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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!


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.

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