Commentary

Wed
20
Sep

Ridding head lice was different back in the day

Times have certainly changed and a recent newspaper story emphasized the point. The article reported that after the first week of school a teacher noticed her itchy scalp and soon discovered she had head lice.
Now someone with head lice was not the root of the story. The treatment of the problem was. To the tune of approximately $225 she had the ailment professionally treated and cured returning back to work within a day or two. It was reported that within an hour she was ridded of louse-y problem using a hot air hair vacuum-dryer similar to a claw-end blow dryer that kills by dehydration head lice and their eggs. Then an oil-based serum was applied to head and scalp to suffocate any remaining debris.

Wed
20
Sep

EMS Focus Group report a must read for entire community

When an emergency situation arises in Hamilton County residents here know they can depend on quality EMS care. On that point, there is no debate.
If you or someone you love is having a heart attack, in an accident or facing a life-and-death situation of any sort, you want to know that trained emergency medical technicians will be there in your time of need. It’s difficult to put a dollar figure on the value of emergency care, though there is growing awareness that the cost of that care is much higher here than other Nebraska communities of similar size.
So how much is too much and who should decide that question? That point IS very much subject to local debate. As an ag-based community, we must also consider that the brunt of the yearly $500,000-plus subsidy funding the Hamilton County Ambulance Department is being collected via property taxes, not necessarily through Medicare/Medicaid, insurance claims and private pay as many might assume.

Wed
13
Sep

‘Misplaced’ should be replaced with the word ‘lost’

With more frequency it seems I misplace items. Ah shucks . . . let’s quit using the word “misplaced” and just admit, “I lost  it!”
It’s been nearly six weeks since a key ring with several keys on it has been lost. Oh, how I wanted to use the word “misplaced” instead of “lost” because the key ring belonged to the Betterhalf. It is frustrating enough to admit the loss, but it’s doubly humbling when you must fess up to a miscue when you have no one to blame except yourself.

Wed
13
Sep

State Fair at home now in G.I.

Eight years after lawmakers made a bold decision to move the Nebraska State Fair out of Lincoln, the event seems at home now in its Grand Island venue.
This year’s fair was another winner, with a number of new features and many of the tried and true attractions that have kept this show going for 149 consecutive years. Attendance came in at 379,108 this year, up an impressive 18,000 from a year ago and within 10,000 of the event’s all-time high in Lincoln.

Wed
06
Sep

Times have changed, focus shifted to negative

It’s a time when we must laugh at ourselves and believe me, we need some happy moments. Those moments came about again this past week when the Houston mayor was taking the heat.
The Texas governor, while not making a strong statement said he attempted in the early Hurricane Harvey warning days to get info on Houston’s potential evacuation plan, but received no immediate response basically at this time had little comment on that situation. Of course those Houston citizens were critical of being trapped by the flood waters.

Wed
06
Sep

Destruction, widespread loss in south Texas hard to fathom

America stands united this week in offering sympathy and support for victims of one of the most devastating storms in our nation’s history.
The images from Texas and Louisiana are horrifying, showing mile after mile of flooded landscape in Harvey’s wake, which doubled as a hurricane and tropical storm, lingering for days while dumping rain of almost Biblical proportions.
We have watched for more than a week now as heartbreaking stories of death, rescue and drama played out again and again and again in the South. Tornadoes hit hard here in the Midwest and can wipe entire towns off the map, but the destructive, widespread force on that much floodwater is hard to fathom. Rural towns and urban regions, including the fourth largest city in America, looked like tidal pools from the air, with rooftops peeking through an endless sea of brown. The only escape was to higher ground, of which there simply wasn’t enough.

Wed
30
Aug

Total eclipse offered an array of ‘wow moments’

 For those of us who thought the early publicity and planning for the eclipse was coming on a little strong, we were in for a pleasant surprise. The event provided plenty of “wow moments.”
One post-eclipse report described the eclipse as the singular “wow moment.” But the report ignored what we feel were other “wow moments” of the once-in-99-year total coast to coast eclipse experience that was viewed by Hamilton Countians and their guests.
Of course it’s hard to downplay the total eclipse itself when it turned our backyard into total darkness at mid-day. That “wow moment” even struck our dog Missy when she began sniffing through the grass, whining, and then looking up at darkened midday sky wondering what had messed up her afternoon nap.

Wed
30
Aug

Solar eclipse lives up to its billing with spectacular views

Now that was cool!
After all the hype and hoopla previewing last week’s eclipse I for one was wondering right up until the final hour if in fact the solar show would live up to its billing. It did, in my view, but just in the nick of time.
How utterly disappointing it would have been if those thick clouds blocking the view for many in Central Nebraska would have hovered just a few minutes more. That’s all it would have taken to ruin my experience, as well as the thousands of others gathered at various places around Hamilton County. It would have been a totality bust, making all the hours I and others spent in logistics/event planning meetings over the past year seem like an exercise in futility.

Tue
22
Aug

Drop in valuation totals makes budget process challenging

This week’s news regarding combined property values in Hamilton County sends a jolting message to local officials in charge of setting tax levies: Spending must come down.
A front page story in this week’s edition reports that a decline in ag land values was the primary factor in a $167 million valuation drop. Though the crops in the field look outstanding right now, the reality is that low commodity prices and a sluggish ag sector are rippling their way throughout the local economy.
Total valuation in Hamilton County dropped 5.24 percent in 2017, ending a 10-year run which saw property values skyrocket from $1.09 billion in 2007 to $3.2 billion just a decade later. We knew this day was coming as that pace is simply not sustainable.

Tue
22
Aug

Empty tube found on walk raises questions

The majority of the time when I’m taking my daily walk I have a tendency to keep my head down giving me a limited view of the sidewalk, trail or street. Many times I tag along with the Betterhalf and in that case she walks ahead of me which means I am protected from bumping into something unless she makes a sudden stop. I’ve taken lots of teasing from passersby and am frequently called a “tag-along husband.”
I would like to point out that keeping your head down while walking does have advantages unless of course you’re walking a pathway that has low-lying tree branches overhead. Several times I’ve found a dollar bill and even one time found three 25-cent pieces on a country road in Minnesota lake country. I also must include another advantage -- you don’t step in fresh animal droppings when you walk with your head down.

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