Commentary

Wed
01
Nov

Solar WWTP project sheds energy-saving light on Aurora

The sun is shining brightly on Aurora’s wastewater treatment plant, in more ways than one.
Last week’s open house and information tour marked the completion of a two-year effort to build a solar plant designed to convert the sun’s energy into power for the city’s wastewater treatment plant. It’s an innovative concept, putting Aurora on the map yet again as a statewide leader.
Rich Melcher, who served as the city’s utility superintendent for many years before stepping into the city administrator’s role, deserves credit for his vision on this project. Melcher said he’s been thinking about the concept for nearly a decade and first tried to figure out a way to use methane gas as an alternative power source. When that didn’t pencil out, he shifted his focus to wind and solar, eventually creating a partnership that led to the solar solution.

Wed
25
Oct

When it’s time for new drapes, don’t argue

This past week the Betterhalf moved me into the interior business when she announced she was going to get new drapes for our living room windows. Naturally I never noticed we needed new drapes. Our livingroom is mostly used only when we host visitors and I don’t recall any of them saying, “Boy, do your drapes look bad!”
The Betterhalf adamantly differed with my opinion and questioned my eyesight as well. “You realize the drapes have been hanging there for nearly 30 years.” She continued by pointing out the draw cords were broken; the curtains were faded; and the sheers had been removed years previous.
It was pretty obvious I was going to be on the losing side. I didn’t ask what new drapery would cost. However, I found that question was incidental . . . new drapery is on the way and don’t ask any more questions.

Wed
25
Oct

Boots on the ground workers the backbone of our community

They are the foundation of the business world.
Ask any entrepreneur, corporate executive or local manager what makes or breaks the bottom line and you’ll get the same answer no matter what the industry, current economic climate or location. It’s the people, the boots on the ground workforce, that get things done.
The hard-working men and women who turn the soil, manage the store, teach our children, fix our vehicles and in various ways keep the economic engine of Hamilton County humming along are indeed the backbone of our community, state and nation. It’s fitting and oh so important to tip the hat once in a while to the local workforce, which we’re proud to do with a special section in this week’s News-Register.

Wed
18
Oct

Wearing black against Badgers didn’t ensure win

A few weeks ago, Husker fans were asked to have a “Black-out” stadium and wear black instead of red when we faced the powerful red and white Wisconsin Badgers in Lincoln. I’m an old traditional red and white team fan and after all, it’s our home field and we can wear what we want. Needless to say, I had a problem being asked to show Husker black support when the event was on our home field. The problem was we faced a powerful Wisconsin Badger team who was also recognized as Red and White and it was quite embarrassing to me as home fans who felt there must be some home field advantage available and also needed all the advantages we could gather.

Wed
18
Oct

Nebraska by Heart pieces find appropriate home in Aurora

Aurora has heart.
Two giant fiberglass hearts, actually, simultaneously reflecting the community’s artistic flare and pieces linked to the state’s sesquicentennial celebration.
Thanks to the imagination and quick thinking of Aurora’s Tammy Morris, an effort to participate in the Nebraska by Heart auction caught fire just in the nick of time.
As reported in this week’s edition, Morris floated the idea of raising funds to purchase one of the unique art pieces to the Aurora Rotary Club, then expanded the reach to local foundations. This community has a long, proud history of getting behind good ideas, so it’s not surprising that Morris had $5,000 in her bidding budget in a very short time. As it turns out, that was enough to buy two heart-shaped pieces, which was an added bonus.

Wed
11
Oct

Lawmakers could take a page out of the book of penance

A child expert says that playing the saxophone or piano will keep the youngsters from becoming juvenile delinquents. We also understand it will  teach them how to live alone and like it.
***
I smiled the other evening when I watched the Wells Fargo chief executive try to defend his bank against criticism from lawmakers that the mega bank has not done enough to reform itself since admitting last year it had opened millions of fake accounts customers didn’t want.
As the chief executive pointed out, he too was angry how the bank had handled these problems and now has overhauled its community banking division; ditched aggressive sales goals; released some employees; and taken other steps.
My smile came when several senators who were questioning him seemed to believe that the changes were not sufficient and the bank was willing to abuse customers and even bank employees.

Wed
11
Oct

Hometown girl does Aurora proud in bright lights of NYC

Broadway came to Aurora Sunday with a world-class musical performance from a hometown girl who found and followed her passion.
Local native Tereasa Payne delighted a crowd of approximately 200 people at the Plainsman Museum, sharing insight into her unique world through the sounds of the world’s second oldest instrument. Flutes, she explained in a captivating 90-minute performance, are found on every continent and in almost every culture of the world, dating back some 43,000 years.
It’s easy to see why Tereasa has become so successful in her field after watching and listening to her Sunday afternoon. She practices constantly in her tiny 500 sq. ft. Manhattan apartment, honing what she humbly calls “a little bit of talent” into a regular seat on the world’s biggest musical stage.

Wed
04
Oct

Youngsters are more often quick-witted than not

Education has come a long way since we went to school. It’s embarrassing that we can get “out-thought” by those grade schoolers, but it happens more frequently than what we oldsters want to admit.
For example: A youngster was asked by her teacher, “What’s the capitol of Nebraska?” The youngster smiled and quickly answered, “N.”
Many years ago I was challenged when our kids would question me about history, or some other classroom subject. I was proud if I could answer. But, as they advanced through the years of their high school classes I realized maybe I should enroll in their classes with the hope of rejuvenating a learning experience that I seemed to have lost. Now with today’s technology I sometimes feel I am a “lost soul” no matter what the subject is, unable to understand what is taking place in my everyday world.
I felt pretty lonely in this situation. However, I found I was not alone.

Wed
04
Oct

Having credible source for news matters in today’s world

“Real newspapers. Real news.”
That’s a theme newspapers across the country are touting this week, recognizing changes in our society as we celebrate National Newspaper Week.
Those words pack a punch these days in an era when it’s not as easy as it once was to decipher what is fact amidst the constant flow of information in our world from what is something else entirely. We need and deserve to know what is real, not fake news or opinion-driven stories posted online as the gospel truth.  So much has changed in the way we communicate, share information and tune in to the world around us, but what has not changed is the need for accurate, reliable reporting, especially on the local front where news of the day impacts us more directly.

Wed
27
Sep

One-liners offer laughs, sometimes wisdom

It’s been claimed classic one-liners offer lots of wisdom produced by very little forethought. I recall observing a high scoring football game where the two teams continued to exchange touchdowns throughout the four quarters of play. I turned to the Betterhalf and a couple who accompanied me to the contest and said the brilliant statement: “Whoever is ahead at the end of the game is going to win.”
That accurate one-liner has laughingly been thrown in my face by the Betterhalf and her friends every football season since I made my original observation.
I find that I am not alone in offering bits of wisdom. I came cross these astute observations:
* Remember, half the people you know are below average.
* Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?
* He, who laughs last, thinks slowest.
* Honk if you love peace and quiet.
* Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.

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