Fourth of July a uniquely American celebration

Posted June 25, 2014 at 9:46 pm

By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

Here comes Independence Day, and I think we all ought to take a moment to recall our second president, John Adams, who was so annoyed with the July 4 date that he absolutely refused to take part in any celebrations.

The Constitution, he argued, was actually signed on July 2, and that, as far as Adams was concerned, was the correct birthday of the country. It took a few days to wrap up some minor details and have the document printed; hence the July 4 date. Sure, it’s always the printer’s fault.

Our forefathers knew how to party. Prior to the revolution, they celebrated

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    Teen on quest to help the hungry

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Readers often tell me this corner of the paper is the most read, so pardon me while I use it for my own devious ends.

    In Ontario, we are in need of a few items for the educational exhibits at the Palen Park renovation. One is a pine cookie that is a slice of white pine, 2-4 inches thick off a stump or the butt end

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    Country life gives close-up view of nature's inequities

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Living in the country is hard on us softies. The flat cat on the highway, the alfalfa field that froze out, the death of a favorite tree all occur with enough regularity to make one feel that living on the 10th floor of a high rise must surely spare a person from the inequities of mother nature.

    This was not an easy

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    Visitors remind us of region's beauty

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    ‘Tis the season for road trips, at least for some people. I like a good road trip myself, but it’s almost as fun watching the swarms of people passing through Ontario on a summer weekend. Like bugs on a windshield, there are too many to count. Most days a person could shoot a cannon down Main Street and not hit anyone, but come the golden days of summer,

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    Is Post Office declining by design?

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    It is an improvement. A few months ago, the County Line disappeared into the USPS black hole for two weeks. This time it was for only five days. It would be nice if we could print each newspaper with little legs so that each one of them could walk from Sparta to your home. Surely there is no town in the 546 zip code that could not be reached in five days by an able-bodied person or a newspaper with legs.

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    Local government goes beyond the mundane

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Pity the poor headline writer thrashing about for a catchy phrase that would draw the reader into a story that, at its core, is just plain dull. Board meetings are often like that. Most months consist of necessary but tedious housekeeping duties. Sewer plant issues, street repairs and barking dogs all must be dealt with, but they hardly make headlines that grab attention. At times, I could cap the story with “Board

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    State report offers insights on rural life

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    I was killing time the other day, reading customer reviews of local hotels on the Web, when I came across several that made me chuckle. In every instance, the writer was simply appalled at the offerings available to a visitor to a small town. And they weren’t even in Ontario or Kendall; they were in Tomah and Sparta. They may be urban centers of sorts for us, but to these writers, towns of that size were beneath contempt. Without exception, they said they would never return.

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    Wisconsin GOP needs to review history of secession attempts

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Those darn Republicans: They certainly know how to ruin journalists’ dreams. Last week at their state convention, they voted down a resolution to retain the right to secede from the United States under “extreme circumstances.” Then, to add insult to injury, they also rejected the part of the resolution calling for the state to nullify federal law and possibly even arrest federal employees attempting to enforce the law.

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    Dog's Kickapoo River misadventure ends in happy reunion

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    At my house, the forsythia has burst into bloom, and under the birdfeeder, a Baltimore oriole has been frantically scratching through the sunflower hulls in search of a tasty bug. Orioles are not keen on birdseed, much preferring lunch that is fresh on the hoof. Though, considering their love for grape jelly or oranges, it’s surprising they aren’t all diabetic. But if you flapped your wings all of the way from Central America and weighed just a bit over 1 ounce, you

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    Rural crime appears to be on the rise

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Here at the County Line, we have accumulated quite an archive of local history. Folks clean out the attic, bundle up the stuff that is hogging space but is too good for the landfill, and deposit it here. And we also have stuff that I collect all on my own: old newspaper clippings, photographs, bits of memorabilia I find at auctions (why did I buy that?) — well, you know how it

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