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The Geneva Shore Report

Read abaout what is happening around a small midwestern lake and then thing about what you read.  it will be all about you without ever once referencing you or where you life.  the most dangerous newspaper in America.....



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Little Big Foot.  What's going on behind the throne with this revived idea to rebuild the BigFoot Beach and Park Area?  Back in 1997 the DNR (Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources) took a look at BigFoot Beach and came up with a plan that might meet the city's need (at the time) of moving its boat ramp, as well as making the beach area more ambient for those wanting to have a picnic or go to the beach.  The highway was not to be moved in their plan!  The beach was to be expanded by adding, of all things, sand to what was already there between the road and the water.  Moving the road has been the sole plan of certain members of city government (FOWL comes to mind) however, and the overwhelming motivator (mostly made up out of nothing at all) has been safety.

What is needed is a new plan that costs much less and does a whole lot more.  That plan is detailed in a photo in this issue of the GSR.  Take a look.  Forget the boat ramp.  Lake Geneva can close its ramp on Wrigley and forget about it with the blink of a council voter's eye.  There are plenty of boat ramps around the remainder of the lake.  Forget the millions to put into building a new one.  Move the road closer to the lagoon (about fifty feet), grade and then add about seventy trucks full of sand to the old beach, rebuild the visitor center to be attractive and modern, add a neat view tower, add a pedestrian crossover for safety, and finally add a low stone wall along each side of the busy road.  In and out for two million, not seven million.  The public keeps the best drive anywhere nears the lake, the picnic people are served, and the beachgoer's delight.  The boat people can move out or away.  They float.  They can float anywhere on the six point five four eight square miles of water, and they can get used to using washrooms around the lake instead of what they've been using.  And, above all, the lake will be enriched in ambiance and beauty.    

THE GENEVA SHORE REPORT....January 21, 2016

JANUARY 21, 2016</p> <p>COMING ANY MINUTE SOON AT genevashorereport.com
Here's this weeks GSR until then....


JANUARY 21, 2016</p>

Movie Review.  American Sniper.  If you are a red-blooded white American male of any age, drive a pickup truck and believe in conceal carry or die, then you will love American Sniper.  It's about as accurate as a self-written "I am the hero of all heroes" movie could possibly be.  The steroidal star of the film is, after all, a Navy Seal, and that is supposed to mean he makes no mistakes, kills anybody in his way, and lives only to enjoy that kind of life.  The screenplay is so woodenly stupid that our hero gets the attention (and into bed with) the beautiful girl in the bar, upon whom a succession of guys with pick-up lines have failed.  He uses the line "I think you're a bit fat."  She responds to this because he is the first truthful sounding guy to talk to her.  I was the only person in the theater to laugh out loud at the ridiculousness in thinking any woman on the planet buying into that line.  No, in any real female company a guy who said something like that would have had a shot of vodka dumped on him and then the vodka lit with a match while he tried to get away!  When our hero of heroes goes to war he shoots a five year old carrying a grenade to start building his reputation.  Fine.  Nice.  Happens all the time. Never.  Only in movies and in phony war stories told by vets who've not been into anything.  A magical Syrian sniper is set to nail our hero because our hero is such a hero.  The magical Arab gets waxed of course, as anyone would predict.  Our hero leads a Marine squad in clearing homes door to door, even though he's not a Marine and not an officer.  He outranked every officer in the film because he was a hero. He wears no rank in the film.  When he gets home people keep telling him what a hero he is.  Even the V.A. counselor manages to say "the U.S. has credited you with 160 kills" like that data would be in anyone's service file anywhere.  Not.  And no counselor in his or her right mind would mention it if it was.  This was a long bad movie and it should have been called "Chickenhawk," because it was filled with fake heroism.  The man portrayed, who wrote his own history portrayed in the film, was no hero at home and shot very questionable creatures from a great distance without getting shot at himself.  Go to the movie and enjoy Dirty Harry updated and militarized. 



If it were not for a small handful of city watchdogs, the public would be kept in total darkness on important issues being decided by the Lake Geneva's Inner Circle. The city's Inner Circle keeps issues under tight control and out of the normal view as long as it can. The latest example of one of their hidden objectives was buried within the second agenda item in the last Public Works Committee Meeting on Jan. 15, 2015. Which was simply stated as: [2.) South Lakeshore Drive at Big Foot State Park.]. 

This benign appearing agenda item included a formal presentation and discussion on the closing of South Lakeshore Drive along the beach in front Big Foot Park, and rerouting it as a four lane road through Big Foot Park and about closing down the city's boat ramp and moving it to Big Foot Park, all of which the committee appeared to support.  However, as important as this issue is to the public, the public was neither properly informed about the meeting's agenda nor permitted participation in the discussion nor permitted to ask questions during the presentation or in the discussion that followed.

In the presentation. It was stated that the presentation was in response to a request from the city of Lake Geneva (what request?) that was not included in the meeting's packet. Only an indirect reference in the line "The DNR has come back to the city and shared…" implied that the city had made a request and that the city had already received and reviewed the information to be presented.  The city's request was not made available, but it must have included moving the city's boat launch to Big Foot Park because a city equivalent boat launch was included in Big Foot proposal, so the city could (as discussed in the meeting) close its own downtown boat launch, thus enabling the city to convert its boat trailer parking area into paid parking stalls.

Citizens whose taxes pay for these high impact projects need to be involved in the early stages of design and development to guide the decisions of government officials and not be blocked out or by-passed by city government.  Input from the public early in the process can avoid wasting taxes on unwanted projects, like the parking garage. The first step on major impact items, like this one, should be to put it on a ballot referendum to ask citizens if they believe that the issue is worth spending many dollars for the city to investigate the issue. The city government should be of the people and for the people and not a government of the administration and for the administration. 



What's wrong with sidewalks?  So what happened?  The City of Lake Geneva did not run out of money.  Everyone knows that because they've been reading about the recent failure of the parking garage in the recent referendum.  Seven million of TIF funding remains unspent.  Why not spend some of it on sidewalks?  Why is it that so many places (like the north side of Sage Street near the school and entire chunks of spaces along Sheriden Springs Road) have no sidewalks?  This is disconcerting to people who are out in the spring, summer and fall, but it's positively dangerous for anyone walking there during the winter months.  The city needs to sit down and calculate what it would take to make sure that every street within a quarter mile of the downtown area receives decent sidewalks. With a little extra money it could even shovel them after snowfalls, but that might be expecting

Bittners.  This bakery is amazing.  Oh, their stuff is great, of that there is little question.  What is so special then?  The people.  The Bittner kids run the place, while their parents run the Pub up the street.  The kids and the employees are simply the best.  A birthday cake was ordered there last week.  A specially decorated one for an old man's 95th birthday.  The bakery isn't open Sunday, Monday or Tuesday (the kids go surfing three days a week). 

The cake had to be picked up on Saturday.  The idiotic son who ordered the cake was too busy and forgot to go over to Bittners in time.  Disappointment abounded.  There was no time for a replacement.  Monday came.  The birthday was Tuesday.  On Monday the employees of Bittners began calling until they got through.  Then they showed up to unlock the place and make sure the cake was delivered.  It was.  Thanks to Bittners and small town Southern Wisconsin business and people life is better.

Joe Bidwell.  The Geneva Shore Report loves underdog stories and those about people who've come back from great difficulty. Joe Bidwell, a man known for building quality homes around Lake Geneva, is back, working with a building/real estate company called Fairwyn.  This man built homes for years, before the bottom fell out of the real estate market.  He built great homes with foundations to last for centuries.  Homes where the entire basement was more protection than needed from the effects of any tornado.  He built using hard woods and quality materials and only installing the best of pipes and electrical lines.  He's back.  Use him.  Enjoy him.  He's not only a great builder, he's a lot of fun.  Here's his write-up on the Fairwyn website: "Joe brings over 25 years of senior executive level experience and success in the real estate industry.  Joe proudly served on the team that was awarded 'Builder of the Year' by Builder Magazine while with Neumann Homes.  Joe also worked closely with industry legend and Builder of the Year winner Jack Robinson in developing and growing Kennedy Homes in Chicago.  Joe's dedication to customer satisfaction and high energy help insure buyers and sellers of residential homes that their goals will be accomplished.  Joe and his wife Karol have four grown children and live in Lake Geneva.  Joe is a member of the Wisconsin Realtors Association and Lakes Area Realtor Association."



Howard Basso.  Otherwise known as "High Density Basso." This developer has been doing projects around the lake since back in 1977.  The name Howard Basso is known to many, especially by those who live in close proximity to any project he's been associated with.  Most of those people are not happy.  Basso likes high-density condominiums and townhouses.  His average condo size is about twelve hundred square feet in size.  Postage stamp size, when it comes to rural American living space.  His latest project, approved unanimously (as usual, when it comes to voting for developers over residents) by the planning commission, would put thirty condos on less than five acres, along with parking, sidewalks and drainage.  Not exactly a concrete jungle but certainly not the kind of project that's likely to add much in the way of quality to the Lake Geneva area. The only hitch is that part of the project would have to be built on wetlands.  Wetlands are the province of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  They have been brought in to look at Mr. Basso's latest scheme.  Time will tell whether the surrounding residents, with the DNR as partners, will be powerful enough to prevent this wealthy developer from doing whatever it is he wants to do.

Visit the US Nationals Snow Sculpting Competition.  To be held in Lake Geneva on Wednesday, January 28, through Sunday, February 1, 2015.

Lake Geneva's annual Winterfest Weekend, featuring the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition, offers music, magic, refreshments, activities, and helicopter rides!

Mon, Jan 26th - Tue, 27th - Building of Snow Blocks

Wed, Jan 28th - Fri, Jan 30th - Snow Sculpting Begins

Sat, Jan 31 - Snow Sculpting Ends at 11 am/ Riviera Open 10am-4pm

Sun, Feb 1st - Snow Sculpture Display/ Riviera Open 10am-3pm

On Saturday, January 31st and Sunday, February 1st from 8am to 8pm there will be free parking and shuttle service available. 

Pick up for the shuttle service pick up is available at the Northeast corner of the Home Depot parking lot, 550 N. Edwards Blvd. 

Downtown drop-off and pick is in the front of US Bank, 303 Center St. 

Shuttle runs continuously every 20 minutes.

The Lake Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce puts on Winterfest.  This winter competition and celebration (originally thought up by none other than former mayor and Alderman of grand repute Speedo Condos) is a great success every year.  2016 enjoys the added benefit of having the City of Lake Geneva erecting banners for some restaurants over others.  There is some humor there.  The city installed banner for Popeye's Restaurant flies just outside Hogs and Kisses Restaurant and across the street from Speedos place!