Our Place

The artful dodger.
Back in 2013 the Geneva Shore Report ran a story about a famous local artist by the name of Joseph Kinnebrew. At the time, Joe claimed to have become all but homeless due to the end of his romantic liaison with a rather famous lake resident by the name of Bonnie Deutsch. Bonnie lives on the water over in Bonnie Brae estates. It seems that when the torrid love affair was over, the couple having traveled to France, Monaco and other exotic places meeting heads of state and other famous artists, Joe was allegedly locked out of first the home he lived in with Bonnie at the estates, and then the studio he worked from to produce his sculpture and oil paintings in nearby downtown Lake Geneva.

When he finally regained some traction, Joe moved on to Washington State with the help of some long time supporters and art admirers. He lives

Joe Kinnebrew and Bonnie Deutsch

Joseph Kinnebrew and Bonnie Deutsch in a better moment

and works out there to this day, but he has never forgotten what happened to him. Today he filed a long simmering lawsuit against Bonnie Deutsch in Federal Court. Nate Cade, out of Milwaukee, a rough and tough attorney to be sure, is his attorney. With Mr. “Bulldog” Cade’s assistance, Joe is seeking to remove the remaining painful knife stuck into his side (or back, if you talk to Joe). That knife has everything to do with the fact that Bonnie allegedly adamantly refused to return Joe’s large sculptures adorning her estate over there on the western side of lake.

The large sculptures are so wonderful that they are often mentioned by guides on the Gage Marine tours conducted around the lake for tourists all summer long. It is obvious, by Bonnie’s continuing possessions of Joe’s work that she loves his art. It would seem she simply fell out of love with the artist who did the work. Joe filed in Federal Court to get his art back. He’s only filed suit for seventy-five thousand dollars, plus expenses and whatever other compensation the court might see fit to award. That’s about what Joe used to get from one sculpture alone, so it seems that some of Joe’s old care for Bonnie still remains. Stories like Joe’s are not common place anymore in the American culture. The successful palimony lawsuits in California basically set a legal precedent for such situations. If a wealthy patron supports someone like a successful artist and helps that person build their reputation and brand, then the wealthy patron cannot simply walk away and keep whatever artwork is left laying around. If Bonnie does not attempt to settle this case (which to the uninitiated might seems wise) then a protracted and ugly legal and social battle could ensue.

What were the reasons for the allegedly breakup? What really happened? And what is a fair trade, possibly, for all the alleged assistance Bonnie provided Joe in getting better known and ahead? Maybe a lurid court case might reveal the details of this alleged lurid affair. In one way, the Geneva Shore Report would love to see the case settled so the ‘poor’ artist can get his stuff back with the possibility of a few bucks for his alleged abandonment and suffering. On the other hand, the Geneva Shore Report staff would love to see the whole story play out in court to see what really goes on in these sort of “Downton Abbey” kinds of situations. This high brow affair has occurred right here in Lake Geneva’s city proper, and in the quiet unspoken wealthy estate in Town of Linn nearby.   There will be plenty more to report on as time goes by. Bonnie won’t be served until later in the week. Quite possibly this newspaper edition might reach her before the process servers.

Added Resource

Long term project?

Landcsaping at the Riviera

Here’s the latest ‘progress’ when it comes to watching grass grow in front of the Riviera Pier. That this whole no landscape job cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and is still not finished is astounding, but true. Wait. That sign will probably still be there when the first snow falls.:

Delayed Projects. Why is the Riviera remodeling and Highway 50 widening taking so long? What is the cause of the delay on Highway 50? The cause of the delay started back during the scramble to get the last TIF projects approved and included before the TIF closing deadline. In trying to set up so many projects in such a short time, there was insufficient time to properly schedule the interrelated tasks with the companies needed to do the work, especially the power & light company (utility) over which the city has little control or influence. This difficult situation was compounded by delays, and is being further complicated with the retirement, and scheduled retirements, of key personnel in that secretive utility administration. The net result is that some things have been at a standstill all summer, which for the widening of Highway 50 may be a mixed blessing. Rebuilding the road during peak tourist season was poor planning at best, and a delay until fall may well be a bit better for all concerned.   But why haven’t the yellow caution ribbons all around the Riviera been taken down? They have been up since May, and no additional work needs to be done in the areas restricted by them.

Other than mowing the grass, no work has been done in those areas for almost a month, so why leave the yellow ribbons up when a football field can be re-sodded in one week between games. The remodeling appears to be complete except for filling the seasonal planters, which remain empty. There are no bushes, flowers or greenery except grass in the central area. This makes the whole area look barren and empty. The answer as to why the yellow ribbons have not been taken down may be that, as long as the ribbon remain up it implies that the work is not yet completed (although it is) and that it will look better when it is completed. The area looking barren is considered “OK” while it is under construction, but if people knew that this is what it will look like when it is completed, then it might be a bit of an embarrassment.

So the yellow caution ribbon will remain up until either Winkler retires, or winter sets in and residents have forgotten how good the front of the Riviera looked before the remodeling was done. The workmanship is fine, the fountain is fine, the bricks are fine, but the design of the area would better fit in a sterile easy to clean brick and concrete mall, or an entrance to a hospital, than it fits a warm cozy resort area that ought to be built for relaxing and enjoying the view. There’s a rectangular box tied to the base of one of the lamp posts in the restricted area near the front of the Riviera. It is filled with “Signature Brick Order Forms”, which was the one of the driving forces behind the remodeling of property, the other driving force was simplified maintenance, both of which have resulted in a cold rather than a warm aesthetic improvement. Likely, there won’t be many brick signatures’ requested.

Cartoon by Terry O'Neill


Grandest Person in Our Place

Christine at the Venetian Festival Lake Geneva 2106

Christine, the grandest person of the carnival and the week. Christine runs a balloon popping stand during the Venetian Festival every year (her 5th this year) and she’s magnificent to children of all ages, including really old ones. Wh,at a pleasure to encounter her in Flat Iron Park doing her thing.



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