Opinion

Things that make me smile…

Local Columns

As a kid I was an optimist ̶ a glass-half-full sort of guy, almost always looking on the bright side. That optimism included a healthy mix of naiveté. I was one chunky, happy sort of country bumpkin. Then life happened and by the time I retired I had become much more cynical. Over the ...

HC Crimestoppers seeks donations

Letters to Editor

To the Editor:  In 2011, concerned citizens of our county came together to re-start Hamilton County Crimestoppers so that local citizens can play an active role in keeping our communities safe. For the last eight years dedicated HCC board members have accomplished much with your ...

A few fishing season reminders

Local Columns

It's a new fishing season for anglers across the Midwest and North America! Many anglers have already been fishing, others are looking forward to their first trip to the lake, river, reservoir, or pond. Following are some things to keep in mind when you get ready to go fishing. First of all, ...

The tradition of May baskets

Local Columns

It’s May Day. Of course it is, because it’s the very first day of this month. Have you ever wondered why we don’t notice February Day or maybe August Day? Or even October Day? My theory is because the two words rhyme. September Day, for instance, just doesn’t have the same ring ...

But never on a Sunday

Local Columns

Driving through our suburban neighborhood a few Sundays ago I was struck by how Sundays have changed. The rush of traffic was far different than the quiet, lazy Sundays I knew as a child. I was raised in a home where the Commandment to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy was taken ...

Webster City Meals on Wheels in need of donations

Local Columns

The internet tells us that the first known deliveries of Meals on Wheels, in the United States, was in Philadelphia in 1954, and that currently the program serves 2.4 million seniors annually. It was a 1971 that Ray Roden, then pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, brought together a group of ...

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 ...