Iowa student seeks Nebraska info PDF E-mail


Dear Editor:

Hello! My name is Samuel H. I am a fifth grade student at Harlan Intermediate school in Harlan, Iowa.
My social studies class is studying the history and geography of the United States. I’m jubilant I got Nebraska because I can learn more about this wonderful state and your football team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers! I would appreciate it if you’d send me a souvenir, postcards and information on Nebraska.
My social studies teacher, Mrs. Newlin, would like a car license plate if possible. I appreciate your time. Thank you!

Samuel H.

Mrs. Newlin’s S.S. class

Harlan Intermediate School

1409 19th Street

Harlan, IA, 51537

Progress being made at Manor PDF E-mail

Dear Editor:

First and foremost, the Hamilton Manor Board expresses appreciation to the county board and county officials working with us to help resolve the financial difficulties at the Manor.
We hold fast to the knowledge of the needs of our community’s aging population that are being met by the operation of the Hamilton Manor’s skilled care nursing home facility. The board stands firmly committed to our residents, their families and to the qualified staff who care for our residents.
For many years the Hamilton Manor operated successfully without the support of property tax dollars. Unfortunately, after 45 years, that is no longer feasible. Revenues and savings were eaten up by decade-old generators, boilers, sewer systems and out-dated kitchen and laundry equipment. Consequently, the Manor could not afford building or resident room updates of the magnitude needed to compete with brand new facilities.
While much publicity surrounds the Manor’s difficulties, it is important to also look at the progress made.
Our management team focuses on compliance with ever-changing and increased federal and state regulations, which strictly govern the operation of skilled care nursing homes. And, thanks to the generosity of some, the bathing facilities have received major renovations and we can proudly say the Hamilton Manor is the first skilled care facility in the county to offer suites to residents.
We are dedicated to working with county officials, community leaders and benefactors to insure residents and faithful employees that the Hamilton Manor continue to be a vital asset in Hamilton County. The road will not be easy. The county commissioners and county taxpayers will be asked to guide us and help us through budget appropriations or bond issues. Let your representative know your opinion. We hope you will support these efforts.
Roger Bamesberger,
chairman on behalf of the Hamilton Manor Board of Trustees

Tar sands a nasty source of oil PDF E-mail

Dear Editor:

This is a letter I have sent to President Obama about the tar sands XL Pipeline. I realized the issues of tar sand extraction when Ken Ilgunas was walking by our family farm. He is on a trek to walk the entire route of the proposed XL pipeline. You can follow him on his blog: kenilgunas.com. Ken showed my family a video he took while flying over the tar sands in Alberta Canada. I suddenly realized this wasn’t only my families issue but a global issue. To watch his video go to YouTube: goons 11111 –Tar Sands Alberta.

The tar sand extraction is an environmentally devastating process. If the whole tar sand area is developed, it will destroy an area larger than the state of Florida. This part of the Boreal Forest will never be reclaimed.

The bigger issue of tar sand extraction is that it is the dirtiest oil in the world with the highest carbon emissions. It will be sold on the world market and bought by developing countries like China and South America. Oil companies are blocked going west because of the protected Prince William Sound and blocked to the east because of First Nation’s Actions. I believe this is an export pipeline; not for America.


Dear President Obama,

Mr. President, please draw the line in the sand. There can’t be a more powerful message to the world, than if the United States of American stops supporting dirty energy. Say no to the XL Pipeline.

The tar sand development is a nasty business at so many levels. Canada is waging a huge war against the environment in the boreal forest, polluting the fresh water of that area, and razing millions of acres of boreal forest. When we, as humans, choose to sin against nature the cost is always high.

I feel saying no to this pipeline will certainly be marked in history as a turning point for humanity. Generations to come will know when people started to stand up for the climate and that we needed to start to look for renewable energy. I feel the wind and the sun couldn’t be calling to us any louder! Instead we keep on this path of destruction in using the dirtiest of fuel sources, the tar sands.

I feel this fuel will be sold on the world market and won’t be used in the United States, because of its extremely high carbon emissions. If this is true, then why would we ever take the chance to run this toxic oil over the great Ogallala Aquifer?

Fresh water is our greatest natural resource. When there is already a shortage, why would we ever want to risk polluting one of the greatest aquifers in the world? It makes no sense to me.

I am a 49-year-old farmer and horticulturalist. I live on my family’s farm in York County in eastern Nebraska. My husband, Mike, raises corn and soybeans and I have landscaping business. Our love of the land is great. Something stirred in my heart this spring and I became very concerned about the climate. I have always been very awed by nature and tied to it. Our farm was homesteaded by my great-great grandfather who came from England to homestead in 1864. It has been cherished and cared for by each generation. My father, who is deceased, cared much about water conservation. The land was left to me and my three sisters. The water that peacefully lies under our ground is what makes farming in this area so very valuable. We are very aware we need to protect it. We had record crops this summer with the drought where we were able to irrigate.

The proposed pipeline route will cut through my family farm, one mile from my home and nursery business. We have neighbors that the proposed pipeline route will go 300 feet from their house well.

If the tar sands were ever leaked into the aquifer, life as we know it would be changed forever. There would be no getting them out of the aquifer. There are many stories such as ours on how the proposed pipeline would change lives. It will devalue our land and present a great risk to the Ogallala Aquifer when it leaks. It will leak, they plan on leaks, but they don’t know what will happen when it gets into the aquifer. There are many places along the route that the water table is very high! As you know tar sands are another beast, they sink when they get into water. What would clean up look like? No one can answer that. They don’t know.

I heard what you said in your inauguration address about climate change and protecting the environment. Yes the time is NOW. We have no time to waste. When one barrel of tar sand produces two barrels of toxins, please say no to this nasty, dirty source of oil. Let it lie in the earth where it belongs!

When making your decision please hear our hearts calling for a change in the direction of our energy resources.

Jenni Harrington


Generous spirit helps make this a great place to live PDF E-mail

Dear Editor:

I write today for three reasons:

1. As a belated thank you, we want to express appreciation for the support from county residents, churches, businesses and others exhibited toward the Hamilton County Food Pantry during the recent holiday season. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity shown, which enables us to continue serving those in need. It is heart-warming to receive support and encouragement from such a wide variety of donation bases.

We are a totally donation-dependent non-profit organization and it is through this support that we can function and serve families with nutritious food when their circumstances dictate need.

2. We also express appreciation to the Aurora News-Register for the positive publicity for our Pantry. The extended story at Christmas time of our holiday distribution, as well as coverage of numerous individual donations received, was welcomed as a way of telling the story about our mission to a wider audience. Continued support from local news media is most valued.

3. We will be resuming the Lenten project of offering coupons for customers of our two grocery stores, Aurora Mall and Super Foods. This carries on the project begun a few years ago by the United Methodist Church, Aurora.

Shoppers at either store will find coupons at check-out stands. If anyone wishes to donate an amount to the Hamilton County Food Pantry, she or he may hand the checker a coupon or coupons, each for $1. The designated amount will be added to that person’s bill. The project will begin on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13, and continue through Easter Sunday, March 31. The HCFP will receive the amounts donated from the store management at that time. In advance we thank patrons for your continued support of our Food Pantry.

Hamilton County is a great place to live and raise families. Part of what makes it so is the generous and cooperative spirit which shows in so many ways. May we all continue these positive attributes and care for those who need support, in whatever situation we find ourselves able to do so. On behalf of the HCFP, thank you to all for your part in continuing to make Hamilton County a good place to live by enhancing the quality of life for all our citizens.

Barb Johnson

Hamilton County Food Pantry

There’s no ‘care’ in Obamacare PDF E-mail

Dear Editor:

I would like to address the provision of the new Health Care Act that allows insurance companies to charge smokers 50 percent higher health insurance premiums beginning Jan. 1.

No one hates smoking more than I do. But this is very discriminating. The Health Care Act was touted as removing discrimination against those with pre-existing health problems. Smoking is a pre-existing problem. I guess the government forgot that they GAVE cigarettes to soldiers and sailors when they were under the most extreme stress of their lives serving their country at war. Now they are going to punish them for it?

What about punishing people for their poor sexual choices in life? We all know that HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases cost billions in health care dollars every year. Maybe they should charge more to those who drink alcohol. And what about the biggest health epidemic sweeping this nation today... obesity? Are those who choose to eat too much of the wrong foods and then don’t exercise enough going to be charged 50 percent higher insurance premiums also?

I guess this is what Pelosi meant when she said they would have to pass the legislation to see what’s in it. How stupid was that? I think anyone who voted for or supported the Health Care Act should be charged 50 percent higher premiums. Personally, I fail to see the "care" in "Obamacare."

Dorothy Salmon


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