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Columns

  • The Time Capsule: The memory of an elephant?

     Governor Terry Branstad is running for his umpteenth term, so there’ll be a few campaign stops in our corner of the state. I may go to one. I’ll sit in back and listen, wondering if he remembers an incident from twenty years ago. Those who knew him better than I said he had the memory of an elephant, so I expect he’d recall this one. What he doesn’t know is the rest of the story, or that I wasn’t entirely responsible.  

  • What's Going On: As breast cancer awareness soars, others are ignored

     Welcome to Pinktober.

    That’s right. October is so … 20th century, its been replaced by Pinktober, the result of a massively successful awareness campaign championed by a not-so-little-known not-for-profit named the Susan G. Komen foundation. 

    It’s appropriate because as they say in New Jersey, you can’t throw a dead rat and not hit something pink this month. 

  • Miner Queries: Braley’s pipeline ad: Organizing or manipulating?

     “If you are moving people to act through truth and for truth, as you understand it, then you are organizing them. If you are moving them to act through deception, then you are manipulating them.” -- Fred Ross Sr.

    And thus, we enter the days of deception – campaign 2014.

  • The Time Capsule: Villisca actor should be recognized

     The other day I asked Susie Enarson, a cousin of Judd Holdren and someone who knows Villisca as well as anyone, why the town has so completely overlooked him. Clarinda hosts a festival for Glenn Miller. Corning celebrates Johnnie Carson, Shenandoah has the Everly Brothers, and in Stanton there’s the ever-present Olson woman.  

  • Guest Editorial: Stoldorf addresses board controversy

     Mr. Editor,

    A recent posting on Facebook by Red Oak School District employee, Nate Perrien is flawed.  While I have never met Perrien, I find his writing egregious because it is filled with suppositions and incorrect information. One would believe that, as his signature on that document states, a ‘Principal of over 35 staff and 250 students’, he would fact-check his information before taking his personal attacks to social media.

  • Guest Editorial: Middle school principal addresses board controversy

     Mr. Editor,

    I respectfully disagree.

    For the most part I usually sit back and keep my mouth shut.  I understand that for someone in my position it is always better to take the high road.  However, I cannot take this public and highly questionable lashing of the Red Oak Community School District any longer.  

  • The Time Capsule: Readers weigh in on Smucker’s boycott

     About a month ago I wrote that I’d save reader responses regarding the matter of Smucker’s (owner of Folgers) issuing a firm “no” to the request for support in saving the coffeepot water tower. A bit of financial help would have been nice, but I couldn’t even convince them to consider it in a future budget.   

  • Guest Editorial: Sept. 11: A day that will be remembered, despite my best efforts

     Thirteen years ago I awoke in my apartment on Staten Island on Tuesday morning to pack for a flight to Egypt leaving that afternoon. 

    My mother was to fly from Kansas City to the JFK airport where we would meet and travel together for a two-week vacation. 

    My aunt called telling me to be careful on our trip as somebody had just crashed a plane into a building in New York.

  • The Time Capsule: Viking Lake named amid contest scandal

     After a couple of columns on Viking Lake, we’ll wrap it up with a trivia question:

    Q.  Who deserves credit for the name ‘Viking Lake’?  (a) Carl Albert Johnson, Stanton farmer, (b) Jim Logan, Red Oak Express, (c) Bernie Wickstrom, Stanton Viking, (d) none of the above.

  • What's Going On: School board focused on the wrong things

     When is a fight worth fighting?

    Between the emergency closure of the middle school, a $25 million building project and a pending hearing before the Iowa Public Information Board, the Red Oak school board has a lot on its plate. 

    Inexplicably though, the board decided at its meeting last week to add to that burden by refusing to sign off on a resolution regarding another complaint filed with the IPIB.