Opinion

Legislators should maintain local control of county budgets

Local Columns

Legislation currently being considered by the Iowa Legislature would hinder the ability of local elected officials to make budget decisions to fund the programs and services their constituents depend on and desire. House File 773 would place an arbitrary 2 percent annual growth limitation on ...

Under His Wings I am Safely Abiding

Local Columns

The first funeral I can remember was for a 3-year-old cousin who drowned in his family’s farm stock tank. I was 6-years-old. The service was at Ramsey Reformed Church north of Titonka in Iowa’s far northern Kossuth County. This is my extended family’s church; my parents worshiped ...

Kindness all around us

Local Columns

So there I was last week, paused at the end of the row where my seat was at the Civic Center in Des Moines. It was about three minutes before curtain, and all the seats were occupied between me and my seat. Although there was plenty of room for me to slide in front of those already seated, ...

Open water fishing plans

Local Columns

Open water fishing has started in many areas of the Midwest, and where it hasn’t started yet, it will soon. I have a few plans for the upcoming open water season that I hope to start putting into action soon. Following are some of those plans. I plan and hope to go fishing more this ...

Iowa employers are mobilizing

Editorials

Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued a call for Iowa’s employers to participate in the fifth annual Give Back Iowa Challenge. This important philanthropic undertaking got underway on April 1 and continues through May 31. The goal of this innovative endeavor is to engage our state’s residents in ...

Celebrating National Pet Day

Local Columns

I am writing this on National Pet Day, So perhaps it is fitting that my cat Maxine is sitting on my lap, one of her favorite spots any time and almost any place I'm sitting. Sometimes she leaps up as soon as I pull out my chair before I can even sit down myself. She never even meows for ...

Eb Griper’s problems with robo calls

Local Columns

The prevailing image of Ebeneezer Griper in my mind is a grumpy old man frowning as he reads his daily newspaper. The other day I ran into him frowning at his cell phone. It was at Eb’s favorite coffee shop. I had stopped in for a cup o’ joe and saw him sitting in his favorite booth at ...

Helping students decide wisely

Editorials

Going to college can be an expensive undertaking. One of the most important decisions prospective college students and their parents must confront is just how much debt they are willing to face when their studies are complete. Iowa’s two United States senators — Charles Grassley and Joni ...

Early open water panfish

Local Columns

Many of the places where we go fishing across the Midwest are free of ice, or, with some warmer temperatures, wind, rain, or thunder, they will soon be ice-free. For those of us that are looking forward to getting back to open-water fishing, that means it’s time to get the panfish gear ...

The Iowa tradition lives on

Editorials

When the Missouri River recently surged out of its banks and turned southwest Iowa and parts of Nebraska into a giant pond, the true character of Iowans shined through once again. People across Iowa, even those with no connection to the flooded area, are pitching in to collect money, bottled ...

Catching walleyes on jigs

Local Columns

Many walleye anglers consider early spring to be their favorite time of year to chase their favorite fish. Rivers across walleye country, and many lakes and reservoirs in the same region, are seeing lots of anglers after walleyes. There are some states or areas where walleye season is ...

Keep McCain’s memory alive

Editorials

Some Americans, including members of Congress, are happy about the success of President Donald Trump’s policies, even as they wish fervently he would learn, well, to keep his mouth shut on certain topics. The late Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, is one of those subjects. McCain was, like ...

White coat anxiety and a man who suffers from it

Local Columns

When I was a kid ̶ like 5 or 6 years old ̶ I was afraid of physicians and the things they did to little boys like me. When getting my pre-school vaccinations I jerked away so badly the needle of the hypodermic syringe bent. As the doctor very carefully withdrew the bent needle from my ...

Sitting at the piano with Grandma

Local Columns

If you’re like me, little did you know that this Friday is World Piano Day. It’s a day all about the history and love of the piano. What I read is that the focus is on classical music that’s played on a piano on this special day. So that’s one way to celebrate, but I think about ...

College admissions scandal has wide reach

Editorials

The indictment of dozens of wealthy parents, including several Hollywood actresses and business leaders, along with the top college athletic coaches they allegedly bribed, tells a shocking story of corruption and deception in college admissions. If the charges are true, these privileged but ...

Hamilton “The Community”

Local Columns

“Territory folks should stick together, territory folks should all be pals.” So goes a line from Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic musical Oklahoma. Those born after 1985 may need to Google that. This is a phrase you will here from me over and over from this day forward. It is a fact ...

Get ready for open water

Local Columns

The winter of 2019 appears to be winding down, at least a little bit. I’m guessing that I’ve got a couple more ice-fishing trips in me, but I can’t get out now, so I’m getting ready for open water. Here’s what I’m doing. I almost always start in my jig boxes. I’ve got ...

Support is strong for music in schools

Local Columns

In case you didn't know, March is National Music in Our Schools Month. It started as just one day in 1973 March 1973 in one state (New York), and now it is recognized all over our country with special concerts and programs. In some places, those concerts are held outside of schools in ...

Dad was right … at least on Sunday

Local Columns

Sixty years ago the nicest thing you could do for me on a Sunday morning was tell me I didn’t have to go to church. I wasn’t an atheist or anything; I just didn’t like to go to church. A year earlier my parents had changed churches and I was having difficulty adjusting to the new ...

Help celebrate National Ag Day

Editorials

After an at-times trying winter, spring is about to arrive. As another growing season approaches, Thursday was set as National Ag Day by the Agriculture Council of America. The council designates the week within which it falls as National Ag Week. This important time to celebrate agriculture ...