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Burlington Chocolate Fest
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An uncommon group with a common challenge

May 23, 2013
I was talking to someone about how differences could be overcome. "We just need to find common ground," he said. And so it was, a few days later that I found myself sitting at a table with Dick Malmin, Jim Strauss, Alan Kupsik and Bill Mott.

Had we been there 60 years ago, we'd be dead

Gangs of "Italians and foreigners?' Rackets? Hired killers?

May 23, 2013
I was sitting in the Harbor Side Café the other night having a beer courtesy of proprietor Spyro "Speedo" Condos, when Speedo told me this story. Had we been having the conversation at about 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 21, 1931, Speedo probably wouldn't have been able to tell it and I to write it. The story Speedo told me was about the bombing at the Lincoln Inn on that date. Harbor Side is the current occupant of that property....subscribers>>

Recent Commentary
Hennerley's time at the chamber comes to an end
May 16, 2013
Sitting next to George Hennerley at a meeting was usually the best seat in the house.He was smart, funny, informed — and always uplifted the meeting with a joke or wisecrack.Yet his jabbing always seemed to fall short of malice, a nonvisible wink just a few seconds behind each comment. And he could always take as much as he gave.
On the front porch with Steinbeck
May 16, 2013
This story started a few springs ago, when I was sitting on a friend’s front porch.I was reading John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley” — the author’s “nonfiction” travelogue about his trip across America.Steinbeck was a cozy curmudgeon when he wrote the book, seemingly bruised but unbowed. ...subscribers>>
Geneva Theater outcome more promising
May 09, 2013
So far, so good.The future of the historic Geneva Theater appears more promising than ever.After months of fundraising and handwringing, the arts community is in a better place and so is the city.
Advice for contrarians
May 02, 2013
An open letter to the contrarians of Lake Geneva:You know who you are. So does everyone else. There’s no need for a roll call.A few months ago I wrote a column about the need for contrarians—people who challenge the status quo.People like you.Every council or board needs at least one, I said.There are wrongs in any community. There are things that need closer examination. Boards and editors can be lulled to sleep without someone telling the other side of the story.
How we see things differently
April 25, 2013
I could almost see the tears welling in her eyes.I called her to say good night as I often do.“I’m tired,” are my first words, as they often are.
It all depends on how you look at it
April 18, 2013
A woman called me last week to say we didn’t run enough gossip.She told me about a business in town which had received an “F” rating by the Better Business Bureau.“And there have been many, many complaints,” she said.
'Our Town' deserves attention
April 11, 2013
I have been remiss in not giving more publicity to a series of events celebrating the classic Thornton Wilder play, “Our Town.”“Our Town” was first performed in 1938 — so this year is its 75th anniversary. I saw it performed in Milwaukee last year and think it remains surprisingly fresh and poignant. The play covers “love, marriage, death and eternity,” according to a press release for a production at UW-Whitewater. That about covers the waterfront.
Anonymous letters, elections and the weather
April 11, 2013
My takes on recent events:The anonymous letter
Numbers can lie
April 11, 2013
I have a confession to make. I’ve been keeping a secret for nearly 10 years.I scored a 17 on my ACT.College-bound high school students will take the ACT this Saturday, April 13, or in June. Those students are hoping for higher than 17.
The grace of opening days then and now
April 04, 2013
It was 37 degrees Monday, the first day of April.Opening day for the Milwaukee Brewers.The roof at Miller Park was closed. The heat in the stadium had been on since Thursday. By game time it was 60 degrees inside — 30 degrees higher than it was outside.
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