Meet the Chief

First, a primer on how to pronounce “Schmaderer,” the new police chief’s last name: “SHMA’ der.” Rhymes with water. “Some of our relatives actually dropped the last ‘er,’” he explained during an hour-long interview with The Reader. Water is an apt metaphor for Todd Schmaderer’s thoughtful, soft-spoken demeanor. Still waters run deep and so does Omaha’s 40-year old police chief.

Schmaderer has...

entered on 09/18/12 at 04:24 AM | read more »

Playing the Reverse Lottery

I explained it again as we pulled out of the gas station outside of North Platte, about an hour ahead of schedule with five hours to go.

The whole thing is one big math equation, I said. The odds are always in your favor. Just look at the numbers.

There’s about 600 miles of four-lane interstate between Omaha and Breckenridge, Colorado. Six hundred miles of open road, rolling hills, and on a...

entered on 09/11/12 at 03:50 PM | read more »

Neighborhood Alliances Ask for Help

If a broken window can increase crime (the so-called “brown window theory”), imagine the effect an abandoned or burned out house can have on a neighborhood. Omaha has 461 single family houses with orders of demolition in every part of town, according to Kevin Denker, chief code inspector for the city. There are 735 demolition orders total, which can include anything from a fence or a garage to...

entered on 09/04/12 at 06:47 PM | read more »

Sis, Boom, Bah

As college football gets under way, is it me or has the hype surrounding the Huskers died down over the past few years?

I remember a time not so long ago when as August ground to a halt, you could not escape the pounding hype machine behind Nebraska football. If you weren't a fan, and even if you were, there was nowhere to hide on the radio, on television, in the newspaper. In a state that...

entered on 09/04/12 at 04:04 PM | read more »

The Arts Community Reveals its Secrets for Surviving the Economic Downturn

“We had a year plus where we were rebuilding before things went south so we really had all of our ducks in a row in terms of our internal structure and systems,” said Shannon Walenta, Managing Director of the Blue Barn Theatre.

Walenta said the theatre went through a financial crisis in 2007, just before the market bottomed out. After openly telling the community they were in trouble, the...

entered on 08/30/12 at 11:27 PM | read more »

Order Out of Chaos, Hope Out of Thin Air

Jannette Taylor has been spending a lot of time in the hospital lately at the bedside of a gunshot victim. For the Executive Director of Impact One, north Omaha’s non-profit devoted to gang intervention and prevention, hospitals, drive-by shootings and funeral arrangements have been part of the routine of creative challenges she faces almost every day for the past three years  deeply involved...

entered on 08/28/12 at 10:29 PM | read more »

Changing the Model

A scrappy university that has always fought above its weight class aims to make a big dent in the national economy with collaborative leadership.

“Sixty percent of those who start a course of education, sadly, do not complete it,” Bellevue University President Dr. Mary Hawkins told the Albany Times-Union earlier this year. She cited this as a major reason workers get left behind. “If we can...

entered on 08/28/12 at 05:37 PM | read more »

Style Over Substance

As we drove back from the Fashion Week finale Saturday night, I tried to sum up what we just saw, what we just experienced. And I knew it would not be easy.

There’s this problem with writing about any event involving Omaha “creatives.” Unless you’re overflowing with love, adoration and affection, literally stumbling over yourself with pride while you toss bouquets at the feet of all involved,...

entered on 08/28/12 at 03:58 PM | read more »

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Terry’s Movement on Immigration

If You’re Not At The Table, You’re On The Menu

Public Hearing this Thursday on Election Commissioner Changes

A Second Opinion

Meet the Chief

A State of Homelessness

Ganging Up

<p>Some of the community leaders behind the first South Omaha Violence and Intervention meeting.  </p>

Police reviewing gun policy following school shooting