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Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Thumbs Up to Business Stories
Voting YES is a no-brainer
In an Open Forum letter in Monday's Gazette, Dick Trail advised the good people of McCook to vote against the Amendment to the Economic Development Program question which will appear on the Tuesday, May 10, Primary Election ballot. As I read through Dick's letter, I noticed one glaring omission. ...
Audit throws spotlight on state tourism expenditures
Our current slogan is "Visit Nebraska. Visit Nice." but the Nebraska Tourism Commission is not so sure some of the agency's spending is "nice." Meeting in one of the state's top attractions, the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, the commission went into a closed session Tuesday after reviewing an audit that disclosed a number of questionable expenses...
Starve the beast
Vote NO on changing the sales tax allocation. Let the City Council continue to fund economic development by budget item as they do now and as the County, which doesn't collect sales tax, has to do. Instead how about becoming more efficient in local government? An example: When I was commissioner the population of Red Willow County was some 12,800 people. The latest estimate is 10,867 (for year 2014) and we are the primary source to pay the present city sales tax...
Vote for economic development plan
Last year, McCook voters approved extending the city's quarter-cent sales tax for economic development for several more years. But in order for those funds to be used to support economic development -- job creation, infrastructure, housing, etc. -- voters must give the City Council approval...
McCook has long history of public-private development efforts
A posting on the popular Facebook page, "Remember When in McCook, Nebraska" shows that economic development has been part of our town since the beginning. "How We Build a New City In The Far West and Offer Rare Chances for the Artisan, Tradesman & Speculator" reads the headline on a notice in the McCook Weekly Tribune of Jan. 31, 1884...
Plenty of good reasons to plant a tree on Arbor Day
Trees were a rare commodity in the early days of Nebraska, a situation J. Sterling Morton sought to rectify through his efforts in Nebraska City, planting many rare varieties and heirloom apple trees around his 52-room mansion styled after the White House, now in Arbor Lodge State Historical Park...
Vote for future
In 2008, voters in McCook authorized a local quarter-cent salex tax to be used for economic development. The program has been a terrific success -- helping to attract new businesses and helping to grow existing businensses. The success can be measured in the relatively stable population and number of jobs in McCook as other rural counties in Nebraska face population and job loss...
Vote for growth
Vote for growth Dear Editor, Our people and good jobs are the lifeblood of McCook. I believe we have strong community leadership and many unsung heroes who volunteer their time with local civic organizations and our schools. Area jobs help drive the local, regional and state's economies...
Bison assuming rightful place as American symbol
The suggestion by East Coast scholars Frank and Deborah Popper that the Plains be turned back into a "Buffalo Commons" raised the hackles of Southwest Nebraska residents, to the point that an annual event was named the Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival in defiance...
Voters face important decision on future of McCook
Voting against the economic development program on the May 10 ballot won't lower city sales taxes, but neither will it spell the end of economic development. In 2015, voters approved combining and extending the 11⁄2-cent sales tax until 2033, but voted against continued funding of the McCook Economic Development Program...
Homestyle Christianity
Did you notice? McCook, at the Fairground's Kiplinger Arena, was privileged to host some 400+ entries for a Nebraska High School Rodeo event this last weekend. Hundreds of high school age boys and girl from across the state plus horses, parents, grandparents and fans converged on our good facilities...
Dead Sea Scrolls shed light on Old, New Testaments
In 1995, I was able to visit the Dead Sea. It is located in Israel's Jordan River Valley. Water in it is much saltier than the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Countless chemical compounds bubble up in it from deep inside the earth. While I was thee, I tried to picture what it was like in 1947, when a young Bedouin (Arab) goatherder was searching for a goat. (It had strayed from the herd.)...
Firearm education needed
Playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians used to be a harmless part of growing up in America. Not any more. It's not just because of political correctness, where a child can be suspended for chewing a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun, or the post-Columbine or Sandy Hook Elementary world...
High court decision could make LB947 irrelevant
The offices of every senator in the State Capitol received more letters, emails, and phone calls about LB 947 than on almost any other bill this session. After it was vetoed by Governor Ricketts on the 15th, it was debated once more on the legislative floor on April 20th. The bill was advanced on a vote of 31 to 13 with five not voting. I was "present, not voting" on the override of the governor's veto...
More of us convinced politics, public talk increasingly rude
If you feel like political discourse has degenerated to the level of a playground argument, you're not alone. That's especially true in the Republican race, where nothing has been out of bounds, to the appearance of candidates' wives to the size of a candidate's hands or genitalia or a moderator's menstrual cycle...
Red Willow County court records in the 1800s
Well, it's good to be home again and on solid ground, not climbing over 3000' in a RZR up the Moab rocks. Personal opinion: The area around Moab, Utah, is breathtakingly beautiful, with huge canyons (hence the name "Canyonlands"), stunning rock formations and winding expanses of the Colorado River. Riding an UTV up the rocks is one of the "glad I did it; don't need to do it again" experiences of my life...
The MCC honors convocation
On Thursday, April 21st, McCook Community College held its annual Honors Convocation which was started six years ago. It is designed to honor students at our college who have excelled academically, in service to the college or the community or both. ...
Civil forfeiture law helps keep authorities honest
Cops and courts are there to keep the rest of us honest, but who keeps them in line? In this case, it's the Nebraska Legislature, which passed LB 1106, and Gov. Pete Ricketts, who signed the bill Tuesday to reduce the opportunity for abuse of due process and private property rights through civil forfeiture...
Towns coast-to-coast banking on 2017 solar eclipse
Montana is the "Big Sky Country," but Nebraskans enjoy a big sky of their own, uncluttered by mountains or clouded by city lights over much of the state. That's one of the reasons we've enjoyed bringing you Vernon Whetstone's "What's Up?" column every Wednesday, pointing out the beautiful and interesting details of the night sky...
Mid-Plains system ranks high in use of technology
Sometimes smaller is better. That's especially true when it comes time to adapting to changing technology. The Mid Plains Community College system is proving that, according to the Center for Digital Education's annual survey. The survey, now in its 11th year, analyzes how community colleges improve services through innovative technology such as online courses and mobile environments, mobile apps, secure platforms and wireless networks...
'Infrastructure bank' has statewide, local potential
Red Willow County doesn't have any bridges in dire need of repair, and a four-lane highway from McCook to North Platte isn't in the plan, but a bill signed by Gov. Pete Ricketts paves the way for those types of improvements elsewhere in the state. LB960 creates an "infrastructure bank" to provide a framework for infrastructure improvement that should be considered for similar efforts at all levels of government...
Wednesday saved for vetoes
Wednesday saved for vetoes Last week was the beginning of the end of the 104th session of the Nebraska Legislature. Tuesday and Wednesday were the 58th and 59th days of this 60 day session, and Wednesday the 20th is the 60th day -- reserved for voting on veto overrides after the office of the governor is given the required 5 days, excluding Sundays. Several bills had a lot of attention on them in that short week...
Guardians of 'correct'
Shakespeare's exact line "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers,'" was stated by Dick the Butcher in "Henry VI," Part II, act IV, Scene II, Line 73." Every once in awhile, I get reminded that Shakespeare was right on. The bard was commenting about an unscrupulous leader, Henry the 6th of his time, but it still may ring true for the politicians of today...
The remarkable Teddy Roosevelt, Part 2
Note: We are pleased to announce that on Wednesday, April 20th President Theodore Roosevelt, in the person of Joe Wiegand, the full-time impersonator of our 26th President, will appear in McCook at the Biéroc Café for an evening of "Pizza with the President." The event, partially sponsored by McCook College and the Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival, will begin with "Happy Hour" at 6 p.m., with a meal of variety pizza, salads, drinks and dessert, followed by the performance of Mr. ...
Gentle rain, yes, but Mother Nature is still in control
McCook's Barnett Park was still closed today because of heavy rainfall over the weekend, but a drive down South Street offers just a taste of the view that greeted residents during the infamous 1935 Republican River flood. That disaster's not likely to be repeated, thanks dams along the river and modern communications, but that doesn't mean Mother Nature is no longer capable of flexing her muscles...