Commentary

Wed
02
Oct

Local boards heard little input, when needed, on budget plans

Article Image Alt Text

Budget season on the local level was anything but normal this year with a combination of declining property valuations, a shift in ambulance services from county to city, and a body blow from Mother Nature making it harder than ever for residents to know what their tax bills will look like.
Heavy rains have been brutal in 2019, damaging roads and bridges beyond belief. Hamilton County, mercifully, has not been hit nearly as hard as fellow Nebraskans to the west and north, but nonetheless a drive through the county, especially as harvest season begins, leaves no doubt that drastic measures were in order.

Wed
25
Sep

So many words, yet communication elusive

Article Image Alt Text

There are more than  470,000 words in the English language. The working journalist is accredited with the use of the largest number, something less than 20,000. Clergymen, lawyers and doctors use an average of about 10,000 words.
 The science and professions have the largest number that the average layman never hears of. For instance, medical men and women must know the names nearly 450 muscles, almost 200 veins, more than 700 arteries, 500-plus pigments, 300-plus poisons, 150-plus tumors, and thousands of tests, diseases and bacteria.
Yet, with all these words, think of all the people who still have trouble expressing themselves. Then think of all of us who constantly wonder what they are all talking about!
***
It’s has been said, “Older people shouldn’t eat health foods. They need all the preservatives they can get.”
***

Wed
25
Sep

Debate on NRD’s Rule 5 changes may have silver lining

Article Image Alt Text

Proposed rule changes involving the amount of and methods with which nitrogen is applied to area farms stirred emotional debate in recent weeks, and rightly so.
There is perhaps no one single issue that touches the lives, livelihoods and health of local citizens as much as soil and water quality. Thus it came as no surprise that a Upper Big Blue Natural Resource District proposal to require the use of inhibitors as a means of reducing the loss of nitrogen in soil touched a nerve.
A public hearing in August and later NRD board meeting both drew hundreds of area farmers, sending a loud, united voice of opposition to the proposed Rule 5 changes. Producers were civil, yet clearly outraged at what many called a drastic plan to address a complex problem which was years in the making.

Wed
18
Sep

Some headlines bring a smile, even if by mistake

Article Image Alt Text

We need a few laughs in this old world and the newspaper headlines, while seemingly dominated with bad news, can also trigger a few smiles. Some of the following have been actual newspaper headlines:
“Dead Man Found in City Cemetery . . . Five Foot Snake Found in Toilet, Woman Relieved . . . Female Sanitation Workers Dump on Trash-Talking Boss . . . Fraud Charges Pinned on Pro Wrestler . . . Procrastinator’s Club Delays Annual Meeting.”
And finally here’s one that we’re sure the public has been waiting for this information: “Notre Dame Cathedral Workers Wear Throwaway Underwear.”
***
The Betterhalf hasn’t asked me to sort my laundry, but she has taken other methods to control my wardrobe. Some of my favorite shirts and a few pair of jeans never returned to my closet after being sent to the laundry room. When she was questioned, I was told, “You are not wearing those old frayed shirts or faded jeans with holes in the knees anymore!”

Tue
17
Sep

Concerns with vehicle damage, safety on Hwy 34

Dear editor: When driving on Highway 34, I hold my breath whenever I am about to meet one of the large semi-trucks hauling gravel. My windshields have been smacked twice now by rocks or chunks of asphalt that fell off the trucks as we met. The company denies responsibility and claim there is no proof of responsibility. The “proof’ as they want it would require me to initial the chunks or rocks on their trucks, then find it after it shatters my windshield.
That 100 percent proof is ridiculous beyond words. In a criminal case, there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt, or 90 percent or more. In a civil case, one must show with a preponderance of the evidence, or 51 percent, that someone is at fault. I have driven more than 100,000 miles on Highway 34 and never had a problem until I started meeting the large gravel/asphalt trucks.

Wed
11
Sep

Silence often golden when poles get in way

Article Image Alt Text

Actions or comments can come back to haunt you. That’s particularly true if you’re a husband.
Several years ago I made a reckless comment. I told the Betterhalf, “I fail to understand how you could back-up your car and strike my vehicle . . . you knew it was parked behind yours in our own driveway!”
History did not exactly repeat itself, but it is close enough to have me eating my past critical comments and searching for an explanation, “How’d the following happen just a week ago?”
As this tale goes, for many years I’ve routinely left my car at the back of the Aurora Adopt-A-Pet animal shelter parking lot and proceeded to walk dogs. This past week I varied my routine because the Betterhalf assisted me with the dog walking. As we prepared to park the car in its usual spot, the Betterhalf suggested to park at the front of the lot which would leave the car in the shade. I consented and followed her suggestion.

Wed
11
Sep

‘Community’ always playing at Aurora’s 12th St. Cinema

Article Image Alt Text

Aurora will roll out the red carpet this weekend in celebration of a big screen milestone.
A whole generation of families and local youth have grown up with easy access to the local movie theater, thanks to the initial vision of volunteers followed by 20 years of community support. A former hardware store on the northwest corner of the square was converted into the 12th Street Cinema back in 1999, and since that time has welcomed an estimated 275,000 moviegoers through the doors.

Tue
03
Sep

State Fair earns purple ribbon, despite the rain and flooding

Article Image Alt Text

Ten years after lawmakers made a bold decision to move the Nebraska State Fair out of Lincoln, the event seems very much at home now in its Grand Island venue.
This year’s fair was another winner, despite a deluge of rain that has hit Grand Island and all of Central Nebraska hard this spring and summer. Event organizers had no choice but to scrap the initial parking plans and ramp up the shuttle service to parking lots throughout Grand Island, which according to all initial reports addressed the dilemma as well or better than anyone could have been expected.
Plan B wasn’t ideal, but then neither is 31 inches of rain through the first eight months of the year. The ground is saturated, creeks, rivers and retaining areas are full, leaving no where for water to go but up and around the fairgrounds. There was absolutely no other option but to deal with the circumstances, be positive and get on with it, which come to think of it is the Nebraska way.

Tue
03
Sep

Sixty years later and I’m still one lucky guy

Article Image Alt Text

Some people like big celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries and accomplishments. As for me, accomplishments of another year are one of quiet satisfaction with no sky rockets fired off and instead substituted with a wine toast and steaks on the grill.
Now, I should qualify my statement. The Betterhalf disagrees with my anniversary viewpoint but, accepts it to a certain degree.
As for those anniversary celebrations we had a few exceptions. Friends surprised us on our 25th annniversary with a champaign supper. By mutual agreement the Betterhalf and I decided to forego a big 50th shindig and celebrate all year with just the two of us heading out on small travels or making some special purchases, etc.

Wed
28
Aug

Life lessons found at the movies

Article Image Alt Text

When I was 6 years old something magical and at the time almost life changing happened. Aurora received its very own movie theater and while I was excited, I had no idea how much that place would impact my life.
Merwyn and Betty Davidson started the 12th Street Cinema using a volunteer system with a simple reward. If you volunteer to work tickets, concessions or the projector then you got to see that movie and received a free popcorn and soda. A simple enough plan, but something extraordinary to a child.
I can still remember going to see Runaway Bride with my family. Not because I had any interest in that movie, but because of the thrill of seeing a movie in my own town. Before 12th Street Cinema opened, it just wasn’t feasible with both time and money to go all the way to Grand Island to see a movie, and still is difficult to this day.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Commentary