Our Place

The Nord wind.
A welcome to David Nord, the new city administrator. His job will not be easy. In the City of Lake Geneva, and in the surrounding area, there are multiple and conflicting views (wants, needs, desires) for the area and the city’s future. The diversity of opinion is normally a good sign, because it is only when there is an overwhelming threat or fear that people with conflicting views and wants unite to protect a common element. However, not all is well with the conflicting views these days. Some conflicting views are incompatible and produce a fork in the road or an obstruction to the City of Lake Geneva and its future. Conflicting views that are mutually exclusive will eventually result in the elimination of one of those views.

There are two distinct views regarding the area, and the city’s future, that are on a collision course. The collision course is over expansion, growth, revenue, and profit, versus preserving the city’s history, small-town atmosphere and unique features and resources for the future. These forces don’t have to be on a collision course because the city’s prime land and precious resources do not have to be opened to development for the benefit, profit and wants of a few.

The problem is that resources once consumed are gone forever, like Lake Geneva’s Northwestern Train Station. So, how will this new city administrator, David Nord, fulfill his duties to the city, and how will he address key issues like development, Hillmoor, The Riviera, boat launch, parking, etc.? Will he listen, lead, guide and direct, or follow on these issues, not to mention the powerfully conflicting forces? Only time will tell, but someday he will no longer be the city administrator, and it is hoped that when he leaves that position, everyone can say the same thing about him that most say about Blaine Oborn: “He is a good honest man and he will be missed.”

The Yerkes case continues to be mysterious, and subject to intensely close and penetrating investigation. After the series of five front-page stories in the Geneva Shore Report, and the release of numerous press releases, Ted Gregory, working with the Front Desk of the Chicago Tribune, finally called for an in-depth consultation on the situation the Lake Geneva communities are going through with the University of Chicago over the loss of the Yerkes Observatory. It is hoped that the Tribune will throw itself into the fray and work toward some resolution that keeps the observatory open in some fashion. The loss of this hugely vital and important historical icon would damage the communities around Lake Geneva to the core.

To say that the Yerkes is an anchor property is an understatement, to the communities around the lake and particularly to Williams Bay. Why is a 17 billion-dollar operation troubling with this little place that might, on a good day, sell for fifteen million dollars to some developer? What is it? This should be so far beneath the university’s notice that it brings up motivation as something to be considered. Who is it on the staff or board or is a graduate of the university with power, who might want this little piece of historic property for his or her own?

The GSR is on the trail of finding out who this mystery ‘Phantom of the Observatory’ might be. Where there’s smoke there’s not necessarily fire, but deep down there sure as hell are probably some hot burning embers. The GSR is going down, in pursuit.

The Business of the Week

Seasons on The Lake, Lake Geneva

“Seasons on the Lake,” at 757 Main Street, is a quiet gift shop in Lake Geneva. It’s full of gifts for everyone. You don’t want to miss this inexpensive shop when you’re out doing your Christmas gift buying.



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