Opinion

Study: Healthcare reform raises costs

Local Columns

The past several weeks we have been busy getting bills through committee and ready for floor debate as we approach the final "funnel week." In the background there has been quite a bit of discussion about whether Iowa should expand our Medicaid system as a part of healthcare reform. Most of the ...

Chance encounter at Beemer’s Pond

Local Columns

I collect stories like some men collect shotguns. I have given shotguns away and many have given shotguns to me. But unlike a shotgun, you can give a story away and still shoot it. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, settle back and I'll pass this story along to you.Time was, when I've limited out ...

Never work with animals or children

Local Columns

W.C. Fields once said, "Never work with animals or children." I love children but recalled Fields' words last Sunday.The worship service at my church service frequently includes a children's sermon. Adults in the congregation are asked to present the children's sermon on a given Sunday.Upon ...

Growing into Spring

Local Columns

If you work in a middle school like I do and you pay attention to rather obscure things like I do, you might notice that this is the season of the year when you'll likely be seeing more ankles than you have for quite some time.It's not because these students are wearing shorts already (although ...

Getting acquainted with WC

Local Columns

It's been a busy month here at the Chamber. I started March 4 and my wheels have been running ever since.My first job will always be to support our Chamber members and make sure they are receiving many benefits as a result of belonging to the Chamber. We want to provide sound business policy, ...

A taste of the empty nest

Local Columns

We had an interesting experience last week during spring break. My son Daniel spent the entire seven days with his grandmother and cousin in Missouri. It was the first glimpse for me of what it might be like when we have an empty nest.Daniel had stayed with Grandma for a week about four years ...

Finding the joy of cooking

Local Columns

Jam of the week: "Smile Heavy" by Black Moth Super RainbowLately, I've had a strong desire to cook. I realize that statement probably sounds inane to anyone who regularly cooks for themselves and others. However, my on and off desire to become a better cook has finally reached the point where ...

Are ducks running late?

Local Columns

We have all heard the old timers brag about the good ol' days of duck hunting, when the skies were so thick with ducks that they blocked out the sun. When decoys were bleach bottles or old tires painted black and the birds still poured in. While we know Grandpa tells the tallest of tales and ...

This Protestant likes Pope Francis

Local Columns

This may seem odd coming from a lifelong Protestant but I like the new pope. The more I read about Jorge Mario Bergoglio Pope Francis the more I like him.I grew up in the '50s and '60s when there was a lot of misunderstanding sometimes animosity between Protestants and Catholics.There was ...

Enjoying a game night

Local Columns

Game night is alive and well this winter. It reminds me again how much fun such a simple pleasure as board games with friends can be. I've spent several very enjoyable evenings the past few months gathered around a table with others learning the skills and strategies of dominoes and a dice ...

A bookstore adventure

Local Columns

Jam of the week: "Accordion"?by MadvillainI went to Iowa City this past weekend. I had a chance to hang out with some friends, eat a nice home-cooked dinner and wander around downtown. Probably one of the most enjoyable parts of my visit came during the latter activity when I got the chance to ...

Pinewood Derby a success

Letters to Editor

To the Editor:Saturday, March 16 was the Webster City Cub Scout Pinewood Derby race. It was a huge success much in part to all of the volunteers who helped make it run smoothly.I would love to pass on our thanks to these businesses and individuals... because the boys are the recipients of ...

The strangest winter

Local Columns

This year will go down in history. Well, all years go down in history, but specifically regarding North American birds, this year is unusual.We've been seeing a lot of songbirds from the far north this year. Northern finches are notorious for having fluid winter distributions, going to where ...

The nearly perfect food

Local Columns

My paternal grandfather had a sweet tooth. After a meal, Opa reached to the top of Oma's china closet where sat dishes of candy. One dish held Brach's white peppermint lozenges, another held Brach's pink wintergreen lozenges and still another dish held candy corn.After a meal, Opa asked his ...

Bearing an Iowa winter

Local Columns

I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling just a little bit sorry for myself on these snowy, sometimes stormy, mornings when I have to head down the road in uncertainty about what's out there. When I leave, it's dark (thank you, Daylight Savings Time) and cold. On a recent morning, I was undecided if ...

Navigating the murky waters of Twitter

Local Columns

While I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy, I've been discovering how little I know about some things. I'm referring specifically to Twitter.Ever since I discovered Facebook and was able to reconnect with childhood and high school friends, I've been hooked. But I've since learned that ...

Medicaid expansion is right for Iowa

Local Columns

I have the privilege of serving an organization whose mission and vision uphold the moral conviction that every person deserves access to health care.At Van Diest Medical Center, our commitment to serving as a healing presence to the most vulnerable indirectly means that Iowa should expand the ...

St. Patrick’s Day memories

Local Columns

St. Patrick's Day was a much anticipated celebration when I was a kid.The teaching staff at the Catholic school I attended in Sioux City had many Sisters who were of Irish heritage and for them, this was a holiday that ranked just behind Easter and Christmas.So late in February, the classroom ...

Jim on Dorf on Golf

Local Columns

Jam of the week: "Missing the War"?by Ben Folds FiveAs I often do, I found myself searching through YouTube earlier this week. Unlike my usual searches for cute pug videos and acoustic covers of songs, I was taking a trip down memory lane.I rarely find myself in a nostalgic mood. However, I ...