Commentary

Wed
13
Dec

In with the old: consumers want Christmas catalogs

In the thick of the holiday season and again with a booming e-commerce it’s hard to believe there’s an old standby possibly only we senior citizens can recall.
It’s reported many national retailers this year are taking a fresh look at an old holiday wish book known as a “Christmas catalog.”
One observer said, even in a time of explosive growth for online buying, retailers and shoppers are showing a renewed interest in that humble purchasing device that uses paper instead of pixels. Fewer catalogs are in the mail these days compared to the peak 2007 year when 19.6 billion were sent out. However, even more customers are paying attention to them. Response to catalogs increased 23 percent from the year before.
The catalog report found in a recent newspaper story along with a rusty pair of clamp-on roller skates tucked away in the basement near my old electric train brought back fond memories to me.

Wed
13
Dec

Frost hiring means Christmas came early to Husker Nation

Though there wasn’t much surprise in the air by the time Scott Frost was introduced last week as the new face of Nebraska football, there was certainly joy. Big Red fans couldn’t have asked for a better present, one that will hopefully bring smiles, satisfaction and a renewed sense of unity for years to come.
In a state where Husker football has long been celebrated as part of our culture, both on and off the field, Frost’s hiring felt like one of those moments that belongs on the all-time Big Red highlight reel. It’s as though he was flipping a switch, in real time, instantly putting a once proud program back in the national spotlight.

Wed
06
Dec

A job forgotten brings back memories of long ago

     We all have a knack for putting off a chore we don’t want to do. I’ve accumulated a long list of those jobs, but found I may have established my own personal “putting off” record.
Last week while searching through “stuff” on a back shelf in our garage I came across a tricycle tire. I instantly recognized that little spoked tire. It was to be a replacement tire for our child’s trike. I had backed over his little three-wheeler many years ago -- as I also did my Betterhalf’s bike many years later.
Just how many years ago and just how long had that tire set on the shelf? Well, according to my calculation, that ‘child’ is now 56 years old.
The damaged trike has long been gone and dust has settled on the white rim and spokes. Dust has also clouded my memory, but there’s no way to deny I must have been pretty slow to implement my well-planned trike repair. Much quicker than I ever imagined life has, and continues to, move on.

Wed
06
Dec

’Tis the season for offering time, treasure to people in need

’Tis the season for giving in America and we’re reminded yet again what a difference we can make in the lives of people in need.
We are truly blessed here in Hamilton County, though you don’t have to look hard to find people who for whatever reason are struggling this time of year. Giving of one’s time or treasure is a chance to make a difference, one person, one family at a time.
Hamilton County is known for its generosity, with a history of supporting various non-profit organizations and charitable causes. That tradition is something to be proud of, and also sets the bar high for generation after generation to seek out opportunities to take care of our own.
Giving a donation that provides a holiday meal, a gift for a child who might not otherwise find much underneath the tree, or supporting causes with a pledge that will pay dividends throughout the year is what the season is all about.

Wed
29
Nov

Sunshine always coming sooner than you think

While uptown recently I entered a business and was asked, “How is your day going?” I paused and then rattled off my happenings for the day.
First I was told the automatic garage door opener wasn’t working and couldn’t be fixed for several days. The opener needed a new circuit board and the repairman didn’t have one with him and may have to order one.
Second episode came when the Betterhalf reported her automatic dishwasher had a broken tray bracket and the manufacturer does not make that model anymore.

Wed
29
Nov

Shopping at home worth your time this holiday season

It starts earlier every year!
The deluge of holiday promotions and retail advertising geared toward Christmas shoppers is in full force now, a month before friends and family begin gathering around the tree to exchange gifts and well wishes. It used to be that turkey with all the trimmings were served before that process took center stage, but those days are long gone.
Now Black Friday rings the bell as the official start of the Christmas shopping season, followed by the online Cyber Monday phenomenon. Indeed, the retail landscape has changed dramatically in recent years.
One tradition that will always be part of my routine is shopping local, whenever possible. Area retailers are working harder than ever these days to carry gift items that appeal to all the names on my list.
Here are just a few of the known benefits of what shopping local can mean to your community:

Wed
22
Nov

Political turmoil could be behind blood pressure rise

Most of us remember when our blood pressure was close to normal, or at least at a level that warranted no medication or just a slight change in our lifestyle. Of course since that time, new health guidelines now show that half of U.S. adults are plagued with high blood pressure. The newer, lowered threshold just added another 30 million Americans to those with the condition.
It is suggested most of us need a healthier lifestyle and not more medication to meet the new recommended 130 over 80 guideline. Heck, I didn’t meet the old 140 over 90 on a regular basis even with limited medication. Now I am expected to change my lifestyle at my age?

Wed
22
Nov

Opting up to Class B would have allowed NSAA picture to clarify

Would the Aurora Huskies be better suited as a little fish in a big pond or a big fish in a smaller pond? The hunter or the hunted?
That was essentially the question facing the Aurora 4R School Board last week in a meeting that in many ways represented a crossroads for our school and community. Aurora wasn’t the only community facing that decision this year, and in fact this will likely not be the last time the 4R board has to weigh in on that dilemma. Our enrollment numbers, at this point, fall right on the classification line, a frustrating fact of life.
The decision, as you know, drew a split 3-3 vote, which means the Huskies football team will take the field as a Class C1 squad for the next two years based on Aurora’s current boy enrollment. It seems other Aurora sports will remain Class B for the coming year.

Wed
15
Nov

2017 has been the best year for an optimist

We all catch ourselves thinking we’re experiencing the worst of times and this old world continues to slip deeper into despair. As for myself, I have more times than I want to admit classified myself as a pessimist.
In a recent Rotarian magazine, an article written by author and regular magazine contributor Frank Bures points out most things feel worse than they actually are.
He explains those who view the year 2016 as the worst year ever and reinforced that idea by citing celebrity deaths, election results, climate change, racial tensions, crime, etc., became unstoppable and in 2017 the decline still hasn’t stopped.
“This downbeat trend has accelerated among people of all political stripes and it is noteworthy because it goes against the strongest current in American culture: our optimism and problems are meant to be solved,” Bures noted.

Wed
15
Nov

Millennials plant seed for great idea with community garden

Though the ground is hard now and a cold Nebraska winter approaches, the seeds have been sown for a unique new project in Aurora which has all kinds of promise and potential.
Energetic members of a new Aurora Garden Club, led by millennials with a fresh perspective and lots of creative ideas, have announced plans for a community garden to take root in the spring. As reported in a story in this week’s edition, Memorial Hospital gave the concept a running start by offering a piece of land to use along Highway 34 north of the hospital, thus a health-based partnership has been born.

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