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March 02, 2015
  • Minus 30 windchill? Just another day on the job

       You can describe the life and work of a small-town newspaper journalist in a lot of ways, but boring is not appropriate. Not by a long shot.

    One day you can be attending a formal news conference with the governor or a presidential candidate and the next you can find yourself ankle-deep in manure taking photographs and writing a feature story about a local beef farmer and his/her family.

     
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  • Williams blew it, and it’s probably over ... go fishing Paul
    Credibility ranks right up there with the best qualities to possess. No matter if it’s an individual, business or Fortune 500 corporation, having people trust and believe in you is absolutely essential if you’re to be successful. 
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  • Forced to hang with girls ... I adjusted my game
    How good was I? Damn good. Ask any girl in our neighborhood. They would all agree I had learned my lessons well and could beat them on a regular basis. 
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  • No matter how you slice it, we lost - big time
    No matter who’s to blame, or the amount of “spin” the entities involved put on it, one thing remains clear: Decorah, Winneshiek County and the entire region lost a tremendous opportunity when the Grammy-award-winning band Mumford & Sons pulled out of its plans to host a concert in our community this summer. 
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  • Selma should be required viewing in schools

    It’s time for it to stop. All of it. Period. The days of blatant, uncontrollable racism and hate must come to an end. Now.

    As a 64-year-old man and a citizen of the United States, I’m more than a little shocked – but not all that surprised – that racism of this magnitude and vitriol still exists in our country. C’mon, America, it’s a no-brainer and anyone who thinks otherwise is either mentally challenged, totally uneducated or downright mean-spirited. Or perhaps all three.

     
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  • Expressing opinions a benefit for everyone
    As a newspaperman and editor, my responsibilities in terms of publishing a printed news product that is credible, accurate, entertaining and, perhaps most importantly, provides a history of the readership area it represents, are a top priority. 
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  • Football playoff refreshing; Iowa hoops? Who knows?
        No matter what you may think of the new NCAA Division I playoff system in college football, it has achieved its purpose of attracting great attention from fans, pseudo-fans, kinda-sorta-fans and even non-fans. 
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  • Heading for Christmas in a tank ... not a sleigh
    As a Christian (no, the Vatican hasn’t asked for my official resignation … yet), I’m well aware of the true meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate the birth of Jesus. 
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  • So it is possible for opposing sides to work together
    America has just about given up on Republicans and Democrats in Congress actually working together to accomplish something positive for the American people. 
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  • Pat Maloney: A good man who gave me a chance
    There’s no other way to describe it, so I’ll just lay it out there: Without Pat Maloney’s faith in me, I don’t know where I’d be or how my life would have turned out.  
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  • When will ISIS start terrorizing our homeland?
     Not too many moons ago I wrote a column about the world today and how dysfunctional it has become. Wanton violence has unfortunately become the “norm” from Hong Kong to St. Louis, and it continues to expand exponentially throughout the land. 
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  • Be extremely careful when choosing people to admire
    I’ll never forget the first time I saw him. And I mean never. That’s how good he was. That distinct. That creative. 
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  • From Julius ‘Dr. J’ Fromm, to Gus, Abe and now Luke

    It was just a few short winters ago some “experts” were predicting pheasant hunting in Iowa would become non-existent.

    Brutal, prolonged winters, and cold, wet springs, along with a significant reduction in CRP (conservation reserve program) land due to a tremendous increase in corn production, had taken their toll on the pheasant population and the outlook for the future was not promising.

     
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  • Only a matter of time before I turn into a reef
        Forty years ago, we’d sit around enjoying a “sociable” or two and ponder the future – in particular what life would be like when we turned 65. You know, retirement age. 
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  • Local artists worth support
    I’ve never considered myself an “artsy” person. Oh sure, I can pen a clever phrase now and then, but I don’ create beautiful or interesting things out of seemingly nothing. 
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