Commentary

Wed
02
Jan

Steady hand in kitchen helps calm holiday nerves

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Over the years the Betterhalf has faced some challenges during the holiday seasons as she planned holiday meals for relatives and guests. What to serve and how many people are coming seem to be her biggest obstacles to resolve. However, this year a new obstacle to overcome confronted her.
But, first we should explain a little background for our most recent holiday dining.
Since the death of her sister she has invited her brother-in-law and sons to dine with us at Thanksgiving and at Christmas. Locations were alternated by celebrating Thanksgiving at one home followed a few weeks later by the other family hosting the Christmas dinner at the other’s home.
We were supposed to celebrate Thanksgiving with the brother-in-law and sons at his home this year. The brother-in-law called and announced he had already bought the turkey and trimmings. A conflict occurred and we were unable to participate in a joint celebration.

Wed
02
Jan

Balancing state’s budget will be a tough task in 2019 session

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Nebraska lawmakers will have their hands full this year during a 90-day legislative session which begins Jan. 9.
Getting things done in Lincoln is always a challenge, but the sledding will likely be mostly uphill this year, thanks to an economic backdrop that will set the tone for much of the debate.
Having dipped heavily into cash reserves to make ends meet two years ago, senators will have to earn their pay by making tough decisions in the 2019 session. If the economic forecast doesn’t improve, which we won’t know until February, either significant cuts will have to be made or revenues will have to be found in the form of higher taxes or fewer sales tax exemptions. Neither approach will happen without a fight, especially knowing the governor’s staunch position against raising taxes.

Wed
26
Dec

EMS story tops 2018 headlines, solution in reach for early 2019

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The News-Register conducted its annual news survey last week, seeking reader input on what the community as a whole perceives to be the Top 10 stories of the year. It’s a very subjective, non-scientific process by its nature, but always a fun and interesting one.
We scanned our pages from January through December, taking note of on-going issues and timely, breaking news. Then we asked local residents from all walks of life to weigh in, ranking their top 10 choices for stories that will be remembered as having an impact or creating memories in 2018.
Looking back over the past 52 editions it was crystal clear just how much the local debate on how, why and if the ambulance service should be revamped dominated the headlines. It’s a hot-button issue all have a vested interest in, so it came as no surprise that the EMS story was voted No. 1.

Wed
26
Dec

Burning calories just thinking about the new year

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Soon we will be turning over a new leaf and heading into a new year, which means many of us will be making New Year’s Resolutions. Which also means, judged on past experiences, good intentional resolutions for the next year are meant to be broken.
Among the most common resolutions is one that we vow to lose weight and just in time we found a guide to the number of calorie activities per hours they consume. Here are those guidelines:
Beating around the bush, 75 calories; jumping to conclusions, 100 calories; climbing the walls, 150; swallowing your pride, 50; passing the buck, 25; throwing your weight around (depending on your weight), 50 to 300.
Dragging your heels, 100; pushing your luck, 250; making mountains out of molehills, 500; hitting the nail on the head, 50; wading through paperwork, 300; bending over backwards, 75.

Wed
19
Dec

Feeling blessed, despite slighlty slower pace of life

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For the third time this week my Betterhalf has asked if our Christmas letter was done. Ever since my retirement 18 years ago the obligation of writing the Christmas letter has been my duty and apparently she has plans for me continuing as editor for this year.
I am troubled because I just read a magazine article where a biomedical gerontologist (What a title!) predicted soon people will live to be 1000 years of age. According to my calculation I could have 920 more Christmas letters to edit. My only hope is that I won’t be in charge of keeping up a current mailing list for our letter.

Wed
19
Dec

Holiday greetings celebrate faith-based Christmas message

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A lot of things have changed in the way we celebrate Christmas these days, but one constant is the warm fuzzy, that priceless sense of connection, we get from holiday greetings that come our way.
Long before we’ll gather around the Christmas tree to exchange gifts, an array of colorful cards and letters start arriving from friends and family, filled with photos, summaries of the year that was 2018 and genuine holiday greetings. It’s a highlight of the season for me, personally, so it is with great joy that the News-Register staff offers this week’s edition as a giant Christmas card to the community, from the community.

Wed
12
Dec

Christmas shopping not at top of the holiday list for all

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The other evening the Betterhalf after reading the newspaper said she had found a great Christmas gift for our brother-in-law. I was elated because the brother-in-law generally buys what he wants or needs. That attitude leaves little room for us Christmas gift-hunters to adequately fill his stocking.  
Now it appeared difficult shopping may have eased a bit when she announced his stocking was going to be filled with an electronic gadget that communicated via Goggle. I should have known better . . . there was about to be a catch to her simple solution. She asked me if I would like to go with her in making the purchase. “No thanks,” I said and added, “I don’t have any idea what you call the thing or how even how it works.”
My Christmas shopping generally in later years has become simply writing a few checks or getting gift cards. I have had too many memories of picking wrong colors, sizes, returns, or even inadequate gifts.

Wed
12
Dec

Stress can overwhelm your holidays, but don’t let it

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The holidays are such a wonderful time, it is easy to become all wrapped up in the spirit of the season and allow expectations to outpace reality. When that happens people spend too much, schedule themselves into too many holiday activities, and allow the simple, deep and meaningful moments to pass them by.
Worst of all, overdoing it creates stress, and for many people, stress is one of the last things they want to contend with during the holidays.
To keep a cap on overdoing it, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services shares an assortment of thoughtful holiday advice:
Stick to a budget: Determine what you can afford to spend and stick to it. Enjoy holiday activities that are free, such as looking at holiday lights, a movie night at home or checking out holiday books from the library.
Don’t overcommit: Saying “yes” when you want to say “no” is a recipe for resentment.

Wed
05
Dec

Never try to second guess Mother Nature

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Even at our age we learned another hard lesson. That lesson: “Don’t try to fool Mother Nature.”
A few weeks ago we headed south to spend Thanksgiving with our son in Tennessee. When we planned our return to the Midwest on Saturday, we found Mother Nature threw a wrench into our plans. Rain, potential snow and wind caused us to delay one day in our departure.
Rain was predicted in eastern Missouri with snow predicted in the Kansas City and Nebraska areas for Sunday. But, I conveyed my astute observation there was a window of opportunity to slip through the weather threats. “If we leave Sunday we could drive in rain through Missouri; stay in KC on Sunday night after a 3-inch snowfall and head into Nebraska on Monday morning.”

Wed
05
Dec

Bush lived ‘kinder, gentler’ motto as a model for the world

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George H.W. Bush will be remembered by history as the voice of “a kinder, gentler nation,” a legacy appreciated perhaps more after his death than during his time in the White House.
The nation’s 41st president was a man of high character, according to all who knew and worked with him throughout a lifetime of public service. “Character matters,” Bush said time and again, and on that note he set the bar high.
A member of “the Greatest Generation” and a Navy war hero in his own right, 41, as he was known for his number in line to the presidency, was humble yet incredibly proud of his patriotic call to serve. Decades after he lived on Pennsylvania Avenue, Bush spoke with great reverence about the responsibilities and respect he had for the White House, as well as his opportunity to serve. He believed that the office is bigger than the man, caring less about his personal reputation than what was good for the country.

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