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Columns

  • On the Side | Brad Hicks

    Housing is expensive in Seattle. A one-bedroom home typically rents for more than $1,150 a month. A studio apartment rents for more than $900 a month. A 333-square-foot home is currently listed at $299,000.

    The median household wage in Seattle is currently about $67,000. Experts say a median wage of $72,000 is required to live in the area. A study showed that if the median cost of living in the U.S. is set at 100, Seattle is now at 176 and growing.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    Dad, Mom told us later, came home from the war with burial plots on his mind. Soon thereafter he bought two. They were on a hillside and, as time passed, he became dissatisfied with the location. Each year we’d make our annual flower distribution trek, and he’d pull over near the site to comment on the view, which was to the east. Bad weather and invading armies come from the west, and the hill blocked that line of vision. Better, he’d say, had he paid a little more for higher ground. Mom would shake her head and tell him they were fine.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    Next week, on March 1, we’ll celebrate National Pig Day, also known as Pig Appreciation Day. According to researchers at Holiday Insights, an organization that’s compiled and posted a list of odd events, this observance was created in 1972 by an art teacher named Ellen Stanley. Her intent was to “recognize and be thankful for pigs as intelligent domestic animals.”

  • That’s Just Too Bad... | Peggy Boeye

    I was asked by a shirt-tail relative at a recent family event what my sport was in high school. Asking that question made it very obvious how little he knew me. I was not graced by the gods of athleticism as a child. I have been known to fall off my shoes while standing still and trip over the lines in the linoleum. However, that has never stopped me from being competitive.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    Wife wanted some worm castings for her potted plants, so I called Rick Fenneman. He has about 60,000 crawlers in his basement.

  • Mud Fence Creations | Conni Delinger

    I was always going to my mom’s in Arizona to check on her and do any maintenance needed. She lived 65 miles from the nearest town, so I had to haul everything over there like ladders, tools, anticipated supplies, etc. One hot summer day, I decided to clean her gutters in preparation for the monsoon season.

  • On the Side | Brad Hicks

    Over the years, I’ve published a few “anonymous” items in a newspaper, but the source was never anonymous to me. I’ve been sticking my neck out for far too long to think that others cannot do the same. But once in a special case comes along. To wit, I offer the following, submitted by a Montgomery County woman.

    ————

    Everyone always hears about the jobs that aren’t well done, but the jobs that are well done fade with the morning fog. That’s why I am writing this letter.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    A year ago I got to the S’s on my bucket list and tried sap, tapping a dozen black walnut trees. It was fun and the syrup’s great, but would a tough way to make a living.

  • Montgomery County History Center | David McFarland

    Most of us weathered new year 2017-18 with a chill or two and lots of frozen water pipes. I even heard of a water tower freezing solid in Eastern Iowa. Remember though, we live in the Midwest, and never take Iowa for granted, she is unpredictable and she is always full of surprises.

  • On the Side | Brad Hicks

    So far this month, we have heard a lot of elected officials, some of the state’s anti-tax organizations, and some of the anti-modern ag groups give their opinions on what needs to happen to either retain, save or grow rural Iowa. The reality is that a lot of those people have never lived in rural Iowa, so they know little about which they speak. It’s time for an honest assessment of rural Iowa, its trend lines, and its potential.

    Assumptions

    First, let’s agree on some assumptions that are undeniable in terms of long-term trends: