Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

November 3, 2016 Opinion - 11-03-2016
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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A quick mind often requires a short trip…

Hi Neighbor

By Lois Eckhardt

This might become a famous ‘often quoted adage’, in years to come; but, as of now, it’s my personal logo: “A quick mind often requires a short trip--back to the drawing board.”

This adverse requirement seems to have developed an ability of ‘ownership over me’, during a period of time ranging from about ‘babyhood’ days to my current old age ‘hood’ days, in that everything, (well, at times it seems like everything) I do or plan to do requires I give it a second ‘run through’.

I probably have had the problem all my life, hence my projection of its being from the time of my birth, but it wasn’t until recent times I have had to face up to its irritating and constantly reappearing presence of being a real nuisance.

How come my good ideas have problems solving themselves without my getting deeply involved (often to the point of them seeming to have no earthly sense), even though at first they look like extremely good ideas?

“Life is like that …” we are repeatedly reminded, but it’s not fair for it to shrug off the responsibility of taking care of us as we expect it to, is it? I mean we have rights, don’t we?

I feel another adage creeping up on me, suggesting “Right is right, but only for those who have done it right”. That sucks as far as us dependent constituent of life are concerned.

We’ve faced the long hard battle and deserve some consideration. Those of you who are just getting dragged into the fray need to be aware that this argument lay ahead of you.

First: “Life is no bed of roses…” (Oh no, not that again--don’t fall for it.) Everyone knows roses have thorns and to avoid the thorns one has to think quickly which requires we… Yeah, it’s true.

Another thing said is: “Life is a journey during which the road is often rocky and to avoid the rocks we must…” Here we go again; another truth.

The defenses presented by life for not owing us a living are so numerous as to defeat us if we insist it’s required by ‘order of rote’ to protect and provide us with safety nets. We persist in believing we’re not required, nor prepared, to provide the materials needed to save us in the fall.

If I seem to have wandered afar from my earlier-posted complaint of not being able to arrive at what I consider good ideas upon first tries, I really haven’t. What I’ve learned is it takes more than a quick brush stroke of knowledge to create a whole picture. Shoot (!) We just have to start all over again every time if it doesn’t look as good as it did the first time. So far it’s been working for me, so I’ll keep giving it another –short trip back to the drawing board.

Thanks for the expressions of appreciation


By Ron Slechta

Helen and I would like to thank everyone for the many fine notes expressing appreciation for the quality newspapers that we published before the sale to Jim and Bridget Johnson.

One of the hardest parts about the negotiations was for our staff in the dark about the pending sale. But we had signed a letter of confidentiality not to inform anyone until the signing of the final agreement. We did encourage the Johnsons to employ as many of the staffers as they could see possible and afford.

Much of the comments about are newspapers was because of the hard work of the staff in producing a quality product. One of the letters we received was from Randy Evans, director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and longtime editor with the Des Moines Register. We want to share that letter as many of the comments show respect for the Kalona News staff and the Kalona Community:

It read: Dear Ron,

I read in the INA Bulletin about your much-deserved retirement and sale of your newspaper, and I wanted to write and offer my congratulations.

Every community should be so fortunate to have someone with your professionalism and dedication owning and publishing the local newspaper. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the Kalona News has been an important part of Kalona’s success during your time there.

I know from experience that publishing a high quality newspaper like The Kalona News is no easy task, and it’s a tribute to you and Helen that the News has served your community so well for so long.

I hope the two of you enjoy retirement. You’ve certainly earned it.

Best wishes to you and Helen on the next chapter of your life.

Sincerely, Randy Evans, Des Moines, IA.

Evans worked as a writing coach for the Kalona News Sport Editor Jeff Yoder and feature writer Jake Bourgeois following their attending a writer’s workshop. He made a number of visits to the Kalona community to help Jeff and Jake and became very familiar with our newspapers.


Next Tuesday is Election Day, which should bring an end to the hectic race for president. No matter if you want the status quo or change in Washington, get out and vote.


Talking about a hectic time, have you driven our nation’s freeway system lately? On recent trips to Nashville, TN and Atlanta, GA areas we were amazed how busy the Interstate Highway System is with so many drivers who don’t obey traffic laws and are down right reckless.

Very few motorists obey speed limits, especially those big semi-drivers. You can’t keep up with the speed of many of the big rigs. There used to be a slower speed limit for trucks, but apparently there isn’t, as you don’t see any pull over by police for speeding.

On one trip back from Atlanta a trucker almost ran us off the road. Helen was in the passing lane when a semi-truck driver pulled out right into the passing lane and continued on. Fortunately Helen was alert enough to take the shoulder, avoid a collision by inches.

The inside lane of a highway is primarily to be used for passing slower vehicles, but many motorist get in that lane and stay there even when driving at slower speeds. Then there is the motorist who darts across 4 lanes of traffic to get to any off ramp or to just speed.

If it wasn’t such a hassle and expense to travel by airplane, it would be far safer to travel by airplane.

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