Essay

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If you've been paying attention to current events, it's pretty hard not to notice all the conversations surrounding immigrants and what it means to be an American. In a country founded by immigrants and outsiders, differing opinions on immigration have become a dividing force in an increasingly divided nation. Lake Effect contributor Kyle Cherek has also found himself thinking about immigrants – especially when it comes to food production.

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Joanne Weintraub still watches TV. But it’s a lot less TV than she watched for years, when she was the TV critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Weintraub, discusses her new views on TV in an essay that appears in this month's Milwaukee Magazine

Essay: The Real Working Class Heroes, NRBQ

Sep 13, 2016
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Many bands from the 1960s and 70s have found new life and fans in the 21st century, even if some the original band members are no longer with us. Lake Effect essayist Tom Matthews was an old fan of one such band.

Photo courtesy of Jessie Garcia

This piece originally aired June 2, 2016. Abe Landsman, age 102, passed away September 2, 2016, peacefully at his home in Madison. 

A couple of videos went viral in the last few weeks featuring some of America’s oldest citizens.  One was of a 92-year old World War II veteran who threw out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game on Memorial Day. 

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Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank sees some unusual parallels between his own career and what Milwaukee is currently working through as a community:

Essay: Reading Myself

Aug 4, 2016
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Another German Fest has come and gone, and so has Festa Italiana, and Summerfest. And now we're onto the Wisconsin State Fair, which opens this week, along with the Milwaukee Comedy Festival we mentioned in the previous segment. When that's all done, Irish Fest is not far behind.

Essay: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Woody Allen?

Jul 30, 2016
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Woody Allen is one of the most recognized and controversial film directors. Since 1965 he has made about one film a year. Often his films center on an older lead man and his young female partner, or explore themes of difficult relationships and existential concepts.

Allen’s latest film “Café Society” was released this month, and film critic Duane Dudek shares his thoughts on the prolific director:

How do you solve a problem like Woody Allen?

Essay: Bridging America's Racial Divide

Jul 14, 2016
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For all the efforts to create unity in the wake of a violent period in this country, there are still many open wounds.  Lake Effect essayist Laura Marshall has some thoughts on how we might start to heal them.

It's 3 am and I am following the developments in Dallas, Minneapolis, and Baton Rouge.

I know that tomorrow, there will be fingers pointed.

Essay: A Wedding and a Divorce

Jul 7, 2016
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Lake Effect essayist Kirsten Wisniewski had a unique view of the Brexit fallout.  The Milwaukee native, who has been teaching in Austria for two years, found herself in the UK in the days following the historic vote, and found herself trying to understand it:

An Ausländer's View of the European Refugee Crisis

Jun 29, 2016
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The humanitarian crisis in Europe continues to deepen, as stories emerge each day of migrants dying or barely surviving their journeys from war-torn countries in the Middle East and Africa. Some of those refugees have settled in Austria, where they have received a mixed welcome. Lake Effect essayist Kirsten Wisniewski has also recently resettled in Austria. But coming from Milwaukee, via London, she has a different view of the experience:

I’ve been back in Austria for 24 hours. I’m finally home.

Since You Never Asked: 'Take My Keys, Please'

Jun 2, 2016
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Since you never asked…

…go ahead. Reach in my front right pocket.  You’ll find a substantial tangle of metal that’s like a yoke around my neck. Take it. Grab that ring of keys, the ones that turn over the engine of a couple of cars and open doors I often enter and exit. Now throw them off a cliff and watch as they disappear into some great void. You’re doing me a favor, trust me.

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Despite the American Revolution and the War of 1812, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland enjoy what is termed a special relationship. Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says that diplomatic closeness is a good thing:

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Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump is due to meet with Republican leaders in Washington today.  At issue is whether they can bridge the policy and personality divides between the candidate and the party rank and file.

But Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank believes Democrats have just as daunting a task ahead of them:

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It’s a rule of thumb around public radio that many of us got into the field so that we wouldn’t have to dress up.  Compared to other professional positions, the number of days in which I come to work wearing a tie is pretty low.

Lake Effect essayist Jonathan West takes a different view of dressing up:

Since you never asked...

Since You Never Asked: 'Regifting'

Apr 8, 2016
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Earth Day is fast approaching.  Have you bought your cards and gifts yet?  No matter.  Lake Effect Jonathan West has some thoughts about maybe an underrated part of the recycling equation:

Since you never asked…

…it is perfectly acceptable to rip the wrapping paper off of a present from your Aunt Frannie and then take that homemade tissue box cozy she’s given you and neatly put it in the back of your closet stacked with all the other gifts primed in the pump for you to rewrap and give to some other worthy schmuck.  Er…I mean, good friend.

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