Letters to the Editor

Hard Rain. Does it cleanse? Does it cause more damage than it takes care of by providing plants and animals with plenty of pure freshwaters? Does it flood and cause disease, famine and even death? Water coming down from the sky is almost an allegory for life itself. Not truly predictable, yet kind of manageable in advance, but not always. Kind of wonderfully cool and cleansing but burning pain if it arrives in over-supply, just like life.  Rain and snow are headed this way. Hard rain. Moisture that will cleanse, obscure, flood and cause disruption at the very least. How does one prepare for the result when the result is not truly predictable? And are we not back to considering life itself?  How do we prepare for the future when we have so little idea of what that future might bring? We prepare for everything, and then the doorbell rings and a key person in life has died, or been elected, or gotten rich or terribly poor

That damned doorbell of life!  Hard rain. We welcome its arrival, but we wait to see whether or not we should have dreaded it.  There’s a house on a river not twenty miles down Highway 50 from where I live. The river floods all the time in spring and fall. The water comes up over the bank where this house is situated, and usually lays down about two feet of water in the first floor spaces of the house. The people who own the property live there all year around. They don’t move. They accommodate times of flood by moving everything upstairs, including the generator. They are well stocked with food, and just about everything else. The water comes up and they move up. The water comes down and they move down, to clean up and prepare for the next flood. They seem to much love and enjoy their relationship with the water coming down and the river itself.  I asked them if they would consider moving to somewhere not so flood-prone. They just looked back at me like I was an idiot. I don’t live in their world. Hard rain.

Anonymous contributor


The once proud, noble and very much-admired City of Lake Geneva has been the victim of so many threats and abuses lately that the city is about to put itself on the Suicide Watch List. Despite the love coming from the citizens and tourists who continue to cherish her unique “small-town charm” and the soulful environment she generates by her union with nature in Geneva Lake, Hillmoor, the shore path and more, she recognizes the forces of disruption and subversion are actively working to quash her spirit and character. This friendly and giving experience of a small town that enriches our lives is the essential characteristic of the city and is memorialized in the city’s mission statement.

The contrarians running City Hall have the opposite view. Growth and development are their templates, so the city can become more urbanized and more metropolitan—just like all the other American cities strive to do. Hillmoor, like Geneva Lake, is a gift from heaven wedded to the city to enhance her appeal to tourists and citizens alike.

Hillmoor’s potential to return to greatness as a community development center is being extinguished by the contrarians in favor of speculative development to satisfy the extortion demands of a shopping mall developer. Joseph Freed & Associates was once the largest shopping mall developer in the country, but now it’s president Larry Freed sits in a Minnesota penitentiary planning to recover his fortune using the well-respected name and honorable reputation of the City of Lake Geneva. Citizens of the city have expressed their opposition to the speculative commercial development being planned by Larry Freed, but Mayor Hartz said he and the Alderman have already decided they want development. A special meeting of the city council and plan commission is planned for Wednesday, November 13, at 6:00 p.m. for them to see and choose a concept plan for developing Hillmoor. When challenged about taking the public’s opinion into consideration, the mayor replied that he’s only heard from the ‘squeaky wheels’ in the community. the “silent majority” definitely want Hillmoor developed or else they would have come to the Vision Sessions for the Comprehensive Plan Update to voice their objection. The Mayor refused to send out a survey or to have a public referendum on Hillmoor. We believe the Mayor is fearful of finding out who really represents the silent majority. Our chance to find out will be on Nov. 13.

If enough people show up and show support for Hillmoor, we can save both Hillmoor and the City of Lake Geneva.

Dick Malmin, Geneva Lake activist

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