Commentary

Wed
14
Mar

Middle-aged pug disrupts life -- maybe permanently

A new visitor arrived in our household a week ago and the guest has upset our routine to the extent our “normal” is not “normal” anymore. In fact the visitor’s demands have even challenged our dog “Missy’s” lifestyle.
This tale, or should I say “tail,” started innocently enough when our son requested if we could bring “Oscar” back to Nebraska to his original home. You see Oscar is a middle-aged overweight Pug. He had spent most of his life in Tennessee on the lap of his mistress, but because of the mistress’ health issues she wanted Oscar to be returned to his original home in Nebraska City. There was just one little catch; the Nebraska family won’t be able to accept the dog for a couple of weeks.

Wed
14
Mar

ANR to help spread sunshine on community’s EMS talks

The sun is shining a little brighter this week, and not just because of Sunday’s switch to Daylight Savings Time.
This is Sunshine Week in America, part of a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Though the political landscape is more polarized than ever at the national level, keeping the light on the people’s business ought to be something everyone can agree on, especially here at home.
Toward that end, I am pleased to report this week that the News-Register will be shedding sunshine on a conversation of extreme importance to our community involving the future of emergency medical services.
It’s been well documented that the county board voted to end its role as owner/manager of what all agree is a top-rate ambulance service, setting an end date of Oct. 1, 2018. The city has therefore launched a new study, with a committee focused on the merits of converting to a fire-based EMS system.

Wed
07
Mar

Head, end of the table open to interpretation

We men have heard much about the “Man of the House” and the priorities that come with that description. While we tend to revel in that title we need to look around a bit and take a more serious look what that really means.
In our case, the “Man of the House” could be described as a misconception or what my Betterhalf would term a great “snow-job” on her male spouse.
After many years of marriage, I totaled up my dominance throughout the marriage years only to discover my much believed dominance has finished second. Bluntly, “second” is interpreted as the same as “last.” The best example for my reasoning comes from the recollections of my sitting at the head of the dining room table at meal times with family members or guests. The Betterhalf always sat at the other end of the table. I have become aware the “head of the table” and the “end of the table” is a matter of interpretation.

Wed
07
Mar

Contested local races reflect interest, willingness to serve

The field is set for local elections in 2018 and the good news is that voters will have some decisions to make when they go to the polls in May and November.
The slate of candidates grew considerably in the final days before last week’s deadline, which is always an interesting wait-and-see process. There were no doubt many, many phone calls, emails and conversations over coffee in the last few weeks about who should throw their hat in the ring, knowing that it’s a huge step and commitment to write your name in as a candidate for public office.
Thank you to all who have offered your time and talent to serve!
Now that the filing deadline has come and gone, the campaign season has arrived, though several of the local races will not be decided until November. On that note, the News-Register offered a brief introduction to candidates in each of the contested races this week and will be getting more in depth with profiles before election day in May and November.

Wed
28
Feb

Winter is still here, but spring is around the corner

Hooray! It’s Feb. 28 and that means another “winter month” has passed and spring is just around the corner. We’re well-aware of those March snow storms, but at least the snow will melt a little quicker in March than in December.
***
We’ve heard much about driverless cars. At one time there was research on a car going faster than the speed of light. There’s a report of a land record holder who had achieved around 800 mph. That’s still a long way to go because the speed of light is 7,680,000 mph.
One speed of light hopeful still is optimistic. With a speed of light vehicle he could sleep late and still get to work by 8 a.m. And traffic enforcement would be limited to police with PhD’s in quantum physics.
***
Recently we assisted the Nebraska School Activities Association at the state wrestling tournament by helping verifying credentials to allow photographers to be on the arena floor during meet matches.

Wed
28
Feb

Nation’s call for change grows louder with each mass shooting

The argument over whether or not and how to disarm those who would shoot to kill innocent victims with firearms has never been hotter in our nation.
Yet again we watched in horror Feb. 14 as the details of a mass shooting confirmed what we already know -- this has got to stop. Seventeen people died in a Florida school this time, another chapter in a tragic tale of sequels dating back to Columbine in 1999.
Our culture has drastically changed somehow, creating a mindset that allows a troubled individual to even consider picking up a gun and causing such unspeakable horror. Guns have been around forever, though the act of walking into a school or public venue and executing people at will is a tragic, modern phenomenon. At its core it reflects a lack of respect for others and life itself, as well as a complete inability to cope with challenges. There is no simple or short-term fix for that societal shift.

Wed
21
Feb

While thankful for the snow, it would have been nice all at once

When it comes to Nebraska weather it’s hard to satisfy all of us. That was the case a few weeks ago when for three days we received a couple inches of snow each day. After the third snowfall and scooping sidewalks and driveways I made a plea to the Man Upstairs. My plea: “Wouldn’t it have been easier if  You just gave us the six inches of snow one time and been done with it?”
***
In this day and age we have noticed lots of entrepreneur-hopefuls have been so busy trying to learn the tricks of the trade that they have forgot to learn the trade.
***
We’ve got a grandson who is planning to be married this spring. In his conversation with “gramps” he told me that he was going to need to buy a new suit. I offered him a couple pieces of advice.
“The number one attraction at a wedding is going to be the bride,” I said. Then I mentioned to him that the groom’s major role at a wedding is simple -- “Just show up!”

Wed
21
Feb

Spirit of Olympic competition inspiring on so many levels

The world seems like a smaller place when Olympic athletes take center stage.
With the flame burning now just miles away from a North Korean nation in the midst of a very different global battle, the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea have drawn us together yet again, reminding us what athletes can achieve. It’s a welcome relief from the kinds of headlines we’re are used to seeing these days from that part of the world.
It’s also fascinating to watch the winter version of the Olympics, which features unique events typically out of the global spotlight. I’ve been glued to the tube for years when the ski jump comes on, watching daredevils fly through the sky in an event that makes you wonder how it ever started. This time around, we’re seeing new twists from winter risk-takers, with Big Air snowboarding taking flight and a lengthy list of other high-flying theatrics that require as much or more acrobatic skills as snow skiing ability.

Wed
14
Feb

Valentine’s Day made simple with a shopping trip offer

As I searched for subject matter for a column this week, it suddenly dawned on me that Valentine’s Day has arrived. After 58 years of marriage and marriage experience I still haven’t got the courage on Valentine’s Day to just give a good morning kiss; present a nice card; and then follow with suggestion of going out to eat later in the day.
I do, however, soften my routine by adding the words, “Would you rather go out to eat, or would you rather go shopping?” It doesn’t take long for her choice between me or shopping.
The Betterhalf replied, “I can see you every day!”
Although her shopping result may not occur until late spring, summer, or when we journey to see our families in the metro areas, the end result is we are both happy with her decision making. She picks what she wants and I don’t spend a bunch of time trying to find a Valentine gift that may be something she did not care for or having to accompany her on such trips.

Wed
14
Feb

Planning process, end result both impressive in Hampton

Hampton area residents have reason to be proud of a new-look school that sends a very strong message about their community.
Walking into a facility that features a combination of new construction and significant remodeling is very impressive, giving the feel of a much larger school. The learning environment is better, safety and efficiency were both enhanced by bringing K-12 students all under one roof, and the physical structure is now poised for the long-term future. Only time will tell if this investment will lead to enrollment and community growth as many hope it will.

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