Our Place

Don’t believe in global warming?
It might be good to consider what’s happening with the ice castle they are trying to ‘grow’ on Lake Geneva’s main beach, and the skating rink they can’t get around to forming in Flat Iron Park. What seems to be the problem? The mid-to-late December temperature in downtown Lake Geneva was over fifty degrees for several days last weekend. Even nighttime temperatures go down to barely freezing temperatures. For many Wisconsin residents who experienced winters of old in Wisconsin, the weather is downright balmy for much of the time from December through February. Will the ice castle make it (not by December 23rd as scheduled, and that’s pretty certain) and will the skating rink ever get filled in by the fire department? The times they are a changing.

Winter Solstice and more.
The word ‘solstice’ translates from the Latin, with ‘sol’ being the sun, and ‘stitium’ meaning to stand still.  This year’s solstice will peak on Friday, December 21st. at 4:22 pm. Actually, the 20th and 22nd will have days just as short but who’s doing that kind of analytical astrophysical homework? The solstice occurs because of the sun’s position in the sky, which changes with the earth’s poles tilting toward and away from it as the year goes by. This movement appears to pause, relative to the horizon at noon, in the days surrounding the solstice, although in reality, there is no stoppage at all. Winter Solstice, this astronomical phenomenon, marks the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. Winter solstice varies from year to year and can fall anywhere between December 20th and December 23rd, with the 21st or 22nd being the most common dates. Regardless of where you live, the solstice happens at the same moment for everyone on the planet. The solstice occurs on a specific day, but it also occurs at a specific time of day, corresponding to the instant the North Pole has aimed furthest away from the sun on the 23.5-degree tilt of the Earth’s axis. This year’s solstice will be Friday, December 21st. at 4:22 pm.

The winter solstice will also provide a full moon in the night sky. The upcoming full moon named the Cold Moon or the Long Night Moon will be visible during the longest night of the year.

The two events don’t perfectly align. The peak full Moon will occur on December 22 at 12:49 p.m. EST while the winter solstice falls a day earlier on December 21. However, to the typical person viewing the moon, it will appear full for several days.

The last time it occurred was in 2010 and the next event will not be until 2094. On December 21 you will also be able to see Mercury and Jupiter in conjunction in the long night sky. On top of all that, the Ursid meteor shower will peak on the nights of December 21 and 22, adding shooting starts to the mix.


The unfortunate state of affairs when one party rules too many institutions.
Wisconsin did not go to ‘hell in a handbag’ exactly last week, but it sure eased toward an entry point toward doing exactly that, as the state house and senate voted to go to war with the executive office holder. The soon to be former governor, ‘Take a Walk Walker,’ signed bills generated by both houses to lessen the powers of the incoming governor.

Person of the Week

Sean Payne Lake Geneva

Sean Payne at the Cocoa Crawl, Clearwater Outdoor Sports, The Farmer’s Market. Business Improvement District. The man is all those things but he’s also secretly Santa Claus. Tell no one, especially no children. He’s working furiously away right now, and can’t be interrupted…oh, and be good around him.


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