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Of cats, raccoons and a happy eater

I have written previously about my cat cafeteria, but I will reprise here what I wrote then in case some of you don't memorize my columns.
A couple of years ago, I started putting food out for a neighborhood kitty who seemed to be homeless – and wild. Efforts to have her come to me were fruitless. However, she was happy to dine on my open porch, even eventually sitting impatiently on the steps meowing if I was a little late with her breakfast.

Prediction time

While it's technically still summer, we all know what season it is now. Football season!
It really gets going in earnest this weekend with a full slate of college games. That means it's time for me to make my annual, and eventually embarassing, predictions for the Iowa State Cyclones and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Find the rest of Brad's On the Side column in the Aug. 29 Advance.

Mayor race and an item about wind

It didn't take long for the Algona mayoral race to get crowded. Bill Weig's yard signs showed up months ago announcing his intent. Now Stacy Besch and Rick Murphy have made known their intentions to run for the seat being vacated by Lynn Kueck.
It's great to have people interested in running for mayor in your town. Oftentimes, when the mayor's job is one no one wants, it's because it's a town where no one wants to be.

President betrays farmers with ethanol waiver

New methods of drilling for oil have pushed America into being a net exporter of the world's top energy source. But, if not for the ethanol industry, America would still be lanquishing in energy dependence.
Now, President Donald Trump has placed the ethanol industry and rural America at severe financial risk by granting waivers to dozens of oil refineries, allowing them to reduce or bypass blending ethanol with their gasoline.

Disappointed by the reaction to concerns

After attending the supervisor's meeting on Aug. 13, I was very disappointed by their reaction and response to the concerns of the people of Wesley over the placing of windmills within the close proximity to the corporate limits of Wesley.
With a smile on their face, the majority told us that our problem has gone away, that the windmills between Wesley and St. Benedict have been vacated. Wrong!
Read this letter to the editor in the Aug. 22 Kossuth County Advance.

Of flowers and unrequited love (and parentheses)

Unrequited love is no fun. I know, because I suffer from it. I love fresh flowers. Fresh flowers don't love me. I can't grow them. At all.
Every spring, I plant cute, little seedlings (flowerlings?) in the long window box that sits on the front of our house facing the street for all to admire. Except most years, there isn't much to admire. The wavy petunias I put in with high hopes failed to wave. They just sat there, sulking.

Guns and people

T-shirts have long been a way for people to express themselves. While working in my booth at the fair last week, a fellow walked by wearing one with three simple words that formed a complex statement: Guns Save Lives.

Hollywood glamour girls and non-glamour girls

Have you ever wondered how, in the movies, especially old ones, the heroine always wakes up in the morning with flawlessly applied makeup and not a hair out of place? Doris Day, for one, looked incredibly perky in every scene filmed no matter if she was being chased down dark alleys by knife-wielding villains or scrambling out of a murky river escaping from a vicious alligator.

New faces at North Union and North Kossuth

The summer is quickly coming to an end. As an educator, it is a time of mixed feelings. I am excited to get the school year started, however, I will miss the extra time I have had with my wife and kids.
Both North Union and North Kossuth will have new faces in the buildings. It has been a busy summer of hiring multiple positions ....
Read the rest of the column in the Aug. 1 Kossuth County Advance.

If you like anything, then check out the fair

Thousands of people will hit the farigrounds next week to take in the sights, sounds and smells of the Kossuth County Fair. Thousands of others will stay home. If you are more likely of the latter, let us issue you an invitation.
Do you like music? There is free musical entertainment throughout the week, and it includes a variety of genres. There is a little someting for everyone.
Find out what else is at the fair in the July 25 Advance

Grumble about roads or about...?

Grumbling is Americans' favorite pasttime. Oh, you won't find it on a list next to baseball, eating pie, driving a Chevy, visiting grandma's house, watching crazed parents at T-ball games, eating corn dogs at a fair or talking about what she wore to the Christmas party.
No, being considered a grumbler is akin to being a leper in bibilical times – a condition in need of a miraculous cure, likely only to be provided by a heavenly source. Yet, most everyone grumbles.

July 4 recap, prayers answered

Thank you all for your prayers. In case you've forgotten, I asked you to pray for me because I was feeding a cast of thousands over the July 4 weekend. I also suggested you pray for those I was feeding. For newcomers to this column, if there are any, my cooking skills are pretty much nonexistent. Oldcomers to this column already know that.

Get a good count

When 2020 rolls around next year, we'll hear a lot of talk about the nation's decemmial bowl movement. You might call it the U.S. Census.
The first census was in 1790. Its purpose was to determine the population of the country and the original 13 states in order to allocate representatives to Congress. The requirement for a census is in our constitiution.
Read the whole editorial in the July 11 Advance.

RFS woes

Last Week, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a draft rule proposing Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) blend levels for conventional biofuels for 2020 and biodiesel for 2021. Reactions came from a wide range of sources:

Fourth of July musings, the good, the bad and the horrible

Today, if you look at the date at the top of the page of this newspaper, it is July 4. Of course, I'm not writing this on July 4, but I do hope you are reading it on July 4. If you're not, please don't tell me – just pretend you are.
I'm writing this last week. But it will appear next week. Very confusing.
I suppose it's my patriotic duty to write something about the Fourth of July.
I hate it.

Celebrating great care, every day of the year

Summer is one of my favorite times of the year. Grilling burgers, being with family, spending time at the lake and taking part in town festivals are all part of what makes it special.
As a nurse, and even as a nurse executive, I've spent many a July 4 holiday working at Kossuth Regional Health Center. In fact, the hospital's parking lot is a great place to watch the fireworks when they shoot them off at the fairgrounds!

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