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Columns

  • The Time Capsule: The tales of the by choice homeless

    Earl Fritz, a man of about 60 years, lives in a rusted 1972 Ford pickup. A woman named Edith shares his home. He has a spade-like beard that extends to his waist.  Edith, when she does laundry, dries it on a rope she stretches between a palm tree and the corner of a public restroom they have been parked beside for several weeks.     

  • What's Going On: Recycling a dream without cash kicker

    As General Manager of the Red Oak Express and the Glenwood Opinion-Tribune, I have had the opportunity the last 3.5 years to watch one of man’s not so greatest creations grow in front of my own eyes.

    About five miles east of Glenwood is a daily growing mountain, a testament to our disposable society, mired in laziness and indifference; it is a giant landfill.

    And thanks to their Montgomery County neighbors to the east, which recently closed its own landfill a short time ago, Mills County’s monument to garbage is the second largest in the state.

  • Miner Queries: Use teacher, parent input for education reform

    How did I miss this?

    That was my reaction last Wednesday morning when I stumbled across a blog post by 2009 National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) Anthony Mullen entitled, “Teachers Should be Seen and Not Heard.”  I’d been contemplating the state of education in Iowa as our governor and statehouse Republicans hold education funding (called allowable growth) hostage in an effort to fast-track Gov. Branstad’s education reform plan.  Mullen’s post, though old, describes what’s wrong with education reform efforts across the nation.

  • The Time Capsule: Cloning Neanderthals, a moral dilemma

    My grandfather used to say certain people were “educated beyond their intelligence.”  He said that about the scientists who made the atomic bomb.  He said it about economists who insisted the government could spend their way out of debt.  

  • From the Opinion-Tribune: Don’t shoot the messenger on gun control

    I played with guns as a kid, my son plays with guns today and as many as 100 million Americans “play” with guns as firearm owners. But I’ve never owned a firearm,  never fired one. And, to be honest, guns kind of scare me.

    So, when I heard President Obama and many of his Beltway brethren are finally getting serious about reforming gun laws – which would ban assault-style weapons, high capacity magazines and impose stiffer background checks – I applauded.

  • The Time Capsule: Why not have a royal family of felines?

    Princess Kate is expecting. I read this on the cover of a check-out stand magazine; probably the same that last summer featured a grainy picture of the fair lass cavorting topless on some distant beach. 

    What puzzles me is why we care. Why, for that matter, does Britain adulate these people?  They would do well to remember the Royal Family for what they were, which offers little reason to revere them.   

  • What's Going On: The $25K video and its 25,000 questions

    About a month ago, Red Oak city officials were approached about participating in a promotion that will result in a five-minute video airing once nationally on a FOX business channel and about three dozen times regionally featuring the community.

    The video will be hosted by Terry Bradshaw and will cost the City almost $25,000 to produce.

  • Miner Queries: If we cut spending, what gets fixed?

    While working his first job out of graduate school in Texas, my husband came home with a story about a co-worker at the sheltered workshop where he was employed.  This young man had married his high school sweetheart, and they’d recently had their first child. They were very traditional – while Tom was working, his wife focused on the home and child. Even back then, living on a single salary was a challenge.

  • The Time Capsule: Southern Baptists: good sermons and food

    Of late I’ve been spending time with some Southern Baptists. The experience has been enjoyable, as has the food.   

  • What's Going On: Heated abortion debate continues after 40 years

    Last week, one of America’s most controversial Supreme Court cases, Roe v. Wade, marked its 40th anniversary.

    If this country had a Mt. Rushmore of important Supreme Court cases, this one would be on it, right next to Brown vs. Board of Education, Dred Scott vs. Sanford and Hustler Magazine vs. Jerry Falwell.

    If you believe the pro-life supporters’ figures, more than 55 million babies have been aborted since that 1973 case.