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Opinion

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 ...

Kindergarten and the pudgy prevaricator

Local Columns

While going through some old files recently I found a copy of the composite class photo of an elementary school class. It prompted me to remember that it was 60 years ago this month that my education career began.In the early '50s kindergarten in the Ellsworth (Iowa) school system was a ...

Leaving a legacy

Local Columns

Okay, I admit it again. I still like to read obituaries.Sometimes I think it may be because that was the first thing we learned to write in college journalism classes. It wasn't the most exciting topic, to be sure, but it wasn't difficult, either, maybe because I had often read obituaries ...

‘Boy, it sure is cold’

Local Columns

"Boy, it sure is cold!"I think that's the words I've heard most often this year. And I'd have to agree. At the Chamber, we're doing our best to warm everyone up and get ready for spring and summer.We're busily putting together the 2014 Activities Guide for visitors and locals alike. It's our ...

Planning your next getaway

Local Columns

If you are anything like me, you've been counting down to the end of winter since the last few leaves dropped off the trees at the end of fall. While most people are able to find some good about the season, such as the beauty of the snow or fun outdoor activities like ice fishing, I am a cranky ...

Driving refresher course needed

Letters to Editor

To the Editor:It just amazes me how complacent we have become as drivers in this state. As I was sitting and waiting fo someone, I watched one of the stop signs on Second Street just to see how many people actually came to a complete stop. Most people just slowed way down and then went right on ...

Winter makes me S.A.D.

Local Columns

Growing up in northern Iowa I learned what tough winters were all about. Then I spent 14 years in Sioux City, a hilly river town where winter driving seems suicidal and the cold north wind blows in unobstructed from the plains of South Dakota.A dozen years in southern Iowa and now 14 years in ...

Snowed in with history

Local Columns

When you're snowed in and looking for something not too strenuous to occupy your time, it can be a great opportunity to look through some of those items on the shelf waiting for the "someday" you've promised yourself.So during our recent winter weather event, out came my grandma's notebooks ...