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Comb over vs. pencil neck

I cannot remember the first time I found myself at home on a weekday and witnessed the parade of humanity that took the stage on Jerry Springer's television show. Crediting Jerry Springer for mainstreaming weird isn't exactly fair. For sure, people have been weird for most of time. But, as one guy once told me: "Brad, we all have dirty laundry, but we don't need to air it in the front yard."

Displays note April is Sexual abuse awareness month

What were you wearing?
It's a question people as of survivors of sexual assault all too often. It's a question wrought with victim-blaming that implies that maybe survivors could have prevented their assault if they had worn something less revealing or less sexy.
Read the whole letter to the editor in the April 4 Kossuth County Advance.

California weather, rattlesnakes

I've probably mentioned a time or 20 that Bing and I have five children. They are, of course, quite exceptional, or, as Garrison Keillor would say, above average. Three of said children live in sunny California. The other two are brave Midwesterners, residing in Minnesota and Iowa.

Swamped by inaction

Rolling through a wide lowland created over the centuries by its meandering waters, the Missouri River is the poor man's Mississippi. While its trek is longer by 20 miles, no one associates the term mighty with the Missouri – except those who wind up in its flood-prone path.
For the second time in eight years, Iowans and Nebraskans are fighting what was thought to be a 500-year flood.
Read Brad's entire column in the March 28 Advance.


Once upon a time in a land far away, I was the editor of a weekly newspaper that learned all three members of the local board of supervisors had a meeting with a county Farm Bureau board of directors. The Farm Bureau board in that particular county carried a lot of clout, and the board of supervisors was invited to attend to hear some ideas. No agenda was published. No minutes were taken. It was purely by a slip of the tongue that our newspaper learned about the meeting.

Tackling disasters: Practice makes perfect

There is no such thing as a perfect emergency. I doubt any of us has ever woken up to greet the day and thought it was an ideal time for a tornado, a flood, a snow storm or a chemical spill.
Part of the reason these events are so difficult is because they catch us unawares.
Read the entire guest editorial in the March 14 Advance.

Getting to the Atlantic shoreline

It was a bright, sunny and pleasant day after the wild and windy night.
Driving at a leisurely pace, we followed the road up, down and around — past bay areas, rivers and lake shores, through forests and small farming areas: scenic.
There is a lot to see, do and learn in Nova Scotia. With its many provincial parks and historic sites, we needed to pick and choose our stops.
Read more of Jim's Travel Diary in the March 7 Advance.

Beloved — and not so — dolls

Somewhere along the way, Bing and I failed as parents. Big time. All five of our offspring hate dolls. They call them, "creepy." How can this be?

House Happenings

House Happenings from Rep. Terry Baxter 1/16/2020

Pondering the grid, solar, politics, Texas ....

Upon relocation to Texas a few years ago, one of the first decisions I had to make was from which company I was going to buy my electricity.
That's a concept foreign to Iowans. The relationship between customer and electrical provider doesn't give Iowans options. Our world is dominated by MidAmerican, Alliant, rural electric cooperatives and local utilities such as AMU.
Read Brad's whole column in the Feb. 28 Kossuth County Advance.

think about spring and the great activities to come

The main topic of conversation right now everywhere we go is the weather. And, for good reason. However, this too shall pass, and spring will be here.
Let's think spring and beyond to all the great activities coming up. Chamber-sponsored events will kick off April 1 with Women Networking Together.
Get all the details in the Feb. 28 Kossuth County Advance.

Lawrence Welk rules

Something very sad occurred in my home last Saturday evening ... my spouse and I watched "The Lawrence Welk Show," at 7 p.m. on PBS ... and ... we enjoyed it. Oh, no! I'm becoming my parents.
Actually, we thoroughly enjoyed it and the bit about becoming my parents – I'm just kidding. I think.
Read Gene's whole column in the Feb. 28 Advance.

the highlands

Leaving Pictou and the sailing ships behind, we took our time, making several stops along the way as we traveled east and north along the north coast of Nova Scotia's Cape Brenton Island on our way to Cape Brenton Highlands National Park.

88% of bills approved with bipartisan backing

On the House floor for action last week: House Files 223, 262, 264, 266, 291, 292, 323. This was the first debate of the session, and it saw the passing of seven bills with overwhelming bipartisan support. The 87th General Assembly passed 88 percent of its legislation with bipartisan support, and we are on our way to seeing more than that this session.
Read the whole guest editorial in the Feb. 28 Kossuth County Advance.

Iowa should regulate pot like alcohol

Marijuana prohibition is ineffective and expensive. While law enforcement and the court system have done their best to enforce prohibition, prohibition has not made Iowans significantly safer or healthier.
Despite this, Iowa spends millions each year to arrest, prosecute, jail, imprison and punish thousands of nonviolent Iowans for possessing a product that is less toxic, less addictive and less lethal than alcohol.

Of not-so-long-ago memories

Wade, our last-born, texted from Los Angeles the other day asking if I knew what time he was born. I can barely come up with the year any of our five offspring were born – how in the world would I remember the hour? I suppose some super-mothers do, but I probably wouldn’t like them much.

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