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Let's hear it for the "City Guys"


Fri, Dec 21st, 2007
Posted in Commentary

We see and hear tributes to our firefighters, police, and emergency responders; they deserve this praise, especially in our small towns where they are often volunteers, risking lives to protect us.

There is another group of folks who merit our thanks, and often are forgotten, the "city guys." Oh, I know, they are paid workers, but they go far beyond their hours and their duties. They make our lives as townspeople both possible and pleasant.

My kitchen window looks out across my back yard, beyond my garage, and across the alley to one of our city garages, so perhaps that provides me a closer perspective on their activities. Anyway, I have a growing conviction that we need to be grateful for their many varied services.

This time of year the crew may work most of a twenty-four hours, days in a row. They are clearing the snow from the most vital places first, sort of like triage: main streets, downtown, the school, the nursing home, vital utilities. We sometimes complain if our street isn't immediately cleared - really, other things necessarily come first.

After that initial plowing, the side streets, parking areas ... then back to load up the piles left with the early passes and truck the snow away from town. This can take days. And back again they go, sometimes several times, to clean up still better. Add in the vital services that may freeze or clog or collapse and need repair.

Then for the holidays, they string and check all the special lighting, hang banners and greenery, keep the speakers and music going, and in just a few weeks, take it all down again and store it carefully for next year. All this is done, as is the snow and ice removal, in weather conditions that keep most of us inside wrapped in our electric blankets or lap robes.

Year-long, who maintains our water quality, fixes breaks in mains, or cleans out our gutters and sewer outlets? How about the electrical connections in town? The list goes on.

During warmer months, it's the "city guys" who trim and mow parks, remove dangerous tree branches, paint benches and picnic tables, and water the planters that add color to our main street. They put up and take down banners and street barriers for our celebrations. When they aren't doing these things, they are out with the machine that sweeps our streets, or picks up our fall leaves.

These dedicated crews of city workers provide safety, mobility, livability, and beauty for all of us, w .....
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Maybe they really are evil

Fri, Dec 14th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Internet chatter in the so called blogosphere is nasty and vitriolic. Main street media is not much better with both major political ideologies demonizing and calling the other evil.

I have been concerned about Bush's intellect and Cheney's ..... 
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So, this is democracy?

Fri, Dec 14th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

The unfortunate thing about living so close to Iowa is the spillover effect of the presidential primary which is held every four years. The white noise emanating from south of our border has been deafening and will only get louder in the next few we ..... 
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Awash in a sea of noise

Fri, Dec 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

I never thought I would be agreeing with Spiro Agnew or Dick Cheney, or even G. W. Bush. They and others have over the years railed against the print, radio, and TV media about not sharing what they consider to be the good or accurate news.

..... 
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Henny Penny the sky is falling

Fri, Dec 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

A new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was released last Monday. There are some astounding facts associated with its findings. They mostly make me believe it will be a long time before other countries will take our word about intelligence findin ..... 
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America, the benevolent dictator

Fri, Nov 30th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Joseph Broz, aka Tito, was one of those more benevolent dictators - using a bit of carrot and stick to hold the ethnic stew known as Yugoslavia together.

"No one questioned 'who is a Serb, who is a Croat, who is a Muslim (Bosniak)', we were ..... 
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If I were a true patriot

Fri, Nov 23rd, 2007
Posted in Commentary

If I were truly patriotic I would be demonstrating on our streets and carrying placards calling for the impeachment of President Bush.

How is it that I can stand by while President Bush has amongst many other things:

Violated the Uni ..... 
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Do the right thing with recycling

Fri, Nov 23rd, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Every day we are faced with the same dilemma: to recycle or not to recycle.

My recent trips to the gas station seem to be pressing this issue on my subconscious mind. I reach down to grab the bag of garbage when I eye a plastic pop bottle sn ..... 
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Irrelevant?

Fri, Oct 26th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Two recent headlines concerning Mr. Bush have me on more tenterhooks than usual. I am really getting tired of being insulted by someone so intellectually incurious and inexact. The first in the Washington Post was "Bush Deplores American Timidity", ..... 
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