Independence Day celebrations will look different this year but that doesn’t change our responsibility to recognize the sacrifices that allow us to live in America. The men who argued and hammered out the precepts on which the new nation would be based did it at great risk. Their lives and b…

On my recent visit to the Kimball Recycling Center with other Keep Alliance Beautiful staff members, I found the facility much like I had pictured it. However, it seems that the community would be a little small to handle so much recycling materials from other towns. Through conversation wit…

A few months ago I met Spud Rowley. Manager of the Kimball Recycling Center, he came by our recycling center to talk to my boss, G.O. Thompson. Not long after that Rowley received the contract to haul all our materials (except milk jugs) to his location and Ogallala. Last week I traveled wit…

We seem to get a new batch of rules for politically correct speech every week. It’s not my intention to keep up with all the new language because most of the people I hang out with probably don’t understand those new terms any better than I do. But all this fuss has me thinking about the pro…

I am familiar with large orange bags. For the better part of two decades I have helped with our Knights of Columbus highway cleanup. The Nebraska Department of Roads provides sturdy, 50 gallon plus trash bags to us and other volunteer crews. Once the task is complete we leave them like disca…

We always know it’s time to set the live trap when the cat food in the barn starts disappearing too quickly. Usually, it’s a raccoon, but this week Bruce caught a skunk which was rather upset at being in jail and fully expressed displeasure. The dogs have learned to leave them alone, but thi…

Handle bags on curbside recycling for very long and it becomes easy to guess some of the contents at each stop. Bulky light bags mean corrugated cardboard. Stuffed bags that also have that crinkly sound usually contain mostly plastic bottles. Heavy bags that clink mean glass bottles and cont…

I’ve been re-reading “Don’t Know Much About History” by Kenneth C. Davis. This book ought to be required for all high school seniors, because it covers all the things that are no longer taught in American History classes, if that’s even in the curriculum anymore. What’s more, Davis writes to…

Passersby may have noticed an empty spot in the Alliance Plaza parking lot at West Third Street and Cody Avenue. Keep Alliance Beautiful has moved its five trailers (still at that location as of this writing but expected to happen prior to publication of this column) to the lot north of the …

I wonder if there are kids who still get an allowance. I first heard of such a notion when I was in high school, and it seemed pretty silly to me. None of the parents I knew had any extra money lying around, and youngsters were expected to do simple chores like helping around the home, or ra…

Under our kitchen sink a bucket keeps the white trash bin company. This 5-quart container is filled and emptied more often than the trash. Most of our food waste finds its way through the cabinet door to the compost bucket. On an average day there will be a collection of vegetable peels, fru…

We have a yard full of dandelions, and I don’t mind a bit. Diversity is a good thing, they say, and a monoculture isn’t really all that healthy. No doubt the farmer with a stand of wheat or corn would disagree, but as long as it’s green and doesn’t have stickers it can live in my yard. I kno…

April showers have brought May flowers. Tulips and other early spring blossoms have brightened Alliance and Hemingford neighborhoods. By this time serious gardeners have already spent many hours preparing their beds and planting hardy crops.

It’s turnout time. By now, the hay supply is depleted or non-existent on most ranches, and there’s just enough green to make a meal for the bovines that have spent the past month reaching through fences to get what grows in the borrow ditches. Once branding is done, the cattle are eager to h…

“Gonna find me a bluebird, let him sing me a song,

Keep Alliance Beautiful strives to do just that. From education to recycling to facilitating cleanups we want residents to keep Alliance looking its best. No matter how great your hometown looks, however, it is nice to get away sometimes -- even for just a few hours.

April 22 marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It was an especially fitting day to think about the larger world and environment as most of us have become more acquainted with our lives at home and away from others during the Covid 19 Pandemic.

My parents were big on priorities. Some things you just did because they needed doing, and any other concerns could wait their turn. Most of those priorities concerned ranch responsibilities, but they were active in community affairs too, and kept themselves informed of national issues. One …

At times, since the advent of flat screen television, the space to the north of the Keep Alliance Beautiful Recycling Center has appeared to be a junkyard of the older box-shaped TVs.

Now that only “necessary” workers are to continue at their jobs, we have learned that “necessary” can be very basic. The world turns on the backs of truckers, plumbers, mechanics, waiters, janitorial staff, railroad workers, quick stop employees, cooks, and teachers, among many others. None …

The final breakout session I attended at the Keep America Beautiful 2020 National Conference centered on how to use simple technology.

Many of us chafe at restrictions imposed due to the pandemic. We humans are social creatures; even the introverts like me are discovering how much we need one another, and finding creative ways to connect. But I’m amazed, on the infrequent, but necessary, trips we make to town how few people…

Recycling was a principle point of discussion throughout the Keep America Beautiful 2020 National Conference. One breakout session focused on recycling education and outreach best practices, with tips and tools that can be utilized by communities all over, regardless of curbside versus drop-…

We will miss celebrating the Resurrection with our church communities this year, but perhaps this will be an opportunity to reflect more deeply on what the season means. With the directive prohibiting gatherings of more than ten people, even outdoors, sunrise services are out.

Times like these bring out the best and worst in people.

The week of March 15, 2020, the Keep Alliance Beautiful Recycling Center closed due to precautions taken with the COVID-19 Global Pandemic. While writing this Monday, March 23, we are in the middle of what was planned to be a two-week closure. While we are not fully staffed as this column ap…

While attending the Keep America Beautiful 2020 National Conference preliminary insights were shared on the National Public Attitude Survey.

In times like these we get to find out what we are really made of; our strengths, weaknesses, and what really matters. We are pared down to the bone, required to be creative, and hopefully, compassionate. An old song says to look for the silver linings, which are always behind the clouds. He…

While I attended the Keep America Beautiful 2020 National Conference the Wednesday general session featured an opening keynote. Jill Boughton, founder and president of Waste2Worth Innovations, spoke. She was recently featured in “National Geographic” and leads a mission of revolutionizing th…

My children’s father liked to build things and, occasionally, when something went wrong, he’d grin and say, “Hmmm. I cut it off twice and it’s still too short.”

We drive past Carhenge every time we go to Alliance for groceries or other errands. It’s not an attraction for me, although I’ve trekked through with grandkids from time to time, over the years. It’s interesting to see the amount of traffic they get at the visitor center, especially in summe…

The first breakout session I attended at the 2020 National Keep Alliance Beautiful Conference was on the national state of recycling.

Keep Alliance Beautiful Recycling Center Staff, from left, Johnny Mundt, G.O. Thompson, Yvonne and Steve Cornish, Virgil Hardin and Bruce Dobry show off the center's new 2019 CAT Raka forklift. The machine was delivered in January from Nebraska Machinery Caterpillar with just 33 hours on it.…

This is a recycle, written in 2008. It seems just as relevant today, so here’s round two. Actually, it is round eight; that’s how many election years have come and gone.

Drumline cadence vibrated my chest as the Tennessee State marching band opened the first session. The entireTSU band played in the Peabody’s grand ballroom at the Keep America Beautiful 2020 National Conference in Memphis, Tennessee.

The welcome mat by our door in Sheridan County reads, “A house is not a home without paw prints.” Perhaps it should have a warning in small print, like on food packages that tell you the product was manufactured in a facility that handles tree nuts and so forth. Ours would say that furry cri…

I’m not sure calendars tell the truth. February feels like the longest month. I try to reassure myself that it only has 28 days, but every so often they go and sneak an extra one in. One would think that February would fly by, what with several holidays, but by the time winter has worn us do…

Taco Johns of Alliance, owned by Don and Dorothy Berg, has been recycling their cardboard for at least six years according to General Manager Danielle Prelle.

“You get to be us for a week,” my daughter in law said with a grin. Probably a sigh of relief too, but she hid it well. She was off to Texas on business (nice work if you can get it in February) and my son decided to take a pre-calving break and go along.

Fresh cut pine. The whir of the saw blade. Step outside at a lumber yard for these and other scents and sounds.

Ken Moreland wrote a column recently about people he would like to spend time with, both from the past and present. I always enjoy that sort of essay and find myself thinking, “Oh yeah!” or, “And how about…?”

Melanie Mann has been recycling since she opened Newberry Common Ground 10 years ago.

Our language is an ever changing entity, and the older I get, the more confused I am by the changes. The dictionary gets a workout around here and, lo and behold, it proves my theories wrong, more often than not, which frustrates me because as a word person I’m supposed to know these things.

The largest cardboard boxes on the Keep Alliance Beautiful route come from Todd’s Body and Frame. Several of these pieces make up an entire load.

January brings us face to face with some cold, hard truths. Most businesses take inventory of what’s on hand, and as individuals, this is the time to evaluate what did, and didn’t, work last year. The main areas most of us need to inventory concern the use of time and money.

Shelmadine Print Shop has been open at Fourth and Box Butte for two years. The screen printing business owned by Tim and Brooke Shelmadine has found innovative ways to handle their flow of cardboard.

We aren’t very impressed with the music of today so the radio isn’t on a lot, and I don’t play music on my phone. Our preferences run to albums written and sung by good friends we’ve met at Cowboy Poetry Gatherings. One of Andy Wilkinson’s songs is about late October days when the cattle wor…

Christmas is over. Gone are the decorations. Central to most households was the Christmas tree.

New Year’s promises should be simple and few. The reason we don’t keep them is that we set the bar too high. In your heart, you know you probably won’t lose twenty pounds (is this the third or fourth year you said that?) but, just for today you might try eating more fruit and veggies. You sa…

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.