Commentary

Wed
24
May

An ‘attitude adjustment’ could benefit the nation

Attitude seems to be a major part of our lives and governs our actions. Attitude establishes our own personal characteristics that are reflected either good or bad by those who surround us. And with the attitudes I see displayed today across our nation, it appears too many of us are in need of a good “attitude adjustment.”
Over the years the Betterhalf has on many occasions reminded me -- sometimes harshly and sometimes in a somewhat loving comment -- for my need to make an attitude adjustment. In an effort to appease her and improve my attitude, I recently came across some age-old comments about the importance of attitude. Among them was this statement made over a century ago: “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”
Here are some other observations:

Wed
24
May

State track drama gives local fans a lifetime of memories

There was a lot of moisture coming down Saturday in Omaha, and it wasn’t just falling from the sky. Pure tears of jubilation were mixed in with a steady, two-day flow of rain, making this year’s state track meet one to remember.
This annual event is always chock full of drama and emotion, but the 2017 version was something special, particularly for track and field fans who call Hamilton County home. As darkness began to cover the stadium at Omaha Burke, BOTH the Aurora Lady Huskies AND Giltner Lady Hornets were hoisting state championship hardware,
The emotion near the finish line of the 1600 relay as Emily Standage clinched the Lady Huskies’ first title in 41 years was palpable. The pressure was on as those girls knew they had to finish strong for the team, and they did, not only beating Holdrege across the line to clinch the title, but everyone else as well.

Wed
17
May

Two youngsters show entrepreneurial promise

Many people inherit good looks. Others inherit intelligence. As for me, I inherited dry skin. That means a need for hand lotions for cracked fingers and balms for healing and soothing.
The Betterhalf also has a need for lotions and stashes a bottle or two conveniently near the lavatories in our household. Recently her “stash” caused a problem not for her, but for me.
For several days I continually reached for the moisturizer bottle near the sink and applied the good smelling lotion to my hands. Soon the bottle neared empty and I mentioned to the Betterhalf to add the moisturizer to her shopping list. That’s when the debate began.
“There is no hand lotion near the wash-up sink,” she said. Of course I argued the point telling her I just finished wiping the moisturizer on my hands.
“In fact,” I continued, “the bottle of Dove says it has up to two times more moisturization and is a cure for damage therapy.”

Wed
17
May

Senior sneak trip to homeless shelter broadens perspective

The final lesson Hampton seniors learned before ending their high school careers had nothing to do with reading, writing or arithmetic, and everything to do with life.
On a “senior sneak” trip typically spent at the zoo or some other entertaining venue, the Class of 2017 spent the day instead in Lincoln, helping the homeless on a cold, wet day that left many of them with chills.
Principal Tim Huls planned what proved to be a humbling day for these Hawks, a group ready to spread its wings and fly like every other senior class turning tassels and celebrating this month amidst great pomp and circumstance. They embraced the challenge and soaked in a valuable lesson on a wet, cold, otherwise dreary day in Lincoln.
A video highlighting the day’s events, as well Huls’ blog on the outing, echoes a powerful message all of us need to hear from time to time. That lesson could not have been more timely for these seniors.

Wed
10
May

Project completed, without errors or injury

It’s been a busy past week. I was occupied preparing a nursery. But, before you become too excited and let your imagination go wild, let me explain.
I should mention the nursery was not in our household and to cool any thoughts you might have, the new nursery is located at Aurora Adopt-A-Pet.
It should also be pointed out I was assisted by a capable staff member who guided me through the nursery construction duties with completion coming in the nick of time. Less than 48 hours after completion the nursery was in use by mama dog and her three new pups.
My friends and my Betterhalf will find this tale even more amazing. I suffered no injuries performing our construction duty. There were no lost fingers to a power saw; no bruises; or scrapes; and no emergency visit to Memorial Hospital.
Incidentally, mama dog and her three pups are doing just fine.
***

Wed
10
May

Go Big Give campaign helps energize philanthropic giving

A vision to create the Go Big Red type energy linked to Nebraska’s beloved Husker football program is taking on a synergy of its own now with the growing success of the Go Big Give campaign.
Launched in 2014 as a joint venture of the Heartland United Way and Grand Island Community Foundation, Go Big Give has evolved into a regional effort that raises money, and lots of it, while simultaneously lifting up the work and worthy causes of 110 area nonprofit agencies.
Hamilton County has created its own successful model of philanthropic giving over the past 40 years. Local foundations, combined, have generated more than $60 million in assets over that time, providing scholarships, matching funds and seed money for young people and projects too numerous to count. You simply can’t attach a dollar figure to the impact those funds have had, and will continue to have, on the lives of individuals and our community as a whole.

Wed
03
May

Father's legacy burns bright on a memorable night, times 2

More than 15 years since my father passed away I felt his presence on an emotional night last week in Denver, and vicariously, 500 miles away in Lincoln at the same exact moment. The timing, I’m certain, was not coincidental.
I’ve written many times before in this space about the impact my father had on my life and many others. Loral Johnson was a man who lifted people up through the pages of his hometown newspaper, The Imperial Republican, showing by example how you can touch people’s lives with positive words. Three of his children followed in the footsteps of he and my mother, Elna, who worked side by side in building Johnson Publications, Inc.
High on his list of No. 1 fans is my oldest sister, Brenda, whom many of you know here in Aurora. Brenda (Johnson) Brandt spent two years in Aurora back in 1977-79, teaching math and journalism at Aurora High School fresh out of Kearney State College.

Wed
03
May

Politically correct put-downs for this time of turmoil

In this turmoil time, many of us are searching for ways to be “politically correct” with our criticism.  In an effort to throw ice on some hot-tempered remarks and avoid some not-for-publication words, a list of “politically correct” comments have been suggested. While these statements may not exactly cool a heated debate, the retorts certainly could draw smiles from those eaves-droppers who had been listening in.
For our female readers you will be delighted to note the suggested statements to be politically correct for saying someone is “stupid” seem to refer to only the male gender.
The statements:
* His chimney’s clogged.
* He fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.
* He has too much yardage between the goal posts.
* He’s all foam and no beer.
* The cheese has slid off his cracker.
* He appears to have come from the shallow end of the gene pool.

Wed
03
May

Graduation a celebratory time for seniors, families, communities

Congratulations are in order.
The News-Register proudly publishes its 16th annual academic achievement special edition this week called “Making the Grade.” It helps kick off a celebratory season of area graduations, shining the spotlight on seniors as they turn the tassel and prepare to embark on their life’s journey.
The News-Register launched this publication in 2002 featuring the top students from the Aurora, Hampton, Giltner and High Plains public schools. Like many newspapers, we produce special sections throughout the year highlighting athletics, community celebrations and special projects as they arise and we believe it is appropriate to shine the spotlight directly on the classroom. That’s what “Making the Grade” is all about.

Wed
26
Apr

Lawmakers have good reasons to address online sales tax issue

Nebraska lawmakers are on the right track with a proposal that would attempt to level the retail playing field, which as is gives online merchandisers an unfair advantage by not having to charge and/or collect sales tax.
Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse introduced LB44, which would require online retailers without a physical presence in the state to report the names of customers and the amounts of purchases sent to Nebraska if their gross sales revenue in the state is over $100,000, or they make more than 200 separate transactions in the state that year. The bill advanced to select file on a 28-13 vote last week, but will require more support to pass, and a 2/3 majority vote to override a threatened veto by Gov. Pete Ricketts.

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