Local Columns

Best wishes and thanks

Friday is Deb Brown’s last day at the Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce. If you get a chance between now and then, pop in and wish her luck as she takes her own business full-time. Be sure to tell her thank you for everything she’s helped our community accomplish. Deb was ...

Try different things for more fish

About this time every year I start thinking about new or existing open water fishing techniques that I want to learn more about. One of the real keys to fishing success is being versatile. There are lots of ways to catch fish. Some techniques are kind of seasonal, others work better for ...

Hops – a new bine for the garden

Gardeners all over in Iowa are biting the bit to get their hands once again into the garden soil. While waiting for the soil to warm for planting cool season annuals, let me whet your appetite on a new plant to consider planting this year - hops. It is interesting to note, hop stems are ...

Memorable women

There has been a fair amount of fuss this month for National Women’s Day on March 8: women wearing red, gathering to speak out about issues they feel strongly about. Perhaps it wasn’t much different than the first National Women’s Day in our country in 1909, a peaceful gathering of ...

There oughta be a law … or two

This will not go down as a banner year for the Iowa legislature. There has been a great deal of heated conflict at the Iowa Statehouse this session and rightly so. A lot of stupid legislation has been proposed and, even worse, some of it has been passed. The legislature would be wise to ...

Why teen books aren’t just for teens

When I was eleven years old I read a book that grabbed me by the throat. It was summer and I was bored, so I did what I often did in this situation: I snuck into my older sister’s closet, rifled through her boxes of books on the floor, chose a title with a cover that looked interesting, and ...

St. Patrick’s Day is here

Grab your green garb, everyone. Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Although many cultures and people around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, this holiday is steeped in Irish traditions. Bear with me as I bypass the lucky charms, pots o’ gold and leprechauns as we get to the root of ...

Spring gardening tips

While the snow is with us once again, spring is just around the corner, and some timely tips for the garden are in order. But do not get in a rush to start your spring gardening chores, as some jobs need to wait for warmer weather to arrive. Bare spots in the lawn? Purchase a good grass ...

Some rod ideas for walleye

I had a conversation recently with a friend who was new to fishing and wanted to catch walleyes. He’d been watching fishing shows on television and reading articles and going to fishing seminars, and while the information he got from the various outlets was helpful, he was still a bit ...

Baby Boomers sharing a laugh

If you miss the feel of being at the state fair, I suggest you attend the flea market In Arizona where I spent half a day last week. Of course, the animals and machinery displays weren’t there; likewise there was no midway or grandstand, but it was much like the feeling of trying to walk ...

I have the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart

When I was a kid one of my favorite Sunday school songs started out: “I have the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart…” This was before I realized I can’t carry a tune so I sang that song with delight and gusto. It’s easy to have joy when you’re seven-years-old. Your parents pay ...

Moving on, but not leaving

Hello everyone, You may have heard I'm leaving (in fact, it was in this paper!). It's true, I am leaving the Chamber. However, I'm not leaving Webster City. The past four years in the community has been wonderful, and I really like living here. I'll have the pleasure of working from home, ...

Thanks to those who help keep us safe

Monday night, we had our first taste of spring severe weather and it’s not even spring yet. Driving rain and high winds created havoc in Hamilton County and in other areas of the state. We started hearing about the storm in the mid-afternoon with reports of hail in Humboldt with ominous ...

Animal manures and compost

Recently, a question was received regarding the use of feces obtained from a dog kennel operation in the garden. The simple answer is no, do not use dog feces around food crops due to the possibility of transmission of disease and parasites to humans. To expand, never use cat, dog, pig or ...

Catch walleyes in rivers now

For the most part, ice-fishing came to an early end this year. That means that open water fishing will have an early start: In fact, throughout the Midwest, some anglers are already enjoying open water fishing. They’re on rivers, and they’re fishing for walleyes. Walleyes will eat a ...

Ability to slow down, focus is important skill

Spelling is another skill that seems to have fallen to the wayside, the victim of auto-correct and spell check. Oh, I know that elementary students still have spelling words to learn every week before being tested on them, so they hopefully know the basics, but in later school days that skill ...

All that I could do on that 1993 bag phone was talk

My wife and I purchased new cell phones recently. We had tried one of the companies that promotes their lower rate products to seniors. I enjoyed the lower cost but was frustrated when I couldn’t get a signal in rural Iowa and, on occasion, couldn’t make a call in a metro area. The new ...

How to travel from the comfort of your living room

Do you ever find yourself battling an overpowering itch to just hop in the car and drive? Or book a spontaneous flight to anywhere? No matter where I have lived or how satisfied I’ve been in my job, I just can’t seem to shake a near-compulsive need to travel. I am very fortunate; my ...

Adventures at Briggs Woods

Over the past couple of weeks I have spent a large portion of my time at Briggs Woods Park. Briggs Woods spans 555 acres, which is quite a lot of land when you think about it. Briggs Woods has prairie, trails, playground equipment, a beautiful lake, and a campground and cabins to fit any ...

Saying goodbye to an old friend

I had to say goodbye to an old friend this week. Our sweet, loyal dog Toby, who was almost 15, was quite sick and had stopped eating and drinking. He was struggling with breathing and just wanted to sleep. We took a trip to the vet and discovered he had a large mass on his shoulder and his ...