Commentary

Wed
07
Feb

Beatification is out of hand when camels get Botox

It looks like this beautification business is getting out of hand by even extending its extremes worldwide. Let’s be clear -- I’m not referring to landscaping; new building construction replacing old dilapidated eyesores; or sculptures and other forms of art. I am referring to plastic surgeons’ favorite remedy – the use of Botox for cosmetic enhancements.
According to a news report a dozen camels were banned from a beauty contest during the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Saudi Arabia because they were given Botox injections to “enhance their natural beauty.” A veterinarian had been caught performing cosmetic surgery on the camels by injecting Botox to make their ears smaller. Other camel beautifying vets had been caught in earlier instances using Botox for the lips and nose to make the camel head more inflated.

Wed
07
Feb

Local would-be candidates need words of encouragement

Hamilton County needs a few good men, and women, to step up to the plate.
The filing deadline for numerous election positions is fast approaching, though the time is now for folks who care about their communities to seriously consider the call to serve. Running for public office is not only a noble calling, it is also a vital component of the democratic process.
A number of positions are up for election this year in various jurisdictions. That includes Hamilton County, the City of Aurora, 4R Public Schools, and all of the villages and area school boards. You can also add to that list the District 34 legislative seat now held by Sen. Curt Friesen, who has filed as an incumbent.

Wed
31
Jan

County, city workers more efficient than Washington

What a week! We’ve witnessed the federal government shutting down and then capped it with a good old Nebraska blizzard (although we were more concerned with the wind and snow than the incompetence in Washington DC).
As usual, we relied on Midwestern Nebraska competence from our city and county road crews to bail us from the snow storm once the wind and snow ceased. And also as usual we expected a political failure in Washington as our political “leaders” stumbled again by failing to miss the federal budget deadline.
City and county road departments and their crews left us with a satisfied smile of a “job well done” while our politicians left us taxpayers with a billion dollar daily bill because of concern whether Republicans or Democrats were going to get credit for their efforts.
Just one more political thought before  moving on.

Wed
31
Jan

Robot tournament reflects culture of high-tech opportunity

A rare and exciting opportunity awaits this weekend in Aurora to help kids connect the dots between building robots for fun and pursuing jobs in the real world of high-tech innovation.
YETIbotics (which stands for Youth Engaged in Technology Innovation) will be hosting a robotics tournament at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Aurora-based program has hosted robot competitions before, but this year there is twist.
In addition to the robot action inside the 12x12 foot arena, which looks like a lot of fun in and of itself, participants will be learning valuable lessons about how they might make a living putting those robotic skills to use. A number of local businesses will be offering hands-on lessons on how they use innovation right here in Aurora and Hamilton County, sending a priceless, two-fold message to young folks. (See related front page article.)

Wed
24
Jan

Eating more veggies turns out trendy after all

A close friend of mine has over the years ridiculed me for my love of a heavy diet of vegetables at meal times. He kept pointing out that “green stuff ...” has no benefits despite my proclaiming what I believe were numerous health benefits such as eating all I want with minimum weight gain; no ulcers causing a sore tummy; lower cholesterol; and of course that old age concern of  “regularity.”
Recently I jumped on a study that showed a daily diet of vegetables makes your mind 11 years younger. Immediately I telephoned him after scanning the result of the study in a recent newspaper.
I asked, “What do you think about this study showing my brain is 11 years younger than my body because I’ve been eating all that green stuff?”

Wed
17
Jan

Nebraska has dodged recent weather bullets, thankfully

If you lived in the United States, natural disasters pretty-well filled news headlines for the last few months of 2017 and indicate that the early part of 2018 those headlines will continue. Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, mudslides, heavy snowfall and other challenges from Old Mother Nature have spread havoc on the East and West coasts, as well as Texas and some of the Eastern Great Lake areas. During all these eventual times Nebraska and our Midwest neighboring states have dodged the weather bullets.
Facing the weather prediction of strong wind, snow and blizzard conditions for past week seemed minor to us who live in Nebraska. Hopefully, we continue to sidestep the wrath that other states have suffered, which brings us to our point.

Wed
17
Jan

Cost can’t help but be part of city’s study on fire-based EMS

A conversation all agree is a high priority for our community entered a key transition stage this week in terms of emergency medical services.
What has been an issue dominating the attention and focus of the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners now shifts to Aurora City Hall, where a new study is about to begin on the merits of transitioning to a fire-based EMS service.
Much has been said and written about the detailed focus group study, which concluded that while the advanced life support service currently provided is outstanding, Hamilton County pays more for that service than many other Nebraska communities of similar size. It’s a prudent decision to ask if there are ways to reduce cost while maintaining a high level of emergency care, which is what county commissioners were attempting to do.

Wed
10
Jan

Construction surge in 2017 says a lot about our community

With a backdrop of $3 corn and an economy that is struggling in several sectors, this community posted a 10-year building permit total high of $14.4 million in 2017. That’s good news in and of itself, but the good news gets even better when you look closely at how and why that number is as high as it is.
“How did that happen?” some might ask.

Wed
03
Jan

Christmas ornaments reflect life’s blessings

There are two things I don’t like about the Christmas season. Number one is lugging the box with the artificial Christmas tree up from the basement. Number two is toting the artificial Christmas tree back to the basement when in our house that duty means the season is officially over.
The task of decorating our tree is left to the Betterhalf. My work entails making sure the tree stands straight and re-adjusting some artificial branches to fill a few vacant spaces in the tree.
However, my favorite part of Christmas is taking a moment to look at the hanging Christmas ornaments that are highlighted by the strings of colored lights. In that Christmas glow, lots of memories spring particularly from those ornaments that represent several generations of previous Christmas celebrations.

Wed
03
Jan

Property tax relief likely to drive agenda for 2018 session

The stakes are high this year as Nebraska lawmakers return to Lincoln.
An issue talked about for years is dialed up front and center and will likely be a dominating factor in the 60-day session that starts Wednesday, Jan. 3. Adjusting the state’s tax structure in a way that will lighten the load on Nebraska’s largest industry has been a priority issue for several years now, though finding a palatable way to shift that load has been a challenge.
Dist. 34 Sen. Curt Friesen pulled no punches in a recent speech previewing this year’s session. The Henderson area farmer ran for office touting the need for property tax relief and after three years in office he’s “tired of the game.” Friesen has been at the table leading this discussion for the past two years and says he’s ready to do what’s necessary to move the needle in 2018.

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