Commentary

Wed
21
Jun

Quiet house left with echoes of lessons learned

The past few years it has been a pretty quiet time around the old household. The kids left the household a few decades ago and return once or twice a year. If that doesn’t make for long spans of quietness, the household silence is compounded by the fact two of the grandsons are on their own – busily employed – and living a fulltime lifestyle of 31 and 27 year olds that leaves little time for grandpa and grandma.
Meanwhile the other two grandsons, ages 14 and 12, live in Texas and are involved in year-round sports, which means they grace our doorstep infrequently.
Don’t misunderstand me, we’re not complaining. We manage to run them all down either in their home state for a few days or journey to dine in-state with the older lads on occasions. However, when we return home we find the old home place seems quieter than ever.

Wed
21
Jun

Community has much to celebrate this A’ROR’N Days

It’s with great anticipation that Aurora rolls out the red carpet this weekend for a four-day celebration which long ago became a highlight of the summer.
Now in its 28th year, A’ROR’N Days epitomizes the small-town sense of community Nebraska is known for. It’s relaxed, genuine and fun for all ages, thanks to a formula for fun perfected by a planning committee that still has many of its original members. Those vested hometown volunteers pick the date and plan some of the main events, then alumni groups and other organizations add their own piece to the puzzle in what always turns out to a memorable gig. Hats off to the folks who work so hard behind the scenes to set the A’ROR’N Days stage.

Wed
14
Jun

Brick and mortar has been replaced by internet

Since I am left-handed, I notice more than the average person whether a person is right- or left-handed. I have become aware of the alarming number of right-handed women who suddenly become left-handed when they get a diamond.
***
It is bad enough our own brick and mortar retailers are faced with competition from online retail services that bring merchandise right to the consumers’ doorstep. Our new social trends now are squeezing even the giant national retailers in malls where this year alone over 37 million square feet of space will be vacated by department store closures.

Wed
14
Jun

Candid, specific input needed on county’s comprehensive plan

If ever there was a time for area residents to speak up and share their views on land use issues, now is that time.
How do we, as a county, feel about wind energy, solar energy, livestock expansion projects, rural housing developments and other issues of the day? All of these are extremely relevant questions, which could and should be answered by local residents who share a vested interest in Hamilton County’s economy and quality of life.
How specific areas of our county should, or should not, be developed has been the subject of some spirited debate over the years. That’s to be expected, though oftentimes there is no immediate conclusion at the end of those discussions. Emotional meetings last year on the wind energy proposal alone reflect just how important local control will be on decisions that impact people’s lives and livelihood.

Wed
07
Jun

Mousetraps may be necessary in space soon

Japanese scientists have just announced mouse sperm, after spending nine months in outer space, yielded healthy mice. I would guess not too many people were on pins-and-needles waiting for that announcement.
The real question now arises. Does this mean mousetraps will be necessary to accompany those people who someday plan to live on the moon or other outer-space planets?
It was amusing to think about the mouse study, which began in 2013. However, amusing and earth-shattering scientific studies have been a part of our society for years. While looking through some old newspapers, I came across a 1952 issue citing another scientific study that also had the potential to change society. The burden of this study was not placed on some foreign country scientist, but one of America’s own. A Baltimore bacteriologist and a group of volunteers conducted a kissing study to find out how many harmful germs were transferred in a two-second smooch.

Wed
07
Jun

Community buy-in a critical ingredient on housing project

“If you build it, they will come.”
That famous line from the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” reflects a common sentiment in rural Nebraska regarding the need for more affordable housing. It’s a critical piece to the economic development puzzle, for without a place to live communities simply can’t welcome in new residents and employees. Good luck trying to recruit new businesses without a local labor pool.
The project about to unfold on Matson Street will provide 10 entry-level homes, which could be move-in ready by September. It’s a good bet those homes will be snatched up quickly, drastically changing the look and feel of Aurora’s western edge almost overnight, especially when combined with the 23-lot Streeter 1st Subdivision. Now that’s exciting!

Wed
31
May

The circus era may end, will the show go on?

It was somewhat of a sad day a week ago when I read the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus concluded its final performance. Our family, or at least I, had some fond memories of past circuses.
As a youngster my parents and I took in a Ringling Bros. Big Top performance and it was an exciting time. The circus atmosphere was enjoyed by our own sons with mom and dad a generation later. And a third circus attendance was repeated for still another generation later when gramps and grandma treated our grandsons to a Big Top performance.
Unfortunately, the old adage, “The show must go on,” has ended. Now the next question that comes to mind is will the our next generation ask, “What is a circus?”
While on the subject of a circus, I recall several years ago a potential job applicant came into the newspaper office. During the interview he was asked if he had any experience.
The applicant replied, “Yeah, I used to work for a circus.”

Wed
31
May

Guide project a reminder of all Hamilton County has to offer

“Welcome to Hamilton County.”
That’s the front page greeting on one of the county’s most comprehensive marketing pieces, which is hot off the press this week in the form of an 84-page full-color magazine.
The Hamilton County Guide offers guests and prospective newcomers a Reader’s Digest version of a place that’s very special to those who call it home. It is also available online as well (auroranewsregister.com) to any and all who want to enjoy a colorful snapshot of our community.
There is indeed a lot to offer here in Hamilton County -- great schools, quality health care, top-notch recreational facilities, a diversified economy and a proud, ag-based heritage rooted in some of the best soil and water resources in America. That’s not a sales pitch, but rather a heart-felt sentiment shared by many.

Wed
24
May

An ‘attitude adjustment’ could benefit the nation

Attitude seems to be a major part of our lives and governs our actions. Attitude establishes our own personal characteristics that are reflected either good or bad by those who surround us. And with the attitudes I see displayed today across our nation, it appears too many of us are in need of a good “attitude adjustment.”
Over the years the Betterhalf has on many occasions reminded me -- sometimes harshly and sometimes in a somewhat loving comment -- for my need to make an attitude adjustment. In an effort to appease her and improve my attitude, I recently came across some age-old comments about the importance of attitude. Among them was this statement made over a century ago: “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”
Here are some other observations:

Wed
24
May

State track drama gives local fans a lifetime of memories

There was a lot of moisture coming down Saturday in Omaha, and it wasn’t just falling from the sky. Pure tears of jubilation were mixed in with a steady, two-day flow of rain, making this year’s state track meet one to remember.
This annual event is always chock full of drama and emotion, but the 2017 version was something special, particularly for track and field fans who call Hamilton County home. As darkness began to cover the stadium at Omaha Burke, BOTH the Aurora Lady Huskies AND Giltner Lady Hornets were hoisting state championship hardware,
The emotion near the finish line of the 1600 relay as Emily Standage clinched the Lady Huskies’ first title in 41 years was palpable. The pressure was on as those girls knew they had to finish strong for the team, and they did, not only beating Holdrege across the line to clinch the title, but everyone else as well.

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