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My wife and I sat across the table from the two executives. They were interviewing me for a position with their company some five or six years ago. One of the questions they posed went something such as, "What really bothers you?"
I suppose there is a litany of incidents that would bother me, but the question wasn't about that. I stammered a bit, and my wife chimed in with some words to the effect of, "You really don't like pettiness."

Celebrating anniversary of women gaining right to vote

Throughout its history, Iowa has been a place where women break barriers. Time after time, Iowa women have shown if they set their minds to something, work hard and believe in themselves, they can accomplish anything.
On July 2, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Iowans ratifying the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It granted women the right to vote.
Read the entrire editorial in the June 27 Kossuth County Advance.

Reflection, Preparation

The end of the school year brings a time to reflect on the past year and prepare for the next school year.
We have some retirees leaving our district with many years of experience. This allows us the opportunity to hire new people with new ideas for the next year. Summer is also a time to clean and refresh for the fall. Our custodians are busy cleaning and organizing West Bend building for our preschool-12th grade students to be under one roof.

The summer has officially arrived

It can be said the summer has officially started in Kossuth County. Almost everyone knows that June 21 is the actual kickoff of the summer season, but myself, I go by the number of community events that are coming weekend after weekend to signify the start of the summer season.

Un - ag - educated

I had a treat last week when I climbed into the cab of a 2010 Case IH tractor with all kinds of technological bells and whistles inside. Connected behind the tractor was something called a side dressing.
I had been in a tractor many years ago, but it was an Allis Chalmers (I think). It was orange (or red for all I know) and had two wheels in back and two wheels spread out in front.
Read the rest of Alan's column in the June 20 Advance.

Check facts before pointing fingers

Have you ever wondered how all of the events that take place in Algona are planned and organized? Have you ever wished that you were able to be part of them to help them be successful? How do you find out how to make that happen?
There is always a sponsoring organization, however, sometimes we realize it's hard to know who to call. How about calling the Algona Area Chamber of Commerce office to ask?
Read Vicki's edirtorial in the June 20 Kossuth County Advance.

Gas on the fire

The first time I put gasoline in the car I was driving it was 1977, and it cost me about 60 cents a gallon. Naturally, I didn't fill it up, but I really didn't blink at spending $6 for more than half a tank. Heck, I was a 16-year-old kid making $35 a week writing sports for the local newspaper. That $6 was chump change.

Proof the terrible twos don't last forever

Wade, the last-born of the five children Bin and I produced, surprised me with a guest column, written when he returned to Los Angeles after a visit here. To say that I love this piece is a bit of an understatement.
Longtime readers may recall that Wade was a frequent topic in my old Inkspots columns, as his antics from age 2 on made Dennis the Menace look positively saintly. So, here is an Inkspots column from an all-growed-up Wade.

Iowa's wind industry generates millions in tax revenue

As nearly 40 percent of Iowa's energy needs are met by wind, communities that host renewable energy projects are generating millions in tax revenue.
Iowa has 7.312 megawatts of installed wind energy capacity through approximately 4,145 turbines. One project, MidAmerican Energy's Wind XI, is estimated to generate $12.5 million in property taxes each year.
Read the entire guest editorial in the May 23 Advance.

Older Americans Month 2019

Each year, more and more older adults are making a positive impact in and around Iowa, more specifically in the Elderbridge Area Agency on Aging service area. As volunteers, employees, educators, mentors, advocates and more, they offer insight and experience that benefits the entire community. That's why Older Americans Month (OAM) has been recognizing the contributions of this growing poplulation for 56 years.

Supreme Court says confidentiality for police files isn't absolute

The Iowa Supreme Court delivered an important and unanimous decision on April 5 on the issue of public access to law enforcement investigative files.
But, the exact ramifications of the decision remain a matter of conjecture.
Read the rest of this editorial in the May 16 Kossuth County Advance.

Democrat leader: house fell short

The 2019 Iowa Legislture adjourned at the end of April. When session began back in January, I shared our goals for the year to put politics aside, work together, and stay focused on improving the lives of everyday Iowans.
As leader of the Iowa House Democrats, I pledged to work in good faith with the majority party to solve the problems we face. I also challenged lawmakers to face the toughest issues before us in a collaborative, meaningful way.
So, how did it go?

Visiting the history of the Roosevelts

Having visited the Roosevelt family's 34-room summer cabin on Campobello Island, we wanted to see their home on the Hudson River near Hyde Park, N.Y.
Witnessing all that wealth made us wonder where it came from. It did not just happen; the Roosevelts, who were colonists in the 17th century, were industrious and thrifty, building wealth by importing sugar from the West Indies, selling dry goods and investing in Manhattan real estate.

Of time warps and adventures

Once again I find myself in a time warp.
I'm writing this before I leave for California to celebrate grandson Dylan's seventh birthday. However, you will be reading this (at least I hope somebody reads this) after I have returned. So, I'm left with the dilemma of whether to write in the past tense or the future tense.
Oh bother.
Read Molly's Ink Spots in the May 9 Kossuth County Advance.

A Texas idea on roads

The Iowa Legislature's efforts to limit property tax revenue growth depends on one large variable – taxpayers.
You know – you.
Read Brad's On the Side column in the May 9 Advance.

A bill that won't help...

The Iowa Legislature wrapped up its 2019 session last weekend. One of its final acts was passing a bill that will force cities and counties to take extra action if they want to raise property taxes by more than 2 percent. The new law was passed by the Republican majority, and Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, intends to sign it.

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