The Lake Geneva Regional News sells to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Effective February 1, 2019, the 147-year-old newspaper will be owned by the Lee Enterprises Group out of Iowa. That company also owns the Wisconsin State Journal and the Capital Times in Madison. This information was first confirmed by Robb Ireland, the current managing editor of the Regional News, on Tuesday morning. Mr. Ireland appeared rather peeved, according to the opinion of the reporter who made the telephonic connection with him. But he did confirm that the paper had been sold. Mr. Ireland’s continuance to lead the local paper was not put to him, considering he appeared unhappy, not only (possibly) with the sale, but because the Geneva Shore Reporter’s cell phone came back to a personal name instead of the GSR name, and he indicated that he thought that was an ethical violation, before he hung up. One wonders if the owners of Lee Enterprises use personal cell phones to communicate with their managing editors. Those executives might be in for a rude surprise. Lee Enterprises owns many newspapers and the progressive bent of the group is not really much in question. The Lake Geneva Regional News has not been known as a progressive newspaper. In fact, anything but.
What direction is this newspaper going to travel into the future? One can only guess.
This story is so important to the life of Geneva Lake that it warrants re-running from our December 22nd, 2018 issue.
What was done in response to finding Starry Stonewort (SSW) in Rice Lake in Minnesota in 2016 should have been done in Geneva Lake in 2018, but it was not, and why was it not done? First, in Rice Lake, Minnesota the problem went from awareness of SSW to the removal of it within 3 months, with a follow-up and prevention plan. A brief recap of what they did follows:
- August 2016 a weed control company concern about SSW infestation, notified the DNR.
- The DNR ran an inspection.
- Sept. 1st DNR notified Rice Lake Association (RLA) and confirmed a single Starry Stonewort infestation at the Southwest corner of the lake by the South DNR ramp. Immediately, RLA worked with the DNR and KLA on an action plan to 1.) Contain the area 2.) Treat, eradicate and manage SSW. 3.) Determine an ongoing Plan for prevention.
- Sept.7th – DNR closed the South access ramp
- September 12th – Installed a non-permeable silt barrier around the affected area.
- October 13th and 14th -Suction dredging began
- October 20th – Post suction dredging, a follow-up vegetation survey
- October 21st -The first treatment algaecide & herbicide treatment
- November 11th -the last chemical treatment for this year
- November barrier removed for the winter & South ramp closed until further notice.
In the Geneva Lake area, the GLEA (Geneva Lake Environmental Agency) became aware of Starry Stonewort and had an inspection of the lake and it too also verified a single infestation in the lake in the Trinke lagoon area, but that is where their authority and the similarity between Rice Lake and the Geneva Lake infestation ends. Unlike the Rice Lake Association, there is no single governmental authority for Geneva Lake with the authority to take action on behalf of Geneva Lake, because the individual authorities around the lake will not relinquish any of their authority over their section of the lake to another agency. A further complication of the issue is Trinke Estates who owns the lagoon in which there are multiple piers and has the responsibility to dredge the lagoon once every 20 years to remove silt buildup, does not have the authority to do it. A permit is required to do the work but the Trinke Estates board who can request the permit has not met since last spring and according to one member, members have not even received any notice of the Starry Stonewort problem in the lagoon from their association.
The difference between Rice Lake and Geneva Lake is that the City of Rice Lake is a newly formed and united town with community goals; whereas, the communities around Geneva Lake are divided into communities guided by self-interest with conflicting goals and financial agendas that have created distrust among the communities that surround Geneva Lake. The conflicting and uncompromising self-interest of the members of any family, group or community will ultimately hurt or destroy the items on which they do not agree, just as a bitter divorce which wounds the parents does even more damage to the children. Geneva Lake should be our top priority not personal or financial gain or the exploitation of it, but as the communities around the lake continue on their separate paths, time is wasted and the lake’s life is being shortened.