Commentary

Wed
27
Jun

Wayward raccoon a nice diversion from real world

 It was refreshing this past week to have our attention diverted from what has become the regular news coverage concerning presidential tweets, immigration, political investigations and the negativism of the human race.
That diversion is exactly what happened when in a metro population of over 3 million people who were concerned with the antics of a raccoon who soon was about to become a death-defying hero.
What got more attention than even a top publicity agent couldn’t achieve was national social-media audience’s awareness of a raccoon that chose to scale a 22-floor skyscraper in downtown St Paul, Minn. The raccoon was assumed to be searching for a pigeon egg meal and captured over 24-hour attention from an audience with the question, “Will he fall or won’t he?”

Wed
27
Jun

Who gets to decide which EMS option is best for community?

A conversation that will ultimately determine who responds to emergency calls when local residents dial 911 is headed for a decision within the next 90 days or so, demanding the attention of anyone who calls Hamilton County home.
This issue has been in the public eye for more than a year now, if not longer, though an Oct. 1 transition deadline and the emergence of three possible alternatives promises to bring some finality to what has become a very sensitive and at times controversial topic.
The core issue involves the Hamilton County Ambulance Department, which has provided countywide emergency medical service for many years. The quality of advanced life support (ALS) service has never been questioned, and in fact is unanimously applauded, though the cost for that service has been documented to be higher than that of other communities of similar size.

Wed
20
Jun

Regardless of the political climate, there’s still humor

It seems in this day and age about everyone agrees that our country and democracy are not better off than 50 years ago. They cite in particular the year 1968 as the beginning of a deep decline because of assassinations of Robert Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., riots in American cities, violence at the Democratic National Convention and the list goes on and on.
Personally, I really can’t figure out how to point to one year or century as the start of good or bad in our country.
I judge my opinion on a book titled, “20th Century Year by Year” that tells about the good or bad of people and events that shaped the last 100 years.
Rather than dwell on the negatives, I would like to point out what I feel is the humor in many situations of this current 21st century. It is quite evident change still continues and hopefully it will for years and if lucky, for centuries to come.

Wed
20
Jun

A’ROR’N Days a chance to relax, show off community’s progress

It’s showtime in A-Town.
Aurora will simultaneously hit the pause and go buttons this week with a celebration that has evolved into an annual highlight of the summer.
If you want something to do, the four-day agenda offers all kinds of opportunities to go, go, go with a variety of  events for people of all ages. If you are looking for a breather, a chance to slow down and catch up with your neighbors, friends and former Huskies, A’ROR’N Days fits that bill as well.
To Husky graduates back in town for their reunion and other guests visiting Aurora this week, we invite you to look around our little corner of the world. Despite the challenges brought on by $3 corn, there is an awful lot of visible progress in Aurora and Hamilton County.

Wed
13
Jun

Whistle while you work, add humor to your day

Even when saddled with a lot of work, some can find a way to either “whistle while they work” or add a little humor to the most tedious of tasks. We found that was the case when the Betterhalf and I took our morning walk on a blacktopped Minnesota roadway recently.
There was lots of evidence that a road crew had been busy pouring hot tar in the roadway cracks that were caused by the harsh winter. Now that job has to emit some discouragement to the road crew when they look ahead down the road as far as they can see and realize there seems to be no end to the work facing them. The optimism is not bolstered by that crew lugging hoses filled with hot tar when the outdoor temps are peaking at 90 degrees. But, this crew apparently added a little humor to their chore.

Wed
13
Jun

‘Pull factor’ report raises serious questions to ponder

How does Aurora view itself? Are we a retail trade center where people come to buy goods and services, or are we a bedroom community?
That question came up in the midst of an interview with Ken Lemke, a PhD who compiled an economic and demographic trends study for the Nebraska Public Power District. Lemke was very matter of fact with his statement, looking at Aurora’s .85 pull factor as an indicator that Aurora is below the state average in terms of per capita spending. He was quick to note that our community is holding its own and actually showing some very positive signs of economic growth, adding that our numbers would look better if totals for vehicle and ag equipment sales were added in, which they are not.

Wed
06
Jun

Times have changed, as has perception of middle class

Most all of us have some sort of wish list. One popular subject that seems to be attractive to many is a wish list for a new home that “must-have” the current trends in luxury homes.
Here in rural Nebraska it’s hard for us to hear many younger couples are purchasing a new home for $750,000 that in the metro areas is described as a “middle class” structure. Those middle class homes include wine rooms, second kitchens and three- or four-car garages.
My, times have certainly changed. We came from the era when you finally afforded a middle class home it had three bedrooms, a basement that could be finished, one bath and a half, and a garage. We even got excited when we had a home with the bath on the main floor and a shower in the basement. We planned to live in that home for a lifetime along with the hopes we could be able to make a few improvements over the years.

Wed
06
Jun

2008 storm taught valuable lessons to our community

Wherwe were you on the night of May 29, 2008?
If you were in or around Aurora on that fateful night you likely remember exactly what you were doing when a destructive force blew threw our community, shredding millions of dollars worth of property in a few minutes time. Though a decade has past, the images of damage amongst our friends and neighbors are forever etched into our collective memories.
Thankfully, no lives were lost in that storm, though there was a great deal of anguish left in the wake of what was later described as a series of tornadoes and straight-line winds. A story in this week’s edition takes a look back to that day through the eyes of some of the many storm victims.

Wed
30
May

Holidays geared toward three-day weekends

At our age over the years we’ve witnessed the change where many national holidays are now saluted either on a Friday or a Monday.
The change has come about because the majority of the working public is subjected to a five-day work week with weekends “off.” This meant it was logical to add a Friday or Monday date to the already off-days of Saturday and Sunday and thus allow for a three-day weekend.
Date changes became particularly noticeable to me this week when I looked at my May calendar and Monday, May 28 was shaded and marked “Memorial Day.” A closer look drew a smile. In addition I also observed the midweek non-shaded Wednesday, May 30, square with the words, “Memorial Day (True)” also marked on my calendar.

Wed
30
May

Memorial Day a powerful reminder of freedom’s cost

America turned the page toward summer Monday, pausing to honor the men and women who fought and died for our country while also cherishing the memories of lost loved ones.
Memorial Day has become a traditional day of transition, marking the end of another school year and the beginning of summer. It’s a welcome change of pace for many, and a breath of fresh air no matter what your age or occupation.
At its core, however, this day is intended to focus our thoughts on the heroic men and women who have worn a military uniform. The day invites us to remember the cost of making America what it is, while also reminding us to acknowledge that the price is not yet paid in full.

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