February 16, 2012There are times when I think about a number of issues, but don't want to focus on one for an entire column.
Here's one of those times. The following are some things I've been thinking about lately.
The "sidewalk to nowhere"
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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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Snow is part of life in a Wisconsin winterFebruary 09, 2012It’s February and there’s no snow on the ground. There are no piles of snow in parking lots or along the curbs, either. But, a few weeks ago the area was hit with a few inches and that had some business owners fired up about the city’s snow removal process in the downtown. Their beef was on Saturday, Jan. 21, when some of their customers complained that they had to climb over a pile of snow at the curb to get from their car to the sidewalk.Let’s take a closer look.
Difficult to understand, tougher to explainFebruary 02, 2012When you read the words Tax Incremental Financing District, your eyes probably glaze over. This is a topic that’s not extremely interesting, fun or easy to understand.But it is important. And although I am not positive I comprehend TIF in its entirety, I think it’s valuable for those outside the local governments to understand its positives and negatives.
Tebow? Wisconsin has it's own hero in DriverJanuary 26, 2012“Do you know that DD’s first or second year, maybe 1999 or 2000, a few Packers came up to LG and played basketball in the gym at the Middle School for some event. I don’t remember what it was, but Driver was here and he had the skinniest legs, but was amazingly athletic and dunked a few times. At the time, most people didn’t even know who he was. Unbelievable that he turned out to be one of the greatest Packer players ever.”The “DD” in this story is Packer receiver Donald Driver. And this was going to be a sports story about how the Packers are faced with the dilemma of keeping Driver, an aging hero, or let him go. It turned into more when Editor Lisa Seiser sent me an e-mail sharing her story of “DD” and his visit to “LG.” It’s appropriate that as talk started about Driver’s future, the Brewers went ahead and signed utility infielder and Wisconsin native Craig Counsel to their front office. A few weeks earlier, the Bucks hired the legendary Sydney Moncrief as an assistant coach. Class acts getting their just rewards in a state that values intangibles.
Outdoor dining great idea, answers needed firstJanuary 19, 2012For once I agree with everyone.The City Council is moving ahead with plans to allow outdoor dining in Lake Geneva. Potentially, it’s a great move forward to make an already great tourism community an even better one. The current ordinance prohibiting outdoor “encroachments” is outdated and provincial.I agree with Alderman Frank Marsala when he said, “I always thought this was a good idea. This is a summer resort town and it’s a plus.”
Lawsuit against former alderwoman makes pointJanuary 12, 2012It’s been a long, winding and uphill climb and we didn’t even make it to the top.Late last week, our lawsuit against former city alderwoman Mary Jo Fesenmaier officially came to an end with no more answers than we had before.Our court case started way back in June 2010 as part of an effort to obtain open record e-mails from city officials pertaining to the multimillion dollar federal litigation between developers Mirbeau of Geneva Lake and Geneva Ridge Joint Venture and the city of Lake Geneva.
Thoughts on one council finishing, another taking overJanuary 05, 2012There will be a new Lake Geneva City Council this year.As we reported in last week’s Regional News, incumbent councilmen Tom Hartz, Frank Marsala and Todd Krause have all chosen not to run again. All three have been steady, responsible members of the current council. As a result, the current council has been a refreshing change from the discord of a previous one.
A mixed bag of prediction successesJanuary 05, 2012In 2010 I was pretty on with my predictions. So, let’s see how I did with my predictions for 2011.The following are my 2011 predictions with an explanation of what really happened.Prediction No. 1: Lake Geneva residents and taxpayers will start to receive some answers regarding what really happened behind the scenes regarding the Mirbeau and Hummel development proposals. It will not be good news and will cost the city, or at least the city’s insurance carrier, millions.
Looking back: New Year’s Eve steeped in magicDecember 29, 2011The first New Year’s Eve I remember was 1959.I was 13, the only child of a widowed and fragile mother, at the turn of a new decade.We were at the home of a neighbor, a home I dreamed of living in one day. There was a fireplace in the living room and a breezeway between the house and the garage where we played ping pong. On the second floor was the bedroom where I slept when my mother was away. I remember reading a science fiction novel there, bright sunlight streaming through the grove of trees just beyond the window.
When it comes down to it, image countsDecember 22, 2011Am I the only person who thinks Rick Perry’s John Wayne imitation is pretty transparent?Sure, everyone wants a John Wayne as president. Strong. Decisive. Straight-shooting.But Perry has taken it to cartoonish extremes. The big shoulders. The high collars (how does he get his head to appear as though it’s on the top of a statue?). The third-person posturing — “In a Rick Perry presidency ...”
Local hero appearance on CNN specialDecember 15, 2011My heart racing, my hands shaking and the feeling in my stomach were definitely the signs.It’s been a long time since I felt those types of emotions — usually only when I have had to speak in front of tons of people or many years ago before a big high school or college basketball game or tennis match was to be played. But Sunday night, watching the live “CNN Heroes” show, I was definitely nervous. No, I was not there in person, nor was I the person who was being recognized or who would have to speak in front of millions of people.