Lake Effect

Groundwork MKE

There’s a local youth agriculture program that has goals bigger than getting kids into farming. Milwaukee native Nick DeMarsh founded Young Farmers MKE with the intent to encourage participants to make goals and plans for the future - farming just seemed to be the perfect medium to get there.

Last Saturday, two dozen people gathered under the sizzling summer sun to play Water Story MKE.

It is the brainchild of Michael Timm, who teamed up with Reflo, a nonprofit dedicated to water sustainability to create the app.

Nick Pipitone

A new album from the Milwaukee-based Wooldridge Brothers is always something to look forward to. 

Scott Olson / Getty Images News

It was five years ago on August 5th when a gunman walked into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek and killed six congregants and injured others. It was one of the worst religious hate crimes carried out in this country, but it also brought many disparate parts of Milwaukee together in support of the Sikh community.

Commemorations of the anniversary are planned over the next two weekends. Leaders of the Sikh Temple are planning a major observance on August 6th. But people of other faiths and in the secular community will mark the anniversary as well.

Bonnie North / WUWM

The Koch Marshall Trio did not stop by the Lake Effect studio to play around. The group, which consists of lead guitarist Greg Koch, his son and drummer Dylan Koch, and Toby Lee Marshall on the Hammond B3 organ, say they came to share their heavy grooves mixed with blues sensibility. 

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Bees first began to creep into Charlie Koenen’s life in 2002. Today his previous careers in computer programming and consulting might as well belong to someone else altogether.

Koenen is a beevangelist through and through. “I never would have predicted the path, but the importance is really astonishing - a beehive when it’s operating. That’s the amazement I want to give everybody,” he says.

elenabsl / Fotolia

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.

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. 

Reese / Fotolia

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." 

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.

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