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Community columnists

So how about that tax bill?

January 03, 2013
I hate to end the year writing about tax bills, but I have received more calls on the subject this year than I have in a long time. For every call I get, I'm sure there are many other taxpayers with the same questions on their minds. Not every call ends on a high note, but I do find that there is a fair amount of confusion on the topic. Some taxpayers get sticker shock when they open their bills and reach for the phone before taking a closer look. When you pay your tax bill you are actually funding a number of different units of government, not just Walworth County.

Childhood memories of Lake Geneva fires

January 03, 2013
It is hard to believe that color television did not always exist. It is even harder to believe that not everyone owned a black and white television, but instead listened to the radio, and only to AM radio as FM radio did not yet exist. For those who did not have a color television set or even a black and white television set, few will forget when color television was first made available to the general public in Lake Geneva. The time was the mid-1950s and the venue was Leonard's TV store on the east side of the 500 block of Broad Street, where Amy's Shipping Emporium is today. In the early evening a crowd began to gather in front of Leonard's plate glass window. At 8 p.m. the large, rectangular box behind the window was turned on and a colored television program, much like a cinemascope movie, magically appeared. A murmur rose from the crowd assembled in front of Leonard's window. They were watching a TV program in color for the first time. It was "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," the TV version of Mark Twain's popular novel. For many nights thereafter, a crowd gathered in front of the window of Leonard's TV store to watch other television programs in color.

Recent Community columnists
Lake Geneva memories: TV, mobs and Gypsies
December 27, 2012
It is hard to believe that color television did not always exist. It is even harder to believe that not everyone owned a black and white television, but instead listened to the radio, and only to AM radio as FM radio did not yet exist. For those who did not have a color television set or even a black and white television set, few will forget when color television was first made available to the general public in Lake Geneva.The time was the mid-1950s and the venue was Leonardís TV store on the east side of the 500 block of Broad Street, where Amyís Shipping Emporium is today. In the early evening a crowd began to gather in front of Leonardís plate glass window. At 8 p.m. the large, rectangular box behind the window was turned on and a colored television program, much like a cinemascope movie, magically appeared. A murmur rose from the crowd assembled in front of Leonardís window. They were watching a TV program in color for the first time. It was ďA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurís Court,Ē the TV version of Mark Twainís popular novel. For many nights thereafter, a crowd gathered in front of the window of Leonardís TV store to watch other television programs in color.
Lake Geneva's history lies buried in Pioneer Cemetery
All those interested in history should stroll among the tombstones
December 13, 2012
The year 2012 is the 175th anniversary of the establishment of the Pioneer Cemetery in Lake Geneva. Many area residents drive past Pioneer Cemetery frequently without giving a thought as to how the tombstones in the cemetery might relate to Lake Genevaís 19th-century history. They are probably unaware that the cemetery contains graves of many people who were ďplayersĒ in Lake Geneva during the 19th century.If the cemetery were kept unlocked during the daylight hours (this writer hopes that the Cemetery Commission will decide to keep it unlocked as it was during most of the 175 years that it has been in existence), all those interested in Lake Genevaís 19th-century history could stroll among the tombstones and view the names of many of the people mentioned in James Simmonsí magnificent history, ďAnnals of Lake Geneva, 1835-1897.Ē Foremost among those who are buried in Pioneer Cemetery (beneath the largest tombstone) are Dr. Phillip Maxwell and his wife Jerusha. Dr. Maxwell was one of the seven founders of Geneva (as Lake Geneva was originally known). Maxwellís mansion, the first mansion built on Geneva Lake (in 1856), still exists on Baker Street just west of Baker Streetís intersection with Wells Street. Maxwell Street in Lake Geneva and the more famous Maxwell Street in Chicago are both named after him.
A 'Silent' speaks out
December 06, 2012
(World War II) bred caution and sensitivity among Silent children, lending them a persona that produced a lifelong preoccupation with process, fairness and artistic expression.ó from ďThe Fourth Turning,ĒWilliam Strauss and Neil Howe
Reunions, we elders and education
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." Williams Butler
November 29, 2012
Teachers do have favorites. One suspects they would not be human if they didnít. The dilemma arises with the manner in which teachers integrate their recognition of student strengths with their own teaching styles rather than broadcasting to the world. Strong teachers learn, in plain words, to keep their impressions to themselves.This particular pedagogue, being in the midst of his ninth decade, would not say he has thrown caution to the winds, but it is now much easier to express myself to and about individuals who brought something special to the art of studentry (apparently Iíve coined a word, though I have used it before).This fall, I participated in a tour of the much-expanded campus facilities of Badger High School with members of the class of 1972 celebrating their 40th reunion.
Improving justice
November 15, 2012
This article was written by Walworth County Circuit Court Judge David Reddy.When approached about writing an article for the paper, my initial reaction was reluctance.
Kedzie: son attacked
October 25, 2012
Several media outlets, including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, are reporting that the son of state Sen. Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn) was beaten at his home in Whitewater after confronting a man taking down a Romney/Ryan campaign sign.Sean Kedzie was treated at a hospital and released, his father said.Whitewater police Monday confirmed they were investigating the incident.
County seeks no tax hike
Safety needs addressed
October 04, 2012
By Dave BretlWalworth Countyís 2013 budget process is under way.
GOP lawmakers unhappy with drowning sentence
August 09, 2012
Editorís note: The following letter was addressed to Wisconsin Department of Corrections Secretary Gary Hamblin and Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson. It was signed by Republican Senators Neal Kedzie and Mary Lazich and Republican representatives Tyler August, Stephen Nass, Amy Loundenbeck, David Craig and Evan Wynn It concerns the sentencing last week of Melody Butt, East Troy, whose infant twins drowned in the bathtub while she slept.We are writing you today to express our grave concern and anguish over a matter which we believe calls for further scrutiny and review by both agencies you lead.
Measuring tourismís impact
July 12, 2012
I was enjoying spring so much this year that I almost hated to see the first official day of summer arrive. Eighty degree temperatures in March were bonus days to me and diminished the sense of urgency that I normally feel to take advantage of any day that you donít have to wear a parka or scrape ice off of the windshield of your car. It may be a little early to tune up the snow blower, but the days are getting shorter and itís time to give serious thought to how to maximize the rest of summer. Summer means travel and vacations, and Walworth County is the destination of choice for many vacationers.
Recall ordeal ends
June 28, 2012
The ads have ended; the phones are quiet; and Wisconsinís unprecedented state recall elections are over. Regardless of which side you may have fallen, the people of Wisconsin have delivered a clear and even stronger vote of support and confidence in their governor and the decisions made by him and the legislature to fundamentally reform state government as we know it. It truly was what democracy looks like.
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