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Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016
Thumbs Up to Business Stories
Lincoln project proves going green no easy task
We've watched with interest Lincoln's project to recover methane gas from the city's landfill and turn it into electricity. It seems like a good idea since the federal Clean Air Act requires the gas to be collected from a series of wells and purified anyway. The recovered methane is then sent to the Terry Bundy Generation station, where it's turned into power for Lincoln Electric System customers...
Bite the other side of the apple
Last week the McCook City Manager presented next year's budget to the Council and gave them the heads up that revenues might be a little short. His solution was to increase the property tax levy by 3 cents or so. Whoa that is biting off the wrong side of the apple. ...
Community colleges poised to play even bigger role in nation
McCook's junior college is celebrating its 90th year next week and there's plenty to celebrate, but the college has plenty to look forward to, as well. The Mid-Plains board of governors are expected to approve the purchase of four small homes in eastern McCook this week to be used for student housing, and to approve more bids for work associated with construction of an extended campus location in Valentine...
Fish mosiac
In Jun 2016, a mosaic depicting a giant fish eating one of the Egyptian Pharaoh's soldiers was found when a fifth century synagogue at Huqoq, Israel, was excavated. Archaeologists were working near the Sa of Galilee and uncovered it along with som other mosaics of biblical scenes...
Dealing with the 'Kintner Issue'
The thing that has captured the most attention in Lincoln lately is the "Kintner Issue." As I am sure most of you are aware Senator Kintner has been fined $1000 by the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission for using his state-owned laptop computer to have cybersex with a woman he friended on Facebook. ...
Keeping government accessible
Visiting with Nebraskans gives me the opportunity to hear their questions, concerns, feedback, and ideas. During my travels across the Third District this August, it has been refreshing to see how well-informed our fellow citizens are on the pressing issues facing our country, which is vital to strengthening our republic...
Good flight out, not so good back
After writing a pretty glowing column about Boutique Airlines six weeks ago, I got to try them out over the weekend and the results were mixed. The flight from McCook to Denver was pretty perfect. The co-pilot took time to explain everything to us and snacks and drinks were also available if we decided to partake. ...
Recall petition
I am carrying a petition to recall the Hitchcock County Assessor, Marlene Bedore. The reason for the recall is stated on the recall petition: The County Assessor didn't use professionally accepted mass appraisal techniques in valuing properties in Hitchcock County...
Choice of words provides insight into lawmakers' thinking
Remember when President (Bill) Clinton tried to explain away his lies about Monica Lewinsky thusly: "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is." The same type of parsing reveals some insight into lawmakers' thinking when it comes to budget discussions...
Academics, attorney general argue facts in capital punishment
The Nebraska Attorney General is taking issue with a study that concludes the state would save $14.6 million a year by doing away with the death penalty. Dr. Ernie Goss of Creighton University, who issues regular reports on the Midwest economy and does studies for a conservative think tank, said he was surprised by the results...
Kearney high school is quite a bargain
I watching the TV coverage of the wonderful new $8.4 million high school in Kearney. Quite a bargain compared to the cost of the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument, built on the south side of Kearney. Built at the turn of this century at a cost in excess of $60 million. Congratulations, Kearney...
A question for Sasse
To review a bit. Retired Senator Ben Nelson had a distinguished political career in Nebraska. In college young Ben worked for then governor Frank Morrison. Then on to a successful career in the insurance business. Eventually Ben ran for the Nebraska Legislature and was elected from a majority Republican district even though he was an unshakable Democrat. ...
Will market forces spell the end of Obamacare?
Donald Trump and other Republicans have repeatedly called for the repeal of Obamacare, but it looks like market forces might do that job for them. What isn't clear is what Republicans or Democrats will come up with to replace it. Is a Canada-style single-payer system as inevitable as many believe?...
Be careful no matter how you decide to travel
Local athletes, family and friends got together for a touching tribute run Saturday to honor Michelle Walters, tragically killed during the bicycle portion of a Boulder Ironman triathlon a week earlier. It was an appropriate way to remember a young fitness enthusiast taking part in only the latest challenge she took on with determination...
Partisans and Technocrats
An acquaintance recently informed me that the opinions of a certain news source were "rather partisan ..." But every opinion is partisan -- including those we hold to be "fair and balanced" -- which is why I quit buying the devious brand of discourse pushed by our ministry of propaganda, mistakenly named the American free press...
The legacy of unions
The emerging power and influence of unions during the mid-twentieth century was a boon for workers and allowed them to finally work their way up to the middle class. Unions had the power to negotiate contracts with management and, because of the strength of numbers in unions, many obviously spoke much louder than one. Before unions, individuals had to negotiate themselves with management and management usually held most of the cards...
The legacy of unions
The emerging power and influence of unions during the mid-twentieth century was a boon for workers and allowed them to finally work their way up to the middle class. Unions had the power to negotiate contracts with management and, because of the strength of numbers in unions, many obviously spoke much louder than one. Before unions, individuals had to negotiate themselves with management and management usually held most of the cards...
Social media plays into hands of those who seek attention
"He'd like us to mention his name," the late radio commentator Paul Harvey used to say, while reporting on someone who committed a mass murder or some other atrocity in an effort to gain notoriety. "We won't" was always his next sentence. The attraction of fame for warped minds has only grown stronger with the growth of social media in the years since Harvey's death...
Tough laws don't tell complete story on drunk driving
Nebraska is pretty tough on drunk driving, according to a WalletHub analysis, but the available numbers don't tell the whole story. Drunk driving results in more than a million arrests, nearly 10,000 deaths and more than $40 billion in economic damage each year, and Nebraska lawmakers have responded appropriately...
A family reunion and other observations
Ah ha the Trail clan did a bit for the local economy this past weekend. Motel rooms rented 13. Meals out a bunch. Ordered lots of fried chicken, roasting ears, snacks, and even made a late evening run on the ice-cream emporium. Good time. Your columnist got chided a bit by an "easterner" who spied the sign on the outskirts of the city pointing to "Ben Nelson McCook Regional Airport". "Isn't that embarrassing? asked Pete. "How did that happen?"...
Farmers markets win-win for state, local communities
Americans enjoy some of the cheapest and most abundant varieties of food in the world. Some question the production methods that are used to provide that abundance, however, and a GMO labeling bill recently signed by President Obama is controversial because it allegedly overrides state laws requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods...
Festival, concert work together for worthy local goals
Barnett Park was revived as a great events venue with Sunday night's Hear Nebraska/Good Living Tour/Prairie Roots Festival, when the stars aligned just right for what should be the first of a successful series of community gatherings. This one differed from other traditional events in that it was initiated and carried out by young people who have the most to gain and the most responsibility for providing nourishment for community growth...
Our faulty memories
It's been said that we are a story our brain tells itself. And our brains are habitual liars. We feel like the most compelling thing we can tell someone else is that we know what we saw. And those who are experts on the functioning of the brain say no you don't. You have a distorted and constructed memory of a distorted and constructed perception, both of which are subservient to whatever narrative your brain is operating under...
Time for a third party in America? Perhaps, says poll
With Donald Trump's runaway mouth and Hillary Clinton's character questions, the future isn't looking good for America's two-party system, let alone the country's fate in general. A new GenForward Poll at the University of Chicago is bad news for both parties, regardless of demographics...
Sacagawea, Merriwether Lewis and 19th century intrique
Dear Editor, A special one-dollar gold coin was produced by the U.S. mint in 2000. It had Sacagawea and her baby son on it. I bought a beautiful pendant with that coin and put it on a gold chain. When I wear it, I think of Sacagawea and Merriwether Lewis, who was born in 1774 in Albermarle, Va...