Opinion

Sitting at the piano with Grandma

Local Columns

If you’re like me, little did you know that this Friday is World Piano Day. It’s a day all about the history and love of the piano. What I read is that the focus is on classical music that’s played on a piano on this special day. So that’s one way to celebrate, but I think about ...

College admissions scandal has wide reach

Editorials

The indictment of dozens of wealthy parents, including several Hollywood actresses and business leaders, along with the top college athletic coaches they allegedly bribed, tells a shocking story of corruption and deception in college admissions. If the charges are true, these privileged but ...

Hamilton “The Community”

Local Columns

“Territory folks should stick together, territory folks should all be pals.” So goes a line from Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic musical Oklahoma. Those born after 1985 may need to Google that. This is a phrase you will here from me over and over from this day forward. It is a fact ...

Get ready for open water

Local Columns

The winter of 2019 appears to be winding down, at least a little bit. I’m guessing that I’ve got a couple more ice-fishing trips in me, but I can’t get out now, so I’m getting ready for open water. Here’s what I’m doing. I almost always start in my jig boxes. I’ve got ...

Support is strong for music in schools

Local Columns

In case you didn't know, March is National Music in Our Schools Month. It started as just one day in 1973 March 1973 in one state (New York), and now it is recognized all over our country with special concerts and programs. In some places, those concerts are held outside of schools in ...

Dad was right … at least on Sunday

Local Columns

Sixty years ago the nicest thing you could do for me on a Sunday morning was tell me I didn’t have to go to church. I wasn’t an atheist or anything; I just didn’t like to go to church. A year earlier my parents had changed churches and I was having difficulty adjusting to the new ...

Help celebrate National Ag Day

Editorials

After an at-times trying winter, spring is about to arrive. As another growing season approaches, Thursday was set as National Ag Day by the Agriculture Council of America. The council designates the week within which it falls as National Ag Week. This important time to celebrate agriculture ...

Changing Iowa’s judicial selection process is bad for business

Local Columns

I have seen dozens of opinion letters in publications across the state about the proposed legislative changes related to the selection of judges in Iowa. But there is one perspective I have not seen expressed, so I want to share it with your readers. I spent my professional career at AEGON ...

An informative library website

Local Columns

Do you know all that Kendall Young Library’s website has to offer? We have many tools, policies, databases, and information to make your lives easier, The website provides general information and links to further information such as hours, address, phone number, current event information, ...

Iowa water quality affects us all

Editorials

The latest Iowa Nutrient Reduction Annual Progress Report has just been released. This comprehensive review of the state’s multifaceted conservation efforts to reduce undesirable chemical runoff is a prepared jointly by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa ...

Saying good-bye to Mom’s house

Local Columns

It’s final. As the executor for my mother’s estate I signed the papers earlier this month handing over my mother’s house to a new owner. Mom died at age 91 in late November leaving behind six children, six in-laws and a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren who are all slowly ...

Iowa has many unique attractions

Local Columns

It turns out that there are plenty of unique attractions in Iowa, according to the book “Oddball Iowa, A Guide to Some Really Strange Places.” For about ten years I got to do some traveling around our state when I wrote features for an Iowa magazine. It was fun, and that's when I ...

Grassley gets things done right

Editorials

We’ve long known that U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley gets things done and done right in Washington, D.C. Now, an organization led by professors from Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia has recognized that fact and has announced it nationwide. The non-partisan Center for ...

Ice fishing memories

Local Columns

Boy oh boy what a change: When the new year started a couple of months ago we were looking at a very mild winter. The ice wasn’t as thick as it usually is at that time of year, and there wasn’t much snow around either. Flash forward to early March and there’s plenty of ice and too ...

NK won’t get something for nothing this time

Editorials

It may be time for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to try Plan B. His initial strategy in dealing with President Donald Trump ­—trying to get something for nothing — flopped badly. Trump and Kim held their second face-to-face meeting this week in Hanoi, Vietnam. But Trump departed ...

God be with you: A better way to say goodbye

Local Columns

The English-speaking world’s most common expression of farewell, “goodbye,” originated in the 16th century as “God be with you.” Through a series of metamorphoses over the next two centuries it became the contraction we use today. Its history notwithstanding, I dislike the term. ...

Traveling to see Iowa’s history

Local Columns

When I was in sixth grade, we took a class on Iowa history. I don’t remember how often we had the class, but I do remember that at least once a week my whole class trooped down to the lunchroom in the lower level of the old Stanhope school building to watch a program on public television ...

A thank you for a job well done

Editorials

During a big winter storm, lots of people like to stay inside, sipping their favorite hot beverage while they watch the white stuff pile up outside. But one group of people goes out in every storm, and the work of these unsung heroes makes it possible for everyone to travel in snowy ...

Good Samaritans all around us

Local Columns

The last two weeks have been harsh — weather-wise, that is. Mother Nature gave Hamilton County and Iowa in general much more than our share of snow and cold. It’s often during these difficult times that we realize the goodness and generosity of people in our community. You know, people ...

The changing world of fishing

Local Columns

On a recent or past episode of Fishing the Midwest television depending on where you live, we talked about some of the changes that have taken place in the world of fishing. I’ve been fishing for a little more than 5 decades and have seen many changes. Most of those changes have been for ...