What is the Kite Lady up to now?
What is this kindly but irascible woman doing now that is creating a bit of a wrinkle in the air above Lake Geneva? It has nothing to do with the kites she sells. She sells other things, and one of those other flying things has become a minor point of controversy. The little things are Asian hot air balloons. Specifically, small light paper lanterns which are inflated with hot air from the ignition and burn a small flammable tab attached below the paper envelope. Hot air expands and goes up, as everyone knows. The cheap little paper balloons are intended to be inflated at night, and then released to cross the lake looking like small slow-moving UFOs or maybe giant fireflies. The little tab eventually burns out and the paper and balsa wood envelope falls to the ground or into the lake. Unless the winds are fickle, in which case the paper envelopes can catch fire and then plunge onto the shingles covering the top of houses or dry grass anywhere. Concern about this has been brought up by some Lake Geneva residents who’ve gone out in the morning to find the remains of burned out balloon envelopes in their yards.
None other than Dennis Jordan, Grand Knight and holder of the Police and Fire Commission Chalice of Leadership, has declared the little Asian instruments of fire and brimstone illegal. Illegal to launch from private property in Lake Geneva. Not illegal to launch from public property because of conflicting state law. As usual, and in the grand form he was known for evidencing when he was Lake Geneva’s City Administrator, Dennis Jordan was able to ride on both sides of the fence. The pesky or beautiful (take your pick) little hot air balloons are here to stay, or travel, as they please. The Kite Lady sells them, and plenty of customer’s flock in to buy them, particularly the ones who don’t appreciate their neighbors quite as much as others might. The Kite Lady very adamantly and strictly (you need to know her to understand the depth of that) educates those who buy these lanterns. If you are intending to bother your neighbors, or worse, then make sure you do so following the Kite Lady’s detailed instructions.
The concrete jungle.
They are done. A few hundred thousand dollars, here and there, and you can take your grass and convert it into a neat sidewalk supplement like Lake Geneva has done down near the lake on Wrigley Drive. Flat Iron Park gets the “improvement” of extra sidewalk width running all the way up to where Broad Street takes over. Actually, the whole park could be paved for not too much more money, thereby making it much easier for pedestrians to walk about on and spread blankets out for picnics upon. An idea which should appeal to certain city leaders who keep confusing access for comfort, safety for ambiance and flat out ugliness for beauty.
Grandest Place, Marsalas