Commentary

Wed
13
May

Override the veto

A plan to improve Nebraska’s roads and bridges has hit a roadblock in the form of Gov. Pete Ricketts.
The first-year governor made it clear from the get-go that tax relief will be high on his agenda, which is a message anyone who talks Nebraska politics can agree with. Taxes are high in our great state and the heavy property tax burden falls especially hard on rural land owners.
There is strong support, however, for a bill that would increase the state’s gas tax by 1-1/2 cents per year for four years, raising an estimated $75 million per year once fully implemented. Dist. 34 rookie Sen. Curt Friesen said he didn’t run for office with a plan to raise taxes, but he supports this particular proposal, and with good reason.

Wed
13
May

Murphy’s Modern Day Laws apply to us all

It becomes downright silly what a guy thinks about when it’s time to face the deadline of writing a column.
I’m sure some of you would rather I just forget column writing and have the newspaper fill the space with something else. Well, I’m not going to let you off the hook that easy. When the pressure is on, some topic will emerge. This time it happened to be Murphy’s Laws. However, it’s time to now title them “Modern Day Murphy’s Laws, so here goes those modern day squibs.
We are told:
* It’s impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
* The chance of the toast falling butter side down is directly proportionate to the cost of the carpet.
* In order to get a bank loan you need to prove you don’t really need it.
* A Smith & Wesson revolver always beats four aces.
* Anything that’s dropped in the bathroom will always fall in the toilet.
* The best golf shots always happen when playing alone.

Wed
06
May

Of all the things a child needs, Mom tops list

There’s no question I am an avid newspaper reader. I couldn’t help but chuckle when an advertisement in a daily newspaper this past week caught my eye.
The advertisement featured a free gourmet dinner at an Italian steakhouse immediately following a free seminar. What was the topic of the seminar?
“Stress, hormones and health – the true cause of belly fat.”
***
If any community could use a chamber of commerce promoting the positive aspects of its community it would be Aone, Japan. Aone has a population of 638 residents. It’s two-room schoolhouse contains six desks for six elementary students. The middle school has an enrollment of eight.
The community’s main street is described as two small general stores and a restaurant. The reporter described the restaurant as a “grimy restaurant” that could make a claim for serving the worst food in Japan.

Wed
06
May

Buttons popping

Seeds are being planted, tassels are turning and there is pomp and emotional circumstance in the air this time of year as we celebrate a season of new beginnings.
Graduation season is in full swing now, with Giltner High’s Class of 2015 already having crossed the stage Sunday. Senior honorees from Hampton and High Plains will take center stage Saturday, with Aurora’s commencement exercises on the calendar for the following weekend. Add in all the local ties to college graduations near and far and you get a month full of milestones and memories for our extended community.
The News-Register staff feels a shared sense of pride with all the parents, teachers and area communities in Hamilton County, having covered these young people as they grew and blossomed in recent years. Pulling up a front row seat to that coming of age process is in fact one of the highlights of this business.

Wed
29
Apr

No escaping ‘Once a klutz, always a klutz’ label

I was looking for a little change in my life when I reached retirement age. Now that I’ve been in that era for over 10 years, I am discovering longevity is no guarantee that change will occur.  
Oh sure, there have been some changes, but a change I wanted to take place never happened. I am resigned to face the fact  that “once a klutz – always a klutz.”
My clumsiness has been a part of my character since youth and I have the battle scars to prove it. It all began when at the age of 3 I fell in a printer’s ink bucket at my dad’s newspaper shop while wearing a brand new sailor suit. Eight stitches to the head came three years later when a car trunk lid release was bumped causing the lid to conk me on the head. Gravel was picked from my knees, elbows, hips and chin in a two-hour doctor’s visit after I stuck my foot in the spokes of a bicycle while riding on the handlebars as a friend and I tried to go down a two-block hill without using the bike’s brakes.

Wed
29
Apr

Efficiency in action

The Aurora City Council’s recent approval of an ordinance that allows taking a design build approach on future construction projects is a positive step forward on the development front.
Construction costs can be staggering these days, no matter what the size or scope of the project. Whether planning to build a new swimming pool, tennis courts, road improvements or dig a new municipal water well, there may be a way to save taxpayer dollars by seeking more efficiencies in the actual construction process.
City attorney Ross Luzum explained that there is a statutory provision in Nebraska which allows the city to circumvent the bidding process for certain projects. Rather than approve the specs for a project and then seek bids on the total work, the design build approach involves selecting a general contractor, who would then have more flexibility within the project parameters to keep costs down.

Wed
22
Apr

Running for president more popular than ever

I’m not much for getting into politics, but it seems the number of people who want to be in a national presidential race increases each election year. I believe a kid sometime during his/her young naive years expresses the wish to become U.S. president. Based on the candidates announcing intent to enter the presidential race thus far, a once childhood desire now, more than ever, has continued on into adulthood more than ever.
As I said, I’m not for getting into politics, but I do enjoy the humor that comes with it. Again, political humor has started early and gives no indication of subsiding.
A campaign slogan has been suggested for Jeb Bush according to one comedian: “Buy two bushes and get one free.”
***
A political advisor said the trick in political campaigning is to give them platitudes without fear or favor and straight-from-the-shoulder generalities.
***

Wed
22
Apr

Matriarch truly made a difference

I tipped my hat to an honored journalist Friday night, the first woman ever to receive the Nebraska Press Association’s coveted Master Editor-Publisher Award.
This is a very big deal in our association, seen as somewhat of a lifetime achievement award for service above and beyond the call of duty. This woman was a deserving recipient, by every measure, having devoted her professional life to the newspaper industry. She wore many hats and titles, including co-owner, co-publisher, chief financial officer, mentor, volunteer and friend.
I know her best as “Mom.”

Wed
22
Apr

Thinking positive

Congratulations, Aurora and Hamilton County. You made the news again in a most positive way.
Paula and I were proud and humbled this weekend to represent this newspaper, its staff and the community we cover in a memorable gathering of Nebraska newspaper colleagues. I have always believed that a good newspaper is a reflection of the community it covers, and for that reason all of you share the credit for a solid showing in this year’s annual better newspaper contest.

Wed
15
Apr

Some have green thumbs, and some just green gloves

Time has sprouted when garden conversations seem to be centered on getting potatoes planted; or how many hills of taters are already in; or worrying about if that just-right tomato plant will be available at the garden store. As for me, I’m concerned where the nearest farmer’s market will be and when it opens.
It’s pretty obvious I’m not much of a gardener. My green thumb doesn’t go beyond the set of green work gloves I slip on. I’ve resigned myself to the fact I’m best at growing weeds.
Our garden disappeared several years ago into weedom. The rabbits are now thinner since there are no rows of sprouting green beans to nibble on. That once garden spot can now only be identified with a rectangular border of rotting railroad ties. I should also mention inside that rectangle are not only four peonies, but blotches of drought-resistant grass that’s dotted with emerging dandelions.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Commentary