Penner a hit at HHS reunion

For a while on Thurs?day last week I thought I had established residency in Chicago O?Hare airport.

What I thought would be a routine trip ended up in a cancelled connecting flight plus one delay after another. I ended up reaching my destination 10 hours later than planned. The airline blamed it on the weather but I have a sneaking suspicion the flight wasn?t full and it served them better to herd us all onto a later flight that was full.

As it turned out, I could have driven it in less time, but then I would have to had drive home. The return trip came off without a hitch and I was home in five hours door to door. Unlike the 16 hours it took to get there.

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The biggest hit at the HHS?All-School Reunion May 26 was Lynn Penner. As part of the program, he and Paul Jantzen were recognized for their 30-plus years of service to the district.

When handed the microphone, Penner asked everyone to stand up and stretch and clap their hands since the crowd had been sitting for a long while. When that was over he said he told his daughter, Linda, that he would receive a standing ovation that night. He brought the house down with that maneuver.

When Clint Seibel was recognizing PJ?how he was fondly known by all of his students?we heard that PJ was very wise because he trained his own cardiologist and his own dentist.

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We are elated that Tabor grad David Vogel is on board at the Free Press. He happens to be my second cousin once-removed but that had nothing to do with his being hired.

We recognized early on, seventh grade to be exact, that this boy had talent. In addition to writing his ?Don?t Ask Why? column he has interned with us and taken independent study while a student at Tabor.

His talents are many and we have already seen them in action. If you?re asking why he is here?that?s why.

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Warren Buffet bought 63 newspapers and zero shares in Facebook IPO stock.

But he didn?t buy just any old newspapers. The ones that gained his interest were the ones who were all about community, and not the big dailies, which are struggling. He believes there is a future in community journalism and so do we.

He is betting on demand for strictly local news, which the papers he bought can provide.

He also drove a hard bargain to obtain the papers from Media General, which is still heavily in debt on its remaining newspaper and TV holdings.

Buffet loaned them $400 million to refinance their remaining debt at 10.5 percent interest and they took a discount on the debt. They received $354 million but will still owe the $400 million, so Buffet makes out with about 14 percent yield. And the debt is secured by Media General?s remaining properties, so if they default Buffet gets everything.

I think this is a similar type of operating method that Bain Capital employed. You won?t read or hear that this is wrong in any of the media, however.

The reason he didn?t buy Facebook stock? It was overpriced; he left it to the common man to get burned on that deal.

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My new favorite food is now mustard. I can eat all I want because there are no calories, no cholesterol, not much of anything except a touch of sodium.

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@hillsborofreepress.com.

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