Commentary

Wed
25
Mar

Local stories sharing resolve needed now more than ever

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It feels like a bad dream.
Time and again these past two weeks I’ve had friends and colleagues say they wish someone would just wake them up already and end this coronavirus nightmare. It might make a good Hollywood script, or not, but it’s too bizarre to be happening in some remote third world country, let alone right here at home.
Unfortunately, it’s real, and that unsettling reality will be with us for a while, though nobody knows for sure how long. Thankfully we’ve not had a COVID-19 diagnosis here in Hamilton County, though the threat and close proximity is more than enough to kick in all the appropriate safety protocols. Please, be safe, protecting not just you and your loved ones, but our entire community.

Wed
18
Mar

Some precious life lessons stand test of time

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Found an e-mail sent to me nearly 20 years ago. Even though time has flown by, the message is still good for 2020 and serves as a good reminder of guidelines we all should try to follow.
The e-mail is titled, I Learned and here’s the message:
 “On a positive note I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life goes on, and it will be better tomorrow.
  I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and a tangled Christmas tree.
  I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they are gone from your life.
  I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
  I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
  I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.

Wed
18
Mar

Perspective, calm will help us all weather coronavirus threat

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Inhale.
Pause.
Exhale.
Try to just breathe deep and relax.
That’s getting harder to do these days as our society is being forced to gear down in a way that feels foreign to us all.
It’s been an incredible, surreal week in our world, a time we’ll look back on decades from now and remember how we felt about the angst, uncertainty and major disruptions sparked by the growing coronavirus spread of 2020. For now, we’re at ground zero, trying to embrace a “new normal,” though it seems that the concept of “normal” keeps changing by the day.

Wed
11
Mar

Marriage for better or worse, but not for 24/7

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Sometimes that old adage, “Be careful what you wish for” can jump out and say, “Gotch Ya!”  That’s the case recently when I was looking back to the time over 20 years ago when I was a full-time working newspaper publisher and she, a full-time housewife.
At that time the Betterhalf and I followed an agreement that she would run our household and I would handle business matters at the newspaper and take care of our car servicing. For over 35 years that agreement worked pretty well.  Unfortunately that agreement became a little more challenging upon my retirement when I began hanging around the household a little more. The change became more apparent to me when the Betterhalf mentioned she married me for “better or worse, but not for 24-7.”
Of course her statement came after I had rearranged the pantry in her absence and appeared to be ready to start turning “her one-behind kitchen into a “two-behinder.”

Wed
11
Mar

Sense of Nebraska connection makes virus threat very real

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After weeks of watching reports about the threat and gradual spread of COVID-19, Nebraskans are now on or uncomfortably close to the front lines of a health scare.
This week’s report of a confirmed case of coronavirus in Omaha was not a surprise to health officials. Experts there are trained to treat patients dealing with life-threatening, highly contagious health threats, and they do it well.
Nonetheless, Nebraska’s first documented case has heightened our sense of alarm and changed the tone of daily reports on a disease that remains a bit of a mystery. It’s a “fluid situation” now, meaning things could change quickly.
One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about living in Nebraska is the sense of connection. That makes a threat like this more real because you don’t have to look far to know someone who has been impacted in some way.

Wed
04
Mar

Lost car key fob results in savings, or does it?

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For several years the Betterhalf accompanies me to the State Wrestling Tournament where we team up with Nebraska Press and the NSAA to help check press credentials and press floor passes. This year was no exception and we headed to Omaha at 5 a.m.
Our annual tournament routine included her assistance through the initial daily rush verifying about 180 individual newspaper and broadcaster credentials for each tournament session.
And just as the years before, again when the rush was over the Betterhalf served notice she was going to take the car and pick up a few “needed things” she couldn’t find in Aurora. It’s funny how that system has worked over the years. She always seems to also stop by (buy) at a shopping center on her way back to our tourney location several hours later.

Wed
04
Mar

The rising global threat of coronavirus demands attention

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What started as a health concern across the globe in China has found its way to America with the rising spread of the coronavirus.
With the World Health Organization raising its risk assessment last week to “very high” -- the highest level short of declaring a global pandemic -- Americans join a world now on high alert as to the potential dangers involved with COVID-19.
Merely reading the words “global pandemic” can and should get our attention, even here in rural Nebraska, where no cases have been reported. Patients diagnosed with the virus have been treated in Ashland and Omaha, and we hope and pray for their full recovery, as with all the confirmed 86,000 people infected around the world.

Wed
26
Feb

FFA continues to build strong foundation for agriculture

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The future of agriculture can be found wearing familiar blue coats in Hamilton County. For that reason, we join a national celebration in tipping our hat and shining the spotlight on students and chapter advisors and activities during National FFA Week.
Anyone who calls Hamilton County home knows how far and wide the ripple of agriculture spreads in our community. It’s part of our heritage, thus deserving of attention and recognition. This week’s edition has become an annual tradition, recognizing FFA leaders of our three area chapters, along with offering messages of support from local businesses.
Though we try to tell the story of FFA every year, there is always a fresh perspective when you ask current members and chapter presidents to share their experiences and insight. It’s refreshing, and also reflective of what this organization is all about.

Wed
19
Feb

Aging gracefully demands ‘attitude adjustments’

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Each year following my retirement I’ve noticed what could be termed “slight adjustments in my attitude, actions, or lifestyle.” I guess we should all be thankful we’re still around to make adjustments.
  In my personal case I observed I’m opting more and more to using a building’s elevator then the stairway.
  I don’t rush out in an early morning to scoop the one inch of snowfall from the driveway. I now wait until mid-day to see if that snow will melt.
  I don’t buy neckties and over the years the tie prices are nearly equal to cost of a new shirt.
  I have become more aware that ice on the streets can be slippery.
  I now go to the health fair wondering if my personal health results will show more “higher or lower than norms” than the previous year’s results.
  I am a little more cautious for what “I volunteer to do” and wonder why at retirement I got into this busy schedule.

Wed
12
Feb

Heirlooms, book tell stories of long, long ago

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Over the past few years it appears we have moved on to what we would call, “The keeper of family heirlooms and history.” Our home verifies that statement.
In the dining room, a hutch holds carnival glassware and china accumulated by five generations of heirloom giftings representing from as far back as great-great grandparents. Then in our family room is a cabinet of early ornate inkwells complete with long-stemmed pens. On the shelves in our basement are boxes containing everything from strap-on roller skates to old photo albums, along with a bookcase with old books such as the latest edition of Emily Post’s which covered the rules of early days’ etiquette and social usage.
Obviously we missed following Emily’s advice that she published in 1920. However, we did find another book that drew our attention from a book on the next shelf of the bookcases. The book: The Official Hotel Red Book and Directory – 1920.

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