Commentary

Wed
19
Aug

A clean slate

New beginnings never get old.
It is hard to believe it’s that time of year again, but the calendar says it is in fact time to turn the page to a whole new season of fresh beginnings, and for some students a whole new chapter in their lives. There is clearly an energy and sense of anticipation in the air.
It seems to me the start of the school calendar comes much earlier than it once did. Back in my day, we had two solid weeks of two-a-day football practices and the summer’s grand finale, the Chase County fair, leading up to the start of classes at the end of August. It’s a whole different timetable these days, which seems to cut the summer short.

Wed
19
Aug

Finding fault a lazy man’s job, both then and now

I try not to be a complainer or let negativism dominate my thinking, but sometimes the old brain gets loaded with pessimism.
I have some stew and fret moments. The dark-side generally shows up after I’ve read my morning newspaper or viewed the evening TV news. The betterhalf regularly calls my attention to my dilemma with the simple straight forwardness of raising her voice and tells me to, “Knock it off.”
While I grumbled about the debate (such as it was); the failing U.S. government policies in the Middle East; the Iran deal; and the federal politicians taking the month of August off, other critics were concerned about the real serious problems. Those serious concerns included the gender labeling of toys at Target or calling for schools to open later because studies showed students weren’t getting enough sleep.

Wed
12
Aug

‘Body language’ can often speak louder than words

The term “body language” has been around for years. Actually I’ve never thought much about it other than when my body doesn’t work the way I want, I then use some special “body language.”  
Many psychologists tell us our body reflects our state of mind and most of us agree with that. That finding is really nothing new. Most of us throughout our years have been using body language to describe how we feel. Here are some of those thoughts:
Most of us breathe easier when we get a load off our chest. We get worried sick waiting for the doctor and there’s nothing to do but sweat it out. Sometimes it gets under our skin.  

Wed
12
Aug

‘New normal’ creates huge challenges

When you are in the deadline business, moving that deadline up an hour is a very big deal.
The News-Register staff is adjusting to a “new normal” as of this week, pushing our entire production schedule up an hour across the board in order to meet new postal guidelines. It’s only an hour difference on the clock, I realize, but unfortunately the earlier timeline will have a ripple effect impacting many of our advertisers.
As of this week, all advertising layouts must be proofed and approved by the end of the day Monday, which means we no longer have that Tuesday morning cushion to wrap things up. That’s a significant change, one that will take some adjustments on our end, as well as our advertisers, to make the process run smoothly.

Wed
12
Aug

A game-changer

An ominous black cloud lifted over Aurora last week which had nothing whatsoever to do with the late summer weather.
The announcement that all outstanding litigation between Pacific Ethanol and the Aurora Cooperative has been dismissed by mutual agreement is incredibly significant, clearing the way for a multi-use agri-plex to finally start delivering the strategic benefits first envisioned way back in 2006. This is a game-changing development for both companies.

Wed
05
Aug

Valid concept

An interesting concept surfaced at last week’s Aurora City Council meeting which deserves consideration.
Citing a budget-cutting strategy implemented earlier this summer in Crete, city officials say they want to explore the possibility of outsourcing 911 dispatching services. Mayor Dave Long said there are many factors to consider in making that kind of transition, and at this point the discussion is in its infancy stage.
Nonetheless, it’s a concept worth the time and effort it will take to do some homework in the weeks ahead. That homework assignment should be a joint venture by the city and county, naturally, since they now share responsibility for dispatch services currently housed in the Hamilton County Law Enforcement Center.

Wed
05
Aug

Dog on its own when it comes to health insurance

It was reported Americans spent over $55 billion on pets in 2013 and $870 million of that was for medical insurance. My betterhalf and I have not made any outlay on our dog Missy for medical insurance, but we have bought plenty of treats, toys and I would guess about 150 pounds yearly for dog food. Our own personal health insurance premiums are high enough and sorry, Missy, you are on your own if you want health coverage.
When it comes to pets we find that talk is cheap because we come home with such items as meat- stuffed bones, chewies, rubber balls and a new cushy dog pillow. However, there is one thing we are adamant about. Outside of her Nebraska Big Red collar purchased by the betterhalf and a special Christmas holiday collar, Missy is not going to be forced into dressing up in finery that can embarrass her.

Wed
29
Jul

Tell me when it’s safe to go back into the water

Several years ago environmentalists preached sharks were becoming an endangered species. Now we’re being told our seashores are full of sharks and shark attacks on bathers have never been higher. I wouldn’t be surprised the next reports will proclaim sharks have been spotted at the Platte River’s Tooley Park beach, or Lake McConaughey.
Some safety stats collected from 2001-2013 show that deaths as a result of animal attacks make up 0.003 of all deaths. Deaths from shark attacks have averaged one per year. Putting that in perspective, 20 deaths per year have been caused by cows. Dogs have attributed to 28. Wasps, bees and hornets killed 58 per year.
With tongue-in-cheek, a statistician noted 33,000 deaths occurred by automobiles, which means if you feel it’s safe enough to drive to the beach, it is certainly safe enough to go in the water.
***

Wed
29
Jul

See you there

It’s showtime.
The annual Hamilton County Fair promises to be a feel-good event again this year, the 144th version of what has become a traditional celebration of our ag-based heritage. There is indeed something for everyone, including events as old as the fair itself, combined with a few new activities, by design.
The next few days will culminate months of hard work for 4-H and FFA youth who have been preparing their animals and entries for the fair. Lots of ribbons and trophies will be handed out, but what are even more valuable are the life lessons learned along the way. It takes so much dedication, time and effort to prepare and show these animals and various entries, nurturing a Midwest work ethic that will serve our young people well throughout their lives. It’s worth your time to tour the barns and exhibits, showing support for young folks who represent the next generation of agricultural leaders.

Wed
22
Jul

Time keeps marching on, by any measure

Time is a strange thing.  It has been said, “Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.”
To me, as a former newspaper publisher, time weekly referred to our newspaper deadline. Now that I am retired I question how much retirement time I have left.
Time has remained constant through centuries in what we call the 24-hour day. However, keeping time has certainly changed.
Keeping time was once done on a sundial before advancing hundreds of years through grandfather clocks, mantle clocks, alarm clocks, and now atomic clocks. Portable timepieces called pocket watches were replaced by thick, bulky wristwatches and later the thin wristwatch. Now you sport thick wristwatches that by the push of a button can become a stopwatch, calculator, heart monitor and even a small computer.

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