Lake Effect

The People's Flag of Milwaukee

Some time ago, Lake Effect brought you the story of Steve Kodis, the Wisconsin man who believed Milwaukee deserved a better official flag. Since his initial call for change, Kodis has spearheaded an effort to gather prospective flag designs

Kristopher Volkman / Flickr

Although rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft have continued to make headlines for various controversies, it's rare that we get an inside look at how they work. Milwaukee Magazine's article Driving Through Time: Confessions of an Uber Driver is a firsthand account of what it's like to be an Uber driver in Milwaukee.

Brantley Gutierrez

Whether recording new music with his band the Punch Brothers, playing it live for audiences, or stepping into the shoes of Garrison Keillor as the new host of A Prairie Home Companion ​this fall, its an exciting time to be mandolinist Chris Thile.

Sacks & Co.

Bob Boilen loves music. In 2015 alone, he saw more than 500 live concerts. And his career has been a testament to that love. Boilen is the creator and host of NPR’s All Songs Considered, as well as the creator of Tiny Desk Concerts.

Kathy Wittman / Florentine Opera

Imagine high society in late 19th century Vienna, with hijinks and masked balls, mysterious Russian royalty, glittering costumes and some glorious singing.

Christopher Gregory / Getty Images

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:


Eight-hundred and eighty-eight. According to a recent study, that's how many people died from drug overdoses in Wisconsin between 2012 and 2015. 

Susan Bence

Waukesha will have to wait at least another week to learn whether its request for Lake Michigan water may move forward. Great Lakes delegates met Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago. They were supposed to decide whether to recommend approval of Waukesha’s request; instead the group moved to delay.

Waukesha’s application to draw from the Basin is the first since the Great Lakes Compact came to life in 2008.


There are currently thousands of police officers working in U.S. schools, but there are almost no state or federal laws that require them to undergo special training to work with students.

Police officers are increasingly being used to discipline students in the classroom, and infractions that once sent kids to the principal's office are now landing them in handcuffs. 

This weekend, a relatively young performing arts organization will present the play Emergency at a relatively unusual venue: the Body and Soul Healing Arts Center on North 48th Street. The group, Lights, Camera, Soul, is working to provide performing opportunities for young artists.

Bancroft Press

The Kennedy family is one of America’s great dynasties. They are famous for their wealth, their political power and influence, their scandals and, for what some considered an intentionally hidden secret, the fate of Rosemary Kennedy. She's the mentally fragile sister of President John, Attorney General Bobby and Senator Ted.

Patrick Queen for Columbia Magazine

There aren’t many scientists who are out and out celebrities.

Steven Hawking might qualify but otherwise it’s a pretty short list. And there certainly aren’t many scientists today who would command a performance at the Riverside Theater.

Express Yourself Milwaukee / Flickr

For the last fifteen years, a project called Express Yourself Milwaukee has tried to break the cycle of violence and change hearts and minds through the arts. Every year, the group’s activities culminate in a public performance. This year's performance is called Illuminate and it aims to shine a light on the positive things going on in the lives of people. 

Sean Hagen / Flickr

Some cities around the country have found a way to connect unemployed and underemployed people with work by requiring a certain number of them be hired for public works projects and other developments made possible through public dollars.

Milwaukee has one of those programs, called the Residents Preference Program, or RPP.

Milwaukee's program has been around for more than two decades. But in recent years, criticism has been leveled that RPP has not had the level of success many had hoped for it.


If you work for a big enough employer, it's likely that you've been urged to participate in the company's wellness program. It could be an educational seminar or an office-wide weight loss competition, something that incentivizes healthier lifestyle choices. The idea is healthy employees increase productivity and save a company money.