Commentary

Tue
17
Dec

Lessons learned during unsuccessful recall effort

Dear Editor:
Over the past two to three weeks I have travelled several miles of the District Five commissioners rural area, visiting with the constituents of the district. A few things that I learned are as follows, in no specific order.
1. It’s very hard to catch very many constituents at home, on any given night.
2. Several of the constituents had no idea what was happening other than the condition of their roads.
3. Everyone agrees, the Roads Department has a severe problem and to solve the problem, most feel the superintendent of roads should be removed from his duties.
4. Several constituents feel the county government is as corrupt as the government in Washington D.C.
5. I had no idea how bad of shape most of the roads in this district are in. I did not see one mile where I felt they had things under control.

Wed
11
Dec

‘Come Home to Christmas’ event a winner in debut year

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Tradition is what makes holidays special for most people and Aurora added a keeper to that list with the 2019 debut of a “Come Home to Christmas” celebration.
Despite the cold and windy weather, people showed up to have a look-see at what this new gig was all about, and by all accounts it was a winner. The mood was festive, the energy was high and the lighted tractors were spectacular.
Julie Wasem deserves a ton of credit for bringing this idea back from California, where she and others stumbled on to a lighted tractor parade in Calistoga. My wife and I enjoyed a similar celebration years ago when we lived in Huron, S.D., though tractors weren’t the main focus of that parade. Bottom line, the weekend after Thanksgiving is a perfect time for this kind of event, with lots of family and guests in town looking for something fun to do.

Wed
11
Dec

Quiz helps determine if you are older than dirt

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Not too long ago a rock showed up on my basement desk with the words “Older Than Dirt” etched in it. A few days later along came a few mysterious papers titled “Man, I am old” and then a list asking for me to take an “Older Than Dirt Quiz.” The quiz listed contained 25 items that you might remember. The list:
Blackjack chewing gum.
Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water.
Candy cigarettes.
Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles.
Coffee shops or diners with table side juke boxes.
Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers.
Party lines on the telephone.
Newsreels before the movie.
P.F. Flyers.
Butch wax (my hair product).
TV patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until the TV shows started in the morning. There were only three channels.
Peashooters.
Howdy Doody.
45 RPM records.
S&H Green Stamps.
Hi-fi’s.

Wed
11
Dec

‘Come Home to Christmas’ event a winner in debut year

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Tradition is what makes holidays special for most people and Aurora added a keeper to that list with the 2019 debut of a “Come Home to Christmas” celebration.
Despite the cold and windy weather, people showed up to have a look-see at what this new gig was all about, and by all accounts it was a winner. The mood was festive, the energy was high and the lighted tractors were spectacular.
Julie Wasem deserves a ton of credit for bringing this idea back from California, where she and others stumbled on to a lighted tractor parade in Calistoga. My wife and I enjoyed a similar celebration years ago when we lived in Huron, S.D., though tractors weren’t the main focus of that parade. Bottom line, the weekend after Thanksgiving is a perfect time for this kind of event, with lots of family and guests in town looking for something fun to do.

Tue
10
Dec

Sorry for recall failure

Dear Editor:
To the people of Hamilton County, I am sorry. I have failed you by not getting the recall signature in time. Health reasons kept me from getting out and reaching all of you.
I know that you are all fed up with this group of commissioners and their highway superintendent. Of all the people I talked to only one declined to sign. I listened to you all voice the same complaints, and I heard you state your concerns about public safety and the hazardous conditions of the roads that fall on deaf ears. I heard your concerns of the liability issues we have by the practices of the current highway superintendent and commissioners. Someone is going to get killed on these roads and KC and the commissioners will be to blame.

Wed
04
Dec

Plants welcome at our home, inside and out

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“It’s a jungle out there!” That common saying seemed to apply to our home’s front porch during the summer months and it was because the Betterhalf moved all her houseplants from the interior of our home to outside on the porch. The purpose, as I understand it, is to let the summer sunshine and temps stimulate brighter greenery and heartier growth. Now it has become time to claim, “It’s a jungle in here!” The plants, vines, bushes, cactuses and green foliage have been brought back inside our home.  Even in the corner of our living room stands a near six-foot indoor tree that has been a family member since 1988.
While the moving of plants inside to out seems to be my job, the Betterhalf  has taken care of the watering, trimming, fertilizing and the “dirty work.” She has done a pretty good job and I’m appreciative she doesn’t ask me to do too many plant chores.

Wed
04
Dec

OHP football cooperative left an impact, on and off the field

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The Osceola-High Plains Stormdogs rose to the occasion down the stretch, running through a gauntlet of high-powered football schools to win a Class D1 championship in most impressive fashion. Without a doubt, they earned the title of state champions, giving each young man on that roster a badge of honor they’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Watching an area team win a state title, in any sport, is always exciting and there was certainly drama down the stretch as Burwell threatened to spoil the party with a second-half comeback. A fumble in the red zone sealed the win, ending the game with OHP on top, 40-34.
Equally impressive that day, in my opinion, was the humble attitude and positive feedback players and coaches gave for having the opportunity to field a Stormdog team in a two-year cooperative between Osceola and High Plains Community Schools. There was not unanimous community or board support for that decision two years ago, but few could argue with the end results.

Tue
03
Dec

Speaking out on Loving Life Coalition events

Dear Editor:
A big “Thank You” goes out to the 75 people from multiple Hamilton County congregations who come out to support the cause of life Oct. 6 for the nationally recognized Life Chain event on Highway 34 at Streeter Park in Aurora.
I also want to say a word of appreciation to those who supported the event “Discover the Truth about Life.”  This event, held Nov. 9 at the Aurora High School Theater and Commons, hosted speakers from throughout the state. Two speakers from Lincoln, three from Omaha, one from Aurora, and one from Hastings came out to share truths about abortion from many perspectives.  It was an event that helped to open minds and hearts to the legal, scientific, legislative, and emotional truths surrounding this issue.

Wed
20
Nov

It’s time to amend comprehensive zoning plan

Dear Editor:
It is time in Hamilton County for a change to our comprehensive zoning plan. Earlier this fall, shortly before the new comprehensive plan was passed, the chairman of the Hamilton County commissioners board, Rich Nelson, assured the public that the new plan would be a living, breathing document and that if the citizens were to decide that it’s not working out well, the plan could be modified.
These citizens have now spoken up with a petition, requesting that the plan be changed to greatly increase the setback distance of commercial wind turbines from places of residence. The number of petitioners has steadily increased and there are now hundreds of people asking our county officials to change the setbacks. We will soon see whether the board of commissioners is prepared to listen to the concerns of their constituents.

Wed
20
Nov

Visiting young journalists get real-world lessons in Aurora

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Weekly newspapering took on a fresh perspective Friday as Aurora hosted a bright young group of University of Nebraska-Lincoln students seeking a real-world experience in community journalism.
It was a refreshing day in the newsroom to be able to share what small-town journalism looks like, and also to get a glimpse of the energy and enthusiasm a budding new crop of potential journalists will soon bring to the work world.

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