Commentary

Wed
06
Jan

Getting the gifts that are needed for Christmas

Well, another Christmas has passed and a new year has arrived. Funny, how fast 2016 has come around and how fast Christmas 2015 has gone into the memory of past Christmases. As far as past Christmases, the Christmas of 2015 again had some special memories.
This year the youngest member of our family was in attendance with his fiancé. Gone are the days when our youngsters scattered gift wrapping across the floor and excitedly told us “Santa brought just what I wanted!” Now that has been replaced with fewer gifts and the comment, “This gift is just what I needed!”
Speaking of the “Just what I needed gifts,” the betterhalf’s intuition came across this year. It is possible she may have bought me a gift she felt she needed, but it appeared under our tree addressed to me.

Wed
30
Dec

And the winner is?

What will you remember most about 2015?
The year that ends at midnight had some high points and low points, as you can expect in any given year, though once again we’ve noticed a trend that makes us appreciate the place we call home. Most of the headlines in Hamilton County reflect an upbeat tone, a general sense of optimism that should not be taken for granted. It’s not like that everywhere.
The News-Register conducted its annual news survey last week, seeking reader input on what the community as a whole perceives to be the Top 10 stories of the year. It’s a very subjective, non-scientific process from start to finish, but always an interesting one.
We scanned our pages from January through December, taking note of on-going issues and more timely, breaking news. Then we asked approximately 75 local residents from all walks of life to weigh in, ranking their top 10 choices.

Wed
30
Dec

Be wise to know & heed ‘Rules to Enter Nebraska’

As we start another year as a Nebraskan we are reminded of the “Rules to Enter Nebraska” and should heed them to become a genuine Nebraskan. The rules:
1. Pull up your droopy pants, you look like an idiot. 2. Let’s get this straight. It’s called a gravel road and I drive a pickup because I need to. No matter how slow you drive, you’re going to get dust on your Lexus so drive it and get out the way.
3. They are called pigs and cattle and that’s what they smell like to you. They smell like money to us.
4. Don’t like our state? I-80 goes east and west and 1-29 goes north and south. Pick one.
5. So everyone in a pickup waves. It’s called being friendly. Try to understand the concept.
6. The “opener” refers to the first day of deer season. It’s a religious holiday.
7. We open doors for women. That applies to everyone regardless of age.

Wed
23
Dec

Merry Christmas!

The time has come this yuletide season to slow the hectic holiday pace and embrace the true meaning of Christmas.
We as Christians truly believe that this is a glorious time of year filled with a message of hope and promise. I feel so blessed to live in a community, state and nation that allows me to celebrate those beliefs openly and honestly, realizing the older I get that not all nations share such religious freedom.
This time of year, more so than any other, we take time to focus on what really matters and celebrate our Savior’s birth. It’s a sacred story, one that gives meaning to our lives and unites us as a people of faith. Christ’s birth is, in both historical and modern-day references, the greatest gift of all.

Wed
23
Dec

What is a holiday tree?

You may have noticed a few weeks ago a mayor got himself in trouble when he called for public help in decorating the city’s Christmas tree. A non-Christian resident protested and one council member sided with the protestor that the word “Christmas tree” was inappropriate and the mayor should have called for “Holiday tree decorating.”
That protest would have fallen on deaf ears in my house. I’ve never known at Christmas time that a decorated tree could be called anything but a Christmas tree. I was fortunate to grow up in a time when the Christmas season had not been invaded by what I term “equal fairness protests” and we enjoyed Christmas decorations on the courthouse lawn and Christmas lights outlining public buildings. We had Christmas openings by the merchants with Christmas sales highlighted with Christmas treats. Even public schools held Christmas programs without voices of protests from non-Christians.

Wed
16
Dec

’Tis the season

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...
As if there was any doubt, this week’s News-Register (and the hint of snow) offer a clear, seasonal message that Dec. 25 is drawing near. This week’s issue comes to you as a giant Christmas card to the community from the community, carrying on one of our favorite traditions of the year.
Every community has its own way of celebrating the season, I’ve noticed having lived in several different states. Hamilton County is fully engulfed in holiday traditions, ranging from a tree festival at the museum to live nativity scenes to holiday meal distributions at the Food Pantry. It’s fun to share stories of goodwill, and there are a lot of them to tell around here this time of year.

Wed
16
Dec

Winter Nebraska weather isn’t so bad after all

During the cold weather months I generally receive a call from a cousin in Phoenix, AZ asking what the weather conditions are in Aurora. Thus far this year I have had the upper hand or at least matched his bragging of Arizona climate conditions.
I’ve been helped  with honest, good weather reporting because he never called when we had some snow and ice during the recent Thanksgiving holiday week. I hope I didn’t jinx any of my future reports when I expounded just this week on the mighty fine early December weather we are having in Nebraska.
In my last reports I was pleased to reply that many local golfers had graced the club course playing full or abbreviated rounds of golf. I also included in my report that late last week automatic car wash facilities were busy and even many vehicles filled the “wand-wash” bays.

Wed
09
Dec

Stop the madness

The news of the day thus far this holiday season has been anything but merry, with reports of violence, mass murder and suicide killings gripping our world in what has become a far too familiar scene.
Just this week alone, violence broke out in San Bernardino, Colorado Springs and even in Lincoln, where a troubled Central City man shot a police officer before he was shot and killed. Whether the death toll is one in Lincoln, 14 in California or 130 in Paris, it’s too many, too often, in a trend that is growing worldwide.

Wed
09
Dec

Differences between men and women

 I told the betterhalf I was struggling for an Around the Square topic and  I was searching for some subject matter. Of course, she said she had already provided plenty of the subject matter over the many years, but she did relent and rattled off a few possible topics.
I then answered the majority of people like to read about normal or common happenings, and I felt some of the topics she had mentioned were not normal. She countered by answering, “But those situations are normal for you!”
The betterhalf’s retort got me thinking about the normalization of married life and attitude differences between men and women. I dug into my files and found a list of womanly slogans that someone felt best described a woman’s attitude.
Don’t jump to conclusions and claim I am making chauvinistic remarks because I also found some viewpoints on male attitudes as well. Being polite I will begin first with these few comments attributed to females:

Wed
02
Dec

Leaving a legacy

Fifty years ago this month a culture of giving was born in Hamilton County, planting the seeds for a philosophy of sharing that has impacted countless lives in a positive way.
When the Hamilton Community Foundation was established in 1965, few could have imagined how much the numbers would grow, both in total assets and the volume of annual grants and scholarships. It’s a wonderful local story that reflects one of Aurora and Hamilton County’s defining characteristics -- citizens here believe in sharing their wealth and have a vested interest in their community.
In this golden anniversary year, HCF is celebrating five decades of philanthropic giving. During that span, assets grew from $6,500 to nearly $14 million. More than 2,400 scholarships have been paid out worth an estimated $2.6 million, and another $9 million has been awarded in grants for a wide variety of local projects.

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