Halt your hibernation, and join the chilly festivities at Lake Geneva’s Winterfest. Enjoy the fest in the city’s historic downtown and relish all the activities it has to offer.
This family-friendly event brings winter fun despite the freezing temperatures. It includes snow sculptures, helicopter rides, music, refreshments, an ice bar and so much more.
The fest runs from Jan. 28 to Feb. 12, and it’s perhaps best known for hosting the U.S Snow Sculpting Competition. The competition includes 15 teams from across the country.
The sculptures can be viewed downtown in front of the Riviera and along Wrigley Drive.
The winners are determined by judges as well as an award for people’s choice.
“I really enjoy the snow sculptures,” said Patricia Suane, Chicago. “ I like the creativity they bring to Lake Geneva.”
Besides the sculptures, the Baker House is a hotspot in town during this time. The lakefront hotel and restaurant is featuring their seventh annual “Fire & Ice” bar.
The 20 foot bar is carved completely out of ice. Ice carved tables and benches draped with fur add to the ambiance.
This year it’s bigger than ever and includes two heated snow globes to relax and have a drink in. So, let loose and take a shot from the vodka ice luge, enjoy a drink served by the beautiful ‘ice angels’, or cozy up by a fire pit with a delicious hot toddy.
“It’s a unique thing you can’t find outside of the area”, said Joey DeVries, Hebron, Illinois, about Winterfest. He said the fest is going on during a time when the town would ordinarily be “dead”.
The fest draws in locals and out-of-towners alike, and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser. During Winterfest there’s no shortage of fun, and there is something for everyone.
Make sure to beat the sun, and get to Lake Geneva before the sculptures melt.
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Shown above: A snow sculpture in the U.S Snow Sculpture Competition in downtown Lake Geneva.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs gave advice to students through personal stories of his triumphs, failures, and the grey area in between . He advised the importance of finding a passion and not giving up on it.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Jobs said.
The 50-year-old detailed the pancreatic cancer diagnosis that shook his world in 2003, and being a “public failure” after former Apple CEO John Sculley, and the board of directors, fired him in 1985.
“I’ve been rejected, but I was still in love,” Jobs said, of being pushed-out from the company he started.
After feeling devastated for a few months, Jobs started over and followed his passion. He founded NeXT Computer Co. , bought Pixar Animation Studios, and fell in love with his wife Laurene.
Unexpectedly, being fired from Apple was one of the best things to ever happen to him.
“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner,” Jobs said. It led to one of the most creative periods of his life, he said. He urged students not to give up or lose faith.
Throughout his speech, he reiterated that students should not settle for anything less than what they’re passionate about. He detailed the importance of finding love for their career and in their lover. He said they need to have courage and follow their heart.
Jobs didn’t always know what his path would be in life. He dropped out of college after one semester of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He didn’t have a direction and felt he was wasting his parents’ savings.
Jobs was adopted as a baby, and his biological parents were University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate students. His, adopted, parents didn’t go to college and his mother didn’t want to give him up, but she agreed after his new parents promised her he would go to college.
Jobs jokingly said the commencement was the closest he’s been to a college graduation.
After dropping out of college, he went back to school as a drop-in; taking classes he found interesting. He credited a calligraphy class for influencing the typography for Mac Computers. Without this class Mac computers wouldn’t have beautiful typography, he said.
Jobs explains how he didn’t know how big of an impact the class would have in his future, but looking back “the dots”, as he called them, connected, and it was meant to be.
He expressed how believing that everything will work out, “will give you the confidence to follow your heart and lead you off the well-worn path.”
When Jobs finally did find his direction in life, he dove in head-first. At age 20 he started Apple Computers with his friend Steve Wozniak ,“Woz”, in his parents’ garage. He finally found his passion and possessed an unrelenting drive ever since.
A decade after Jobs was fired, Apple bought his company NeXT, and, once again, he was in his rightful place.
Now, his past challenges paled in comparison to his cancer diagnosis. Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003 and was given only three-six months to live. But, in 2004 the cancerous tumer was removed with surgery. This brush with death helped mold his perspective on life.
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking,” Jobs said.
Jobs’ path wasn’t always a traditional one. He went from a college dropout,with no direction, to the creator and CEO of Apple computers. However, that’s the point. He followed his heart and found sucess. Each person has a unique path ahead of them, and Jobs’ central message was for the students’ to have the courage to follow it.
What’s the hot spot in town on Thursdays you wonder? The Lake Geneva farmers market; where locally sourced goods, fresh flowers, and produce are sold by local vendors who draw in community members and out-of-towners alike.
Enjoy all the farmers market has to offer while being surrounded by the city’s vibrant fall foliage and indulge in fresh doughnuts, crisp vegetables, luxurious hand-made soaps and more.
*The Lake Geneva farmers market is held every thursday until October 27. It runs from 8 a.m. to 1p.m. and is located in front of Horticultural Hall on Broad Street. The market features locally-grown goods, produce, and crafts.
Sean Payne, manager of the market, has been in charge of the farmers market for six years. Payne has deep roots in Lake Geneva; his great uncle Christopher Payne was its first settler, he said.
This lifelong connection to the city shaped Payne’s passion to see the market thrive. He enjoys the “small town feel” of the farmer’s market, and that you can talk to the very person who harvested your food.
“There’s something special about that. In talking to the person who can tell you exactly where your food came from”, Payne said.
Tracy Isler, Elkhorn, works for Soap of The Earth. A small, family-owned company in Whitewater that makes goat milk and olive oil based soap by hand on the company farm.
The company prides itself on being all-natural. All the herbs used in the soap are grown on the farm in an organic garden and the milk is from their very own Nubian goats.
Isler has been selling the soap at the market for three years and making it for two. She became involved in the company three years ago when she simply needed a job and the opportunity arose.
She described the market as being beneficial to the community and the vendors themselves.
“To support the local farmers is just wonderful”, Isler said.
To support local business, the market has rules for its vendors: they must be local and the goods and produce must be homemade, Payne said.
He said the market increased in popularity, and in the six years he was in charge, it increased from 25 to 50 vendors. Plus, there’s a waiting list for vendors itching to get a spot.
Larissa Bilous, Pell Lake, comes to the market a couple times a month and says she likes the organic produce and appreciates venders where the whole family works together.
The market may be nearing the end of the season, but it’s not too late to stock up on local products and check out what all the vendors have to offer.
Mayor Gustavus Petykiewicz’s budget proposal was presented to city council on Tuesday detailing the proposed budget that, if passed, will be in effect December, 1 2016.
Major points in the proposal include increased taxes, layoffs of police, and garbage pickup included on the water bill for $35 a month.
“I come to you with a heavy heart”, the mayor said. Who describes the city of being in a financial crisis. He knows not everyone will be happy with the budget and urges people to contact him with concerns.
The Susquehanna Steel Corporation shutdown of Unit 1 in August, that laid off 600 people, caused nearly $100 million less in taxable property resulting the financial woes.
The proposed tax increase would go from 4 mills to 4.3 mills. For a house worth $100,000 4.3 mills would equate to $430.
Two officers would be laid off to cut costs, and the city will go from 8 to 10 officers. The 4 a.m. to noon shift would be policed by Schuykill County sheriffs to save money.
“I oppose this plan. The mayor is wrong.”, said Police Chief Roman Hruska.
Hruska believes the plan to cut officers is unsafe. He continues, “I cannot stand idly by and watch a city of this size be deprived of police protection for one-third of each day.”
Hruska challenged the Mayor to take a 10 percent pay cut if he does the same. The mayor agreed.
President of Kittatinny City Council Denelda Penoyer and President of Pennsylvania Police Association Local 34 Bjarne Westhoff support taxes raised even higher at 5 mills in order to save police jobs.
“There will be some people that cannot afford to pay.”, Penoyer said. “We’re all in this together.”
“The police chief and mayor do not get along.” Westhoff said. He calls the plan to cut police dangerous.
Two personnel of The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are to be laid off in the mayor’s proposal. Martha Mittengrabben,the president of AFSCME Local 644, agrees on taxes going up to 5 mills to avoid union layoffs. “There must be a spirit of shared sacrifice”, Mittengrabben said.
To raise revenue the mayor plans on increasing meter fees on Main Street from 10 cents to 25 cents per hour and fees for annual parking permits from $65 to $75 a year.
The mayor also plans to increase parking tickets and citations. Westhoff doesn’t agree and said, “We’re not revenue generating machines. That’s not our job.”
To increase jobs the mayor seeks to promote more tourism and “rebrand” Kittatinny. He plans to reach out to developers of hotels, waterparks, and resorts. “We’re just starting to reach out. It’s not something that is going to happen quickly”, he said.
The budget also allows $50 thousand on a riding mower, a weed-removing vehicle and a combination dump truck/snow plow. He described White Deer Lake as being a tourist destination and wants to keep it weed-free.
Penoyer urges citizens to get involved and said there will be two hearings next week. City council will soon release a schedule of hearings that may include Saturdays. She encourages citizens to “ contact their council members and contact the mayor’s office to make their views on this issue known.”
Coming to America was a scary, but exciting experience for Katya Malysheva. She comes from a small village in Chuvashia, a republic of Russia, of only 900 people.
Her first language is Chuvashian and second is Russian. Malysheva describes how her native language in Chuvashia isn’t spoken in the big cities anymore. When someone speaks Chuvashian in the capital city people “ look at you like you’re from another country.”
Though she has both Chuvashian and Russian roots, she identifies with both, and is proud of where she comes from.
She describes life in her village as being small. So small, everyone knows everyone’s business. From a young age she worked in her family’s garden, a common thing in small villages to grow their own produce, and she “hated” it. She says, “ there’s no way I’m gonna live this life.”
Malysheva grew up with two older brothers who always looked out for her, but later stopped because they wanted her to defend herself. Being able to stand your ground and defend yourself is an important quality in her family.
Her mother instilled in her and her brothers that work between men and women should be equal. Cooking and cleaning wasn’t just the woman’s job. This idea was unusual where she comes from, but it shaped her work ethic. She also describes the influence of her dad who taught her, and her siblings, to “help people. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor.”
Since she was very young, Malysheva always dreamed of coming to America. “I want that American dream. I want that house. I want that job where I make a lot of money.”
With her family not having a lot of money, Malysheva’s mom never thought her daughter would go to America. But, after she had the chance to get a J-1 visa to work at Six Flags in Gurnee, IL during the summer, she took the opportunity.
At 22-years-old, she finally made it to America. It was a major change coming from a small village to the States. And an even bigger change when she decided to live here permanently.
Though moving by herself to a completely different country was hard, she doesn’t think of it as courageous.
“A lot of people do that. I don’t consider it bravery. I’m not the only one.”
In the States, she considers herself “fortunate” to have met nice people who helped her acclimate to the culture and drive her around, in the beginning, when she didn’t have a car.
10 years later, Malysheva has mixed feelings about her move to the States but doesn’t regret marrying her husband or going to college. She believes if you work hard enough you can get what you want. But, “Not always”, she says jokingly.
Often, she misses her family, and that’s been the toughest thing about moving to the U.S. She hopes to be able to bring her family here when she has a good paying job. In the meantime, she’s going after that American dream this country is so famous for.
By: Lauren Fedorovich
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