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Develop new leaders in your community PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 00:18

By Katie Starkweather
Director of Opportunities and Stewardship
Center for Rural Affairs


Never underestimate the need for leadership. But also never underestimate the leaders among us – the folks who step up to organize a community garden or a school bake sale. They see something that needs to be done in their town, and they do it.

Leaders provide the vision and direction for getting things done. Without them, it’s difficult to accomplish things. But it’s hard to picture someone as a leader if they haven’t had a chance to grow into it. So how do you go about developing them?

I was recently talking with one young leader–a Latino woman who is a real force in her community. She doesn’t see herself as a leader. I asked what kind of leadership development program would work best in her community. She felt strongly, and I agree, it doesn’t need to be a formal process.

Teaching people leadership skills is only half the solution. Giving them an opportunity is more important. Informal mentorship can help nurture and bring new leaders along to step into community leadership roles in the future.

Give them a chance. It might be as small as preparing them for a meeting with city officials. Then have them present an idea in the meeting. Help them build confidence and skills by doing. Before you know it, you’ve developed a new leader.


KATIE STARKWEATHER serves as the Director of Opportunities and Stewardship for the Center for Rural Affairs, a private non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 00:20
December update PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 21:08

By Joey Large

Board President

Wauneta Senior Center


The Holidays are upon us and the end of 2013 is coming at us pretty fast. December has been a busy month at the Senior Center. Our December calendar shows that we have the building being used for five Holiday parties and family events.

The Board has decided not to do a Pancake Supper or Sunday dinner this month. Instead, the Center will be hosting a soup supper Sunday evening Dec. 15, 2013.

Proceeds from the supper are designated to go toward replacing 45-50 metal folding chairs that are used in the south side of the building. All of the food and ingredients have been donated for the Supper. Please come and join us for chili and chicken noodle soup with tasty desserts.

The Center is still looking for a full time cook with the option of also doing the book work and cleaning or for someone that would be willing to be an assistant cook and work about four hours a day. Training for either position would be available if needed.

I would like to give a big thanks to those that stepped forward to help with the noon meal carry out program. Currently Lela Hamilton, Bert Steinert, Betty McCallum and Allison Sandman are sharing the duties and it is working out great.

Recently the Board has added two new directors. Our current membership is Berneta Steinert, Ruth Petsch, Terry Engell, Betty McCallum, and Joey Large.

Finally, the Center recently received a generous gift from the Brian and Michelle Harchelroad family in the form of a new flat screen TV to be used in the dining area. With this newer technology, it will allow the Center to explore other entertainment options for our over 60 group in the form of movies or informational videos addressing their needs.

On behalf of the Board, Staff, and volunteers of the Center, your support is truly appreciated and we hope that some of you that have not stopped in to visit with us will take an opportunity to do so in the future. The coffee pot is always on.

Have a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.


Education is everything PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 22:15

By Curtis Kayton
Southwest Public Power District
General Manager


Education is important, but factual education is crucial. Having an opinion is good, but it is far more effective if facts support that opinion. We live in a fast paced world that gives little time for processing and validating claims. Therefore, investing time in seeking facts to form our opinions is time well spent. By doing this we can be assured that our perspective is based on fact not emotion.

A trademark saying in the real estate industry is “location, location, location.” Perhaps education, education, education would be an appropriate saying for the electric utility industry. Today it seems popular vote, and emotion drive opinion rather than facts. These opinions are flooded to us instantaneously on a daily basis through email, texting, twitter, Facebook, or whatever social media communication we choose to follow.

Recently I have heard radio advertisements urging Nebraska’s Public Power Utilities to “get in the game,” by shutting down NPPD’s coal plants and stop importing “dirty coal from Illinois.” An educated response to this claim is that NPPD does not import coal from Illinois, it all comes from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming where the cleanest coal in the nation comes from.

Another fact about coal fired generation that is widely misunderstood is that coal itself does not generate electricity. The coal is burned to heat water and create steam, the steam is forced over a turbine that turns a generator. After the steam passes over the turbine it is condensed back into water and recycled. The white “smoke” often observed at a stack during colder temperatures is water vapor in the form of steam that is lost in the cooling process, not smoke as popular vote would indicate.

So what about all the claims that wind energy is the least expensive option? Here is a factual side of the story about wind energy that is never told. Believe it or not generating electricity with wind turbines is not a new concept. Long before the days of REA, rural houses and barns had small wind turbines affixed to them. So why did it not make sense to develop the national grid based on wind energy then? Largely for the same reasons today, pure and simple economics. Wind energy can only be used in conjunction with a conventional power plant running at the same time. By serving Nebraska’s customers with a wind farm, requires that a fossil fueled power plant must also be running because obviously wind doesn’t blow 100 percent of the time. Therefore, serving one customer with the burden of two power plants instead of one. Nebraska’s energy industry is fully aware of the apparent wind resource we have in the state. We also know that if we replace conventional plants with wind or solar, the low rates we enjoy in Nebraska will not just go up a little they will become unaffordable.

Natural gas is at record low prices today. Why can’t we replace the nation’s coal plants with natural gas? That is the very prices are low but not long ago, prices were high. Electricity prices follow the markets and natural gas is much more volatile than coal. Another way to relate is; low fuel cost, low electricity cost, high fuel cost, and high electricity cost. Recently a formal study of coal contracts was presented to NPPD’s board and revealed that Gentlemen Station enjoys the lowest delivered fuel cost of any coal plant in the world.

Is then the need for education limited to the subject of coal versus wind? Absolutely not. Public Power sponsors many educational efforts to reinforce what we are about. Education isn’t only about gathering informed facts, education is also aimed as safety and telling our story.

The Nebraska Rural Electric Association hosts a Youth Energy Camp annually, so the coming generations can experience how Nebraska’s generation plants work, see a real-live high voltage safety demonstration, and many other lessons about public power. This is done in a summer camp setting at the Nebraska National Forest at Halsey in a fun, but educational environment.

Individual public power districts also conduct several safety demonstrations across the state in an effort to educate our ratepayers on what to do in an emergency such as a downed line or other hazards. Districts also inform ratepayers how to save money by communicating energy efficient tips and practices.

I would encourage you to invest time to gather facts on which to base your conclusions. Your local public power district would be a great place to ask for information. They have very knowledgeable people who will be glad to answer your questions.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 22:31
Senior Center moment PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 18:42

By Joey Large

Board President

Wauneta Senior Center


The month of July at the Senior Center was a very busy month. Thanks to your support, the Center served 910 meals through the noon meal program, pancake supper, and the Sunday Dinner. This makes it the highest monthly meal total since I began serving on the Board of Directors.

At the August Board meeting, the Directors decided not to have a pancake feed as it would have been the same week of the Chase County Fair and there will not be a Sunday Dinner in August due to staff being gone. We look forward to seeing everyone at these events again in September.

The Center is still looking for a full time cook with the option of also doing the bookwork and cleaning or for someone that would be willing to be an assistant cook and work about 4 hours a day.

Training for either position would be available, if needed. Also the Board of Directors has some vacancies to fill so anyone interested in serving on the Board to help the Center continue to be strong and viable, please contact me for more information.

Looking into the fall, we have the Center available if you need a place to hold your Holiday parties.

We also appreciate Tony Cribelli who made a donation to the Senior Center on behalf of the Yucca Run event that is held during the annual Harvest Festival. The Board of Directors will look into the cost of possibly putting a PA system in the north side and using these funds to offset that cost.

As the fall weather arrives, we will need some additional individuals to carry the noon meals to those that are not able to come to the Center to eat. If you have an interest in helping and can only help one day a week, we can make that work.

On behalf of the Board, Staff, and volunteers of the Center, we appreciate your past support and we hope that some of you who have not stopped in to visit with us will take an opportunity to do so in the future. The coffee pot is always on.


Free and reduced lunches benefit the school PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 18:41

By Randy Geier


Wauneta-Palisade Public Schools


I am asking parents to fill out Free and Reduced Lunch forms. If you qualify and do not fill out an application, you are hurting our school. The purpose of this article is to explain the ways in which the school benefits from an increased number of student on free and reduced lunches.

Almost all of the grants and aid available from federal and state sources are based partially on the income level of the districts’ patrons. The primary source used to determine income is the number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunches.

Besides state aid some of the grants available to the school that are determined to some extent by the number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunches are: Title I, School to Work and Tech Prep programs, Carl Perkins Technology Grants, Safe and Drug free School Grants, and Title VI Innovative Project Grants. The amount of money available to the school is partially based on the free and reduced lunch counts.

As you can see, in addition to the financial benefit for parents who qualify for the program, there are numerous advantages for the school.

All information submitted to the school is confidential and names of individuals who are eligible are not revealed.

For the purpose of using information for state aid for grants, only the number of students who qualify are provided, not the names. If you have not already done so, please look over the lunch information sheets and apply for free and reduced lunches if you think you may be eligible.

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