Looking on the Bright Side

The day the lights went out in Lake Geneva.
Traffic lights, that is. 9:30 on Saturday morning. A squirrel merrily making its way along the very top edge of a high power line in the eastern part of Highway 50 (as it runs under Highway 12) ran into an obstacle. The impediment in the squirrel’s way was something obviously foreign to the inexperienced four- footed character with a big bushy tail. Instead of avoiding the transformer in its path, the squirrel leaped up into the air and ascended into squirrel heaven, taking most of the transformer with it in the ensuing explosion.   As a result, the lights went out in Lake Geneva. All of Lake Geneva. And the electricity for everything else followed at the speed of light, or electricity, in this case. Traffic lights quit instantly. Store alarms, not backed up with batteries, failed.

The entire employee operation of the Lake Geneva Fire Department and Rescue had to be called into work in order to deal with the fact that the few buildings high enough to have elevators had people stuck between floors in those elevators. Many of the stuck individuals were old. What do you do in that situation? Which is potentially more dangerous, trying to haul them up and out of the shafts, or trying to make them comfortable where they are until the power can be restored? If they are left, as most were in this crisis, then talk therapy is absolutely required, and was, unfortunately tying up almost a whole fire department for just over an hour. At 10:30 the power was restored. Alliant worked a miracle, having by chance had a spare transformer only a quarter of a mile away.

Thank you to Alliant and the fire and police departments of Lake Geneva, that responded with the quiet professionalism they so often exhibit.


Fellow Mortals takes a potentially mortal blow.
The trial of Fellow Mortals versus American Transmission Company (ATC) has ended. Last Thursday, October 13th Judge (Cold as the Driven Snow) Johnson ruled in favor of ATC. ATC is now free to clear cut the foliage in the easement of the Fellow Mortals Animal Hospital and possibly many more properties in the area if the utility line owners feel the least bit crowded by vegetation. The last line of defense is the Town of Geneva that has an ordinance that may or may not prevent ATC from getting a permit to continue their scorched earth plan. Many have stepped up to support this important environmental cause. ATC, and many deadly companies like it, are contracted by utilities everywhere. They are hired to maintain lines and trim or remove any foliage that could or does compromise the lines from working consistently and effectively. They do what’s smart for them and costs the least money. Is that wrong? Are the people who lose beauty, privacy, wildlife, trees, shrubs and vegetation wrong to oppose how these clear cut companies do their jobs? Fellow Mortals has accepted the ruling and plans to move forward with their mission and passion to care for wildlife and the environment. Animals in and near the hospital will be moved to different locations to prepare for the clearcutting. Raising money to continue what they do and to offset all the accumulated legal fees will continue.   There will be one last gathering around the base of the many hundreds of years old grandfather spruce that’s going to be executed.  There is a time and a place for everything under heaven and it’s time for the spruce to die.

The Grandfather Spruce

Grandfather Spruce wanted Saved

The giant grandfather spruce on Fellow Mortals property near Palmer Road behind Geneva National is about to be cut up for firewood. The American (should be Soviet) Transmission Company is going to hack it down after winning a court battle to hack stuff down. The big bad guys win another round.


The Thrift-In’ begins work to become a Lake Geneva institution.
Another new shop is set to open in downtown Lake Geneva. It will be opening in the lower level of 252 Center Street, downstairs from the Geneva Java Coffee Shop. This place is going to be a thrift shop like few others. They’ll carry just about anything you might want in your house, yard or garage. The multiplicity of things found in such places will be their specialty, but there will be more. How much more? They’ve rented two nearby storage facilities to handle the load, so expect great stuff at great prices with the place making its money primarily on rapid turnover, rather than high margins. They hope to be fully operational by the mid to late November.


By unanimous vote the Lake Geneva Planning Commission ruled on Monday night that more tattoo parlors can be opened in Lake Geneva.  After all, the existing ‘grandfathered’ tattoo parlors look so good, and add to the ambient beauty of the community.  The commission, most of whom have tattoos you cannot normally see, apparently, did stop at tongue-splitting.  They declared, again unanimously, that the only split tongues allowed in Lake Geneva will  be those displayed by members of either the city council or the planning commission.  X-Files investigators of the Geneva Shore Report, attending the meeting, could only sit by in quiet agreement.  There is no question that split tongues have a place in city government.  Speaking in tongues, another often used tool of local city government, was not spoken about, at least not in any language known to the investigators.

Terry O’Neill Cartoon of the Week

Cartoon by Terry O'Neill Lake Geneva

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