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Rich Paulsen - What’s Up

Get ready for Valentine’s Day tomorrow

Friday is Valentine’s Day. Of course, it will be a big night out on the town. I would bet most restaurants have good crowds. The National Retail Federation says that the folks in the USA will spend $27.4 billion this Valentine’s Day which is 32% more than in 2019. The overall great economy is the main reason why spending is up. Fifty-five percent of the people in the U.S. celebrate Valentine’s Day. Each celebrant will spend an average of $196.31. The top five gifts in order are candy, greeting cards, an evening out, flowers and jewelry. My wife gets an evening out and flowers. So Happy Valentine’s Day!


I read where the Oscars show that was on last Sunday night had the lowest number of viewers ever for the show. It was even down 20% from last year. I think most people are tired of the stars thinking they are smarter than the rest of us. Plus, they should try to stick to acting instead of politics. Plus, the show has gotten just down right boring!

Household debt

For the first time ever, household debt has passed $14 trillion. People just keep spending more and more. According to Northwestern Mutual 31% of retirees have less than $5,000 in their retirement accounts. People are spending more and saving less. That’s not a good combination.

Australia fires

A few years back the local Rotary club hosted a group of Australians for a week here in Creston. I got a note from one of the Australian members telling me that the press has mislabeled the fires over there. They are mainly taking place on the Eastern Coast and Kangaroo Island, not over the whole country. He points out most of Australia is sandy...of course, that doesn’t burn very well. The biggest loss was with the koalas who were trapped in many of the burning trees. The end of summer rains are helping out the cause at this point to put out most of the remaining fires.

John Lucas of the Australian Rotary group will be coming back to visit Iowa this summer and promises to drop by Creston again.


Saturday night is the annual Creston Parks and Rec’s comedy night and dinner, just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend. There are still a few tickets left for the event. You can get them here at the newspaper office. It is always a fun event and this time of year we need some laughter to fight through all the gray skies. The dinner features a smoked prime rib dinner. Treat your valentine to fun evening.

Presidents Day

Next Monday is Presidents Day. A number of businesses will not be open. There will be no mail or newspaper on Monday. So put your flag out in celebration of the day.


Today looks like it could be the coldest day of the year —a good chance to be about 30 below real-feel. At least it will be short lived with the temps back up in the 40s by Saturday. I remember last year it seemed like the below zero temps lasted for several days of “winter gloom.”

Just make sure you bundle up.


Seems like a lot of folks are suffering with the flu or a lot of kids seem to have RSV. A tough winter for sickness. Hopefully spring will get here early this year.

Thought for the week

If you want to change the way people respond to you, change the way you respond to people. Timothy Leary

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