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Lawn & Garden: Harvesting red and green tomatoes

Nothing beats the flavor of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes. Harvesting when they are fully ripe ensures the best flavor for eating fresh, cooking and preserving.

Visit your garden often and watch for the fruit to turn from green to fully colored. Then leave them on the plant for five to eight days. Vine-ripened tomatoes have the best flavor for using fresh or preserving.

One Man’s Perspective: One more thing before the fair ends

Tuesday, I outlined many reasons you should take time out of your busy life to spend some time this week with 300,000 of your closest friends. There’s food, exhibits, vendors, unique entertainment and lots of smiling faces glad you’ve decided to come out and join in the celebration of this annual event.

Letter to the Editor: Sept. 17

Saturday, Sept. 17, commemorates our U.S. Constitution and the value of citizenship with this federal holiday. In 1911, schools in the state of Iowa first recognized Constitution Day. By 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared “I am an American Day” to be held in May. In 1952, Congress changed the name to Citizenship Day and moved its date to Sept. 17.

Letter to the Editor: Dear Beth Hoffman

I am writing in regard to your guest commentary column in the Spencer Reporter dated Sept. 9.

The "trash" you write about is so commonplace at least in the countryside of Spencer. And I compare this situation to the countryside of England which I view on public broadcasting (abl). The English countryside is beautiful and clean. All equipment, etc. is housed, not one tool or whatever on their landscape.

Letter to the Editor: Dadication

I see the folks at Merriam-Webster added over 350 new words to our language recently. One I would like to see is the word "dadication.” A definition might go like this: noun, referring to the art of being a male parent to one's offspring, or that of another male. So, you could say it is word for someone who acts like/carries out the actual functions of a male role model, and all that entails.

Guest Commentary: September is National Voter Registration Month

September is National Voter Registration Month and a great time to check to make sure you are registered to vote in November. You can go to the Iowa secretary of state’s website and check if you are registered to vote here. Even if you are registered to vote you can enter your information and look up your polling location as they can change between elections.



Pastor's Column: Daily prescription for spiritual death

Some folks do not always follow the doctor’s advice. When they get a prescription for medication, they use the medicine for a while, but then, when they begin to feel better, forget to take the rest of the medication — still others refuse to follow the prescription on the bottle by deciding to take two pills instead of one. Of course, they know better! Right?

The CommStock Report: California-led prohibition

California plans to take another crack at a prohibition. This time they are going to mandate what engines power vehicles sold in their state beginning in 2026 scaling up to a full prohibition of anything other than EVs by 2035. 2034 would be the last calendar year to register a vehicle with a combustible engine meaning that only EVs can be sold thereafter. A number of states follow California's lead on regulations.

One Man’s Perspective: So much to see, so much to do

It’s here.

Back in a big way, the Clay County Fair is now four days in filled with food, entertainment, agriculture and freebies.

Outdoors: Drop-shot rigs for fall fishing success

When I think about fishing in the fall, many techniques come to mind. Jigs, crankbaits and other lures all contribute to a day’s catch much of the time. But more and more, I and many of the anglers that I share a boat with rely on a drop-shot rig to catch fish.

Drop-shot rigs were developed for bass fishing, but walleyes, pike and panfish are also likely to bite on this setup. Following are some proven tips for catching fish on a drop-shot rig.

Outdoors: Eurasian watermilfoil infestation addressed

Lots of times we have meetings to have meetings to have meetings … and nothing ever gets done. Talk about frustrating. Right now, the opposite is happening as a local task force headed by local leaders from our area lake associations, municipalities, businesses and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources have been researching what to do after the recent discovery of Eurasian watermilfoil found in East Okoboji, Upper Gar, Minnewashta and Lower Gar.

Home Country

The evening was one of those that come back to you time after time, year after long year. It comes back and whispers of how good life can be when you’re well fed, enjoying life and a good friend shares the front porch with you on a summer’s evening.

It was that way with Doc and Steve the other night. Doc thought he might have to do a scientific paper on the soporific effects of ice tea, fried chicken and corn on the cob. As long as it didn’t take any effort.

Ready Seth Go: Clean, drain, dry for the sake of your lake

I'll start by saying I've never been a boat owner.

I've barely been a boat user in my time.

Letter to the Editor: Don't be fooled by deficit hawks

Perspective and context needed when talking numbers. View the YouTube video “Man Uses Rice to Visually Represent Jeff Bezos' Net Worth.” Then remember in 2011 he claimed a $4,000 tax credit intended for families earning less than $100,000 (1 grain of rice in the video). A June 8, 2021, ProPublica Report shows the richest Americans — including Bezos, Musk and Buffett — paid federal income taxes equaling just 3.4% of $401 billion in new wealth.

Randy’s Review: ‘The Invitation’

If you discover you have an estranged English lineage, and they immediately and enthusiastically provide an all-expense paid, first-class trip across the pond to a mysterious family wedding involving people you’ve never met, proceed with caution.

Pastor's Column: The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven

Hallowed by your name,

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil,

for thine is the kingdom,the power and the glory forever.


— Matthew 6:9-13


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