March 08, 2012We've recently taken some heat regarding our coverage of two high profile felony cases now going through the Walworth County court system.
That's understandable. People can have their say and we will listen. However, there appears to be a misunderstanding as to what are the responsibilities and duties of a newspaper and communication company when it comes to covering these types of situations.
I think this is a perfect time to attempt to clarify to our readers as to how and why we report the things we do.
| (click for larger version)|
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.
| (click for larger version)|
Main Street traffic improvements must be doneMarch 01, 2012Sometimes there are difficult choices local government officials must make. There are always two sides to an issue. There’s taxpayer money involved and seemingly always the way of life and future of the municipality at stake.One upcoming decision the Lake Geneva City Council will make is whether to install state-of-the-art traffic signals on Main Street at the intersections of Center and Broad streets. While a good percentage of most decisions are tough, this one is a no-brainer. I don’t believe there is a choice in this matter. Just like the need for the Edwards Boulevard extension to Sheridan Springs Road, this is a need in the community that can’t fall by the wayside.
You get a lot of news, information for $1.25February 23, 2012I can hear the voices ringing in my ears already.“$1.25 for a local paper!?”It’s true. The Lake Geneva Regional News is going to $1.25 at stores — a 25 cent per copy increase — starting with the March 1 edition that hits the stands next Wednesday. It’s our first single copy increase in eight years. Some newspapers cost more; some cost less. (And you can still pay less for the Regional News if you take out a subscription.)
Things to think about: Elections, open meetings, sidewalksFebruary 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”
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.