Commentary

Wed
18
Sep

Some headlines bring a smile, even if by mistake

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We need a few laughs in this old world and the newspaper headlines, while seemingly dominated with bad news, can also trigger a few smiles. Some of the following have been actual newspaper headlines:
“Dead Man Found in City Cemetery . . . Five Foot Snake Found in Toilet, Woman Relieved . . . Female Sanitation Workers Dump on Trash-Talking Boss . . . Fraud Charges Pinned on Pro Wrestler . . . Procrastinator’s Club Delays Annual Meeting.”
And finally here’s one that we’re sure the public has been waiting for this information: “Notre Dame Cathedral Workers Wear Throwaway Underwear.”
***
The Betterhalf hasn’t asked me to sort my laundry, but she has taken other methods to control my wardrobe. Some of my favorite shirts and a few pair of jeans never returned to my closet after being sent to the laundry room. When she was questioned, I was told, “You are not wearing those old frayed shirts or faded jeans with holes in the knees anymore!”

Tue
17
Sep

Concerns with vehicle damage, safety on Hwy 34

Dear editor: When driving on Highway 34, I hold my breath whenever I am about to meet one of the large semi-trucks hauling gravel. My windshields have been smacked twice now by rocks or chunks of asphalt that fell off the trucks as we met. The company denies responsibility and claim there is no proof of responsibility. The “proof’ as they want it would require me to initial the chunks or rocks on their trucks, then find it after it shatters my windshield.
That 100 percent proof is ridiculous beyond words. In a criminal case, there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt, or 90 percent or more. In a civil case, one must show with a preponderance of the evidence, or 51 percent, that someone is at fault. I have driven more than 100,000 miles on Highway 34 and never had a problem until I started meeting the large gravel/asphalt trucks.

Wed
11
Sep

Silence often golden when poles get in way

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Actions or comments can come back to haunt you. That’s particularly true if you’re a husband.
Several years ago I made a reckless comment. I told the Betterhalf, “I fail to understand how you could back-up your car and strike my vehicle . . . you knew it was parked behind yours in our own driveway!”
History did not exactly repeat itself, but it is close enough to have me eating my past critical comments and searching for an explanation, “How’d the following happen just a week ago?”
As this tale goes, for many years I’ve routinely left my car at the back of the Aurora Adopt-A-Pet animal shelter parking lot and proceeded to walk dogs. This past week I varied my routine because the Betterhalf assisted me with the dog walking. As we prepared to park the car in its usual spot, the Betterhalf suggested to park at the front of the lot which would leave the car in the shade. I consented and followed her suggestion.

Wed
11
Sep

‘Community’ always playing at Aurora’s 12th St. Cinema

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Aurora will roll out the red carpet this weekend in celebration of a big screen milestone.
A whole generation of families and local youth have grown up with easy access to the local movie theater, thanks to the initial vision of volunteers followed by 20 years of community support. A former hardware store on the northwest corner of the square was converted into the 12th Street Cinema back in 1999, and since that time has welcomed an estimated 275,000 moviegoers through the doors.

Tue
03
Sep

State Fair earns purple ribbon, despite the rain and flooding

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Ten years after lawmakers made a bold decision to move the Nebraska State Fair out of Lincoln, the event seems very much at home now in its Grand Island venue.
This year’s fair was another winner, despite a deluge of rain that has hit Grand Island and all of Central Nebraska hard this spring and summer. Event organizers had no choice but to scrap the initial parking plans and ramp up the shuttle service to parking lots throughout Grand Island, which according to all initial reports addressed the dilemma as well or better than anyone could have been expected.
Plan B wasn’t ideal, but then neither is 31 inches of rain through the first eight months of the year. The ground is saturated, creeks, rivers and retaining areas are full, leaving no where for water to go but up and around the fairgrounds. There was absolutely no other option but to deal with the circumstances, be positive and get on with it, which come to think of it is the Nebraska way.

Tue
03
Sep

Sixty years later and I’m still one lucky guy

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Some people like big celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries and accomplishments. As for me, accomplishments of another year are one of quiet satisfaction with no sky rockets fired off and instead substituted with a wine toast and steaks on the grill.
Now, I should qualify my statement. The Betterhalf disagrees with my anniversary viewpoint but, accepts it to a certain degree.
As for those anniversary celebrations we had a few exceptions. Friends surprised us on our 25th annniversary with a champaign supper. By mutual agreement the Betterhalf and I decided to forego a big 50th shindig and celebrate all year with just the two of us heading out on small travels or making some special purchases, etc.

Wed
28
Aug

Life lessons found at the movies

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When I was 6 years old something magical and at the time almost life changing happened. Aurora received its very own movie theater and while I was excited, I had no idea how much that place would impact my life.
Merwyn and Betty Davidson started the 12th Street Cinema using a volunteer system with a simple reward. If you volunteer to work tickets, concessions or the projector then you got to see that movie and received a free popcorn and soda. A simple enough plan, but something extraordinary to a child.
I can still remember going to see Runaway Bride with my family. Not because I had any interest in that movie, but because of the thrill of seeing a movie in my own town. Before 12th Street Cinema opened, it just wasn’t feasible with both time and money to go all the way to Grand Island to see a movie, and still is difficult to this day.

Wed
28
Aug

Remembering those first days of school, or not

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These past weeks family dinner table talks have been dominated by their children’s reports about the first days of school. Our dinner table on the subject has been quiet on the first day subject since our youngest came home from kindergarten over 4-1/2 decades ago. We can recall throwing out the general questions of “How do you like your teacher . . . Who do you know in your class . . . What did you do today?”
Our family had three boys spread over a seven year period and over those years their answers to our questions about the first day of school became pretty ordinary. “It’s OK .  . . all, except the new kid. . . we had recess,” were the simple replies. We should qualify our statement because their actions sometimes spoke louder than their words.

Wed
21
Aug

Technology not needed to detect diaper odor

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Recently two diaper companies announced they would soon be selling a new innovation called “tech diapers.” Thankfully our family has been out of the baby diaper need for years. The only innovation we can recall during our kids’ diaper years was when the diaper market moved from cloth to disposables.
At that time we (particularly my Betterhalf) thought how wonderful it would be to rid the household of the smelly diaper bucket and not have the continual daily diaper washing duties. Unfortunately in our younger years we found we could only afford disposable diapers on “special” occasions such as when we traveled to the grandparents’ home or an overnight stay.
Getting back to those new tech diapers, we’re hoping for the best for today’s families who have diapered tots. However, we do question the need for new high-tech diapers. Years ago the Betterhalf and I had little trouble questioning when a diaper change was needed. Simply put, our noses could smell it!
***

Wed
21
Aug

Summer concert series earns permanent spot on calendar

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A new feel-good event has hopefully found a permanent place on Aurora’s summer agenda with the unanimous support and growing success of the Bands on the Bricks concert series.
Sara Sutherland and the Aurora Chamber of Commerce deserve a ton of credit for coming up with that vision and then finding a way to make it happen. The second year was better than the first in terms of crowd size and support and there is every reason to believe that this gig will just continue to get bigger and better each year.

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