April 21, 2011Within the next month or so, the Lake Geneva City Council will have to decide whether to borrow up to about $3 million to pay for a list of things including road work and purchases of public works vehicles and a new aerial fire truck.
In these tough economic times with a focus on state and federal deficits and debts, the financial landscape is changing. People are more focused on government spending, taxes and services at all levels than they have been in a long time.
When it comes to those three — spending, taxes and services — there are always options and choices for a governmental body.
January 20, 2011Although I enjoy almost all sports, I don't typically use this column to talk about those things.
An editorial should be about important national topics such as our more than $14 trillion national debt, increasing health care costs and the use of politics by some to make excuses or try to explain why an insane man shot people at an Arizona grocery store.
An editorial typically should be an opinion about a local issue such as the rescue and fire services disagreement between Geneva Township and the Lake Geneva Fire Department or whether the Walworth County District Attorney's Office should have filed charges against Lake Geneva city staff for mismanagement.
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Yes, it could happen — one of our own could be running showApril 14, 2011Wisconsin’s own Paul Ryan could be president some day.Whether he should be president is a different matter — but as far as viability is concerned, look at the facts:The Republicans are looking for a fresh face. Mitt Romney is wooden. Newt Gingrich is old hat. Donald Trump is a joke. The Tea Party leaning candidates probably can’t pull enough of the moderate voters needed to win. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty? Doubtful. So, that leaves the Republican Party with ... nobody.
In this country, irresponsible still get benefit of doubtApril 07, 2011I know some people are in a state of panic.There is just more than a week left until your federal income tax returns must be filed with the Internal Revenue Service — well, sort of. After a search of the IRS.gov website late last week, I found there were 1.1 million people in 2007 who did not file their federal income taxes. Apparently, these people are owed more than $1.1 billion in refunds.
Why does it feel like I’m still on a roller coaster rideMarch 31, 2011Long ago I realized an important philosophy — nothing is ever as bad as it seems. But, that also means nothing ever is as good as it seems, either. That goes for just about everything in life.And it’s a good thing that saying often creeps into my mind. Sometimes, if it didn’t, I think I would go crazy in this business.
Special section celebrates 175th anniversaryMarch 24, 2011It’s the birthday no one knows about.It was 175 years ago this year that the first United States citizen settled in the Lake Geneva area. The city celebrated the 150th anniversary, but we’re unaware of any plans for this year.Undeterred, The Lake Geneva Regional News has developed a special section to commemorate that anniversary, “175 Years of Progress.” The section — which will be in next week’s Regional News and at store locations — also will celebrate the birthdays of many of our local and area businesses.
Finding a budgetary solution everyone can deal withMarch 10, 2011As unions, teachers and others in the state continue to battle Gov. Scott Walker and his proposed state budget and repair bill, there’s at least one community that seemingly has come together to deal with the likely future cuts rather than just argue about them.Lake Geneva teachers, support staff, administrators and School Board members have agreed to renegotiated two-year contracts that will ensure no layoffs or staff cuts for 2011-12.Teachers, staff and administrators conceded to paying higher portions of their health insurance premiums and to their pensions. They also agreed to a two-year wage freeze.
The Time is Now to HelpStudent asks TIN to help grandmaMarch 10, 2011Dear W.C.,I am worried about my grandma. She has been very sick. I am in college out of state and surprised her with a visit last week. I was shocked by how bad she looked. She is much too skinny and her house was very cold. I cried when I saw she had very little food in the house. I am in college on a scholarship and do not have any money to help her myself. I used what money I had and bought her some food. I asked her if she was paying her bills and she told me it wasn’t my concern. I saw overdue bills on her kitchen counter. I also noticed her glasses were broken and asked her if she had another pair. She said she did not, which has me worried because I know she cannot see without them. She raised me as a child when my own mother was incapable. She encouraged me my whole life to get educated and be the best I could be. I am the only relative my grandma has left to count on. I feel so sad seeing her struggle after years of caring for me.
The good fight hard to find these days in politicsMarch 03, 2011Chuck and I agreed to disagree.Whether it was about Joe McCarthy or President Obama or welfare or warfare, we were rarely on the same side of the political spectrum. And after the debates were done, after we’d exhausted our arguments, we could still sit down, have a beer and talk about other things. Somehow that’s become difficult these days — and the protests in Madison this week are a living example. As I watch the story unfold I find it hard not to feel my blood pressure rise at the same time. The irony is that I see both sides, and both sides anger me with their stridency and their stretching of the facts.
From assistant editor to temporary, part-time reporterFebruary 24, 2011“I could do your job.”The woman spat her words and her whiskey stink directly in my face. Her red eyes glanced at the yellow notepad in my lap. We sat shoulder to shoulder on folding chairs in a crowded room. Everyone’s chatter forged a dull roar which wasn’t loud enough to drown out her words. “I’m sure you could,” I told her.
From Roatan to Appleton — it’s been an exciting few weeksFebruary 17, 2011Just 14 days ago, while the Lake Geneva area and state was digging out of one of the worst snowstorms in recent memory, I was basking in the sun on a beach in Roatan, Honduras.The water was that surreal aqua blue color and lush greenery on hilly terrain surrounded the beach. The sun felt like fire, but the water was warm, clear and soothing. Sadly, we knew we had to venture back north, hitting Cozumel and then cruising through the Gulf of Mexico on the way back to America. It was just days later on the night we headed home from our splendid Caribbean cruise, the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl. It had been 14 years since the Packers last won the biggest professional football game of the year.