September 2, 2014

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A world champion in the family
Written by Nancy Spencer   
Saturday, July 19, 2014 8:00 PM

We have a world champion in the family!

My husband has spent this week in Virginia Beach with our niece, Lotus, his sister and her husband and dozens of Dancesensations Dance Center dancers at nationals.

On Wednesday, my Lotus Leaf was named Miss Teen StarQuest, the highest StarQuest honor! She won every one of her categories and racked up the hardware and other prizes. I have to tell you, next to her parents, you couldn’t have found anyone prouder than Jay and I. He was so stoked he was actually there to see the performances that led up to this prestigious award.

We were worried when she hurt her knee last fall and had to have surgery. Sometimes even the littlest injury can end a career. She came back better, stronger and more determined than ever rise to the top and be the best. That is one little girl with her eye on the prize and her gaze never wavers.

Dreamers see dramatically different future
Written by Byron McNutt   
Saturday, July 19, 2014 8:00 PM


Every phase of your life could be subject to change in just the next 10 years as innovators tinker with the status quo … regardless of the consequences those changes might have on our lives.

In decades past, revolutionary changes may have taken five years to take hold. Today, dramatic changes can sweep the country, the world, in a matter of months.

Traditional ways of doing things can be turned upside down almost over night. This can be very disturbing and it makes many people uncomfortable. Some of the breakthroughs are life changing and totally disrupt lives.

Well, visionaries say we haven’t seen anything, yet! In the immediate future, everything is about to change again and again. Many people can’t afford to keep up.

The Wall Street Journal marked its 125th anniversary July 8 with a special section. They asked leading thinkers, innovators and artists to share their visions of where the world is headed.

We were part of something great
Written by Nancy Spencer   
Saturday, July 12, 2014 8:00 PM

I pretty much plowed through high school paying little attention to anything except what I was focused on. I know this is shocking coming from a teenager. However, I still hold a special place in my heart for band. Yes, I was a band geek and given the opportunity, I would probably be one now, too.

My sister played in the band and I can remember her bringing her instrument home and practicing and at the time, I wanted to do everything my sister did. I’m sure she was thrilled most of the time. So when the clarinet came home with me in the fifth grade, I don’t think anyone was surprised. Well, maybe the dog. There was quite a bit of howling and ducking for cover until I stopped squeaking and squawking.

I love music of all kinds and I really enjoyed learning to play my humble wind instrument. There was quite a feeling of accomplishment when I could play my scales and that first simple song correctly. A few sighs of relief were also heard I’m sure and the dog emerged from under the couch.

Cantor’s swan song
Written by Kathleen Parker   
Saturday, July 12, 2014 8:00 PM



WASHINGTON — About that stunning defeat.

Conventional Wisdom, that self-righteous propagandist, has it that Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s trouncing by an academic, tea-sipping nobody marks the end of the GOP establishment.

The tea party candidate crushed Cantor, they say. The old-guard Republican Party is toast! It’s over. Finito.

And those were the Democrats talking.

Funny thing is, the tea party folks had been saying more or less the same thing, for exactly the same reason. It fit the narrative that served both groups. The tea party was losing its power to overthrow the titans. Witness the primary victories of a couple of old-timer targets, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell.

The Democratic Party was losing its narrative that the tea party wacko-birds control the GOP.

Thus, Dave Brat, the Republican nominee for Cantor’s seat, was a gift from Google. Or God. But I repeat myself. The narrative is back, baby!

In the nation’s capital, the mourning for Cantor was over faster than a Rick Perry gay fundraiser. It is an awesome day — or something — when Nancy Pelosi and Ted Cruz are grinning about the same state of affairs. You don’t know whether to signal Scotty to beam you up or whistle for Toto.

Basic education for all pilots
Written by Byron McNutt   
Saturday, July 12, 2014 8:00 PM


The Eagle River Airport is a valuable asset for the greater Vilas County area. The daily airplane traffic and the number of hangars you find on the grounds tells us of its importance to the area’s economy.

The following “20 rules for flight” actually came from people at the Tomahawk Regional Airport. I’d guess anyone with a pilot’s license has seen this list and can attest to their validity.

1. Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory.

2. If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller. That is, unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back, then they get bigger again.

3. Flying is not dangerous. Crashing is what’s dangerous.

4. It’s always better to be down here wishing you were up there rather than up there wishing you were down here.

5. The only time you can have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.

6. The propeller is just a big fan in front of the plane which is used to keep the pilot cool. When it stops you can actually see the pilot sweating.

7. When in doubt hold on to your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky.

8. A good landing is one from which you can walk away. A great landing is one after which you can use the plane again.

9. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make all of them yourself.

10. You know you’ve landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp.

11. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small likelihood of survival, and vice versa.

12. Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane going in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains tend to hide out in clouds.

13. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of takeoffs you’ve made.

14. You start out with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag with experience before you empty the bag of luck.

15. Helicopters can’t actually fly. They’re just so darned ugly that the earth repels them.

16. It’s always a good idea to keep the pointy end going forward as much as possible.

17. Keep looking around. There’s always something you’ve missed. Why are there no parachutes or flotation vests?

18. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are!

19. In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminum going hundreds of miles an hour and the ground going zero miles an hour, the ground has yet to lose.

20. Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It’s the law.