Opinion

The rites of spring

Local Columns

I've checked plenty of things off my "to do" list recently. Some don't go exactly like I wanted them to, but overall I was content with them. But the important ones ones like the rites of spring I don't mess with them. Know what I like about them? It's not just the arrival of spring and ...

Zero TV

Local Columns

For once in my life I'm on the cutting edge of a trend. Remember this term: Zero TV.Television has been a powerful entertainment medium in the United States for nearly 70 years and now an increasing number of households are saying, "Enough."Zero TV refers to households which no longer subscribe ...

A few thoughts on manners

Local Columns

You see a lot of manners when you work at a middle school.Believe me, not all of them are good manners, either. Probably because of my age I notice things like that.Often, I have to admit, I am pleasantly surprised at the number of students who say thank you when they're served in the hot ...

A chilly reception for spring

Local Columns

Spring may have sprung, but I think someone forgot to tell Old Man Winter. That little tease we had on Monday was just a bitter joke we discovered as the week wore on. And then, awakening to a little slushy snow cover Thursday was kind of the ultimate insult - snow on April 11.That yucky, wet ...

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Local Columns

The purpose of National Alcohol Awareness Month is to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. This April, Community and Family Resources would like to highlight the important public health ...

The Internet: Serious business

Local Columns

Jam of the week: "Fall In Love" by Miguel Atwood-FergusonThe internet is a wonderful place to find both accurate and hilariously inaccurate information. I use the former aspect of the internet for my work all the time, and increasingly find the latter aspect to be very entertaining.In a show of ...

Fishing contest returns

Local Columns

Oh, this is going to be a good one. You just can't beat a good family fishing contest. Do not expect impartiality in this column this week, folks. Do not look for "fair and balanced." It's one of my favorite subjects.Sunday, June 9 is the day, folks. That Sunday is the day. Mark your calendars. ...

Family memories in the wee hours

Local Columns

Do you ever have one of those nights when you wake up in the wee hours and can't get back to sleep again? (For clarification, "wee hours" in this scenario is defined as the hours immediately after midnight and not necessarily the reason old men wake up shortly after midnight, although)It ...

Phone service through the years

Local Columns

So now I read that some telephone companies are asking the government to end traditional landline service. It has something to do with regulations that require maintenance of outdated, little-used infrastructure when the phone companies would rather be devoting those funds to technology ...

A last birthday before teen years

Local Columns

We just celebrated an important birthday at our house. The sad thing is it marks the beginning of the end for Larry and I, since we only have one year remaining before our sweet child becomes a surly teenager.I was my parents youngest child, born when my mom was 46. Both of my siblings were ...

Closing in on end of session

Local Columns

We are closing in on four weeks left in the scheduled 2013 legislative session. When the 85th General Assembly began, House Republicans committed to remaining focused on ways to make Iowa strong. We laid out a plan to create certainty with balanced budgets, promote job creation through tax ...

Agrees with shop local theory

Letters to Editor

To the Editor:The shop local meeting for shop in your home town should talk a lot keeping prices close to those in other towns. Most people will buy in their town if the price is close to what the item can be bought for in another town. It can be a little higher, but like gas the other day at ...

Thanks for Pony Express support

Letters to Editor

To the Editor:The Hamilton County Pony Express Riders would like to thank the many businesses and individuals who donated generously to the dance and auction at the Moose Lodge and those passing through our toll road for making this annual event a great success. Hamilton County delivered ...

Letting the season in

Local Columns

Jam of the week: "Treehome95" by Tyler, The Creator.As I'm writing this column, it's a not-so comfortable 40 degrees outside in Webster City. While winter is apparently not going without a fight, I'm in full spring mode. The transition between these two season is easily the most exciting for ...

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 ...