Bubbler Talk

What's got you scratching your head about the Milwaukee area? What have you always wanted to know about Milwaukee and the region?

WUWM News reporters and Lake Effect producers have started investigating and answering your questions.

Participate in the process and submit your question below:

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Ways to Connect

koi-fish-paintings-milwaukee-black-cat-alley
Lauren Sigfusson

If you do much walking through Milwaukee neighborhoods, say in the Historic Third Ward or Bay View, you’ve probably stumbled across vibrant schools of fish painted on the sidewalks.

They're koi, the large decorative fish some people keep in outdoor ponds.

I spotted a few of the paintings on the East Side, where several clusters of koi are depicted in orange, black and white patterns. 

Maayan Silver

This story originally aired September 8, 2017. According to TMJ4, At Random closed on May 19, 2018 and is up for sale.

Pink Squirrel, Grasshopper, Brandy Alexander, Banshee... Is there something uniquely Milwaukee about ice cream cocktails? 

Audrey Nowakowski

If you live, work, or drive through downtown Milwaukee, chances are your route has been interrupted by the sound of a dinging bell and the bellow of a horn as a bridge prepares to allow a boat pass.

After all, Milwaukee is home to 21 movable bridges, which cross the Menomonee, Kinnickinnic, and Milwaukee rivers.

Courtesy of Pat White

Summer is the favorite time of year for most beach-goers. But Milwaukee once was home to a unique fellow who tanned year-round at the lakefront. Our Bubbler Talk questioner wanted to know: Who was that guy?

Many people who lived in Milwaukee before 2000, like Cynthia Hoffman, know the answer. The man was the late Dick Bacon.

Susan Bence

A Bubbler Talk listener was curious about Milwaukee's breakwater, wondering where the rocks came from, and how they ended up standing in the middle of the harbor. WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence explored the subject for this week's segment.

To kick off our sixth season of Bubbler Talk, Susan turned to Larry Sullivan, chief engineer with Milwaukee’s Port Authority. She asked him about the history of the breakwater structure.

“It was built by the federal government to create a harbor of refuge, for boats to get away from the storm,” Sullivan says.

Chuck Cooper Foundation

When you think of the NBA in Milwaukee - of course, the Milwaukee Bucks come to mind. We’ve got Giannis, Jabari, and a new arena in the works. But what was pro basketball like here before the Bucks?

Bonnie North

Raise your hand if this is how your typical Friday night goes: If you aren’t ill or out of town, you are probably somewhere like the North Shore American Legion Post 331 in Shorewood. You might be meeting friends after a long week at work. You’re probably there for a beer or an old fashioned (make mine a brandy sour, please). And, you are definitely there enjoying a fish fry.

Our beloved fish fry is what makes Friday nights extra special in Milwaukee – and around the entire state of Wisconsin.

The meal most likely consists of cabbage, rye bread, potato, and fish.

WUWM

Our latest Bubbler Talk report involves the large metal tower at the entrance to Estabrook Park, near the border of Milwaukee and Shorewood. The listener asked: "What is the giant ugly metal tower used for?"

He might be surprised to learn that the tower houses WUWM's antenna, along with that of WITI Channel 6, and a couple other radio stations.

Mitch Teich

When was the last time you went to the Milwaukee County Zoo? Did you see the polar bear? You didn't feed it anything, right? Well, Bubbler Talk question asker Jessica Ols has been wondering about her trips to the zoo in the early 1980s...

What's The Story With Milwaukee's Police Call Boxes?

Mar 23, 2018
Kristine Hinrichs

Even if you’ve spent only a little time in Milwaukee, you’ve likely noticed some unusual figures lurking on city sidewalks. They’re big and blue, dotting street corners across Milwaukee. 

One sits right outside Kristine Hinrichs’ condo downtown, on the corner of 3rd Street and St. Paul Avenue.

“I’ve lived downtown almost 25 years, and they’re everywhere,” Hinrichs remarks.

Joy Powers

Bowling. It’s as Wisconsin as cheese curds and Packers gear. Some have even called Milwaukee "America’s 10-pin Capital" in reference to ten-pin bowling, the most common form of the sport. But there’s another kind of bowling that’s also popular in the area, and it’s a little quacky. 

Listener Shelley Peters reached out to Bubbler Talk because she wanted to know more about it.

Why Doesn't Milwaukee Have A College Football Team?

Mar 9, 2018
Milwaukee Panther Football Facebook page

Wisconsin has a lot of love for its football teams. Year-round, you see folks decked out in green and gold to show their "Packer pride," or hear fans dissecting the upcoming Wisconsin Badgers season. But football fans -- including one Bubbler Talk question-asker -- might be interested to know: Why doesn’t Milwaukee have a college football team?

The short answer: It did. And technically, it still does.

LaToya Dennis

Why aren’t there more positive portrayals of black men in the news? That’s the question 18-year-old Terrance Robinson, 14-year-old Victor Barnett Jr., 17-year-old Darius Simmons and 16-year-old Ashanti Travers posed to WUWM’s Bubbler Talk.

In order to attempt to answer this question, I had to enlist a few media professionals.

Teran Powell

The Pabst Mansion, the Schuster Mansion, the Villa Filomena... Milwaukee is home to a handful of historic mansions - often hidden in plain sight, appearing seemingly out of place. The Kalvelage Schloss Mansion, located near 24th and Kilbourn Avenue, is no different. 

Image courtesy of Matt Zumbo

Pikosso, Chicken a la Koss, Rebel with a Koss. If you’re familiar with the iconic billboard for Koss Corporation along I-43 in Milwaukee, you may have seen one of these ads -- or even have a favorite design or catchphrase of your own.

For this week’s Bubbler Talk, listener Michael Croatt wanted to know more.

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