Looking on the Bright Side

 

Mikey Huml retired from the United States Post Office to the vast seething disappointment of almost everyone who went into the quaint little place on the southeast corner of Center and Main Streets. The guy was simply one of “those” kinds of guys. You liked him upon walking up to the counter, nothing had to be said, and when something was said you liked him even more. When he left he swept out without notice, except his departure was hugely felt by almost everyone who walked through the door after he was gone. But he’s not gone. Possibly unwisely, possibly strangely, and quite possibly wonderfully, he now comes back to the public as a greeter at Wal-Mart. He’s hired! Yes, the bright, friendly and effective Wal-Mart management team that runs the Lake Geneva store has done something right. And they know it. Interviewing the management team was easy.

All the Geneva Shore Report investigator had to do was mention Mike’s name to them and smiles appeared on everyone’s face, just like on the investigator’s face. That is the effect one warm, kind, intelligent and caring man can have on people and it’s a pleasure to observe and participate in. The Geneva Shore Report has never written these words before: “Go on over and visit the local Lake Geneva Wal-Mart.”

If Mikey is at the door on that lower south entrance, near that crummy little McDonalds, greeting people then get yourself greeted. No matter what your state when you enter the store, you will proceed up and down the aisles inside with that Mikey smile plastered across your face. What’s that worth? Priceless.

GSR Drone Phantom III

The Phantom II, formerly operated by the Geneva Shore Report is no more. The cap pistol strapped to the side of it was an indicator of the kind of sick humor than can get newspaper staff sent to Quantanamo for retraining. The new Phantom III should be up (without the pistol!) by next week.

 

Drones are, indeed, those little buzzing flying things that serve merely to do nothing of substance except flit about and look down at everything else. The electro-mechanical versions are considered both a blessing and a curse on society today, not unlike America’s current crop of presidential candidates. The Walworth County Sheriff’s have quietly bought one and are training on its use as this is written. Town of Linn is following suit. Both the Fire Department and the Police Department in Lake Geneva have agreed to call on the Geneva Shore Report’s drone when they feel they need it.

What’s the value?

Tremendous at some times, and irritating at other times. It’s tremendous if there’s a report of someone having fallen through the ice somewhere on the surface of Geneva Lake and the entire lake needs to be swept to find out where he or she went down. Without a drone, the exercise, in the cold, wind and snow, is likely to be fruitless from the get go. With a drone, it’s easy and quick. It’s irritating, however, if anyone is having dinner on a terrific patio restaurant enjoying the sunset when a drone fly’s by and decides to hover and take in the dining crowd. There are rules about drones today, but they are pretty murky and open to interpretation, almost like trying to figure out when a catch in the end-zone is a real “catch” or not.

For example; when flying a drone one must not violate a citizen’s “expectation of privacy.” Try to work with that phrase. That the phrase, written into Wisconsin law, calls for an opinion of the person being observed by the drone on the ground below, is without question. The interpretation, like the interpretation of the word pornography, is almost impossible to define in general. People have different opinions. And they don’t often tell the truth about them. Police and fire departments can own drones and use them but are restricted to using them only for pre-determined emergency situations, or if a judge has signs a warrant based upon probable cause that a crime has been committed. Private citizen’s are under no such restrictions, however.

Only that “expectation of privacy” governs the use of a drone by a private citizens. All drones must now be registered and have a license so that owners can be tracked down in case of misuse. What’s coming in the future with respect to drones is very debatable, but one thing is certain. There are going to be a lot more of them in the air in the years ahead.

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