Commentary

Wed
15
Apr

Hope springs anew

It never gets old.
No matter how many times you’ve lived through it, spring fever and all that comes with it is such an invigorating phenomenon. It represents new life, a season of hope and a palpable explosion of energy that spreads smiles as wide as the morning horizon.
Signs of the season were everywhere this past week. The older I get, the more I notice those little seasonal mile markers, both individually and as a collective whole.
Farmers are chomping at the bit to get fields ready for planting. The soil looks so good, with a deep brown hue and decent moisture readings hinting of a promising season ahead. There’s an almost giddy sense of opportunity in the air as producers wait for the calendar’s green light to pluck those seeds deep in the soil.

Wed
08
Apr

Baseball is back, but who is making the bats?

Remember when you were a true American if you liked apple pie and baseball. Well, it appears we might have been invaded and with that our American theme of apple pie and baseball has been kidnapped.
It was reported this past week Louisville Slugger, the 120-year-old baseball bat-maker that equipped Hall of Famers such as Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle, has been sold to Wilson Sporting Goods. Unfortunately for those who support 100 percent American business Wilson Sporting Goods now is represented by a Finnish sporting goods company, Amer Sports’ Wilson brand.
There is some consolation in the transaction. The parent company of the Louisville Slugger bats, Hillerich & Bradsby Co., will become AmerWilson’s exclusive manufacturing partner for wooden bats and continue to produce them at its downtown Louisville, Kentucky factory.

Wed
08
Apr

Crossing the line

The tone of debate hit a disturbing level recently in Lincoln, where the Unicameral’s most controversial figure went too far in making a point.
Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha has long been known for his emotional outbursts and frequent angry rants. It’s part of his demeanor, colleagues learned long ago, as well as an intimidation factor for anyone who dares go toe to toe on a given issue.
That’s all fine and good, and in fact most would admit that Chambers has raised the bar on legislative debate over the years. Anyone who questions his logic, whether it be a fellow senator, lobbyist, or member of the media, better do their homework before questioning his facts, figures or logic. He’s a brilliant lawyer and lawmaker, not doubt about it, who brings passion to his work on behalf of his north Omaha constituents.

Wed
01
Apr

My, oh my, how time has flown for 50 years

Time flies when you’re having fun and also when you become a senior citizen. Well, I’ve done both. Although I think I may have had more fun before I became a senior citizen.
What got me “looking back” was a news article this past week announcing the retirement of a former Aurora athlete, Tom Kropp, who has served 25 years as Kearney State College basketball coach. That’s when I realized time had really flown and dog-gone it, I am old!

Wed
01
Apr

Simply spectacular

Amazing!
How else can you describe the musical magic brought to life this week by the Aurora High School music department.
Three sell-out crowds for the Beauty & the Beast performances saw an amazing combination of musical talent, choreography and high energy, capping off weeks of hard work by a whole lot of folks who should be giving themselves a round of applause for a job well done.
Disney’s animated classic tells a timeless tale about looking for and finding the beauty within us all. This production echoed that sentiment, letting a talented group of young people shine on center stage with a performance they’ll cherish and remember for the rest of their lives, as they should!
I even spotted a few young girls dressed up in “Belle” attire in the audience, which made me smile, realizing they had found a bit of Disney magic right here in Aurora. That’s pretty incredible when you think about it.

Wed
25
Mar

Owning up to one’s miscues doesn’t always soften the blow

What does a tricycle, garbage can and a plumber’s truck all have in common? The items have all been victims of my carelessness when backing a car out of our garage.
Actually, I forgot those little incidents until recently. That’s when the betterhalf – who seemingly never forgets my little miscues – repeated each of them in detail just after I told her I had a little incident exiting her car from the garage.  I put my misdeed bluntly to her. “I backed over your bike with your car when coming out of the garage,” I said.

Wed
25
Mar

Got r’ done!

Emotions are still high this week in the High Plains community, where the Storm did something no other team has been able to do since the school consolidated 15 years ago.
Though many High Plains teams have made the state playoffs in various sports, including last year’s oh-so-close runner-up finish in boys basketball, this was the first team to win a state championship. That’s a very big deal for the kids, coaches, parents and fans, an accomplishment all will be able to think back on years from now and say “2015 was the year we were state champs.”
Time after time you hear coaches and players say it’s the relationships that last, not necessarily the memory of wins and losses. That’s so true, yet there is also something very special about hoisting a state championship trophy and what that means to a community. It represents a stake in the ground, a priceless moment in time, and a testament to this group’s talent, teamwork and dedication.

Wed
18
Mar

Cyberspace challenge

The sunshine is invigorating this week, in more ways than one.
Like many of you, I am thoroughly enjoying the springlike weather and a chance to get outside and enjoy some sun. As a journalist, I am also celebrating Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote dialogue about the importance of open government and celebrate the freedom of information in our democracy.
Why should that matter to me, you might ask? In the modern age of technology we live in, the concept of openness in governmental affairs, at all levels, has never been more important than it is today. It does matter.
Our government, by design, is intended to be of the people, for the people and by the people. Transparency in what our elected officials are doing on our behalf is critical at all levels, but as we know from recent events in Washington citizens aren’t always told the whole story.

Wed
18
Mar

Elevator theory helps estimate rural population

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity (I guess opportunity) to take the back roads across Kansas on a return trip to Aurora. I enjoy driving the less traveled back roads particularly after a couple of days of a monotonous interstate highway that sports nothing other than comparing rest stops and mile markers.
Those back roads give a guy lots of time to do some daydreaming and questioning just how many of those small towns will survive into the next century. I am irritated when I pass through those communities the state has elected to put up the  marker at the edge of town “ID’ing” the community without informing me of the population of that community.

Wed
11
Mar

Cataract surgery, results look so much better with time

“Cataract” is a word that is familiar to the majority of senior citizens. A few months ago the betterhalf  became very familiar with not only the word “cataract,” but the word “surgery” as well.
  This past week the betterhalf completed her second successful cataract surgery and now her future looks much brighter. As she marvels about brighter colors and I assume the old line from a laundry detergent advertisement that claimed “whiter whites” also holds true.
 As for me, I was a witness to the third generation of having a family member undergo cataract surgery and was amazed just how much had changed from the day I visited with my grandfather after he underwent the knife. My grandfather attempted to visit from his hospital bed with a sandbag on each side of his head to prevent head movement. He was flat on his back for nearly a week before leaving the hospital. Then he was doomed to wear glasses that framed thick lenses resembling the bottom of glass pop bottles.

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