Commentary

Wed
16
May

Discovery of an electric typewriter brings memories

Recently cleaning out a closet I came across an old portable Smith Corona electric typewriter. That old typewriter got me thinking about my past when I experienced not only our near dozen manual typewriters at the newspaper, but the earlier years in high school when the new innovation of an electric typewriter came on the scene and our class shared the chance to type on a keyboard that required just a light touch.
Well, as I assume L. C. Smith, Remington and a host of other manuals have been lost in history. Still, memories exist and I hope I don’t bore you with sharing a few of those memories.
On the old manuals, newspaper people had time to allow their thoughts to flow from the brain to the fingertips. Not like today, when a light touch of the computer keyboard expressed a passing thought that disappeared with the quick push of a “delete” instead of the old past of allowing time for cooling our thoughts by punching a bunch of “XXX’s on the manual keyboard.

Wed
16
May

Timing, vision for Blueprint Nebraska could not be better

The tone of a Friday teleconference announcing the formation of Blueprint Nebraska hints that this may well be one of the most significant endeavors our great state has taken on in years.
A story in this week’s edition explains that the statewide coalition will begin working soon to develop a plan for economic growth, competitiveness and prosperity in Nebraska for the next 150 years and beyond. With low commodity prices rippling across our state’s economy, and low unemployment making it difficult to hire employees when and where needed, the timing of this project could not be better.

Wed
09
May

New addition to family... a pug or a weight trainer

A few weeks ago we reported we added a second dog to our household . . . a southern dog from Tennessee named “Oscar.” Little did we know, even as a dog lover, such a critter could change our lifestyle . . . and that of our 10-year household dog companion “Missy.”
You see Pug Oscar came in a little over weight. To be exact he weighed 36 pounds when he should have tipped the scales at 22-26 pounds, according to the dog guides. But, we not only inherited the dog, we inherited an animal that made our whole household weight conscious.
“Ol’ Fatty,” as I call him has over the last month dropped about 6 pounds and is really impressive. Well, I guess we say “impressive” since his owners didn’t skinny-down at the same pace. Just how has a dog got us in a position to think about weight at our age?

Wed
09
May

Local voters have distinctive choices in primary election

A primary election with far more contested races than normal in Aurora and Hamilton County has finally arrived, giving voters choices and a real say in their local leadership.
Election day is Tuesday in Hamilton County and throughout Nebraska, though many area voters may have already done their civic duty with early voting and mail-in ballots now a popular option. Regardless of how or when you vote, the most important thing is that you cast your ballot, participating in an election process that lies at the core of our democratic form of government.
There are some interesting races in the 2018 primary. The recent candidate forum offered distinctive contrasts in the views and leadership style for Aurora mayor as well as county board districts 1 and 5. Hopefully you have tuned in to those races and are ready to let your voice heard.

Wed
02
May

Spring your spring fix-up, cleaning chores on the pros

Found it a little difficult to kick back a week ago and enjoy a couple warm sunny days with pleasant springtime thoughts coming to mind. A couple of newspaper headlines and related stories dampened my attitude.
The theme of the feature stories pointed out spring doesn’t just brighten up the weather. Spring also signals the time is here for all those home fix-it jobs that during the winter months I had rationalized I was going to do “next spring.”
As I thumbed through the spring cleanup-fixup suggestions I found the writers’ list of chores covered way more than I planned during the winter months and entailed a lengthy process, as well as many chores I had overlooked.

Wed
02
May

Graduation season an exciting time to look ahead, celebrate

Turning tassels. Tipping hats. Flipping the page and moving forward.
Transition is in the air these days, with lots of pomp and celebratory circumstance permeating our community.
It’s graduation season, which is always an exciting time for graduates, their families and all those near and dear in a circle of influence who helped the honorees reach this significant milestone.
Hampton High School’s graduating class kicks the season off Saturday, with the first group of seniors honored to receive their diplomas in the new gymnasium, followed by Giltner a day later. High Plains grads will take center stage May 12 and Aurora High will honor its Class of 2018 on Sunday, May 13, Mother’s Day.
The top scholars at all four area schools are honored in our annual “Making the Grade” edition this week, earning recognition for stellar academic achievement. That’s a very big deal, worthy of an added spotlight we are happy to provide.

Wed
25
Apr

Penner represents a vote for positive change in Washington

Kirk Penner is a straight shooter, a person of integrity well known in Hamilton County as a successful businessman and a conservative leader who knows how to get things done. America needs people like Kirk Penner in Washington and he is the right choice in the Republican primary for Nebraska’s Third Congressional District.
There are simply not enough of those strong voices today in Washington, which is a growing concern. Whether the issue involves spending, trade, taxes, immigration, or you name it these days in D.C., there is far too much party-line politics at play. Incumbent Adrian Smith has had a decade to make his mark, and while he has been a consistent supporter of GOP policy, he has not shown the ability to move the needle on debate that directly involves his constituency.

Tue
24
Apr

Old Man Winter has overstayed his welcome

Recently the Betterhalf and I battled ice, slush, snow and windy road conditions when we made a trip to Texas. Normally we would not have faced the challenge, but the Betterhalf had a babysitting commitment involving grandkids. As all grandfathers are well aware when it comes to spending time with the grandkids, grandma sez “Go” and doesn’t matter what obstacles stand in the way.
Although Old Man Winter may have slowed our travel, the trip was completed with just a few minor interruptions.
 As I look back it wasn’t hard to realize Old Man Winter has been around way too long. Some say it is climate change that is extending his stay with a couple of late snowfalls and cold temps in April. I think it might be something more.

Wed
18
Apr

Positive, local news far better than phone alerts

This past week I broke down and finally took a peak at the messages on the Betterhalf’s smart phone.
Over the past few years I’ve witnessed many smart phone users bump into each other walking along a busy sidewalk and nearly knocking each other down as they intently were trying to text each other. In a recent case the Betterhalf and I witnessed a family of four sit in an adjacent restaurant booth pull out their smart phones and not communicate with no one other than another smartphone user through the entire mealtime.
My displeasure of smartphones was re-enforced again this past week when I headed out in the early morning and decided to hit the button on the Betterhalf’s smartphone that was being recharged on the kitchen counter.

Wed
18
Apr

Nebraska lawmakers get an incomplete on 2018 report card

The jury is still out on whether Nebraska lawmakers had a successful run in a 60-day session which wraps up this week, but on one key topic the report card can only say one thing -- INCOMPLETE.
Despite an unprecedented approach to try and build an alliance of various interest groups, at the end of the day support for property tax relief proposals just wasn’t there. Once again, an issue widely viewed as a high priority for a state facing a stressed ag economy is being put off for another day.
Unlike previous years, however, that day may not wait until the Unicameral reconvenes next January.

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