Kats’ Korner: What the Prospect of a New Community Center Could Mean for the Oakland Public Library

On May 5th and 6th, there were meetings held at the Oakland City Auditorium to discuss the possibility of a new Community Center being built in Oakland. I wasn’t able to attend, but I have opinions on the subject. To those that attended, please don’t hesitate to contact me and share your views. Even if you didn’t attend, I want to hear from you!

My first concern is the library. Granted, the plans aren’t set in stone. But, all the same, as citizens of Oakland, we should all be aware of what the potential plans involve.

A few years ago, the library purchased the lot to the north of its’ location in anticipation of future expansion. If the current plans for the new Community Center come to fruition, those plans will go by the wayside.

The plans include renovating the current city auditorium, expanding to the north, which will mean the police department will also lose their building. From what I gather, they may relocate to another building.

Back to the library. If, and I mean if, this happens, the city office would move into the library. The library would move to the top floor of the city auditorium.

For one, in my opinion, the city office does not need that much space. I know for a fact that more people go into the library in one day than go to the city office in a week. The library is the leading source of information in Oakland. The library benefits our youth. They have access to hundreds of books and the computers, assisting them with their educational needs.

In my opinion, if it is moved to the top floor of the auditorium, less people will use it. Our elderly in the community can park close to the library, and within a few steps, they are in the door. There isn’t as adequate parking at the city auditorium. It is in the business district. The grocery store, Golden Oaks, a beauty shop, just to name a few, have many patrons. Parking would not be adequate.

I assume they would have to bring the city auditorium up to code, providing handicap access, thus providing an elevator to the second floor. But yet, I ask you, will you walk extra steps to get to an elevator? You may park a block or more away to go to the library.

I realize there may be a need for the community center. West Point built a new community building where many wedding receptions have been held. People from Oakland have had their receptions there due to Oakland not having an adequate building for such an occasion. Lyons also remodeled their city auditorium and many local events are also being held there too. Oakland maybe does need one, maybe. But, should it be at the expense of relocating the library? I am hoping not. As I compared Oakland to West Point and Lyons’ community centers, compare Oakland’s library to Lyons and Tekamah. They are much larger and newer. Tekamah recently built a new addition onto their existing structure. Lyons relocated their small library to a new, remodeled building, providing a much greater service to the community. Oakland’s library was looking into this before the idea of a new community center became the discussion. Now, who knows what will happen?

Yes, it is important to keep up with the times, as they say, and building a community center would do that. But, this is not keeping up with the times for the library. It is going in reverse.

If you have concerns, please make your voice heard. Each and every one of us in this community need to take responsibility for what happens in Oakland. I for one, am against moving the library. I hope other plans are considered, keeping the library where it is and allowing the library to expand, providing even greater service to the community.

That is my opinion. What is yours? Contact me and share your thoughts, but also let the city office hear from you!




Remember Thanksgiving is First and the Meaning of Christmas

Are you ready for Christmas?

Christmas is my favorite holiday, but somehow, the meaning of the season has been lost.

It has become so commercialized. Fall decorations were barely on the shelves in stores then I blinked and their were Christmas decorations next to them.

All of this before Halloween was over.

Every business is after our dollars. The commercials encouraging people to spend, spend and spend some more. Every year, there is a projected amount of money the businesses believe every consumer will spend. It shocks me when I see the $$$$ signs. I know I won’t be spending that much money. I could go on and on about the money spent, but I think you understand the point I am making.

The real meaning of Christmas: It is the annual celebration of Christ’s birth.

Please keep this in mind this Christmas and for years to come. Giving gifts is one thing, but focusing on shopping and going into debt is quite another.

Who remembers Thanksgiving?

That is my other complaint.

Every year, Christmas is in the stores. People go shopping on Thanksgiving! I find that appalling. People would rather shop than be with family. The holiday is called Thanksgiving, not Shopping.

Money doesn’t buy happiness. You can’t take it with you.

The love of family and friends and the blessings life has given you will stay in your heart  and in your soul now and forever. 



The Devastation of Hurricane Harvey

As I watched the news earlier this morning, catching up on Hurricane Harvey, my heart was broken. 

Hurricane Harvey is causing massive destruction, to say the least. The flooding it has caused due to the huge amount of rainfall, currently over 50 inches in Houston, is a record in the United States. This isn’t the kind of record people want to see broken at all. I can’t imagine how long it will take for people to recover from the hurricane, if they ever do. Many, many people have lost their home, all of their belongings and don’t have a job to support their families, much less the means to get to their job if they could go.

There are people that need medications. How will they get them? What about people on oxygen? There are pregnant women giving birth during this and the hospitals are low on supplies. I saw a report of a woman whom gave birth while waiting for emergency responders to arrive. Luckily, they arrived right after she gave birth.

What about those expecting their social security checks? For many, that is their only means of support. We all know the saying about mail being delivered no matter what the weather conditions. I doubt whoever made up the saying counted on a record breaking hurricane to stop the mail from being delivered.

There are many blessings to consider as well. People are going to Texas, not just from all over the state, but from all over the country, to help rescue those stranded in their homes, on roofs or floating in the water and take them to safety. They are showing the entire country that people need to come together, unify as one, to help and do what true Americans do, help those in time of need. There is one local gal in Texas doing all she can to help. Susan Seery is on the scene. She is on the Oakland Fire Department. She is also a member of the Red Cross, serving as a supervisor and in part of the DAT-Disaster Action Team. God Bless her for all she is doing, helping those that are displaced by Harvey. 

This country is not a country full of hate, as some media sights claim. Take a look at Texas and you will see, this country is full of love for one another. 

God Bless Texas!


The Heat is on!

By Denise Gilliland, Editor and Chief, Kat Country Hub

Denise Gilliland/Editor and Chief, Kat Country Hub.

Whew! Summer has arrived! Some people enjoy hot weather more than others.

I am one that loves it! There is one draw back as of today. Our pool isn’t up! We have been so busy with the arrival of a new grandson. Rowen was born May 16th! We are such proud grandparents! It is wonderful being a grandparent. Each one brings us such joy. We are truly blessed.

A week later on May 23rd, our granddaughter Penelope had her adenoids removed and new tubes placed in her ears. She has endured many ear infections and sinus problems, so surgery became a necessity to hopefully relieve her pain. So far, so good! It was difficult to know at the young age of 2 1/2 she would receive an anesthesia. We were all worried, but so relieved, that she didn’t have a reaction and surgery went well.

So, we have been on the go. Jeff had to work two weekends in a row, then when he was off last weekend, we were busy. So, the pool isn’t up yet. This weekend is supposed to be hot and I really wish it was up! But, there will be another day to get it done!

We don’t even have the window air conditioners in yet. That project will be completed tonight. We don’t have a furnace. We have baseboard heat. Window air conditioners are just fine for our house. We put one in the living room and one in the bedroom. We stay cool and that is what counts!

I tend to turn the air conditioners up while we are gone during the day. I am home before Jeff, so I turn them down so the house is cool when Jeff gets home. He is outside most of the day at his job, so he needs to cool off!

My worry is the electric bill. We are on the budget and so far, have a credit. I want to keep it that way! It is tough but I am going to do the best I can to keep the bill down!

I hope all of you stay cool! Most importantly, stay hydrated!

Have a great day and enjoy the heat this weekend, in air conditioning or in a pool!!

Embrace Each Moment!

Yesterday was my birthday. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I love my birthday! Some people find that strange. They don’t understand my exuberance on my birthday. There are those that look at a birthday as just another day.


I consider my birthday special because I am still here to enjoy another year of life, celebrating the memories made, and the many more to make, hopefully.

My husband, Jeff, says I treat my birthday like a national holiday. Maybe so. I like to have the day off to have some me time. I think everyone should have their birthday off to spend the day however they choose. It is, to me, a celebration of the moment life was given, a first breath was taken and the beginning of a journey to paths unknown.

Yesterday, I spent part of the day reflecting on my life. The path I have taken. The bends in the road. The mistakes I made along the way, making me a stronger person. The lives that were given because I was given life.

Reflecting made me very happy for the most part. It also made me just a tiny bit sad. Years seem to go by faster the older I get. Where does the time go? My kids are grown. They have kids of their own. I know I may not live long enough to see my grandchildren grown with families of their own. That saddens me. I feel like all I did was blink and I turned 54!

I don’t consider myself old, but I can tell a difference in myself now and ten years ago. But, so life goes. That is why I love my birthday. I celebrate because I am here! It is better than the alternative.

I cherish life! I try my best to live each day to the fullest, doing the best I can with what I have.

I want to wish everyone a happy birthday and a happy life! Embrace it! We only walk on this earth once. Make the most of it.

God Bless!


Do Unto Others

How politically informed are you? 

I watch every news conference and press conference I can: The LIVE and REAL version. Not something the press conjures up.

I am proud to be an American citizen. I also know it is my personal responsibility to stay informed. I used to believe mainstream media. What was I thinking??? I watched President Trump’s live news conference the other day. I took notes, as a real journalist does. The next day, I read headlines stating President Trump was unhinged. What? He was totally calm. He even stated he was having fun.

Mainstream media has NOT been reporting real news for so long, they don’t even know how to find it! And, in my own personal opinion, they are liberals who just can’t accept that Hillary isn’t President. I have voted in every election since I was 18. Did I vote for every President elected since then? No. Did I riot in the streets, destroying property?  NO! I am an American. I show respect, supporting the leader of the free world, because that is what true Americans do.

I have a degree in journalism and I can tell you, they are not reporting news correctly. To be fair when writing a story, you have to be fair and accurate, allowing both sides to speak. Actually, to be an adult, the same rules apply.

I will say, as having previously served on the Oakland City Council, and lost election, words hurt. People I had known for years messaged me during election, being so unkind I was speechless. It is shocking the means people will go to to get elected. I could have won had I said all I know about a certain person. Did I? Obviously not, because I lost. And, I am proud of that. 

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,”

Words to live by.

Enjoy the weather. Have a wonderful weekend. God Bless!

God Bless the USA

I have a degree in journalism. I know the rules on reporting. When I watch certain channels on television, I question if the reporters know the rules.

I have chosen not to watch some news channels. They show clips of events, but not the event in its’ entirety, thus not reporting but influencing viewers to see the event in a different light.

Then there is fake news. Not just on television, but everywhere on social media. Many people believe everything they read. Fake news provides untruths and inaccuracies which in turn causes those reading it to share it all over the place, causing turmoil among others.

It has been reported, truthfully or not, that the United States is deeply divided since President Trump was sworn in. Some believe this occurred before he took office.

In my opinion, the media, fake and otherwise, is not helping the situation. They are still licking their wounds from Hillary Clinton’s defeat in November.

The day before the election, one news source was declaring Hillary a winner. To me, that is influencing the people, telling us how to vote.

The media shouldn’t have that power. They should report each side of an issue fairly. When Donald Trump won the election, the looks on the reporters faces was priceless. How could the polls be so wrong? I have often wondered how accurate polls are. I now know, they aren’t. The media isn’t handling defeat well. They have chosen to report negatively about President Trump, causing more chaos.

I was raised to respect others, even if I didn’t particularly care for them. I have voted in every election since I was the legal age of 18. I haven’t always voted for who won, but I didn’t protest the election. I accepted the outcome and put my support behind the winner.

Some have forgotten what respect is. Some have forgotten what morals are. Some have forgotten where they live.

I haven’t forgotten. I live in the United States of America. I will always respect and support who is in office. I pray for President Trump, and all future leaders, to succeed. If they fail so do we.

God Bless the USA!

Social Speaks: Snow Days

Let’s have some fun. When you were a kid, what did you do on a snow day? I used to go sledding with all the neighbor kids! We had a blast! How about you??

Connie VonSeggern Build snow forts with my sibblings…

Susan Reynolds-Seery Our school had a huge lot and would plow all the snow to the fence. The snow piles would be huge. Which was right behind my house. When my dad was actually home, we would make tunnels through the piles. It was one of the happiest and bestest moments ever. Then school would resume and all the kids would come and play in them too. I miss those days.
Leann Canarsky Jorgensen We would play outside all day in the snow! Go sledding, make snow angels…I can barely get my kids out the door!
Mike Gunderson Dad would pile the snow so high on the farm, I would dig tunnels.
Fay Schinck We would sled down Cemetery hill, and the pump house hill. Lol. We use to make snow angels, snowball fights…and on snow days we would bake also with mom.
Dee Johnson Sledding on the country roads.
Peggy Robinson Peterson Made hot chocolate scooped snow for the neighbors
Cindy Schorn Sledding and also baking and homemade hot chocolate
Patricia Lucero Depened the snow amount .. I remember a year we could make snow forts…. Going to Oakland Heights hill and sleigh or golf course hill… Times Penny Metheny would be on her horse and pulling me on the sled…. There are so many memories good old days
Cindy Schorn I also remember when really young getting snowed in at my grandparents in the country and being pulled around on an old car hood by the tractor and then having to try and get back to town through the single lanes with snow taller than the cars
Connie Larson The kids used to go to the Heights….its off limits now
Kathy Peterson Depended on the snow amount….we sledded and skiied through the orchard….until we were little frosty the snow people….then we could go in and melt…..with some hot chocolate….. those were the days…..fresh air and healthy exercise….frozen fingers and toes and the warmth inside the house…snuggled under blankets….
Suzanna Boyle Anderson Went sledding down the nursing home hill. Built a snowman. Drank hot cocoa and watched TV
David Mallette I remember not liking snow days….on the farm it meant more work outside. Scooping feed bunks too feed cattle, scraping the hog platform several times, etc. Just meant a lot of work….but I would rather do that than spend 2 to 3 hours in the car to go 20 miles to work like I’ve done a couple of times the last 2 weeks…

What is Your Favorite Christmas Song?

It’s the time of year to fill the air with Christmas tunes! What is your favorite Christmas song? I have many, but I really enjoy The Christmas Song.

Cara Schulzkump Raabe Mary Did You Know
Hillary Tuttle Hallelujah
Bobette Toalson Let It Be Christmas by Alan Jackson
Susan Penke White Christmas
Lauri Bundy Canarsky I’ll Be Home for Christmas (maybe not my favorite song, but my pledge)
Jaccie Case Anything by Mannheim Steamroller
Connie VonSeggern Mary Did You Know…
 Joan Lindstrom Wolf I can’t say I have a favorite–I love so many of them.
Marge Maller Too many beautiful songs to choose from. I love Silent Night.
Patti Johnson What child is this
 Judith Hannon Neemann O Holy Night.
Diane Thomas-Greckel O ‘Holy Night & Carol of the Bells
Russell Peterson I do like what child is this by Martina Mcbride
Greg Carlson Grandma got run over by a reindeer, my mom always laughed when she heard it,
Sarah Gramke Christmas Shoes, I think this is the name.

Words May Sting, But Life Goes On

I ran for Oakland City Council. I lost.

That is how life goes. Things didn’t go as I had hoped. But, I am 53 years old and learned that lesson a very long time ago.

I did learn some things that shocked me about small town politics. Not everyone plays nice or fair. I know that is normal in big city politics, and especially national politics, but I have never known it to happen in Oakland Nebraska before.

Oakland City Council wasn’t the main issue on the November ballot. School consolidation was. It did not pass, as a matter of fact, it was soundly voted down by both the Oakland-Craig School district and Tekamah-Herman’s.

As I have said many times before, social media is good and it is bad. In the case of voting this past November, it was bad on many fronts.

I believe social media gives people the ability to say awful things about others that they would never have to nerve to say to their face. Not agreeing with someone is one thing, and is perfectly normal. Diversity helps people to see other points of view. But, not agreeing with someone and saying horrible things about them is something else.

People formed groups on twitter, regularly posting negative things about people or an issue that concerned them. I never read the posts. I am rarely on twitter. But, people told me about them. You could see the hurt on the many faces effected by the negativity being spread as thick as peanut butter. I did see some not so flattering posts on Facebook. I found it shocking that a community of roughly 1,200 people could air so much hatred and continue to do so. It was the other school district involved as well, but living in Oakland for so many years and reading such things was appalling to me.

But, that wasn’t all. I received a couple of messages from people that I have know for years, insulting me. To be honest, I don’t know why. There was also a text that was sent around about me that was not nice at all.

What did I do to deserve that? I just don’t understand. I was appointed to the city council in 2013 to fill a vacant seat. I enjoyed serving the taxpayers and helping any way I could. I will miss it very much.

The one thing I know at the end of the day is: I am proud of me. I didn’t say anything bad about anyone running for office. I didn’t say bad things about others to benefit myself. I am proud to be a good, honest person who doesn’t believe in bringing others down to get my way.

I hope the wounds in Oakland can heal. Some people are very hurt, and rightfully so. This is a small town where people all considered each other friends. They always come together to help one another.

Is that the way it is now? I am not sure.

I am not going to let the words of others hurt me. I am moving on, always taking the path of helping others any way I can.

Did I fail? No. The only way I could fail was if I didn’t try. I will always take pride in who I am, a person that cares deeply about others and wanting to be the best I can be every day.

I only get one round at life and I am going to make it the best, not taking in the negative, but seeking the positive in each and every day I am blessed to open my eyes.

Life is a blessing. I hope all of you are blessed with love and kindness every day!


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