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Opinion

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 ...

Be grateful for the early warning

Local Columns

So, it's been a while since we've had a storm move in as quickly and as severely as this most recent mess. The blowing, wet, heavy snow caused many schools, businesses and agencies to close their doors and hunker down someplace warm.Someone on Facebook Thursday morning was wondering why ...

Fragrance — a memory trigger

Local Columns

Have you ever noticed how a certain fragrance can trigger a memory in a way that our other senses can't? It's interesting how such a thought can come on so quickly from something as fleeting as a hint of a smell wafting by.Or maybe it's something that surrounds us with smell, like the odor of ...

Coping with winter

Local Columns

Winter is coping time for wildlife. We humans as members of the planet's most ingenious species do not necessarily endure the weather. Instead, we've found ways to offset the worst climatic extremes.Wild creatures on the other hand, have to tough it out without the benefit of our central ...

An old man’s thoughts on weddings

Local Columns

Attending weddings has never been near the top of my favorite-things-to-do list. This year, however, I have already attended two, each as a guest of a friend of the families.Either I'm becoming easier-going in my old age or weddings are getting better. I actually enjoyed the two recent ...

Ready for family to gather

Local Columns

We're going to have a whole houseful of family this weekend - the first time in about six months since we've had the opportunity to spend some time together.We missed the Blankenship family Christmas because of a scheduling conflict, so now Grandma Phoebe is coming to town to see Daniel. In ...

Build skills with LearningExpress

Local Columns

Do you want to improve your computer skills? Learn how to use a new software program? Maybe you have a teenager who will be taking the ACT this spring and want them to start preparing for the big test. LearningExpress, a database that you can access for free through the Kendall Young Library ...

Appreciates act of kindness

Letters to Editor

To the Editor:Many thanks to the young man in the red car who voluntarily shoveled my sidewalks and driveway at 505 Cedar St. last week.It was very much appreciated.Philis FletchallWebster City