Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Should We Have To Pay To Visit Our Museums?

Last Thursday’s Alliance Times-Herald reported on a public discussion concerning the idea that the city should charge for entry to Sallow’s Military Museum and the Knight Museum & Sandhills Center.

Now I haven’t researched any annual visitor reports, I don’t know all the costs involved and I wasn’t able to attend the public meeting last week.  So initially, my lack of knowledge caused me to hesitate before sharing my opinion.
I thought about calling Becci at the Knight Museum or Ted at Sallows, to ask them a few questions and get a feel for what they thought about the idea of an entrance fee.  Then I could reread our article and talk to the reporter covering the story.  I might even be able to contact the city and get some more information from them.  Surely my available resources would allow me to present a more intelligent and informed opinion. 

Well, not only do I not have time to do all that, but I’ve also come to realize that an opinion doesn’t always have to be so qualified.  People don’t have to be experts to take part in a discussion.  Often a raw, gut feeling is just as important as a deep analysis or a politically correct speech.  After a long election season, I’ve had more than my fill of that.  And after all, I’m not trying to convince anyone to agree with me.  I’m simply sharing my thoughts with the hope that others might be inspired to form their own opinions.  Perhaps some will get involved by writing a letter to the editor, commenting on the blog or even by calling one of the museums to let them know how they feel.  And maybe, just maybe, we can limit the number of people that don’t say a word until it’s time to complain. 

So, here’s the first thoughts that crossed my mind when I heard about this possibility months ago and when I read our article last week.

Our citizens have put their blood, sweat, tears and hearts into creating and maintaining these wonderful museums for years.  Volunteers have given thousands of hours to help defer the costs and keep these facilities beautiful and inviting.  Every family has paid taxes for years to help build and maintain these museums.  Hundreds of fundraisers have been held and countless donations have been accepted.  And now, after all the money, all the hard work and all the sacrifice, we may have to pay to walk in the doors.

How would this affect our lower-income families?  How hard would it be for parents to say no to their kids when they want to enjoy our museums like the other kids?  And, what about the tourists we try so hard to attract?  One of the reasons we built these facilities was to show pride in our town and our people.  Do we really want to charge visitors to experience our pride? 

What if it was determined that the parks cost too much to water?  Would we need an annual park sticker?  What if our library needed a new roof?  Would we suddenly be charged a nickel to checkout a book?  What if our fountain was in need of repair?  Would tossing coins in the water no longer be a spontaneous gesture, but a required action to help pay for repairs? 

Probably not, considering these treasured amenities have been built and continue to be maintained by the community through our taxes, our fundraising efforts and our diligent, self-sacrificing army of volunteers.

Surely there are other places the city could cut back or other ways we can fund these facilities.

Your turn!  On November 18th, Museum Director Becci Thomas will present information regarding this idea to the City Council.  To have your ideas heard and/or opinions considered, contact Sallows Military Museum at 762-2385, the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center at 762-2384 or email

Have a great week and be sure to visit your local museums – and donate if you can!

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Letter From A Local Veteran

To all may fellow Vet’s and their Spouses:

I just want to say thanks for all you have done. I wish I could attend the annual Alliance Public Schools Salute to Veterans program that will take place Sunday, November 7 at 2 p.m. at the Alliance High Gym, but I have to work. My thoughts will be with you on this special day and I pray that all people in a America will do the same were ever they are.

And for all who might not really approve of the current world situation - it is your right as an American to do so, but remember you had a Father/Mother, Grandparents, etc. that did serve the country proudly to make the USA the best place in the world to live in for all for us.

Thanks again!

BM1 (SW) John M. Murphy
US Navy Ret. 1983-2004

No Time To Waste

Submitted by Sue Murphy

I was introduced to this site and was fascinated with voices speaking to real feelings related to Alliance. Even though I have tried I feel isolated living here. I grew up in the area and left,but decided this was where I wanted to raise my child, build a life, and retire with my husband and just be content. I have those memories of opportunities of being elsewhere but I am here and now. Tell me what you love about our community. Share with me what makes this town tic. Help me to redefine my gut instinct to move back. I have met amazing people here. They aren't only friendly they are intelligent, gifted, hard working people. I am going to begin today by telling myself and those I meet in my travel's that I live in the best kept secret in America. Will you help me see, feel and truly believe that? My time is valuable I don't want to waste anymore time looking for somewhere else. Sue

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Policy

Due to the overwhelming amount of potentially libelous comments on the blog, we have decided to require that people include their names with their comments.  We understand that this will reduce the comments to near zero, but we feel this policy is in everyone's best interest.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Press Release from City of Alliance

City Calls In State To Investigate Finance Department: Staff of the City of Alliance, have discovered irregularities in the Finance Department. On Friday, October 22, 2010, the Interim City Manager, with the approval of the City Council, requested the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office to authorize the Nebraska State Patrol to investigate the irregularities including charges on a City credit card.  Assistance of the Nebraska State Auditor’s Office was requested to review City financial records.  Employees of the Nebraska State Patrol and the Nebraska State Auditor’s Office were in Alliance to begin their investigation.  The City of Alliance has no further comment until the investigations are complete.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What Do You Want To See In The ATH?

After you vote in the poll to the left, feel free to comment here about options not in the poll or expand on options in the poll.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Vendor Permits, Licensing, And Occupational Tax Codes

Excerpts from an article by DENICE ABY, Times-Herald Writer

ALLIANCE — Residents of Alliance often see vendors set up at various places who sell all manner of goods, including fruit and vegetables, clothing, jewelry, and household goods or furnishings.
The Alliance Municipal Code outlines specific regulations in regard to the buying, selling and distribution of goods and services, to a large extent outlining specific fees charged to peddlers and solicitors, and states that the administration of an occupation tax is to be levied on these certain merchants.
While the code has specific definitions of the terms peddler and solicitor, it does not specifically define the term “transient merchant,” and it includes exemptions for buying, selling, or soliciting of goods by cooperation associations, religious and charitable purposes, and the sales of goods or services to established merchants, or the sale of farm or garden products, or manufactured articles, grown or raised in Nebraska.

For the complete story, read the October 16, 2010 Alliance Times-Herald.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

From "Have An Idea For A Topic"

Anonymous said...

I have been contemplating two titles for a piece: Asleep Behind the Wheel or Polite Politics. It really is driven by recent experiences with three women close to me totally opposite yet common in the approach they take with current event's. My closest confidant is always saying "Well what are you really going to do about it anyway?" Second says "all you can really do is pray about it." Third person's approach to issue's is censorship "I find the news depressing so we only watch select documentary's and uplifting movies, we don't watch the news." I want to laugh and cry at the same time. It is their choice but from my perspective I function on getting through life being informed and having a plan, a goal, I have always used survival skills to get to where I am now. Not entitlement programs. The point of these titles are pushed by what my child was coming home telling me about conversations in class among teacher's and peers. A child in college who announced her political affiliation who can vote and has no idea what her party is doing or stands for. She didn't know that Snoopy, felon's, and deceased voted in the last election. And defiantly could care less. I am passionate about where our country is going because I have children. What is their lives going to be, will they find work? Why do I as a parent have to pay for my child's healthcare until they are 26. (Shake my head, eye roll, and laugh- is this responsible?) I have a parent who told me 7 years ago "well changes in Social Security aren't going to affect me." It is now because second year no cost of living increase and she is hurting, the decision whether to eat or put gas in her car. Question? If Jay Leno showed up in town doing the 'Jay Walk' would we as a community be able to answer mundane political questions correctly? What do you think?

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Ideal Newspaper!

Describe here what your ideal Alliance Times-Herald would look like.  What would it include?  What would it not include?  How about the layout?  The design?  You can even talk about distribution and cost. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

School Board Request City To Forgive Building Fees On New Building

From "Have An Idea For A Topic", Anonymous said...
The School Board asking the City of Alliance to forgive the building fees for the new performing arts center should be a topic of discussion. I am all for the performing arts center, but disagree with asking others to forgive legitimate fees. What benefits are there for the city to forgive its fees?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

From our "Ask Questions Here!" section

Anonymous said...
I am so curious as to why our "Alliance Times Herald" does NOT even put a score of our Jr./Varsity or Freshman Volleyball games in the paper, little lone their own article of their game? They are in high school and work hard to get nothing at all from our LOCAL news! I've noticed our area newspapers even put articles of their middle school sports events..We do have a sports page and I feel when there is local sports going on in town, they should all get some recognition.
Anonymous said...
I often wonder that too. There are always sports going on locally but they choose to put in a bunch of national stuff. I would rather see more local. It would probably boost paper sales too!! Especially with pictures. I have to say sometimes they do a really really good job and then other times it's like why??
Steve Stackenwalt, GM-ATH said...
Thank you for commenting about our sports coverage. Because we are a small daily newspaper, we are only able to afford one full-time sports reporter. This reporter must cover six fall varsity teams with all their games, meets and matches, keep on top of the regional college sports teams, go through the national sports news, photograph and layout the sports pages. We do our best to report the scores, publish some photos and write some stories for the JV, Freshman, Middle School and St. Agnes, but with multiple sports for each of those, that adds another 20 plus teams to follow. It just isn't possible. Most of the coverage you desire is left to the coaches of those teams and unfortunately, they aren't all great about getting us information. This is something we will work on though. And we will continue to try even harder to cover more of what our readers want to see. If parents or other spectators wish to forward photos and/or scores, we would be happy to consider them for publication. Thanks again for commenting!

Friday, July 9, 2010

From "Have An Idea For A Topic?"

Anonymous said...  
What do the people of Alliance think about the City choosing not to spray for mosquito?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Face Lift or Good Education?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Performing Arts Building Proposed For High School": 

Thursday, June 17th, 7 pm. at High School Library meeting for public regarding new addition to High School!!!! I don't have to work so I am going to find the courage to put a face among the crowd. I want to hear both sides even though I am skeptical. I hope low performance of the school is brought up. I want to know how this 6 million dollar face lift is going to promote higher learning. Reading "basic fundamental skill" needed to aid our children in ALL academics in the toilet 3 years in a row. Next year math evaluation results become public. I need to be a parent asking where the money is for actual learning in the current system. Which is more important here? I don't know what I will do if I hear deflection such as results weren't evaluated fairly. Our children are required to take responsibility for their actions and are graded by performance...NO EXCUSES!!! Alliance Middle School and High School are on this list because 75 percent of our kid's are under performing on state assessment tests. Please make this a priority! A Face Lift is great if you can afford it but a GOOD EDUCATION last's longer. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Citywide Ban On Plastic Bags?

D. Middleton has left a new comment on your post "Have An Idea For A Topic?":

This is for a post a comment. I take a lot of pride that Alliance citizens are enthusiastic about protecting and conserving the beautiful city/state in which we live. I think another step forward in that conservation is discontinuing the use of plastic bags by retailers. I already see a huge amount of people bringing their own bags into stores. I think the ease of use of reusable bags will continue to make plastic bags obsolete. I know everyone hates to see these plastic bags blowing in the wind, hanging in trees and taking up space in their utility closet. A citywide ban would would be a tremendous step forward in eliminating waste in our community. Kudos to everyone who recycles these bags, but couldn't we take it a step further and set an example for other communities by eliminating them altogether?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Medical Facility Questions Clarified.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Alliance Found "ABOVE AVERAGE," but What About the...":

I am the person who on May 26th was questioning the medical facilities at BBGH. It seems that maybe my question was misunderstood. I realize that the billing department in hospitals has to be questioned from time to time. I live in Colorado and unfortunately on many occasions have had the misfortune of having been a patient at a various number of hospitals. I know that you have to be accurately aware of your billing.. You have to go over your billing (from every dept.) with a fine tooth comb to make sure you are not being over-billed. Sadly in most cases we have to fight with the hospital and the insurance company. But That is really not the question I was asking. Here is the real problem I am wrestling with. As a senior citizen with a few medical problems what would my options be If I were to have a heart attack? If I had cancer and needed extensive treatments? Or any other medical emergency that BBGH could not take care of? I do not want under any time to cast any doubts on the medical shortcomings of any hospital. My only concern is that Alliance is a small town and I certainly would like to know what my options for the best medical care would be and the added financial burden to my family if I had to be treated in a bigger facility such as in Denver or Lincoln or Omaha. As a kid and a young adult growing up in a small town these questions were mute because as you all know we never think we are going to get sick or have some catastrophic illness. But as we get older the first questions we start asking ourselves is where can we get the best medical help. Now I realize that there is a trade-off in everything. What I guess I'm asking of you senior citizens of Alliance is, is it worth it to live in Alliance, Which by the way I think is the most wonderful little town in America.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Run Down Properties

Anonymous wrote:

"I'm interested in knowing WHY there are so many run down properties in Alliance - isn't there an ordinance that prohibits excessive weeds and lawn growth? We have such a beautiful little town and it is disturbing to see properties in such disrepair as Central School. Any thoughts?"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fallen Tree Brings Ideas For Fundraisers

Less than twenty-four hours after our landmark tree fell to the ground, the ideas for a fundraiser tied to the great cottonwood have begun. If you are like most of us, you have a couple yourself. Well, put them down here and lets see if we can turn a sad situation into a positive movement and prideful outcome worthy of our old friend and our dedicated community.