THE DUKE OF EARL
Conduct unbecoming. That’s what they call poor behavior among officers of the U.S. Marine Corps if they act out or do things that are not necessarily illegal under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but meet any legitimate definition of boorish, crude or ungentlemanly behavior. The building and operation of private gates at the stem of two of the three public piers at the Riviera Pier complex are conduct unbecoming of the most pejorative kind.
Under the continued unsatisfactory legal supervision of “Pants on Fire” City Attorney Dan Draper, the Gage Marine rental boat operation, leasing pier space from the city for a ridiculous “song” of an amount, is being allowed to shut the piers off to the public. This is done as a “safety” precaution for the boats tied up there, of course. It was also done to prevent protesters from accessing the pier when Representative Paul Ryan was attending a function aboard one of the Gage boats. The piers are public property and should always be open to the public during reasonable daylight hours and times.
There is every precedent for closing the facility at night or if some unsafe condition occurs, but that’s not the case in this instance. Add to this the equally ridiculous determination by the city’s new head of the Utility Department about the erosion taking place between the sand on the north shore of Lake Geneva’s private (pay to play) beach and the south sloping side of Library Park. The Duke of Earl thinks the erosion is caused by big waves. He’s allegedly supported in that argument by ‘Pants on Fire Draper’, and the Lake Geneva Surf Association. You pick which one of those entities is real.
Following the broken logic of the Duke of Earl leads to the building of a wall to contain these giant breakers, heaping up out of the Fontana Deeps and rolling all the way onto the shores of Lake Geneva. The price for building a retaining wall against non-existent waves has now plunged down to five figure amounts. That the erosion is coming from run off from the park and needs to be addressed by building a reasonable drainage system is self-evident, but that’s not going to happen. The United States is not in the throes of embracing logical systems of thought based on mathematics and physics, so the decision is to fight the waves.
Lake Geneva’s representative and appointed leaders have come to be ruled by a philosophy based more on the Game of Thrones rather than reality. Dragons are everywhere and the entertainment of it all is certainly worth spending lots of money on because the truth about reality is just too boring and tough to take. They now want to redo the Riviera at a cost of millions, although the Duke of Earl must be credited with some reality in his analysis of that project. “How about the decaying piers and crumbling concrete supports that hold up the entire structure?”
Try answering that question without giving any thought to the upper structure. The Duke of Earl had his act together with respect to the Riviera Structure, but proved he’s not infallible when it comes to being an expert on limnology (the study of the biological, chemical, and physical features of lakes and other bodies of fresh water), or he would have to figure out that, although water can be blown to create small waves across the top of small lakes like Lake Geneva’s own, the real culprit is rain and gravity. The city council needs to say no to the wall, and yes to figuring out how to handle the obvious (photo below) erosion, and then to really sit down and analyze the foundations of the whole Riviera complex before proceeding with its redevelopment. Over all the Duke of Earl is proving to be quite an improvement over his predecessor, but somebody needs to teach him a bit more about the scientific discipline of limnology, and also about preventing obnoxious private possession expression on public property.