Opinion

What are Iowans like?

Local Columns

Some 35 years ago I was asked a difficult question: “What are Iowans like?” The question came during a newspaper management training session in Rochester, New York. I was the westernmost participant among a group of some 50 folks, mostly from New England and the Mid-Atlantic ...

Remembering Sept. 11, 2001

Local Columns

So it’s been almost twenty years now since the infamous Sept. 11 attack on the Twin Towers in New York City, as hard as that is to believe. That morning changed our country forever, in subtle ways stealing some of our trust that life would continue as it had always been. What happened that ...

Bring plants in — leave pests out

Local Columns

Now is the time to begin planning to bring houseplants that spent the summer out of doors for their safe return into your home. When night time temperatures fall below 45 degrees, plants will begin to stress. Begin their journey back inside before this by bringing them in at night, and ...

Catch more fish this fall

Local Columns

Labor Day 2018 has come and gone. When it comes to people who like to go fishing, for many of them, there are 2 switches that could get flipped at this time of the year. For some anglers, Labor Day flips that switch that says fishing season is over. For other anglers, the Labor Day switch ...

Spread out for perch

Local Columns

In-line planer boards are a very effective tool for catching walleyes and trout. In recent years some anglers have been employing boards to catch a variety of other species of fish. On a recent trip to Big Stone Lake on the Minnesota/South Dakota border we caught a bunch of perch in a short ...

Support for our hospital

Letters to Editor

To the Editor: I want to thank our democratically-elected, volunteer board of trustees of Hamilton County Public Hospital doing business as Van Diest Medical Center for performing their public duty. Sometimes they must make difficult or unpopular decisions. If our hospital is to thrive, we ...

Do something else

Local Columns

Recently Mike Frisch and I got together for an afternoon of fishing. Our plan was to chase largemouth bass on a lake that is very similar to lots of other lakes across the Midwest. What Mike and I re-learned that afternoon always helps us catch more fish at any time of the year. The lake ...

August in the garden

Local Columns

Now that the Iowa State Fair is over, schools are starting again, and garden produce is at peak; it is time to turn thoughts toward the autumn weather ahead. Fall is one of my favorite times of year, but also bitter-sweet, while thinking about freezing temperatures and when gardening efforts ...

Your local news isn’t ‘fake’

Editorials

Less than a month into his term, President Donald Trump created a “fake news” battle with multiple national media outlets, referring to them as the “enemy of the people.” And that rhetoric continues. The idea of fake news now permeates our national dialogue, used to dismiss news reports ...

August garden chores

Local Columns

Looking ahead to preparing your garden for winter weather, now is the time to supply a sufficient amount of water to perennial plants and shrubs. It is also a good time to check for insect pests and removal of weeds before they go to seed. Removing any diseased or insect damaged foliage ...

Catch walleyes in clear water

Local Columns

If an angler wants to catch more fish, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration. One really important factor, and one that is becoming more and more prevalent is water clarity. The water in many areas is becoming clearer than it was ten years ago, and that clearer ...

Failing the test of name recognition

Local Columns

The Chinese have an old proverb which says, “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.” Boy, am I in trouble. I work hard to remember names and faces, but I mess up regularly. Too often I find myself in a setting where I should know someone’s name but I just ...

Discovering Iowa one garage sale at a time

Local Columns

I may have found a new way to discover Iowa. Just hit the trail for the famous Highway 141 garage sales, as I did for a whole day last week. I found it’s a fun way to explore western Iowa, check out what’s happening in the little towns in that part of our state, and snag some bargains at ...

Nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair

Editorials

If you love a parade, plan to be in Des Moines Wednesday evening at 6:15. That's when what's billed as the state's largest parade will be the kickoff event for what may well be the grandest of our nation's state agricultural festivals ­ the Iowa State Fair. Iowans gathered in Fairfield ...

Nothing better than a new box of crayons

Local Columns

A few days ago I celebrated National Coloring Book Day. At least as much as one can celebrate such a holiday. It seems to me that this is a fitting time to commemorate the day, as it’s time to buy school supplies, and for the younger children a box of crayons is always on the list. ...

Body (and happiness) built by ice cream

Local Columns

If you happen to be sitting on a bench in the shade at the Iowa State Fair this year and you see me walk by you will probably think to yourself, “That boy likes ice cream!” You would be right. Some people are hooked on alcohol, others on tobacco and still others on drugs. My vice is ...

Preserving our heritage

Editorials

Helping current residents understand the history of a community is a vital goal. Thanks to a generous gift, the Depot Museum in Webster City is on the road to achieving significant renovations and enhancements. Last month, the Wilson Brewer Historic Parks Committee received a $100,000 ...

Mid-summer fishing

Local Columns

We were out in the yard the other night at sunset. The cicadas were making the noise that they make, and that reminded me that summer has reached the halfway point, and that reminded me that, in the minds of some anglers, fishing isn’t very good at this time of year. However, fishing can ...

Harvesting cucumbers – don’t get in a pickle

Local Columns

As cucumbers grow well during warm weather, they have produced prolifically this growing season. But as it gets time to harvest, there can be a few problems that may arise. Hot, dry weather can cause bitterness in cucumbers due to the compound cucurbitacin. Cucurbitacin is found in the ...