Lake Effect

courtesy Jenny Benjamin

Milwaukee writer Jenny Benjamin transported readers between 21st Century Milwaukee and 18th Century Italy in her 2013 novel, This Most Amazing.  But Benjamin's latest books take readers on a much more intimate trip, into her heart and her mind.  Benjamin is an award-winning poet and frequent poetry contributor to Lake Effect, and has two new collections that are now on shelves.

Image Courtesy of University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Fourteen years before Lewis and Clark crossed the North American continent to "discover" the Pacific Ocean, Scottish fur trader and explorer Alexander Mackenzie did it in what is now northern Canada.

kwamealexander.com

Kwame Alexander never doubted that there was an audience for his children’s books - sports books written in verse - even though publishers said girls won’t read books about sports and boys wouldn’t read poems.  But eventually, the first of those books, The Crossover, hit the shelves featuring both basketball and poetry.  And it was a smash hit, winning the 2015 Newbery Medal. A soccer book followed, then a book of guiding principles for young lives.

Susan Bence

Just like Milwaukee, thousands of lead service lines deliver water from the main into Wauwatosa households. Wauwatosa's public works director David Simpson estimates nearly 10,000 of its 15,000 customers have lead pipes feeding water into their homes.

Simpson says Wauwatosa recently changed its policy surrounding pipes that break. “If we have a break on the city-owned lateral, we’ll go in and replace the entire city-owned side.” Before that, he says, city crews simply repaired the break.

Art Montes

To celebrate the end of Ex Fabula’s groundbreaking Season 9 and preview the upcoming ALL STARS event on May 18th, we’ll spend the next few shows revisiting some of our most-loved stories from recent months.

Chazen Museum of Art, from the Kaplan & Levi Collection

This is the last weekend to see Continent for an Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art at the UW-Madison Chazen Museum. Amy Gilman is the Director of the Museum and says the collection spans the Australian continent and its many peoples. The works invite the viewer to reconsider the lenses through which we view the world around us and shift our collective perspective.

FOXCONN, TWITTER

When the State of Wisconsin announced a deal with the tech manufacturing company Foxconn, many Wisconsinites were first struck by the price tag. The initial announcement of $3 billion dollars in subsidies, was the largest subsidy in the state’s history.

By some estimates that number has since risen to $4 billion dollars. But as the plans for the factory move forward, more residents have become concerned about some of the other aspects of this deal. Some are concerned about the plant’s intense water needs, others have raised issues with the types of jobs they will be providing.

Essay: Caught in Columbine’s Clutches

Apr 20, 2018
Marc Piscotty / Getty Images News

It was on this date in 1999 that two students at Columbine High School in Colorado murdered 12 fellow students and one teacher in an attack that shocked the nation.  While subsequent school shooting have been shocking as well, they have also taken on a saddening regularity.

On this 19th anniversary of the shooting, Lake Effect essayist Marnie Mamminga thinks back on the 2nd anniversary, while she was still a teacher in Illinois:

digidreamgrafix / Fotolia

The last time wine contributor Ray Fister joined Lake Effect's Bonnie North, he talked about the impact that a historically bad wildfire season in California was having on the wine grape industry.

It’s been several months since those fires, and Fister says, "It's amazing how things have come back" in the Napa and Sonoma regions.

Lacy Landre

Milwaukee history is inextricably linked to immigration, from the first German, French, and English immigrants who shaped the city’s founding, to Polish and Irish immigrants that helped build it into an industrial powerhouse, to the Latino immigrants that have redefined the near south side.

Thursday on Lake Effect:

We listen back to a 2002 interview with Milwaukee civil rights pioneer Vel Phillips, who died this week.  Plus, historian John Gurda helps us look back at the heyday of Boston Store and its place in Milwaukee history.  Writer Barbara Miner examines the face of immigration in Milwaukee today.  And wine contributor Ray Fister updates us on how the industry is doing since last year's devastating California wildfires.

Guests:

Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts And Letters

Humans have visually oriented brains. Our vision evolved to help us survive predators and also helped us capture our dinner. As Shiela Reaves says, our vision evolved to help us defeat camouflage.

Reaves is a professor of Life Sciences at UW-Madison, and a member of the UW McPherson Eye Research Institute.

But today there is a different stress on our vision. We are bombarded by images. Some of us look at computer screens all day, absorbing the pictures Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other apps offer us. We watch many hours of television.

NPR photo

Longtime NPR newscaster and Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me sidekick Carl Kasell died this week of complications from Alzheimer's disease.  He was 84 years old.  On today's show, we revisit our 2012 interview with him, recorded while he was in town recording an episode of the comedy quiz show.

kjekol / Fotolia

A series in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other USA Today Network newspapers around Wisconsin is looking at the impact of mental health issues on kids and teens in the state. 

The series, titled Kids in Crisis - and its accompanying podcast, This Is Normal, features personal stories from young people who have gone through significant emotional challenges.

Ex Fabula: Family Matters

Apr 14, 2018
Art Montes

Ex Fabula held the last StorySlam of the season - Last Straw - last Tuesday. Thanks to everyone who came out.

This past Thursday Ex Fabula had the pleasure of joining forces with UW-Waukesha for a Storytelling Workshop inspired by the themes in The Round House by Louise Erdich. With family being the heart of Erdich’s novel, family became the theme of the workshop as well, and this week we’ll be sharing some family stories from our own archives.

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