October 2008

Notice:

Prairie Fire Newspaper went on hiatus after the publication of the September 2015 issue. It may return one of these days but until then we will continue to host all of our archived content for your reading pleasure. Many of the articles have held up well over the years. Please contact us if you have any questions, thoughts, or an interest in helping return Prairie Fire to production. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you to all our readers, contributors, and supporters - the quality of Prairie Fire was a reflection of how many people it touched (touches).

Big impact: Nonprofits and the community

By Anne Hindery Camp

Does the term “nonprofit business” seem like an oxymoron to you? Often when people hear of the vibrant nonprofit sector in the greater Omaha area, they are surprised. Maybe it’s because the bottom line of a nonprofit is different than most businesses and that confuses people. To those of us in the nonprofit field, it is simple: the for-profit or private sector is generally concerned with how much money they make for their shareholders, while nonprofits are focused on how much impact is made in the community for our stakeholders.

The Heritage Byway

By Rosie Stockton

Over hill, over dale, along the highways and byways of Nebraska, in particular along the Heritage Byway, as it wends and winds its way along the southern border of Nebraska… This road stretches 238 miles from Brownville on the east along the mighty Missouri River to the gentle rolling hills and the fertile Republican River Valley where it ends near Edison.

Civil War reenacting in the Midwest

By Annabel Lee Major and 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry, Company A

As the chaos builds, the soldiers fall into strategically placed strokes on a battlefield canvas. An event that is over 145 years in the making is about to unfold in front of you. Rarely is one afforded the opportunity to time travel at the drop of a hat, or in this case a kepi, so you had better be prepared for the ride.

Alfredisms

“Polking Around”
Feb. 17, 1972

We were intrigued with Labor Secretary Hodge’s claim of progress in solving the unemployment problem even though the number of unemployed has increased. His reasoning had to do with the rate of unemployment, if we remember correctly—the number of employed was increasing and the number of unemployed was decreasing while increasing. If this sounds confusing, it can perhaps be simplified by using Secretary Hodge’s figure of speech—look at the doughnut and not the hole. The doughnut being the employed and the hole being the unemployed. The doughnut has grown larger—so has the hole, but not at the same rate.

Marilyn Bower celebrates nuances of agrarian landscapes

By Mark L. Moseman

Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art is America’s only museum devoted exclusively to agrarian art. The museum is hosting an exhibition of agrarian landscapes called “Lay of the Land—Tribute to Nebraska” by Marilyn Bower. After more than 30 years in Nebraska, Bower is relocating to the state of Washington to be near family. In the Bone Creek exhibit, Bower pays tribute to Nebraska landscapes that have inspired much of her work as a professional artist.

The lower Platte River: Flowing just under the radar

Sun across the lower Platte River. (Rodney Verhoeff)

By Rodney Verhoeff

The wind whizzed by and the propeller turned so fast that it actually looked like it was standing still at times. How about the roar of the motor or the hairpin turning abilities? I was 13 and this was my first time in the Florida Everglades, and my first time on an airboat. Having seen several alligators on the trip, I was reluctant to take control of the craft from my dad when he scooted over. I was 13 and I hadn’t even driven a car yet with its simple-looking steering wheel that moved in the direction you turned the wheel. But this … a stick that when pushed forward moved the airboat left and when pulled back moved it right. Or was it the other way around?

The Heartland's most wanted: Organic farmers

By Twyla M. Hansen

At last, good news from the Heartland: Woodbury County in northwest Iowa has mandated the purchase of locally grown organic food through its food-service contractor when departments serve food in the usual course of business. The program was started in 2005 by Economic Development Director Rob Marqusee, who saw the potential to shift some $300,000 in annual food purchases to a local farmer-operated cooperative, thus increasing local demand to spur increased food production and processing. It has become an award-winning success involving public institutions along with a countywide educational outreach on the benefits of eating healthy. Now all they need is more organic farmers.

Sustainable communities: When we decide to make them, sustainable communities will come in all sizes, forms, and locations

By W. Cecil Steward and Sharon B. Kuska

Greensburg, Kan., by the brutal forces of nature, has been given the opportunity to be a ghost town, or to be a newer-old town or to reinvent itself as a dynamic, green and sustainable community on the high plains of North America.

Immigration in Nebraska

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