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Opinions

NL sewer line mostly helps development

Dear Mayor Nielsen;
I had been following the limited coverage of the North Liberty sewer controversy in the Iowa City Press-Citizen and CR Gazette, but was really surprised to read the in-depth coverage in the North Liberty Leader on Feb. 12. I can’t say it made me happy.
I’ve know Gary Weinman and Barbara Beaumont for many years and am familiar with their concerns for protecting our natural surroundings. These are concerns that I share.

A jug of wine

Food for Thought

I was strolling down the wine aisle in the supermarket, looking for my old standby, Blue Nun Riesling, which I have always thought was just right to serve with that Thanksgiving turkey. (Or any other turkey, for that matter.)
It used to be an easy bottle to spot, for it was the only blue wine bottle in the whole store. (About the only other things I remember being consistently sold in blue glass were Vicks Vap-O-Rub and Phillips Milk of Magnesia.) But, things have changed.

How we roll

Walkin'

“Oh, you’re Sepos then,” the lady in the ice cream shop said.
It was on the fourth day of our ride, which was the shortest, and should have been our easiest.
We started in Swansea located on the Great Oyster Bay of eastern Tasmania after a huge breakfast at the Meredith House, a very swank bed and breakfast. We typically try to find modest lodging when we’re riding. A hot shower and clean sheets are our two main requests but Meredith was part of the package through Green Island Tours, so we enjoyed the luxury of a swank room and sumptuous breakfast.

It rolls downhill

Most recently, I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about the way sanitary sewers are designed. But then again, everybody already knows the proverbial crap always flows downhill.
That’s what some saw happening with the lawsuit filed against the City of North Liberty and its plan to exercise eminent domain to access private property for a planned sewer project.
Of the basic tenets of Iowa’s eminent domain law, the most important and consistent across all states that allow it is this: it has to be for the public good.

Go farther with kilometers

Walkin'

We went to Brisbane to visit Sabra’s sister Lisa, who moved to Australia more than 30 years ago after marrying Alan, a native of Australia. We went to Tasmania because Lisa recommended it. That’s how we wound up in Hobart one rainy afternoon in late January.

Four feet of music

It was slightly over four feet tall, that stack of 78 rpm records, leaning slightly south, in the middle of the kitchen floor. Dad had finally given in and bought an electric phonograph for us to use in making the tapes of music to be played over the loudspeaker at the miniature golf course on summer nights.

Great Aussie ideas

Walkin'

As I write this we are on our last day of our visit with Lisa and Alan, Sabra’s sister and brother-in-law, who live in Brisbane.
We stayed the first three nights at their house and used the days to explore the city by bicycle and foot. Then we traveled about 60 miles north to an area known as the Sunshine Coast, where Lisa and Alan have a beach house, soon to be a retirement home. Located on an estuary, the house was a short walk, or swim, to the ocean.

But what does it mean?

Food for Thought

It’s been well over a year since I first joined a poetry writers’ group. We call ourselves The Poetry Gang, though I’m not sure why. Possibly it’s some sort of rebellion against being stuck with a name more lofty or esoteric. I was not invited to help decide on a name for the group, and I don’t know whose brainchild it was, but I rather like it. It sounds like a group that Carl Sandburg might have joined, no nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is, frank and earnest.
Pun intended. You want to watch out for me, one of my favorite poets was a master at word-play, and so I sometimes emulate.

Crikey on an eskie

Walkin'

We’ve now been in Australia for nearly a week and I’m still finding it all a bit disorienting.
Starting the moment we drove away from the Brisbane airport, the first thing that jarred me was how the traffic– auto, bicycle and pedestrian– was all on the wrong side of the road. It’s confusing and dangerous. While I haven’t had a chance to drive yet, in just a few days I’ve managed to walk into several people and caused cars to come to screeching stops as they dodge me toddling about on a bicycle, or as the Aussies say, “on a bikie.”

Paradise in Hawaii

Walkin'

We are on day number three in paradise.
Thankfully Hawaii is living up to its reputation, because it wasn’t easy getting here. A United delay out of Cedar Rapids led to a change of airlines, which led to additional delays and a change of route, which led to an 11 p.m. arrival, 3 a.m. Iowa time, and no luggage. But we were here!

Dancing and dreaming

Food for Thought

I remember when dancing used to be something people did for exercise and recreation, not just a spectator sport as it appears to be rapidly turning into. My parents went out in the evening occasionally for dinner and, for many years, to dance afterward. By the time I was a young adult, people went out to hear bands, and dancing was mostly reserved for special occasions such as proms, wedding receptions, anniversary parties and New Year’s Eve. It used to be a New Year’s Eve tradition to watch Guy Lombardo and his orchestra on television broadcasting from New York City.

Alphabetical turns

Food for Thought

A recent proposal to introduce something known as J-turns on Iowa’s busier highways seems to have brought about a great many more objections than anticipated. I suppose Iowans, who think the state is pretty much okay just as it is, don’t like to see any dramatic changes, be it weather, politics, fishing regulations or highway designs.