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Book Review: An American Bum in China

When I was asked to review “An American Bum in China,” I agreed. What I received in the mail was a relatively small volume, 4-by-7 inches and 114 pages, not including prologue.
I don’t hold a book’s length alone against it, though. John Steinbeck’s “The Red Pony,” just 100 pages, is one of his greatest works. So, length is not a problem.

Let's do this Kossuth

Whether you believe the COVID-19 coronavirus is really a big deal or not is now a moot point. Simply put, it is.
Late last week, the Centers for Disease Control suggested people should be in gatherings of no more than 250 people.  By Sunday, the suggested number was 50. Monday afternoon, President Trump suggested people stay away from groups of more than 10.

Protect Yourself from COVID-19 Scams

Q: What do Iowans need to know about protecting themselves from the coronavirus?

Offsetting ...

The story centered on a woman's efforts to reduce her carbon footprint. For those of you who don't know what that means, it's the trendy way of saying you don't want what you do to put as much pollution into our atmosphere. That's a noble cause in my book. I prefer breathable air.

Bancroft letter to county on EMS process

Thank you for the opportunity for us to present what Bancroft has to offer for a possible ambulance hub for the northern part of Kossuth County ....
Bancroft attended the county supervisors meetings on Feb. 11 and Feb. 18 to present what we have to offer in terms of building, equipment and staff. On Feb. 20, Bancroft ambulance and city were asked to answer the following three questions from the EMS board member, Kyle Stecker.
Read more in the March 12 Kossuth County Advance.

What's in a name? Well, not a lot

One of the fun things about my gig of volunteering to rock (and change and feed) babies at Bear Care, the day care center at Seton School, is being exposed to what today's parents are naming their children.
There's not a single Tom or John or Ed (all of my Kelly uncles' names) to be found. Instead, today's infants sport much more imaginative, colorful names.
Read the rest of Molly's Ink Spots in the March 12 Advance.

Yep, we are....

The survey calls are completed, the questions asked and answered, the data compiled, the analysis finalized and the conclusion reached, making it official.
Iowans are hotheads.
Read the rest of On the Side in the March 5 Advance.

What is the Kossuth EMS?

What is Kossuth County EMS? In July 2019, the Kossuth County Board of Supervisors was asked to help solve the problems facing EMS (Emergency Management Services) in Kossuth County. The problems brought to the board were the shrinking volunteer pool and the financial shortfalls we are facing in our county. This is not just in Kossuth County but is an issue in the state of Iowa and across the nation.
Read the complete column in the March 5 Kossuth County Advance.

The old math...

Political discussions are too often driven by moral beliefs, societal views or party loyalty. Most people have an inability to accept, and in many cases even absorb, information that may run counter to some of their baseline beliefs.
In other words, they can't comprehend ideas that run counter to their own. It's a shame because there are a great many brilliant people living in our country with interesting ideas to solve problems. And they will never be heard.

Respond to census by mail, phone or online

The 2020 Census is officially underway. The Census kicked off in January with population counts in remote Alaska.
In February, census takers began visiting group quarters, such as nursing homes and correctional facilities. In March, households will start receiving official notices by mail instructing people how to respond to the household guestionaire. For the first time, the 2020 Census will allow responses by phone, online or mail.

Of random thoughts and misplaced blame

Once in a while, some random memory from my past pops into my head for no discernible reason. If it's a funny memory, I tend to laugh out loud. At those times, I'm always grateful if no one is around to question my sanity.
When people are around and I laugh, especially if it's a solemn occasion, I pretend I wasn't laughing and cough into my sleeve as if I had been coughing all along. I don't suppose it fools anyone, but it makes me feel better.

The Museum of natural history

We got to an early start at the Smithsonian and were waiting when the National Museum of Natural History opened. A man at the information desk told us that a voluntee guide would soon be available and where to meet him if we were interested.

WB-M does well on performance profile

Iowa must publish report cards reflecting school performance under state and federal law. Report cards help stakeholders understand how their schools are serving students and empower them to contribute to local conversations.
West Bend-Mallard Community School District ranked in the top three categories on the most recent report card.
Read the complete column in the Feb. 27 Kossuth County Advance.

Free speech isn't...

When Daryl Morey tweeted his support of pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong last year, certainly he couldn't have expected the resulting backlash.
Morey is the general manager of the Houston Rockets, and for those of you who are not sports fans, the Rockets are members of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Today, Morey is more than that – his words are a political basketball, if you will, between two of the world's economic powerhouses.

Stop suspending driver's licenses over delinquent child support

Families United Action Network (FUAN) announced that state Sen. Amy Sinclair and state Rep. Mary Wolfe have introduced a FUAN-recommended bill to stop the practice of suspending driver's licenses or traveling privileges for unpaid child support.
Currently, the practice of suspending driver's licenses inhibits the ability to work and/or find work when sanctioned, and it does not help promote payments of fines and fees.
Read more in the Feb. 20 Kossuth County Advance.

Wingates 'Of Fathers and Fire' succeeds on many levels

Magic realism is most convincing when it places ordinary characters in extraordinary situations.
That's exactly what South Dakota State University associate professor Steven Wingate does in his novel, "Of Fathers and Fire."
Read more about the book in the Feb. 20 Advance.

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