Commentary

Wed
05
Feb

Trump, Pelosi both at fault for childish State of Union antics

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Shame on both of them!!
President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both took the low road during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, sending a troubling yet not surprising message about the actual state of our union, at least within the realm of Washington politics.
This annual event has become extremely partisan in recent years, but the spotlight burned brighter than usual this time because of all the drama now unfolding in real time. An embarrassing Democratic caucus in Iowa the day before, an acquittal vote on impeachment pending the very next day and the start of a year-long 2020 presidential campaign set the stage for can’t-miss television.
Trump took full advantage of the opportunity, as expected, taking credit for anything and everything that’s going well, which meant he had a lot to talk about. He was clearly exaggerating points of progress that needed no embellishment. That’s his style and it’s not going to change.

Wed
05
Feb

Statistically, you may be better off than you think

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The subject of statistics can be a pretty dry subject, but some statistics can give you something to think about. In our case statistics can make us realize just how lucky we are. We don’t know if the following stats citing actual percentage figures are 100 percent accurate, but we do know those stats made our day better.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep . . . you are richer than 75 percent living in this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish somewhere . . . you are among the top 8 percent of the world’s wealthy.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness . . . you are more blessed than the millions who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation . . . you are ahead of 500 million people in this world.

Wed
05
Feb

Local would-be candidates need words of encouragement

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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.
The decision to throw your hat in the ring and run for public office isn’t a simple one, nor is it usually a priority career goal. More often, we suspect, good, honest, hard-working local citizens are approached and encouraged by their friends and neighbors to consider giving of their time and talent to give back to their community.

Tue
04
Feb

Thanks for shopping local

It is good to see that at least two of three major building construction projects in town were done by local contractors. Thank you Heartland Bank and Dollar General for shopping local.
Budd Niles, Aurora

 

Tue
28
Jan

Whitneys deserve time in spotlight

Dear Editor:
To me, Bill and Jan Whitney are Central Nebraska icons. The News-Register’s coverage of their retirement was spot on, recognizing all the couple and Prairie Plains Resource Institute have done over the past 40 years.
I remember meeting Bill for the first time back in the late 1980s. After arranging an interview time, I asked where we could meet. He mentioned his home, and simply told me to look for the front yard with bushes, shrubs and the like – but no lawn or grass. I knew then that Bill and his wife were extraordinary people.
The couple and everyone at PPRI have been invaluable in teaching all of us the wonders, subtleties and resilience of native grasslands and wildflowers. Thankfully, PPRI has restored many such places in Nebraska. Also, through SOAR and other programs, the Whitneys and PPRI have engaged countless young people, who are now carrying on the group’s mission and will for years to come.

Tue
28
Jan

Lessons on friends, losing temper worth remembering

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In the time of impeachment hearings, international political conflicts and strained relationships between individuals the following is a reminder:
There was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of their home’s fence in the backyard. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence.
Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all and consequently had driven no nails in the past two weeks..
He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy pull out one nail each day that he had been able to hold his temper.

Tue
28
Jan

Winter brings renovation blues

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My permanent roommate William and I underwent the joyous process of becoming homeowners almost two years ago. This is not an extraordinary event, nor was the resulting work that was done.
Once purchased our quaint little home received a full gut job to update plaster and lath, raise up ceilings and restore the original hardwood floors.
Handy work like this was no challenge for Will, and even I managed to limp along with a bit of common sense and the power of Google.
The knowledge that every job brought the house one more step toward livable kept us motivated to wake up early and work late and even led me to take about two months off to just work on insulation, floors and clean-up work.
Honestly nothing motivates a person more than not having a bathroom or doors, especially not having a door on the bathroom when wanting to have someone come over.

Wed
22
Jan

Keys to happiness haven’t changed in years

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Once there was an old journalist joke that stated, “No news is good news, except if you published a newspaper.” Today news is not only delivered by newspapers, but by TV, radio, social media, cell phones and the list goes on and on.
In a 2019 survey, 54 percent of the public said that following the news causes them stress and in a 2018 another study had found 68 percent of the public felt exhausted by their news consumption. One significant reason claimed news tends to be more negative than the world really is and people possess “negativity bias.”
We need happiness. While cleaning out an old desk drawer I coincidentally found a 1964 birthday card touting the keys to happiness. It read:

Wed
22
Jan

PPRI mission, success a tribute to Bill and Jan Whitney

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Bill and Jan Whitney started a labor of love few people understood back in 1980. What a novel idea, they proclaimed, to preserve, maintain and restore native prairies and wetlands, and what better place to do it than right here in Hamilton County?
Four decades later, their initial vision is visible for all to see in the form of beautiful, natural prairies used for community education, recreation and sustainable economic development. The husband and wife duo is now handing over the keys to the Prairie Plains Resource Institute, retiring together from a shared mission that has been their life’s work.
Knowing their humble nature, Bill and Jan would prefer not to create a lot of fuss over their retirement. They would no doubt rather PPRI, its talented young staff and the vast prairies they helped restore speak for them. But it is deserving, and oh so appropriate, to shed some light, and perspective, on what has been accomplished under the Whitney’s watchful eye.

Wed
15
Jan

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s a mysterious drone!

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Judging from observations coming from Nebraska and Colorado folks it appears we are witnessing a nighttime mass migration of drones that first appeared in the sky from Western Colorado and through Central Nebraska. Citizens, aviation and law enforcement officials were still trying to untangle the mystery at the time this column was written. Since no answer has been found yet, we have come up with a few preliminary observations of our own.
Over 1.5 million licensed drones are now registered in the United States and thousands of people in Nebraska received smaller drones this Christmas. I’ve come to the question which could be worse: A sky filled with drones or our present dilemma of getting out of the way of people looking at their cell phones while walking toward you?
Other questions have come to mind:

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