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Earlier this summer, the owners of a longtime staple on the Wisconsin produce scene announced they will shut their doors for good at the end of September.  Brennan’s Markets operated five stores around Wisconsin, including in Brookfield and Oconomowoc.

Adam Glanzman / Getty Images

The 2018 elections are more than a year away, but already, several candidates are talking about challenging Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan has held his southern Wisconsin seat for nearly 20 years. But many constituents are upset with Ryan's shepherding of an Affordable Care Act replacement through the House.

Wisconsin Women Cycling

As both the Tour de France and La Course wrapped up last weekend in Europe, the Wisconsin Women Cycling founder Cindy Petted was keeping her eye on preparations for a more local ride. On Saturday, July 29, the Wisconsin Women's Century ride will take place in Cedarburg, where riders will bicycle up to 100 miles and support charities in southeastern Wisconsin. 

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Lake Effect essayist Mark Siegrist is thinking about the ideal summer road trip. In fact, it's one he just took.

Sometimes hitting the open road is just good for the soul.

That might sound rather strange from a guy who hates driving in the city.

All that weaving, and speeding, and tailgating just wears me down.

But the open road is different.

Drivers seem less uptight.

More willing to give a little.

Except for the guy who cut me off at the Illinois tollbooth.

Zach Pietrini / Facebook

As evidenced by their performance on Summerfest's Emerging Artists stage, The Zach Pietrini Band says that the recognition of their brand of folk music is growing. The Milwaukee-based group describes its style as "Salt-of-the-Earth-Americana," and their songs speak to the lived experiences of Midwesterners.

Casa Rosada / Wikimedia

Another week, another set of controversies in the Trump Administration. The week closed with the resignation of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the naming of a new communications director, and continued friction between the President and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

That all came on the heels of President Trump’s trip to Europe for the G20 Summit - a trip that dominated headlines. But it was the lack of dominance on the part of the U.S. that drove the media frenzy back home, a departure from previous summits where American presidents drove much of the discourse.

Dori / Wikimedia

The Public Policy Forum just released a comprehensive report on how Milwaukee is supported with public money, compared to other peer cities around the country. The report found that compared to similar cities, Milwaukee is decidedly more reliant on state funds as a result of the city's inability to impose most forms of local taxation. 

Mitch Teich

Whitefish Bay painter and realtor Kathleen Davis says she had a recurring vision not long ago, involving her 18-year old son, Henry, an avid climber. 

"I was having these nightmares," she explains, "that Henry would look back at me and then just take a step off the mountain and that was it." 

A six-year-old boy was shot and killed in a hail of gunfire on the north side over the weekend.  Earlier in the week, four people, including two children, were shot at 39th and Burleigh, near the Sherman Park neighborhood. For some community members, that shooting was the last straw—so they called an emergency meeting to look for solutions.

Ex Fabula: Volunteerism

Jul 22, 2017
Art Montes

Many of us have - at some point in our lives - had dreams of traveling abroad and volunteering to help those in need. Today we'll meet two men who actually did that. Not only did they venture to Samoa and Tanzania, but they brought some fun stories back with them.

While these voices may sound unfamiliar, they have been the "silent voices" behind Ex Fabula: board members who are now moving on to their next adventures. It's with gratitude, as well as sadness, that we say a fond farewell to retiring board members Bob Pothier and Adam Weise.

The White House / Wikimedia

While much of the U.S. coverage of the recent G-20 summit focused on America's place at the table, Lake Effect contributor, Art Cyr, is still thinking about the role played by the summit's host country: Germany.

Germany has just hosted the latest summit of the G20, the global group of leading industrialized nations, held in Hamburg over July 7 and 8. Chancellor Merkel can count this is another notable success in her now lengthy tenure leading not only a unified Germany, but much of Europe as well – within and beyond the European Union.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Milwaukee County’s green space - some 15,000 acres of parks – is in varied states of decay. A 2009 audit found Milwaukee County Parks facing $200 million in deferred maintenance and the backlog of capital and maintenance needs now total $246 million.

Virginia Small and Tom Tolan teamed up to write about what might be done to bring the luster back to the park system in this month's issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

"Manlife" Documentary

If you’ve ever taken a drive south along I-94, you might remember seeing a roadside sign in Sturtevant - near Racine - that advertised the "University of Lawsonomy." Or you might have seen the painted sign on a barn that says “Study Natural Law.”

The "law" in question is Lawsonomy: a utopian movement that began in 1929 by Alfred Lawson, a British immigrant who, before he started the eponymous Lawsonomy, founded two Wisconsin airplane manufacturers, and is credited as the inventor of the first passenger airliner.

Dave Parker / Flickr

Entering a grocery store, buyers are often bombarded with seemingly all-important yet ill-defined terms; words like “organic”, “sustainable”, or – perhaps the most pernicious culprit – “natural.”

But what do these terms actually mean? And how can consumers know if the foods they’re buying - usually at a premium - were grown or raised in an organic environment?

The US Department of Agriculture, or USDA, is tasked with setting minimum organic standards that farms of all sizes must meet, and then ensuring compliance with those standards.

Writer Bianca Marais was born in South Africa in 1976, a time when the country was still very much ruled under Apartheid laws that separated people of different skin colors.  It was the year of the Soweto Uprising, when Black high school students living in the ghetto designated by the White government outside Johannesburg marched in protest of the Apartheid laws.

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