Commentary

Wed
15
Feb

Pages of the past worth reading again

The pages are yellow, tattered on the corners and brittle to the touch, but the messages preserved in faded ink are as interesting today as they must have been back in 1877.
Without a doubt, the oldest known copy of the Hamilton County News, dated April 13, 1877, is a fascinating read. It’s been stored in the back room of the Plainsman Museum for decades, until we unsealed the wrapping this week to turn back the pages to the past.
With all the focus on history looming, as Hamilton County celebrates its 150th birthday this week and Nebraska kicks off a sesquicentennial celebration March 1, it seemed appropriate to dust off the bound volume and take a look back for old time’s sake. As co-publisher of the modern day Aurora News-Register, I was intrigued with the writing style and entertained by the candor with which publisher C.P. Whitesides kept local readers informed.

Wed
15
Feb

Local input will be critical to county’s comprehensive plan

So what’s the plan, Hamilton County?
How can we attract our best and brightest back home with jobs and opportunity? How can we preserve the ag-based foundation we have while also opening new doors without creating conflict?
How can we grow the population in area villages and throughout the county while protecting our precious valuable resources, including groundwater, soil and air quality?
How do we, as a county, feel about wind energy, solar energy, livestock expansion projects, adult entertainment and other issues of our time?
Bottom line: How do we determine the best land use policies for the future? Those are fundamental questions worth pondering these days, and they are among many area residents are about to be asked, on the record.

Wed
15
Feb

Times have changed, marriage practices too

It must be the age, but we catch ourselves looking back to the past. But, what else do we have to compare our experiences to?
That is the case when I spotted where the average wedding today was around $35,000.
That $35,000 wedding cost just re-enforced my belief I married the Betterhalf at the right time. Again when I suggested marriage, outside the cost  of the engagement ring, I was pretty naïve about the cost of being married.

Thu
09
Feb

Evolution gives rhyme its reason

A letter to the editor published in the paper a few weeks back caught my attention and made me feel a need to respond to some misinformation.
The letter focused on the upcoming solar eclipse and the writer’s belief that there is a higher power involved with such a perfect event. I have never had an issue with an individual’s beliefs involved with religion or any other out-of-this-world assumptions. Instead, the driving force for my response is based clearly on the facts that were tossed to the side as if they were never true to begin with.
Here is the statement word for word, which falls into a logical fallacy known as begging the question:
“How can evolution explain how everything in our universe simply evolved from nothing and then set itself in such order we can now time events to the second? It can’t.”

Wed
08
Feb

Nelson a deserving addition to Business Hall of Fame

Phil Nelson humbly drew the spotlight to Aurora this week, joining a select group of business leaders who have made an impact on their communities, state and nation.
While being inducted into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame, Nelson said he was lucky in many ways to have been doing business for the past 50 years in such a progressive, supportive community. We won’t dispute that premise, though feel the need to point out that the luck factor runs both ways.
Truth be told, our community is lucky indeed that Nelson, his father before him and now son John have helped raise the bar for their business and industry, and continue to do so from right here in Aurora and Hamilton County. The benefits to that partnership are undeniable.

Wed
08
Feb

Old-fashioned parenting is still, always in style

Most of us recall teaching our children good manners. We made statements such as, “Say thank you – Say you’re sorry – Give Grandma a kiss” and “Be careful.” We continued with our instructions until the child’s proper manners became habit and they showed respect for others.
  Now some child psychologists tell us parents we had been doing it all wrong in our manner tutoring. We are accused of attempting to control our youngster rather the trying to understand our children’s feelings, thoughts and motivations.
   A parent-educator emphasized the fault with my era of teaching when she instructed her daughter to say, “Thank you” to a friend. The daughter looked “kowtowed” and appeared to feel demeaned and resentful, the woman said in her psychoanalysis of her daughter’s response to her directive.  

Wed
01
Feb

Generational viewpoints change as time goes on

Over my lifetime things still continue to change. I can recall my mother was concerned when I left home that I might wear underwear with holes in them if I was in an accident and was hospitalized (I guess she wasn’t concerned if I was killed in a car wreck). Now years later, after years of marriage, the situation has changed only with a different angle.
My better half is concerned before we leave home for a few days that the house is neat as a pin when we shut that front door. She doesn’t ask me the condition of my undies, but certainly doesn’t want anyone to come into our house and think she is a poor housekeeper.

Wed
01
Feb

UNL chancellor impressive with his open candor on university

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is strong and getting stronger, its chancellor said in Aurora last week. And yet, Ronnie Green conceded that there are major financial challenges and “cultural issues” that need to be addressed.
Aurora was one of many stops in a statewide tour Green embarked upon not just to share his agenda as the new chancellor, but to listen. It was impressive, quite frankly, to hear Green so candidly lay his thoughts and priorities on the table, seeking input from “shareholders” at the beginning of what he called a year of strategic planning.

Wed
25
Jan

Ice storm leaves us none the worse for wear

Despite last week’s slippery conditions, with homeowners watching their thermometers and we keeping fingers crossed that our electrical power would remain on, Old Man Winter’s ice storm eased off the projections that could have produced a major catastrophic event for our community.
I must admit the ice still produced some inconveniences for us, but it appears we handled it well.
In our household the storm solved one problem.
Earlier this fall I had good intentions of following the Arbor Day Foundation’s recommendation of pruning trees during dormancy, which meant in the winter months. As the temps began to dip lower and lower, my plans for early winter tree trimming cooled. I rationalized and decided to do it next winter since the trimming would have involved just some smaller branches.
Well, thanks to the glaze of ice this past week Old Man Winter took my “tree trimming” on himself and fortunately did a pretty good job.

Wed
25
Jan

Hopes high for a president who stumbled in first speech

A new era in American history began Friday with the inauguration of a president unlike any who have gone before him.
Donald Trump ran a most unconventional campaign, thus we shouldn’t be surprised that he kicked off his presidency with a most unconventional message. He’s a change agent by definition, and at this point change is about the only thing we know we can count on for sure.
His message was disappointing, to be honest, sounding more like a divisive campaign speech than the vision of a man who will lead America to better times. It did not have an uplifting, diplomatic tone as most presidents like to share on opening day. Rather, it hammered on failed policies of past presidents, both Republicans and Democrats sitting only a few feet behind him.

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