Columns/Opinions

Wed
28
Mar

Empire State of Mind

 

The picturesque campus of St. Bonaventure University, located in rural southwest New York, is where Chris DeBack earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism. (submitted photo)

 

Bonnies endure fray of March Madness

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

I like to think that I have adapted to life in Iowa pretty well since I moved to Vinton over five years ago. 

However, as my wife, Megan, likes to say, “You can take the man out of New York, but you can’t take the New Yorker out of the man.”

While I may have “an Empire State of mind,” having been born and raised in Webster, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester. With an allegiance to a number of New York-based sports teams including the Buffalo Bills, New York Yankees, and Buffalo Sabres, I have grown fond of the Iowa Hawkeyes over time and adopted the Iowa State Cyclones when I initially moved to the Corn Belt. 

None of them can compare to my affection for my alma mater, St. Bonaventure University in Olean, N.Y., though

It’s located on New York’s southern border approximately 1½ hours south of Buffalo, two hours south of Rochester, and 30 minutes north of the Pennsylvania border in western New York (yes, there’s more to New York than just the Big Apple). It’s nestled between the small towns (or at least what is considered small in New York State) of Allegany (8,000) and Olean (13,500), along the Allegheny River, which was my first glimpse of small-town life.

Wed
21
Feb

I sat, I read, I cried

Chris DeBack

 

I sat, I read, I cried

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

 

 

I cried as I read about the heroic acts of educators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who used their last breaths on Wednesday, Feb. 14, to protect the children they educated every day.

The nation mourns the loss of 17 souls, 14 of them children, whose flames were extinguished before they even had a real chance to light their futures. However, if not for the heroic acts of many educators on that day, things could have been much worse. 

Wed
14
Jun

A day (and a father) like no other

A day (and a father) like no other

 

 

Brian Smith
Contributing Writer
bsmith@fayettepublishing.com

 

 

Father’s Day will soon be upon us, and as many of us make plans, buy a card, and find just the right tie, mug, or T-shirt to present to Dad, let us take a moment to reflect. This mid-June holiday takes on many different meanings, depending upon your relationship with your father, your age, and whether or not you yourself are a father. Before this one slips away, perhaps it would be beneficial to consider what makes a good father.

Wed
29
Jun

A chance to remember, honor and learn

 

Union photographer Jerry Wadian took this photo of the moveable version of the Vietnam Wall when it came to Dubuque a few years ago. The angled light of the late afternoon sun, highlights the lettering of the names, units and dates of death of the over 57,000 soldiers, Marines, Navy and Air Force personnel killed in the nine-year war. At the base of the Wall are mementoes left by families, friends, and comrades in arms to honor the dead.

 

A chance to remember, honor and learn

 

 

By Jerry Wadian
jwadian@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The Vietnam Memorial Wall – at least the traveling version – is coming to the Clayton County Fairgrounds in National Thursday, June 30 through Tuesday, July 5; it will be open to the public 24 hours a day.

I urge all who can go to make the short trip. It is a chance for remembrance, honoring and learning.

For the vet, the Wall is a powerful remembrance and emotional stimulus. The names of the over 57,000 dead engraved on the marble surface speak eloquently to the living.

Wed
29
Jun

A chance to remember, honor and learn

 

Union photographer Jerry Wadian took this photo of the moveable version of the Vietnam Wall when it came to Dubuque a few years ago. The angled light of the late afternoon sun, highlights the lettering of the names, units and dates of death of the over 57,000 soldiers, Marines, Navy and Air Force personnel killed in the nine-year war. At the base of the Wall are mementoes left by families, friends, and comrades in arms to honor the dead.

 

A chance to remember, honor and learn

 

 

By Jerry Wadian
jwadian@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

The Vietnam Memorial Wall – at least the traveling version – is coming to the Clayton County Fairgrounds in National Thursday, June 30 through Tuesday, July 5; it will be open to the public 24 hours a day.

I urge all who can go to make the short trip. It is a chance for remembrance, honoring and learning.

For the vet, the Wall is a powerful remembrance and emotional stimulus. The names of the over 57,000 dead engraved on the marble surface speak eloquently to the living.

Wed
01
Jun

My, how time has flown

My, how time has flown

 

 

By Chris Deback
cdeback@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

It seems like just yesterday I was packing up my apartment in Waverly to move to Elgin. I had worked for Waverly Newspapers for just about sixth months after a two-year stint as sports editor of Vinton Newspapers.

For those of you who may not know me, I’m originally from Webster, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester, N.Y. I’ll just go ahead and answer the question that is surely on your mind: Why did I move to Iowa?

Well, Vinton was my first job as a writer. It was a leap of faith I took, knowing that working as an assistant manager at an Arby’s wouldn’t allow me to achieve my dreams. I needed a change, so I thought, why not the cornfields of Iowa?

Thu
30
Jul

To the editor:

To the editor:

Zakary Kriener has been a wonderful addition to the Ossian Bee. Several friends and neighbors besides Bob and I have begun to look for his writings as soon as the paper arrives. He makes his article interesting from beginning to end, writes about a variety of topics and from various perspectives. What a treasure the paper has in him! Congrats to the paper and to him.

Blessings,

Judy Alford

Castalia

Thu
30
Jul

To the editor:

To the editor:

Last week, I issued a call for a special session to overturn Governor Branstad’s $56 million school funding veto in order to make educating our kids a top priority again.

This means that [according to the Legislature’s nonpartisan legislative agency] North Fayette Community School District will lose $90,780 and Valley Community School District will lose $43,940 for the upcoming school year. [Editor’s note: According to NFV Supt. Duane Willhite, North Fayette will lose $93,121 and Valley, $45,073.]  If we don’t take action, school leaders all over Iowa have told us it will result in larger class sizes, fewer quality teachers, and higher property taxes.

Our schools have been in this school funding crisis for almost two years now. Enough is enough.

Wed
08
Jul

Potholes, raindrops, and vacation?

Potholes, raindrops, and vacation?

 

By Jerry Wadian

wadian@thefayettecountyunion.com

 

 

Another year, another “vacation,” and more proof that potholes and raindrops don’t mix.

My wife, Becky, and I were going back to visit my brother and mom in Massillon, Ohio. As an added bonus, our son Taylor is spending the summer in Cincinnati, so we decided to extend the vacation a few days, rent a car, and   go to both cities.

Fortunately, we left on a Thursday; the Wednesday before the Eastern Iowa Airport was shut down due to a bomb threat!

That’s just what you need as you approach the TSA security area; where it is easier to get a bomb onboard the plane than my wife’s nail file!

Wed
29
Apr

I bit of deja vu

A bit of deja vu

 

 

Janell Bradley
editor@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

 

            As I walked through the back door of the Fayette County Union office Monday, April 20, there was a wave of déjà vu – but only briefly. Even though it had been 22 years since I last entered the office as an employee of the newspaper folks in Unionland depend upon, a few facets (and people) remain the same, while so much of the technology has changed. Gone are the light tables and old Compugraphic machines that were so familiar to our then staff of 9 or 10 people  who produced the Union each week in the 1980s and early 1990s.

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