Irene North


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We are better than this

I woke up to my community in despair on Saturday. A letter to the editor in the local paper, the paper where I work at as a reporter, was causing a stir.

The letter, which many people have spread, can be seen below in the screenshot from the Scotts Bluff County Democrats. It is full of hate and ignorance. Its words make me want to leave this town, but I have spent two days thinking about where to go from here.

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Another reason to not eat Papa John’s

Let’s just get this out of the way. Papa John’s isn’t proper pizza. Neither is Pizza Hut or Domino’s, or Godfather’s. Don’t even get me started on the abomination that is Valentinos. They wouldn’t know Italian food if it smacked them in the face.

Sam and Louie’s comes close but they don’t have that great morning after taste that proper New York pizza does. Domino’s Brooklyn Style is similar to proper pizza but isn’t quite there. So, until there is a Star Trek transporter that can get me to the Caldor Plaza so I can pick up some Colandrea Pizza, I rarely eat pizza out here in the hinterlands of western Nebraska.

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There are no “signs of the times” and the world is not ending

Far too many people are caught up in speculation about the end of the world. While we are doing a good job at ignoring actual climate change, the hurricanes currently ravaging parts of Earth are not the end of the world, nor do they have anything to do with Jesus Christ, the book of Revelation, or any other such nonsense. Yet, in a letter to the editor to the Star-Herald, a reader thinks that is exactly what is happening.

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The value of the written word

Every year, thousands of libraries across the nation celebrate Banned Books Week. The week highlights books that have been challenged in some way because someone didn’t like the content within. They feel compelled to make sure no one else can discover the stories within its pages solely because they did not like the content.

This year, the top ten books on the American Library Association’s list have been challenged for a variety of reasons, including, profanity. They all have been challenged due to something LGBT related.

Halfway around the world, most people have probably never heard of Banned books week, but they know the value of knowledge. Last week, ABC News in Australia reported that thousands of books from the Mosul university library were rescued after Daesh destroyed the library.

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The day we bought into the fear

At the World Trade Center memorial in New York City, roses of different colors are placed in a person’s name each year on their birthday.

In the 1980s and 1990s, whenever you went to the airport, your family and friends went with you to the gate. They would embarrass you with hugs and kisses before you began your journey down the gangway and into the plane.

The cockpit door was sometimes open. People could drop in on long flights and get a quick tour. I once watched the sun rise from the cockpit.

Then, on September 11, 2001, everything changed. We gave into the fear of an attack on our country.

On a bright, sunny morning when President George W. Bush told us “you’re either with us or you’re against us,” I knew our fate was sealed. In that moment, I became “against us.”

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