Wednesday, September 30, 2009
When the Dorchester Times first went online in April 2007, we envisioned a Web site that would serve as a community bulletin board and discussion forum, with content composed and submitted by town residents. We have enjoyed writing stories and keeping residents abreast on the issues affecting our town. But now the Times is turning over the reporting duties to you -- the residents of the Dorchester area. The Times is a communications tool that is there for you to use, if you wish.
As a service to our community, we will still maintain the site and update its contents daily. However, beginning today, the only stories and commentary on the Times will be those submitted to us by Dorchester area residents and natives of the community -- or those based on news releases sent to our publication.
Readers are invited to send us notices of future events; summaries of gatherings or meetings; reviews of school activities or sporting events; and anything else related to Dorchester or its residents. Content will be reviewed and edited, for content and clarity, by our staff.
We ask that all material submitted to us (Dorchester.Times@gmail.com) include basic information answering: Who? What? Where? And when?
We will continue feature Web links to Dorchester-related stories appearing in the news media. Also, we will still post the "Open Forum" feature that allows residents to comment on topics of their choosing. Letters-to-the-editors, births, obituaries and other items for the left-hand column are also still welcome to keep readers informed.
We thank our readers for their continued loyalty to our site and, more importantly, our community. We also welcome your ideas on how to improve the Dorchester Times and the service it provides area residents and natives.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
In a recent editorial, we mentioned Dorchester has been able to escape school consolidation and loss of population -- both of which are crippling many small communities, including a few in our immediate area. But one look at Main Street reminds us that our community is not immune to the struggles facing Small Town America.
As we editorialized last year, now is the time for a "Vision 2015" plan that establishes some goals for Dorchester to improve the already-good quality of life we enjoy.
The most recent issue of VISIONS magazine, published by the non-profit Heartland Center for Leadership Development, lists 20 "clues to community survival" that were compiled following a case study of small towns that thrived even in the midst of the 1980s farm crisis.
CLUES TO COMMUNITY SURVIVAL
1.) Evidence of Community Pride. ("Successful communities are often showplaces of care, attention, history and heritage," the study says.)
2.) Emphasis on Quality in Business & Community Life.
5.) Cooperative Community Spirit.
6.) Realistic Appraisal of Future Opportunities. ("Successful communities have learned how to build on strengths and minimize weaknesses.")
7.) Awareness of Competitive Positioning. ("Local loyalty is emphasized in successful small towns, but thriving communities know who their local competitors are and position themselves accordingly.")
8.) Active Economic Development Program. ("There is an organized, public/private approach to economic development.")
9.) Knowledge of the Physical Environment. ("Relative location and available natural resources underscore decision-making.")
10.) Deliberate Transition of Power to a Younger Generation of Leaders. ("People under 40 regularly hold key positions in civic and business affairs in strong communities.")
11.) Celebration of Diversity in Leadership. ("Women, young people, and newcomers are elected officials, business leaders, and entrepreneurial developers.")
12.) Strong Belief in and Support for Education.
13.) Problem-Solving Approach to Providing Health Care and Housing Older Residents.
14.) Strong Multi-Generational Family Orientation. ("The definition of family is broad, and activities include younger as well as older generations.")
15.) Strong Presence of Traditional Institutions that are Integral to Community Life. ("Churches, schools and service clubs are strong influences on community development and the social network.")
16.) Sound and Well-Maintained Infrastructure. ("Leaders work to maintain streets, Main Street buildings, water systems and sewage facilities.")
17.) Careful Use of Fiscal Resources.
18.) Sophisticated Use of Technology Resources.
19.) Willingness to Seek Help from the Outside. ("People seek outside help for community needs, and many compete for government grants and contracts for projects and services.")
20.) Conviction That, in the Long Run, You Must Do It Yourself. ("Thriving rural communities believe their destiny is in their own hands. Making their communities good places is a pro-active assignment, and they are willing to accept it.")
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tomorrow night (Sept. 24), DHS will travel to Polk to meet High Plains and Shelby in a triangular before returning home next Tuesday to host Sterling. The Longhorns will host another triangular at the DHS gymnasium on Oct. 1.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
- Chain saw artist Nick Jensen from Garland will again be demonstrating his carving skills, with the items he carves then made available for auction. Come watch "Papa Bear" Jensen create his unique wood sculptures, which make great rustic yard art or home decor.
- Kids' Cake Auction: Community youth will be bringing cakes and other sweet treats that to be auctioned off.
- Farmers Market: Fresh produce from local gardens will be offered at a free will offering.
- Book Exchange: Bring a book to exchange for a new read or purchase any available.
For those who would like to make cash donations to the church, please contact Parks or Olson at the phone numbers above. We hope all Times' readers will enjoy the first weekend of fall by supporting the church and the good work of its members.
Three of the images are of the Saline County sky as captured by Nicole Martin. (Click on the photos for a better view.) Nicole says two of the photos were taken immediately following a storm, while the other shows yet another spectacular Nebraska sunset. The photo at the lower right was sent by Terry Gautreaux and is entitled "Enter Longhorn." Terry writes: "If Bert or Ben want to really attract customers, they need to create a store front like this one south of Tucson, Arizona."
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
- Median Cost Of Dorchester Home Sees Slight Increase Over Decade: The cost of housing in Dorchester has risen very slightly according to an online query conducted by the Times. According to Realtor.com, the 2009 median listing price of a Dorchester home is $69,900. That compares to the 2000 Dorchester median price of about $63,000, as noted by other online reports. Realtor.com reports that the current average listing price for a Dorchester home is $83,266. (Average price can be skewed when the distribution has extreme values on either end.) A home for sale in Dorchester sits on the market for an average of 162 days.
- Crete Budget Shortfall Gets Local Media Attention: A Sept. 9 story in the Lincoln Journal Star highlights the city budget woes of our next door neighbor Crete. The City of Crete faces a $300,000 shortfall. The best two options seem to be raising property taxes by $165 per $100,000 or laying off two of Crete's 11 uniformed police officers. Crete has more reported crimes than 12 other cities its size in the state and the second-most crimes per 1,000 population in that same grouping. Crete Police Chief Steve Hensel said population growth has contributed to gang activity in Crete, but he does not attribute its crime rate to its proximity to the Farmland Foods plant or to the ethnic mix at the plant. "The fact that demographics have changed a bit doesn't necessarily coincide with an increase in crime," Hensel said. Several members of the Times staff chuckled at that politically correct statement by Chief Hensel, who otherwise tends to keep his head out of the sand. "I guess this means we should be on the look out for rampant Czech and German gang activity," said one Times staff member who works in Crete, with her tongue firmly in cheek.
- Region Named 'Primary Drug Market' By Government: According to a recent report released by the National Drug Intelligence Center and published by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, the Omaha area and nearby counties are considered a primary drug market and a regional distribution center for illicit drugs -- cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana. According to the government report, Mexican criminal groups are the principal transporters and wholesale distributors of most illicit drugs to the Omaha metropolitan area. The report states, "In addition, Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) maintain connections throughout many smaller Nebraska towns (as far away as Lexington) ... where large numbers of Mexican nationals have sought employment in meatpacking and poultry processing plants. Mexican DTOs use their connections in these cities to smuggle illicit drugs into the Omaha metropolitan area." We believe area residents should be aware of this report, which has been ignored or gone unnoticed by local media.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
- DHS Splits Dorchester Triangular: The Lady Longhorns are off to a 1-1 start after splitting games at Thursday's triangular at DHS. Dorchester beat Weeping Water in two straight sets, with scores of 25-20 and 25-7, only to fall to Palmyra later in the evening. Both opponents are larger schools and in Class C2.
- Former DHS Athletes Playing For Area Colleges: Lucas Apfelbeck, a 2009 DHS graduate has made the roster for nearby Doane College as a defensive lineman. See Doane's football roster here. Also, 2007 DHS graduate Brandon Vyhnalek is again on Nebraska Wesleyan University's football squad. The 6'2", 240 lb. defensive lineman is a junior for the Prairie Wolves. To see the NWU roster, click here.
- Legion Buffalo Feed Set For Sept. 19: The Dorchester American Legion Buffalo Feed is set for Sat., Sept. 19. Tickets are required and must be purchased in advance. Tickets can be obtained by calling Richard Kasl at (402) 946-7651.
Then from 8 p.m. until midnight, be sure to catch Dorchester's first street dance in more than 15 years as the band "Mother Dudes" plays your favorite tunes. Bring your lawn chairs. Admission is free!
See you at Joe's Place Sept. 4. Come out and support Dorchester's Main Street businesses -- and have a good time doing it! For more details, call Joe's at (402) 946-2171.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Earlier this year, Times readers voted overwhelmingly (75% to 25%) in opposition to our decision to limit remarks following stories.
The Dorchester Times' Web site averages about 235 hits a day, according to an independent tracking service. That means the Times is the perfect forum to air your thoughts, news tips, announcements, complaints and concerns -- on any issue.