Commentary

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.

Wed
27
Sep

It’s time to let yet another bountiful harvest begin, safely

It’s worth the time to make a special trip these days out into the field or to an area elevator to watch a timeless harvest tradition unfold. Just remember to do it safely.
As the combines start rolling, we are reminded that this is one of the most dangerous seasons of the year in farm country. It’s stressful, and also very satisfying, for producers to reap the rewards of another crop year, a visually enthralling process to watch from beginning to end. It’s also potentially very dangerous for producers as well as all who share the roadways. All that combines to mean we need to be on high alert for the next several weeks.
I found myself breaking Harvest Safety Rule No. 1 this week, gazing out into the field north of Aurora where a combine was slowly cutting a swath of beans. The first time I see that each fall it is mesmerizing.

Wed
20
Sep

Ridding head lice was different back in the day

Times have certainly changed and a recent newspaper story emphasized the point. The article reported that after the first week of school a teacher noticed her itchy scalp and soon discovered she had head lice.
Now someone with head lice was not the root of the story. The treatment of the problem was. To the tune of approximately $225 she had the ailment professionally treated and cured returning back to work within a day or two. It was reported that within an hour she was ridded of louse-y problem using a hot air hair vacuum-dryer similar to a claw-end blow dryer that kills by dehydration head lice and their eggs. Then an oil-based serum was applied to head and scalp to suffocate any remaining debris.

Wed
20
Sep

EMS Focus Group report a must read for entire community

When an emergency situation arises in Hamilton County residents here know they can depend on quality EMS care. On that point, there is no debate.
If you or someone you love is having a heart attack, in an accident or facing a life-and-death situation of any sort, you want to know that trained emergency medical technicians will be there in your time of need. It’s difficult to put a dollar figure on the value of emergency care, though there is growing awareness that the cost of that care is much higher here than other Nebraska communities of similar size.
So how much is too much and who should decide that question? That point IS very much subject to local debate. As an ag-based community, we must also consider that the brunt of the yearly $500,000-plus subsidy funding the Hamilton County Ambulance Department is being collected via property taxes, not necessarily through Medicare/Medicaid, insurance claims and private pay as many might assume.

Wed
13
Sep

‘Misplaced’ should be replaced with the word ‘lost’

With more frequency it seems I misplace items. Ah shucks . . . let’s quit using the word “misplaced” and just admit, “I lost  it!”
It’s been nearly six weeks since a key ring with several keys on it has been lost. Oh, how I wanted to use the word “misplaced” instead of “lost” because the key ring belonged to the Betterhalf. It is frustrating enough to admit the loss, but it’s doubly humbling when you must fess up to a miscue when you have no one to blame except yourself.

Wed
13
Sep

State Fair at home now in G.I.

Eight years after lawmakers made a bold decision to move the Nebraska State Fair out of Lincoln, the event seems at home now in its Grand Island venue.
This year’s fair was another winner, with a number of new features and many of the tried and true attractions that have kept this show going for 149 consecutive years. Attendance came in at 379,108 this year, up an impressive 18,000 from a year ago and within 10,000 of the event’s all-time high in Lincoln.

Wed
06
Sep

Times have changed, focus shifted to negative

It’s a time when we must laugh at ourselves and believe me, we need some happy moments. Those moments came about again this past week when the Houston mayor was taking the heat.
The Texas governor, while not making a strong statement said he attempted in the early Hurricane Harvey warning days to get info on Houston’s potential evacuation plan, but received no immediate response basically at this time had little comment on that situation. Of course those Houston citizens were critical of being trapped by the flood waters.

Wed
06
Sep

Destruction, widespread loss in south Texas hard to fathom

America stands united this week in offering sympathy and support for victims of one of the most devastating storms in our nation’s history.
The images from Texas and Louisiana are horrifying, showing mile after mile of flooded landscape in Harvey’s wake, which doubled as a hurricane and tropical storm, lingering for days while dumping rain of almost Biblical proportions.
We have watched for more than a week now as heartbreaking stories of death, rescue and drama played out again and again and again in the South. Tornadoes hit hard here in the Midwest and can wipe entire towns off the map, but the destructive, widespread force on that much floodwater is hard to fathom. Rural towns and urban regions, including the fourth largest city in America, looked like tidal pools from the air, with rooftops peeking through an endless sea of brown. The only escape was to higher ground, of which there simply wasn’t enough.

Wed
30
Aug

Total eclipse offered an array of ‘wow moments’

 For those of us who thought the early publicity and planning for the eclipse was coming on a little strong, we were in for a pleasant surprise. The event provided plenty of “wow moments.”
One post-eclipse report described the eclipse as the singular “wow moment.” But the report ignored what we feel were other “wow moments” of the once-in-99-year total coast to coast eclipse experience that was viewed by Hamilton Countians and their guests.
Of course it’s hard to downplay the total eclipse itself when it turned our backyard into total darkness at mid-day. That “wow moment” even struck our dog Missy when she began sniffing through the grass, whining, and then looking up at darkened midday sky wondering what had messed up her afternoon nap.

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