Opinion

A great place to start


By Jim Dickerson
There might seem to be no bright side to the present coronavirus shut-downs.
But in fact, there is an opportunity to support your hometown businesses.
Many of us are stuck at home, or at least not feeling like we have the freedom to travel as we are accustomed to.
Still, most of us have the internet. Of course we have telephones, and we can also still walk or drive around our towns as always.
Schools are closed, and most children are at home with only a limited amount of enrichment school work to do.
At the same time, most businesses are open and would very much appreciate the opportunity to serve your needs. Although most businesses are taking precautions to avoid close contact, they are still available for in-person visits, or by phone or email.
Customers can still do business locally without risking exposure to the coronavirus. As of Monday, there were No COVID-19 cases yet in Boone County or in any of our seven surrounding counties.
From my observations during the past week, grocery stores and pharmacies have been busy, but we haven’t seen a lot of traffic in some other types of businesses that stand ready to serve customers safely and efficiently.
There is no reason to avoid doing business locally. You can make a phone call or send an email, let that business know what you need, and arrange to pick up the product — or in some cases have it delivered.
We talk a lot about supporting and helping each other across America during this uncertain time, and supporting your local businesses is a great place to start.

Last week, Gov. Pete Ricketts issued an executive order to permit state and local governmental boards and public bodies to meet by video-conference, teleconference, or “other electronic means” through May 31, 2020.  The order stipulated that all such virtual meetings must be available to members of the public, including media, to give citizens the opportunity to participate as well as to be duly informed of the meetings’ proceedings. The order did not waive the publication of advance notice and agenda requirements for public meetings.
At the same time, the governor reminded Nebraskans of the CDC guidelines limiting gatherings to 10 people or fewer.
We will soon be experiencing the change in public meeting formats for two City of Albion meetings. The City Planning Commission will have teleconferencing available for its April 6 meeting, and the City Council will have teleconferencing for its April 14 meeting.
These meetings will also be limited to 10 people in attendance.
That should be an interesting experience.