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Friday, Sep. 4, 2015
Letters Welcome
The Daily Reporter invites readers to submit "Letters to the Editor" with comments, criticisms, praise and/or questions about local and world issues of public interest. The editor reserves the right to edit or condense all letters. All letters are to be signed. Unsigned letters will not be considered for publication. Readers should also include their address and telephone number to verify the identity of the writer. Addresses and phone numbers are not printed.
Bloggers Wanted
The Daily Reporter is looking for bloggers who wish to share regularly on their particular interests. If you have a unique area of interest or particular topic you would like to weigh in on weekly, email us at news@spencerdailyreporter.com.
Let's Talk About It (09/04/15)
by Bill Kersting Thanks to the Parker Historical Society, baseball in Spencer has been much more in the public focus. Their season long exhibit of Spencer's and Clay County's storied baseball past has drawn rave reviews. Spencer's two-time state champion Tigers and the tradition rich Spencer Cardinals semipro teams have brought many a fan out to the old ball park, for nearly a century. They represented the region well, and provided clean, family friendly entertainment to a wide range of folks...
The men in blue -- honoring law enforcement (09/04/15)
So Friday, my wife and I sported blue, as did many other Americans as a show of solidarity and support for law enforcement nationwide. Obviously, I'm aware not all law enforcement is outfitted in blue as both our Clay County Sheriff's deputies, Spencer Police officers and Iowa State Patrol all wear colors other than blue ... but in this case, it is definitely the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law that counts...
Seriously, get rid of him (09/04/15)
Just under a year ago I wrote a column titled, "Not so Good-ell." You can look it up if you like at spencerdailyreporter.com. (While you're there you should probably buy a subscription or buy up some photos or just click refresh 50 times on the home page. These are all good ideas.)...
CommStock Report (09/03/15)
China's economy is slowing. The rest is being left up to imagination fed by data from a central controlling government in Beijing that tells lies. When China's stock markets fell sharply and President Xi Jinping was boarding a plane on a visit to Russia he reportedly gave the order to "make it go back up." Government officials went about that on a mission using every means possible from literally arresting sellers while shoveling in massive amounts of government cash to try to shore them up. ...
Pastor's Column (09/03/15)
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." In the above verse, if you are a believer, if you will pray with humility with the intent to seek God's way, and if you will repent of any wicked ways, then you have God's promise that He will hear your prayer, He will forgive the sin or sins that you repented of and He will heal your land.. ...
Just around the corner (09/02/15)
We are a little more than eight days away, folks, from a smorgasbord of fried foods, animal shows, 4-H exhibits, amusement rides, good old-fashioned entertainment and nine days of walking. That's right I am talking about the Clay County Fair. It's right around the corner...
A Senior Moment (09/01/15)
Have you noticed that some people look their age, some look younger and others older? Much of what we look like is due to heredity. While some aging is due to the food and exercise program we use or choose not to use, even more has to do with attitude. ...
Ethics in an age of instant information (09/01/15)
A few events conspired recently to make me think about journalistic ethics in an age of instant communication, citizen "journalists" and social media. The first was a Facebook dialogue at one of my papers. A poster was furious that we had uploaded photos and information on an accident a couple of hours after the event...
Howling at the moon (09/01/15)
You know those times when you hear someone talk about something, but you don't believe it until you experience it for yourself? Welcome to a full moon with small children. I'd been hearing about it for the past few years, especially with my friends-with-kids and friends who are teachers. None of us are particularly subscribed to the idea of auras and "energies," but every single one of them has mentioned how bonkers full moons make children...
Patchwork Quilt (08/31/15)
It's that time of year when colds and the flu seem to be the strongest. Have you taken precautions to ward off against these illnesses? Obviously, you can't get a shot or medication for a virus, but you can take preventative measures to help ward them off. Get plenty of rest, dress appropriately for the weather, eat a healthy, nutritious diet, be careful about going out in public where others may be ill, and make sure you get your influenza and pneumonia vaccinations...
Feud of futility (08/28/15)
I know, I know. Football officially started (for real this time) last night and it's kind of a big deal, so I should probably write about it. I thought about it. I really did. But, I've always found that better columns come from something I find frustrating, so here we go...
Let's Talk About It (08/28/15)
By Lexy Bicking Homosexual marriage is a big topic of debate in my family. I have a few family members who are homosexual and some family accept it, others do not. In my opinion, it shouldn't matter that the law passed if it has nothing to do with them or doesn't affect them. ...
What to make of state fair polling info (08/28/15)
So here's what you've been waiting for, the very unofficial, unscientific results from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate's Presidential Straw Poll conducted at the Iowa State Fair. Based on 9,008 votes cast during the event, we have learned the following valuable information that I'm sure will have the each of the candidate's ground teams working to figure out how to take advantage of the numbers game...
Pastor's Column (08/27/15)
Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible...
CommStock Report (08/27/15)
A serious satire: If Donald Trump is president of the United States then I want to be U.S. secretary of agriculture Here is what I would do as agriculture secretary: 1) I would end farm subsidies to corn farmers who do not use an ethanol blend above E-10 with subsidy eligibility prorated for level of ethanol use of E-15 to E-85 and for soybean farmers who will not use biodiesel. ...
Everyone find a workout buddy (08/26/15)
Exercise is a key component to living a long and healthy life, and the benefits of regularly partaking in the activity are scientifically proven. Despite all the good it does, I, like many others, can think of hundreds of reasons not to workout. Exercise is hard. That's why its called a workout because you have to work to get results. The term workout is intimidating for that fact...
Honorees an inspiration to all (08/25/15)
This past Saturday I was honored to be a guest at the 2015 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame ceremony, held at the State of Iowa Historical Building in Des Moines. The awards were established in 1975 by the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women. Since that time, the list of honorees is a veritable "who's who" of the state's leaders...
Ramsey vs. Carroll on finance (08/25/15)
I'm at the age where the term "success" starts to get thrown around a lot. I feel like when you start to creep up on 30, the concept of "adult" starts to get very real for some people. And when you think adult, you often think "success" (either, "how did he/she become so successful?" or "how do I become more successful?")...
It's almost real (08/21/15)
With the playing of last night's high school scrimmage games, it's official. Football is back! Well, sort of. The "pop" scrimmages as they were called way back in my day aren't exactly football, but they're close. It's almost real. Speaking of football that feels a little bit too real for some people at times, we're hitting the start of the fantasy football draft season. AKA the best time of the fantasy football calendar...
Boring and proud of it (08/21/15)
So the big topic over coffee, at lunch and at social opportunities this past week is Spencer's placement on the "The 10 Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa" list as proposed by Sam Sparkes and his RoadSnacks site. Based on the fact that the results were a big topic of conversation, Facebook posts and every other relevant form of communication this week, I would say he accomplished his mission. He gained relevance. And here I am furthering his reputation by giving him some more space in print...
Ask a Trooper (08/21/15)
This week's #askatrooper question comes from @tehra_drost referring to the picture below: (Submitted via Twitter) @Trooperkurtz ... What NOT to do? Thank you, @tehra_drost, for the interesting question. Our readers may have seen this around town and wondered, "Why is there more than one registration sticker on that guys car. Am I missing one?"...
Let's Talk About It (08/21/15)
--- Will more gun control laws stop the shootings in schools, theaters, homes and on the streets of our cities? Or will they target the responsible gun owners who own guns for hunting, target practice or home protection? Laws are in place to require background checks and waiting periods. ...
Love like a moon (08/20/15)
Two weeks ago I accompanied 14 youth from Hope (Everly) and Bethlehem (Royal) Lutheran Churches, our youth director Chris, and his wife Alyssa, to Kansas City, Missouri, for a week of urban mission work. We had the privilege of meeting Marty, an urban gardener who helps supply food, teach children to garden, and raise funds for the Niles Children's Center. ...
CommStock Report (08/20/15)
"Make America Great Again!" is Donald Trump's campaign slogan. He has added enough specifics to his policy recommendations to form some clear conclusions as to what they mean for U.S. agriculture. His campaign slogan relative to U.S. agriculture would be, "Make South American Agriculture Great!" Donald talked about watching a big cargo vessel unload autos from Japan at the port of L.A. ...
Baking soda saves a bad hair day (08/19/15)
This might seem like a strange column this week, but I am so amazed by this discovery. It might not seem as amazing to the rest of you. Did you know that baking soda -- regular plain old Arm and Hammer baking soda -- makes the perfect dry shampoo? I didn't until I was running late this week and needy a quick fix for slightly greasy hair...
Randy's Review: 'War Room' (09/03/15)
"War Room," the latest offering from the Kendrick Brothers is a continuation of their efforts to share the Word of God through dramatic means. In this go-around, an aging military widow, Mrs. Clara (Karen Ambercrombie), befriends a young real estate agent, Elizabeth Jordan (Priscilla Shirer), trying to sell her home. ...
Randy's Review: 'American Ultra' (08/27/15)
The idea isn't new ― as a matter of fact there's a guy named Matt Damon who played covert agent Jason Bourne ― an assassin programmed to forget. But when his psyche is triggered and he snaps back into spy mode, he starts delivering a butt-whoopin' to every government guy charged with taking him out...
Randy's Review: 'Straight Outta Compton' (08/20/15)
Set in Compton, a suburb of Los Angeles, "Straight Outta Compton," details the legendary rise of N.W.A. from the gang-filled streets to packed auditoriums and the subsequent crash that impacted each of its members in a variety of ways. Raised in a world of gang violence, battles with the law and drug distribution, these young men came together, bringing a set of different skills to the table, to become poets of the urban culture and subsequent battles they faced in the late 1980s. ...
Randy's Review: 'The Gift' (08/13/15)
As much as I enjoy Jason Bateman, most times he seems to play the same character. Once in a while he departs from his role as the wise-cracking, straight-man paired with a wilder co-star in various crazy scenarios. This however is one of those rare departures for Bateman and he shines -- as does the rest of the cast in "The Gift."...
Randy's Review: 'Fantastic Four' (08/13/15)
As a comic book fan, I had high hopes for the reboot of the "Fantastic Four" franchise. For the most part, my hopes were dashed. Taking a different spin on the story, including a complete departure from the original storyline, a group of young persons is brought together to help create a device to travel to an alternate universe...
Book Review: 'Anne & Henry' (09/03/15)
The idea of taking an iconic story -- either in history or in literature -- and rewriting it for a young adult audience is certainly creative. In some cases it's a successful endeavor, like in the movies "10 Things I Hate About You" (from William Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew"), "She's the Man" (from Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night") and "Easy A" (from Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter.")...
Book Review: 'Everybody Rise' (08/27/15)
Stephanie Clifford's debut novel, "Everybody Rise" is a modern-day retelling of William Makepeace Thackeray's "Vanity Fair." In this story, Evelyn Beegan is written as the updated Becky Sharp. She doesn't come from poverty, but her social and financial situation is a far cry from the unbelievable wealth of the group she gets caught up with...
Book Review: 'Busy: How to Thrive in a World of Too Much' (08/20/15)
When you're going through the motions of the day-to-day, sometimes it's hard to take a step back and evaluate what's actually going on. At the beginning of the day, the "to-do" list seems long, but doable. At the end of the day, despite feeling productive, only a few items on the list are crossed off...
Book Review: 'Brown-Eyed Girl' (08/13/15)
Please keep this in mind: I went into this book knowing that Lisa Kleypas and the genre she writes for (read: Romance) have a very big audience, many of which read my reviews. I try to read a variety of books, because the paper and this column have a variety of readers. I also went into this book with the understanding that Romance isn't a genre that I typically read...
Book Review: 'Fishbowl' (08/06/15)
Imagine the amount of time it takes a goldfish to fall from his 1-gallon bowl on the balcony on the 27th floor of an apartment building. Now think of everything else that is going on in that amount of time, the conversations between the two people, the decisions made, the lives altered one way or another...
Music Review: 'Brand New' (09/03/15)
Sometimes you just need to listen to music that builds you up. In those times, you need Ben Rector's "Brand New." Music, as an expression, can often be used as a social commentary, for artists to put their frustrations into verse. But Rector chooses joy, and I love that...
Music Review: 'The Great Unknown' (08/27/15)
Rob Thomas is one of those musicians who has had as good, if not better, success as a solo artist as he had with his band, Matchbox Twenty. "The Great Unknown" is his third solo album, after "... Something to Be" (2005) and "Cradlesong" (2009). I really like Rob Thomas as a singer -- he's got one of those voices that's easily recognizable on the radio -- but after listening to "The Great Unknown" I have to say that I prefer him on the radio to an album...
Music Review: 'Midnight' (08/20/15)
I haven't really heard much of Grace Potter since "Paris," the debut single she released with The Nocturnals. I remember being impressed with her then, a female frontman of a rock band, holding her own. In the world of rock, at least from my vantage point, Grace Potter is the head cheerleader. ...
Music Review: 'Chaos and the calm' (08/13/15)
This album has been out for a while, but it's been on my mind for a solid month and I can't let it go untouched. The first single, "Hold Back the River," is making its way through the radio waves. But even after a dozen times, I still love listening to this song. It's easily one of the best ones on the radio right now...
Music Review: 'Water for Your Soul' (08/06/15)
It's been a long time since I've listened to Joss Stone, but I still wasn't expecting the overall tone of her latest album, "Water for Your Soul." But I wasn't alone. Stone really explored influences from around the world in this album. "This Answer" definitely has that "one world, one voice" quality to it, though I'm sure the choir combined with the lyrics "fight for peace" had something to do with my inference...