Sunday, December 17, 2017

Finally - a letter to the editor!

I would like to address some of the cultural opportunities available to us in Eastern Nebraska. I grew up in Iowa City where the University of Iowa had the “renowned” drama department of Eastern Iowa. We could go to plays, only, at a fraction of the cost of big venues like Chicago and New York. We felt privileged to have such talent available but it was episodic. There were only four plays a year and one was Shakespeare, which most of us gave a miss to because we couldn’t understand the language. (We were dilettante teenagers.)

Eastern Nebraska has at least seven local venues and more if you expand to Omaha. Every year we get catalogs of upcoming events for several production companies. I do not have catalogs for all the cultural events locally. It would fill a messenger’s bag there are that many opportunities! Some venues are free, some require a fee.

In Lincoln there is the Lied Center for Performing Arts, who provide world renowned presenters of music, plays, dance, children’s acts, and comedy acts. Price range is a fraction of Kansas City, Chicago or New York. More modestly priced is Lincoln Community Play House providing adult and children’s performances and allowing local thespians to strut their stuff (most of whom are pretty talented).

Speaking of Community theater, there is The Lofte in Manley which has a very wide variety of programming including Missoula Children’s Theater (again promoting local talent including children). The price of a ticket is usually $10.00 and I feel this is a tremendous bargain to enjoy extremely talented local performances.

Back in Lincoln there is Nebraska Wesleyan University Theatre which puts on twelve plays a season, musical comedies, and “Weekend Cabarets” each quarter for as low as $7.50 to $17.50 a person depending on age and program. With this very talented group of performers you will be watching future Tony or Oscar recipients, they are that good! You can’t beat that with a stick!! Tickets are almost always available but getting them in advance assures a seat.

Then there is the Flatwater Shakespeare Company, and Pinewood Bowl, (great annual musical play each summer as well as outstanding eclectic performers like ZZ TOP, Garrison Keillor, and Moody Blues. You could get tickets for as little as $5.00 for the musical and about $25.00 for some of the other performances.

Nowhere near the final venue is the Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra with nine performance scheduled each year (September through April) including two direct to children and including the Lincoln Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Lincoln Suzuki Talent Association which trains and allows as many as 100 children from age 3 through 18 to perform with the Lincoln Symphony. Watching these tiny musicians perform and watching their growth is awe inspiring. Listening to the music is emotional development. The tickets for the Symphony is $15.00 to $30.00 for adults and $5.00 for children.

With all the talent in Eastern Nebraska: dramatic, comedic, musical, dance and affordable venues which range between $5.00 and $60.00 there is no excuse to focus only on sports (namely football) and miss the cultural aspect of our lives. Our schools try to expose our kids to cultural development but families should reinforce their interest. Look around. You may be seeing the next virtuoso or Tony winner or Oscar winner because of the exposure to our local talent and opportunity to try their wings. And I have only touched on the fine arts. There is so much more both in Lincoln, Omaha and the surrounding areas.

I have been focusing on the Lincoln venues but there are as many in Omaha and surrounding areas like Beatrice. I have tickets for some of those performances too. I just live closer to Lincoln so I am more familiar with their cultural opportunities. Expand and enjoy the arts that are available at such reasonable prices! Take your kids with you. The arts expand and develop brain activity. Art makes average kids geniuses. See you at the theater!

- Karen Morgan

Just a small addendum - if you're on a budget, how about the melodramas at Mahoney State Park or the school productions? The local high schools - Waverly, Elmwood-Murdock and Ashland-Greenwood have excellent music and theater departments - with talented students beginning a potential career in the arts. What they need is appreciative audiences - it's disheartening to perform to an empty auditorium.

How many of you saw the lunar eclipse on Monday night? miketaylormaine150928 Image courtesy of Mike Taylor of Maine and EarthSky web site.

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3318652ga1rry8tpb  Happiness is a PSA level that is undetectable

Autumn 2

In a week, soil moisture levels dropped in 2.5% more land areas in the state. Extreme northwest Nebraska became abnormally dry. The only good news is that there are no moderate drought areas, YET. Click HERE for the national NOAA Climate Prediction site and HERE for the Omaha site.,

 

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Nebraska is still much better off than a lot of other states - Click here to see

Date Sunrise Sunset Sun hours Days until Winter
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 07:21 AM 07:09 PM 11:48 83
Thursday, October 01, 2015 07:22 AM 07:08 PM 11:46 82
Friday, October 02, 2015 07:23 AM 07:06 PM 11:43 81
Saturday, October 03, 2015 07:24 AM 07:05 PM 11:41 80
Sunday, October 04, 2015 07:25 AM 07:03 PM 11:38 79
Monday, October 05, 2015 07:27 AM 07:00 PM 11:33 78
Tuesday, October 06, 2015 07:27 AM 07:03 PM 11:36 77

moon150930moon151001moon151002moon151003moon151004moon151005moon151006                                                                                                                                 Last quarter. Sunday, October 4th, 4:04 PM

                                During this week in history - with a little humor thrown in.

If you want funny details, go to Bizarre Holidays for the serious stuff go to History Net

 September 30th, 1630 - John Billington, one of the original pilgrims who sailed to the New World on the Mayflower, becomes the first man executed in the English colonies. He is hanged for having shot another man during a quarrel. - He wasn't Hispanic or black, but he was an immigrant.

1955 - Actor and teen idol James Dean is killed in a car crash while driving his Porsche on his way to enter it into a race in Salinas, California.

1962 - U.S. Marshals escort James H. Meredith into the University of Mississippi; two die in the mob violence that follows.

September 30th  is National Mud Pack Day.

October 1st, The Ford Model T, the first car for millions of Americans, hits the market. Over 15 million Model Ts are eventually sold, all of them black.

1962 - The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson debuts; Carson will remain The Tonight Show host until 1992.

1974 - Five Nixon aides–Kenneth Parkinson, Robert Mardian, Nixon’s Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell–go on trial for conspiring to hinder the Watergate investigation..

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day.

October 2nd, 1950 - The comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schultz, makes its first appearance in newspapers.

1964 - Scientists announce findings that smoking can cause cancer. - Took long enough to figure that one out.

October 2nd is National Custodial WorkerName Your Car and World Smile (first Friday of the month) Day.

October 3rd, 1955 - Two children’s television programs and a family sitcom all destined to become classics debut: Captain Kangaroo, Mickey Mouse Club, and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

1993 - Battle of Mogadishu, in which 18 US soldiers and some 1,000 Somalis are killed during an attempt to capture officials of the warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid’s organization.- Read 'Black Hawk Down', watch the movie and you will understand how it was, on a small scale, the same SNAFU as the invasion of Iraq.

2008 - The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase distressed assets of financial corporations and supply cash directly to banks to keep them afloat. - And the taxpayers pay for it and none of those responsible are held accountable.

October 3rd is International Frugal FunTechies and Virus Appreciation Day.

October 4th,  1957 - Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, is launched, beginning the "space race." The satellite, built by Valentin Glushko, weighed 184 pounds and was launched by a converted Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). Sputnik orbited the earth every 96 minutes at a maximum height of 584 miles. In 1958, it reentered the earth’s atmosphere and burned up.

October 4th is National GolfNational Frappe Day and the last day of Oktoberfest in Germany.  Last day (and first) changes dates from year to year.

October 5th, 1962 - The first James Bond film, 'Dr. No' starring Sean Connery, debuts.

October 5th is Do Something Nice and World Teacher Day. - If you can read and understand this, thank a teacher or two.

October 6th, 1535 - William Tyndale, the English translator of the New Testament, is strangled and burned at the stake for heresy at Vilvorde, France. - Once again, faith is used to justify doing evil.

1973 - Israel is taken by surprise when Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan attack on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, beginning the Yom Kippur War. - For 19 days and nights, at McChord AFB the air defense troops worked 12 hours on and 12 off and all our fighters were loaded with live missiles in case the Russians were thinking about intervening.

October 6th is Come and Take It, Mad Hatter and Physicians Assistant Day.

"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is." - Rest in peace, Yogi
"If you don't like what you're doing, then don't do it." - Ray Bradbury
"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter." - Winston Churchill
"The main difference between a cat and a lie is that a cat only has nine lives." - Mark Twain
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish. appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit." - Thomas Paine
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