Deanna Singh gives a crash course on how to accomplish your goals

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With the majority of us staying inside and having some extra time, we might catch ourselves reflecting. Some might be thinking about the past or even pondering about their own pursuits and personal journey.

Deanna Singh is the Milwaukee author of “Purposeful Hustle,” a book on how to live a life filled with joy and purpose. Singh was also featured in a 2020 Forbes list for her work with marginalized communities.

Deanna Singh, author of “Purposeful Hustler” | Courtesy of Deanna Singh

Living a life with purpose starts with intention, stating your goals and being conscious about reaching them. Singh says it’s allowing yourself to explore different avenues that are going to get you there.

“State what you think your purpose is, write it down and commit yourself to it,” said Singh. “Then test it, ‘OK, this is what I said my purpose is but does it feel right?’ Know that it might change over time and it might stay the same.”

Every single one of us has something they want to accomplish. It can be as simple as learning a new hobby or taking a big risk in your career. For some, throwing yourself into something new can be easy but many struggle with the fear of failure. Singh says, she uses failure as an opportunity. 

“The failures that I had in life are the ones that most define who I am and they are the things that I enjoy celebrating the most,” said Singh.

“Whenever I feel off-balanced I will put myself through the exercise of ‘look at what you are doing today, how much of it was on purpose and what do you need to do to get yourself in alignment?,’ it’s an easy way to course-correct,” said Singh.

I personally have spent countless nights analyzing whether I am creating an impact. It can be overwhelming but sometimes you have to take a deep breath and take it one day at a time. After spending some time with Singh, I realized its beyond ticking a goal off a checklist but making sure every day can be used as an experience.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today is the last day to register online to vote in Wisconsin’s April 7 election

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Wisconsin’s spring general elections and presidential primary are still scheduled for April 7, although that could change. As of Monday, there are five major lawsuits attempting to either change or postpone the state’s elections, and even how many voters will cast their ballots is in question: Last week Gov. Tony Evers called on the state legislature to pass a bill that would send an absentee ballot to every voter, a request that state GOP leaders have dismissed.

So what does all that uncertainty mean for the average voter? For the time being, they should assume the elections will take place as scheduled next Tuesday, and heed two very important deadlines: Today is the last day for online voter registration, and Thursday is the last day to request an absentee ballot (though the state elections board would prefer you request one sooner than later).

Wisconsin has same-day voter registration, so voters will still be able to register at the polls on Tuesday (if, indeed, those polls are open), but due to the coronavirus Gov. Evers has strongly encouraged all voters to vote absentee.

Milwaukee residents may request an absentee ballot online at or by calling 414-286-VOTE.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Watch these penguins have a bubble party at the Milwaukee County Zoo

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You may have seen that viral video of penguins walking freely inside Chicago’s empty Shedd Aquarium last week. It was cute, don’t get us wrong, but here in Milwaukee, we’ve got to root for the home team.

So, enjoy a video featuring our hometown penguins enjoying a bubble party at the Milwaukee County Zoo below. For real.

Zookeeper Katie Coutant captured the behind-the-scenes moment and sent it to us.

In addition to the video and photos, she also shared an update on how the animals are adapting to not having human visitors at the zoo. She assures us that the animals are still getting top-notch care, and says everyone at the zoo is looking forward to reopening.

Listen to our interview below.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Local doctor shares 5 ways to practice positivity during pandemic

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With all the uncertainty and isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no shortage of bad news to read. And if you’re one of the more than 3 million Americans facing unemployment, the last few weeks have likely been stressful.

Which means practicing self care is now more important than ever. But how exactly can you do that when there’s so much negativity in the atmosphere?

We asked a medical expert to find out.

Dr. Malika Siker.

Dr. Malika Siker is an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and the Associate Dean for Student Inclusion and Diversity at Medical College of Wisconsin. She has been particularly active on her Twitter page since the pandemic began.

She offers the following five recommendations for staying positive and practicing self-care, in her own words. She also shares more about these guidelines in our interviews below.

  1. Stay calm: It is quite literally a “pandemic” right now but academia and public health are filled with brilliant people who have spent their adult lives studying this scenario who are advising us. We are pulling together as a society and doing unprecedented things like suspending ALL basketball, in March of all months. We are spending time educating ourselves and being an advocate for the vulnerable.
  2. Keep a positive, growth mindset: We will get through this. We will learn from this. We will make positive changes in the way we live our lives because of this.
  3. Focus on what you can control: In addition to the most critical areas of social distancing and hygiene aimed at decreasing the spread of germs, there are so many other things you can control. Make intentional choices with the greater good in mind. Instead of complaining, be a helper and work on solutions in your area.
  4. Take care of yourself and your loved ones: Life is continuing despite this pandemic. Check in on yourself and use the extra time in ways that are meaningful to you. Be present in the moment for your loved ones to connect, cry, and laugh.
  5. Do what you can to help struggling businesses: The short- and long-term effects of this pandemic on global and local economies are mind-blowing. With no end date in sight, businesses need our support to continue running at all costs more than ever. We are going to need these businesses to help put the economy back together when this is over so let’s get creative in ways we can support them.
88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Meet Baby Face Willette, a nationally historic jazz artist with Milwaukee ties

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This week on Urban Spelunking, we’re taking a slightly different approach as we work remotely.

Instead of talking about a place or building that’s closed to the public, we’re “spelunking” a person, a nationally known jazz organist with Milwaukee ties.

“Baby Face” Willette — a nickname the artist earned with his youthful smile and snappy outfits — released two records on the prestigious Blue Note Records. He spent much of his career in Chicago, but while in Milwaukee, he met his wife and collaborated with various local artists.

Baby Face Willette. Photo via OnMilwaukee.

Active in the 1950s and ’60s, Baby Face’s career was cut short by various legal and personal problems, and he died young, at age 35.

OnMilwaukee’s Bobby Tanzilo spent months researching Baby Face’s career and legacy, and he wrote a special edition piece for OnMilwaukee detailing his life in music and photos. Take a deep dive into his career after listening to this week’s podcast below.

James Julius Anderson, an artist formerly based in Milwaukee, shared this photo depicting his uncle playing alongside Baby Face on piano.
88Nine Radio Milwaukee

The Hop reduces its schedule in response to the coronavirus

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Milwaukee’s streetcar The Hop is reducing its hours in response to decreased ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning this Thursday, March 26, the streetcar will operate from 7 a.m. to 9 p.,. daily, with cars arriving every 20 minutes.

“While it’s important that the streetcar continue to serve those who rely on the service to reach essential jobs or destinations, the current statewide efforts to eliminate non-essential travel and prevent the spread of the disease by keeping people at home have resulted in decreased ridership that no longer warrants a full schedule of operations,” the streetcar’s management wrote in a statement.

The streetcar is also requesting extra health precautions from riders. “We ask that you join the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by being extra vigilant in exercising recommended hygiene practices, including regular and thorough hand washing, avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and covering coughs and sneezes with either a tissue or your elbow,” the statement read. “On board the streetcar, passengers should leave additional space between themselves and others, and utilize the seats whenever possible as opposed to holding the poles or hand straps. Most importantly, if you are exhibiting any symptoms or feel ill, please stay at home.”

The new schedule can be found here.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Summerfest will move to September

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Faced with lingering uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Summerfest has rescheduled this year’s event for the fall. The festival had been set to kick off June 24, but will now run over three spans in September: Sept. 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19, festival president Don Smiley announced today in a statement. Smiley wrote that the move was done “in the interest of safety and in cooperation with artists.”

“The new dates provide the best possible option to deliver the Summerfest experience our fans and sponsors have grown to love; we are doing everything possible to continue a tradition which spans five decades,” Smiley wrote.

The move leaves many details to be ironed out.   

“We know there will be many questions and we look forward to sharing details with you in the future,” Smiley wrote. “All purchases of festival tickets will be honored for the rescheduled September dates. More information about rescheduled performances at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater and BMO Harris Pavilion will follow soon. Please check frequently for updates.”

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Evers announces stay at home order for Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers will order the closure of all non-essential businesses starting Wednesday at 8 a.m., urging residents to stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19. You can read the complete order here. The order will last through April 24.

The governor had already ordered K-12 schools, bars and some other businesses closed, and had banned gatherings of more than 10 people. The new restrictions, mirroring what neighboring states Illinois and Michigan have announced, will further discourage people from interacting outside their household unless absolutely necessary.

“Shrinking your circle of interactions will help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Evers tweeted. “Unfortunately that means no sleepovers, no play dates, and no dinner parties with friends and neighbors.”

“You can still get out and walk the dogs—it’s good exercise and it’s good for everyone’s mental health—but please don’t take any other unnecessary trips, and limit your travel to essential needs like going to the doctor, grabbing groceries, or getting medication,” another tweet read.

In a statement, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele applauded the move. “I commend Governor Evers for taking aggressive action to combat the spread of COVID-19,” he wrote. “I am certain this decision was not an easy one, but the Governor’s order for Wisconsin residents to stay at home is the right thing to do to ensure we are protecting the health and well-being of our residents. I strongly encourage everyone in Milwaukee County to follow the guidelines and ensure the safety of their neighbors as we work to confront this pandemic. We must do what we can to support the people on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19, and those most vulnerable to its consequences.” 

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Milwaukee closes early voting sites, but voters can still register and vote absentee

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The City of Milwaukee has closed its three early voting sites. Officials announced on Sunday that in-person early voting at Zablocki Library, the Zeidler Municipal Building, and the Midtown Center has been shut down due to the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

In a press release, the Milwaukee Election Commission stated that it made the difficult decision because it “can no longer maintain sufficient staffing levels to operate these sites in a manner that would ensure a safe or efficient public voting experience.”

Milwaukee residents are still able to request an absentee ballot online at or by calling 414-286-VOTE. Voters have until Thursday, April 2, to request an absentee ballot for the April 7 election.

Voters can still register to vote, too. Online voter registration, which had ended in the state earlier this month, will resume on Tuesday, March 24, following a judge’s decision to extend the deadline to March 30 in the wake of the pandemic.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Physical distancing. Social connecting.

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No doubt, it’s important to physically stay away from each other right now. (I’m writing this from home and haven’t seen anyone but my wife in days. FaceTiming with our daughters helps.) But the term “social distancing” just feels so…cold. So isolating.

It goes directly against 88Nine’s mission — to connect people to each other, and to the city.

So, with credit to staff member Maddy Riordan, we’re adopting the phrase “physical distancing.”

And, especially during these challenging times, we’re more committed than ever to “social connecting.”

While we can’t do that in person right now, we are doing it on the air and online.

By nature, radio is a social connector. You don’t listen alone. You might not see other people listening, but tens of thousands are – and sharing your experience.

That’s why our Community Stories are focusing on the voices of you and your neighbors, describing how you’re getting through this. Listen to this short story on how we’re hoping to help.

And that’s why, starting next week, we’re creating special music programming. To enhance the sense of a shared experience. One feature will be for kids out of school (and their parents looking for activities). Others will offer special musical treats. Stand by for details.

We’re also using the internet – our website and social media – for “social connecting.” We’re asking you to share photos, videos, comments about your experience during these challenging days.

Finally, a word of thanks to you. Without your ongoing support, we cannot do any of this. Many of the businesses that have supported us are going through tough times. These are our friends and we are hurting for them. Before this crisis, they provided many ways to socially connect – over a great meal, at a concert, etc. Let’s remember them when things turn around.

Meantime, let’s keep our distance physically. But let’s continue to connect socially. We’ll help the best we can.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee