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Crazy election season in Kansas -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

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Labor Day -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

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Senate campaign -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

Right to be heard? -8/26/2014, 10:08 AM

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An obvious ploy -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

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Business climate of Kansas -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

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Festering wound -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

Big banks settling -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

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College textbook scam -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

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Ferguson police arrest reporters for reporting -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Don't 'got milk' -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Another road map to success? -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

It's the abuse of power, stupid -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

Riots in Ferguson, and what they mean -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

One of billions -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

The GOP presents: Barack-nado -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Media and Missouri: What's going on? -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Answer the bell -8/15/2014, 8:58 AM

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'Poor door' -- a symbol of a truth we all know -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

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The slacker congress -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

CIA vs. Senate -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

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The debate is over -8/11/2014, 8:54 AM

The 'Almost' Revolution -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Is cross a history lesson or state religion? -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Another downgrade -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

State economy plays critical role in the future of FHSU -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Building on past successes for a stronger future -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Will Palin's channel rival Comedy Central? -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Western anti-Semitism -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Patrolmen without borders -8/7/2014, 10:13 AM

Not a choice -8/7/2014, 10:12 AM

Ebola politics -8/7/2014, 10:12 AM

Too few voters -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

A special breed -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

A license to vote -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

Selfies in Auschwitz -- and why it's wrong -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

Election turnout -8/5/2014, 9:19 AM

Dairy's closing -8/5/2014, 9:19 AM

Concealing the Statehouse debate -8/5/2014, 9:18 AM

Beauty all around us -8/5/2014, 9:18 AM

Needing another senator -8/4/2014, 9:57 AM

Doing what he said -8/4/2014, 9:57 AM

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Do-nothing Congress -8/3/2014, 12:02 PM

Seeking the ultimate 'redress of grievances' -8/3/2014, 11:43 AM

Kansas values -8/3/2014, 11:43 AM

A candidate with morals, integrity -8/3/2014, 11:43 AM

Huelskamp deserves vote -8/3/2014, 11:42 AM

One third of 1 percent makes difference -8/3/2014, 11:42 AM

Vote for our future -8/3/2014, 11:42 AM

Reaching a limit -8/3/2014, 11:42 AM

Please stop helping us -8/1/2014, 10:57 AM

Deadly double standards -8/1/2014, 10:57 AM

Huelskamp's attention to detail -8/1/2014, 10:57 AM

Surprise, surprise, surprise -7/31/2014, 10:12 AM

Medicaid expansion a win-win for Kansas -7/31/2014, 10:12 AM

Term limits are first step -7/31/2014, 10:12 AM

Vote for what's right -7/31/2014, 10:12 AM

The next governor -7/31/2014, 10:12 AM

Shultz is the pick -7/31/2014, 10:11 AM

Eyeing the children -7/30/2014, 9:01 AM

Speak from the heart -7/30/2014, 9:01 AM

Changing attitudes -7/30/2014, 9:01 AM

Time to replace Huelskamp -7/30/2014, 9:00 AM

Water vision -7/29/2014, 9:48 AM

No longer a supporter -7/29/2014, 9:47 AM

The power of punctuation -7/29/2014, 9:47 AM

Running for the wrong bus -7/28/2014, 9:04 AM

Old Old Mexico -- Culture and content -7/28/2014, 9:03 AM

The defining issue of economic recovery -7/27/2014, 4:53 PM

In a world of sectarian violence, what can be done? -7/27/2014, 4:53 PM

Funding DHDC -7/27/2014, 1:18 PM

Endorsement for Shultz -7/25/2014, 3:28 PM

Against the wind -7/25/2014, 4:23 PM

Do blacks need favors? -7/25/2014, 4:23 PM

Vote Huelskamp out -7/25/2014, 4:23 PM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
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Trash, treasure or spare

Published on -1/9/2014, 10:03 AM

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The greatest development in American life during the 20th Century was the sanitary landfill -- while the garage sale came in a close second.

You might not realize it, but garbage and trash are mankind's greatest problems. Hence city dumps once caught most of our throw-aways before that duty was taken over by the sanitary landfill, which is, well, it's more sanitary.

Why, you might ask, am I bringing up the history of garbage? Simple. My family recently helped me move from a large house to an apartment. For several weeks, this serious question was asked: "Why did we save this?" Usually, there was no reasonable answer except we thought we "might need it." I and most of my family were revealed to be inveterate pack rats. We weren't satisfied until every attic, closet and garage was filled to running over.

Here's a sample of our thinking. "Why did we keep this coffee maker?" "Well, it has a perfectly good canister and we might break the new one." "How many of these do we already have?" "Well, probably two or three." Thus we stand convicted before the entire world as hopeless savers of junk.

Years ago, great-grandpa rode a saddle horse and pulled his buggy with a team of horses. It's a simple fact every place you find a horse you will find a barn ... and a pile of horse manure. Can you imagine how the old home town smelled then? It wasn't pretty, and it certainly wasn't sanitary.

In modern times, we sometimes hear barges filled with garbage have been denied the use of any municipal landfill. This quickly becomes a hot issue with everyone unwilling to use their landfill for the unwanted trash and no possibility of dumping it into the ocean.

But, like the man said when he was caught in the chicken house, "everything's gotta be somewhere."

Thus, we build city landfills to furnish homes for our garbage, and we even install waste disposals in our home's sewer system so we can grind part of our garbage and flush it onto the Mississippi Delta or even into the Atlantic Ocean.

And that brings us to garage sales and public auctions, which furnish semi-permanent homes for millions of garage sale bargains and keeps them suspended in a state of constant recycling.

Right here, we ought to breathe a thankful prayer to the millions of public sales which find homes for those items that are "too good to throw away." Every attic, garage and closet is stuffed to the gills with articles we think someone might use -- but only at a public auction will people pay good money for the privilege of hauling your trash away.

Darrel Miller lives near Downs in rural

Osborne County and is a retired weekly

newspaper editor.

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