Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Additions, corrections, trivia

by John Halverson

August 23, 2012

For a long time, we’ve published generic arrest reports.

They usually went something like: “A male subject was arrested for shoplifting at Target.”

That wasn’t very informative. Besides “subject” is police jargon.

So we’ve decided to replace subjects with real names, ages and addresses in arrests.

That policy started with last week’s edition.

There are some things we won’t report like minor traffic offenses and urinating in the alley — which unfortunately seems to be a going concern in our fair city.

Before anyone asks: No. We will not withhold your name for any reason.

I’ve heard every explanation in the book.

I once knew of a paper that had a form to fill out. If you explained the reasons you wanted your name kept out, it was kept out.

That’s about as Mayberry as it gets.

We have no form. We will make no exceptions.

As an aside, we’ve asked the police to send us even the minor violations so we can see if a public figure was involved. We’ll hold them to an even higher standard.

And, yes, my name would appear on just about any offense ... even that one I mentioned a few paragraphs ago.

You know.

The offense that’s too offensive to talk about.

I’d almost rather be picked up for robbing a bank than that indiscretion.


Sorry Frank, Nancy

Last week someone called me a “genius” — sarcastically, I’m sure.

That person made note of a headline at the top of page 1A last week.

The headline said: “Did Halverson predict Ryan a year ago?”

It was referring to a year-old column that appeared inside.

I was reluctant to run such a baldfaced brag on the front page — ­especially because everyone else had predicted the same thing.

I figured re-running a year-old column was ego-tripping enough. That front page headline was over the top.

As is the case anytime you think you’re smart, the forces of truth tell you otherwise.

That was the case in the same edition when I wrote a headline for a letter written by Nancy Alberty about the controversy over the American Legion canteen stand run by Frank Marsala.

I misread her letter as a criticism and wrote the headline: Upset with choice of canteen operators.

That’s not what she meant.

Her intent was to say that it only mattered that Americans ran the canteen. She didn’t have a specific concern about those currently operating it.

Apologies to Frank and Nancy.

And no more bragging from this genius.

Speaking of Ryan

The follow analysis might come in handy if you’re a bookmaker or political junky:

Running for the vice presidency is risky business, especially considering Ryan’s youth.

Should he be elected, Ryan, who was 42, in January would be far from the youngest vice president. That record goes to the forgettable John Cabel Breckenridge, who was 36 when he was inaugurated. Among younger vice presidents were notables Teddy Roosevelt and Richard Nixon and one less than sterling example, Dan Quayle.

While some say that being a loser as a vice presidential candidate is not a career killer, the facts say otherwise. Only Franklin Roosevelt has rebounded from failure to ultimate electoral success since the early days of the Republic when the founding fathers pretty much took turns.

But if your ticket wins the election, being vice president gives you pretty good odds in a race for the presidency.

Fourteen vice presidents have become president. Five were elected. The others rose to the higher office because the president died or, in the case of Gerald Ford, because of the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

The odds of becoming president after losing a run for the presidency are much lower. Since Abraham Lincoln, only Nixon and Grover Cleveland have won the presidency after failing, and Cleveland had the benefit of being president once before.

Of course, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

But should Ryan actually runs for presidency, I can pull these facts our of our file and run them again like I reran my prediction column.

I’ll try to avoid such a self-serving headline though.

A child with values

Terry O’Neill dropped in the other day to pay a bill. He’d put an ad in the paper thanking a girl for thanking him.

I called him for more information. For those who don’t know, Terry has been picking up trash from Lake Geneva streets for years. On his own with no pay. If you’re out early enough you’ll see him.

The girl drew a thank you photo of Terry and a bag of trash and the stick he uses to pick it up. I’ve never noticed that

Terry had stick legs, but otherwise it was a pretty good likeness.

Good for the girl. And good for Terry to thank her.


A lot of peopleseem to know Pepe.

He’s 83 years old and acts and looks like he’s a decade younger. He looks like someone Ernest Hemingway would have written a story about — sun drenched and indominable.

From what I can tell, Pepe’s been a fixture in the area for years.

He recently took part in the Freedom Swim that took place a couple weekends ago. Pepe swam four miles before he was pulled from the water by those who were worried about him a lot more than he was worried about himself.

He wanted to make sure I noted his sponsors: Lake Geneva Opticians, Leather Lips Watersports and Lake Geneva Cruise Line.

Halverson is editor and general manager of the Regional News.