s old rule, mail-in ballots had to be postmarked prior to Election Day. Then the clerk would count them, as long as they arrived by 4 p.m. on the Friday after the election.

But a new law took effect in September. It requires absentee ballots to arrive in clerk’s offices by the time polls close on Election Night.

Itzhak Andres / Wikimedia

The rise of digitization has made archiving and sharing scholarly information much easier than it once was, especially for subjects with a selective appeal. Such is the case with Yiddish theater.

The Yiddish theater flourished in 19th and early 20th Century Europe and, towards the end of its heyday, in the United States. The subject matter ranged from the humorous, to the melodramatic or even political. No matter the central topic, Yiddish theater was wildly popular for Jewish audiences around the world.

courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

If you took the New York Times's 2013 online quiz, "How Y'all, Youse, and You Guys Talk," you weren't alone.  Hundreds of thousands of us took the quiz and posted the results to our social media accounts.  The quiz asked some two dozen questions about how we use the English language - and, based on the results - speculated on where we call home.

Rachel Morello

The last time we heard from Sara Goldrick-Rab, her business cards read "professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison."

This time around, she has a different title.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Lake Michigan is experiencing high water levels. That phenomenon has turned the lives of some people living along its western shore upside down. Huge chunks are eroding, and dozens of homeowners are watching their property slip away at alarming rates.

Randy Vassh is working along a stretch of lakefront homes in the Village of Caledonia, maneuvering his excavator in tandem with his co-worker. The huge machines operate in three feet of water and stretch mechanical arms 30 feet out into Lake Michigan. They scoop up huge rocks and place them back along shore to slow erosion.

Most Millennials Avoid Elections; Showing Up in 2016 Could Decide Races

Oct 23, 2016
Alexandra Arriaga / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Millennials get a bad rap. They’re labeled narcissistic, self-absorbed and apathetic. (Just look at their nicknames: the selfie generation, generation me, the unemployables.)

And they’re the least likely generation to turn up at the polls this November.

However, many young Americans do care about politics. They may just show it differently than their parents.