Opinion

Remember this?

Local Columns

Every old farmhouse had one. Every country elevator had one. The now-gone country stores and gas stations had one on the back room table. They were the common thing that drew folks around, made then bury their hatchets for a day and made cause for both casual and serious conversation. Of what I ...

Leave your libido at home

Local Columns

University of Iowa President Sally Mason created brouhaha a few weeks ago with her remark on sexual assaults on the campus.Commenting on the problem, President Mason said, "I'm not pleased that we have sexual assaults, obviously. The goal would be to end that, to never have another sexual ...

Opportunities missed

Local Columns

Sometimes we suffer missed opportunities that become especially clear when viewed in hindsight. Then again, maybe hindsight is the only way to see a missed opportunity.One of those for me is Ruth Buxton Sayre, a distinguished senior citizen I met during my last semester at Drake. I needed ...

REAP — the perfect program

Local Columns

Twenty-five years ago, in a bi-partisan celebration of what is best about living in Iowa, the Legislature created and Gov. Branstad signed into law an innovative program to protect Iowa's natural heritage for future generations.Iowa's Resource Enhancement and Protection Program - or REAP - has ...

Where were you when?

Local Columns

On an anniversary of a significant historical event, people often ask, "Where were you when" There are events in our lives that leave a lasting memory. Some are tragic, some joyful and others less significant in the big picture.I can remember several less significant events, like the first time ...

Wearing shorts in wintertime

Local Columns

I wonder who decided it is acceptable to wear shorts in the winter time.Whoever it was must have had middle school students in mind, because I certainly see lots of them who have adopted that look on an almost-daily basis. It's especially true now that our weather is moderating, and I ...

Officials seek support for state fuel tax increase

Letters to Editor

To the Editor:In the last few weeks, the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors and the City Council of Webster City have both passed resolutions supporting an increase in the state fuel tax by 10 cents per gallon phased in over three years. Other city councils within the County are likely to ...

A little escape artist

Local Columns

My two dogs have very distinct personalities which get them into trouble on a regular basis.Toby is kind of goofy, a bit of doofus - not dumb by any means - but definitely stubborn. His little friend and partner in crime, Buster is the real brains of the operation. When you look at him ...

Planting the seeds of spring

Local Columns

Spring finally seems to be arriving. While we all know in Iowa it is never a good idea to count on the weather to stay the same longer than five minutes, the warmer temperatures do bring to mind getting started on outdoor projects. For many people, gardening is an enjoyable hobby that also ...

This week at the capitol

Local Columns

The conclusion of week nine ends our second funnel for the session. While committee work is winding down we are continuing to stay busy in other areas of the legislature.Human ResourcesMonday morning I joined my colleagues from the Human Resources committee on a legislative trip to Ankeny to ...

To the city and back

Local Columns

Jam of the Week: "Defenestration Song" by Have A Nice LifeAs brief as exciting travels might be, they can offer a renewed sense of home when they're over.Winter weather is waning, and people are looking to get out of their stuffy shelters. I've probably jinxed the weather now that I've said it, ...

Concerned about new drainage project and waste pool

Letters to Editor

To the Editor:I am concerned about Van Deist Supply Company's new drainage projects included in their overall expansion.It seems the dredging for the drainage from the 2-4-D waste pool is running particularly close to Brewer Creek. I have not received an answer from anyone at VDSC to my ...

Dwindling deer herds

Local Columns

Right out of the chute, the news is not good. Not good at all. Just understand what's at stake here. It is not one-and-done. And this begs the question - where are the deer?No one can say they were blindsided by this one - no one. But everyone, especially if they are a deer hunter - can say ...

What do you say?

Local Columns

In an adult Sunday school class 20-some years ago, the instructor asked us students to identify some Bible verses we could share with an individual upon the death of a loved one.Several students responded with verses we often hear in funeral sermons.I raised my hand and when the instructor ...

Getting acquainted with a new friend

Local Columns

It turns out that my son and daughter-in-law had the right advice when they encouraged me to get a house cat. They were just a little premature with it.Now, although it's a year after they first brought up the cat idea, my housemate Maxine the cat and I are doing quite well getting acquainted ...

Entering a new chapter in life

Local Columns

A terrifying thought struck me this week. It's something that I've feared and put out of my mind for the past year, but it will soon come to pass.In less than 30 days, we will enter a new chapter in our lives. We will have a teenager living in my house.Thirteen years ago, I was anxiously ...

A chance to showcase the town

Local Columns

Spring is close and thoughts of travel come to mind. Increased levels of mobility by American's and world citizens provides both an opportunity and a challenge. At the local and regional level, as we move around the countryside with various vehicles, the odds are that travelers will pass ...

Back on the cooking wagon

Local Columns

Jam of the Week: "Snow Song" by The Mountain GoatsIt sure is crazy how things get thrown out of order as soon as life gets busy. That ranges from delivering a column about all the exciting things I'm doing in the grip of winter to following through on new year's resolutions.If you recall, my ...

There is still time to prepare

Local Columns

It seems that every year, I am called out to a town that has experienced either a tornado, violent straight-line winds, or a major ice storm which has ravaged that community's tree population. Healthy, mature shade trees now lie in mangled heaps on the ground with twisted branches, splintered ...

Better notification needed

Letters to Editor

To the Editor:I for one did not know there was a "declared" snow emergency Sunday. How is the general public supposed to know when to move cars off the street. I do not have Mediacom. Unless I get up at 6 a.m. to listen to the radio to see if one is declared I have no way of knowing.I checked ...