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Opinion

Take every opportunity to celebrate

Local Columns

A few days ago I went to a small gathering to celebrate the birthday of a friend. Keep in mind that the other women there were all about my age, so it was nothing rowdy or boisterous, to say the least. We had a nice time visiting, taking some time to catch up with each other, and, of course, ...

Takes exception to Master Matrix scoring system

Letters to Editor

To the Editor: I take umbrage that Kent Krause thinks I’ll believe that 455 points on the Master Matrix is “well above” the 440 minimum required. 51.7 percent is not “well above” 50 percent. Fact: The Master Matrix has 44 criteria. Meet all the requirements and you get 880 ...

Now get off my lawn

Local Columns

That sweet new baby you adore ̶ he/she is selfish, self-centered and ill-tempered. Just watch that baby when it’s time to eat or have a diaper changed. Or when big sister takes his binkie. We are all born that way but early in life, our parents work to change us. From the time we ...

How do you remember your hometown?

Local Columns

I grew up on a farm near a town of 141 people. We'd ride our bikes the four miles into town with our dollar bill and head to the little grocery store. My friend's Dad owned the store and he'd watch us with eagle eyes. For that one dollar we could buy a Coke and 25 pieces of candy. There was a ...

My advice: Soda pop and ice cream

Local Columns

How much pop did you drink when you were a kid? For many of my generation the amount consumed was low… very low. The topic came up over lunch with a cousin and her husband recently. In my parental home we never had pop. On a rare occasion when he went to Everett Thompson’s DX gas station ...

Our State Fair is a great state fair

Local Columns

It's the time of year that we Iowans do our annual celebrating at local community celebrations, festivals, block parties and county fairs. And we're now about in the middle of the queen of them all: the Iowa state fair. It is quite the phenomenon, this traditional celebration of our state. ...

Explosive largemouth

Local Columns

It was almost a year ago last summer that I got to spend a day on the water chasing largemouth bass with Mike Frisch. Some, maybe much of the time, when we think about late summer fishing for largemouth we think weedlines and crankbaits or jigworms. However, throwing artificial frogs in ...

A slow drive through the Coyote State

Local Columns

Until my family moved to Sioux City in 1974 I had never set foot in the state of South Dakota. I knew a few things about the state as a number of East Frisian (my ethnicity) immigrants had moved there in the 19th century. My grandparents and others of their generation would talk about going to ...

Celebrating cats on their special day

Local Columns

In case you aren’t aware, in just a few days we can all celebrate International Cat Day. Thursday is our chance for a full 24 hours of recognition of one of humanity’s oldest and most beloved pets. Even so, it wasn’t until 2002 that the International Fund for Animal Welfare joined ...

Weed Whackers and Window Cleaner

Local Columns

As part of my work, I visit a lot of small towns around the nation and teach them practical steps to a brighter future. I visited Roscommon County, Michigan and toured a few empty buildings.  On one corner, a major intersection into town, there was an empty building on each corner.  We ...

Find the food, find the fish

Local Columns

In the remaining open water months, there is one very basic thing to keep in mind for fishing success, we’ve said it before and I’m sure we’ll say it again, but it’s so important that it’s a good thing to keep in mind: If you want to catch fish now, you’ve got to find what ...

Farm to School Program deserves support

Editorials

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program makes grants available to school districts and other organizations to support projects that connect American young people with farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers in their communities. According to the USDA, this grant ...

Nobody understands the crazinesss better

Local Columns

Whatever my siblings and I lacked in material things growing up, we were rich in cousins. My mother was one of a dozen children and my father one of six. As close as I can figure, I have more than 60 first cousins ranging from 10 years my senior to 20 years younger. I am one of the older ...

The joys of a summer bike ride

Local Columns

If everything goes as planned, the current edition of RAGBRAI is underway as you read this. Unless you live under a rock in Iowa, you know about this annual event that started as a simple bike ride across the state and has turned into a very real phenomenon that attracts bicycling enthusiasts ...

Some mid-summer fishing reminders

Local Columns

Summer continues. July is on the way out, August is here or near. Time marches on and that’s okay: What else can time do? Many anglers across the Midwest and North America report that fishing has been pretty good, bordering on excellent in some locations. And despite the thought that ...

Pretty as it gets

Local Columns

What do you call those little tributaries that flow through Iowa’s countryside? Poets call them brooks and streams. In some parts of the country they are referred to as branches, kills or runs. I’ve also seen them described as gills, rills, rivulets and freshets. The most common term, I ...

Unique land, unique phrases

Local Columns

When I was living out of state while in my 20s, I very rarely met anyone who had been to Iowa. “Oh, yes, I've been through there. . .” was what I usually heard when someone inquired about where I grew up.At least once the question was raised to ask me about how the potato crop was this ...

Things change

Local Columns

This is the time of year when lots of people are on the water, fishing or skiing or swimming or whatever. Sometimes on some bodies of water, we notice changes in the water. We’re noticing these changes more and more in more and more bodies of water. Those changes can affect the fishing. ...

Strengthening rural Iowa

Editorials

Iowa is a great place to live. Its economy is strong and the quality of life it affords has few equals anywhere in the nation. Even so, some of our state’s rural communities aren’t fully sharing the generally upbeat prognosis for the Hawkeye State’s future. Gov. Kim Reynolds is ...