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America’s Lone Justice

“After forty-two years in prison, how can we help them?”

The first question asked after Ramsey Clark’s speech last weekend does not have an easy answer. Clark, 84, a former Attorney General who served under Lyndon Johnson, traveled to Nebraska on a humanitarian mission to visit Ed Poindexter and Mondo We Langa (David Rice) at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. The men, now 68 and 66 years old,...

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You Stay Classy, Omaha

The topic was the future of local television news. The interrogator was a young journalist who just got her first break in the local TV news market. And the underlying theme was how the Internet and Social Media will impact both their futures.

But conversation quickly turned from technology to what “news” is to a generation raised on a steady diet of reality television, game shows and apathy....

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President Romney?

The morning after, while soberly watching the post-game analysis on MSNBC, the pithy Morning Joe hosts seemed not only resolved at the outcome of the previous night’s debate, but slightly relieved if not contrite about the obvious fact that President Obama didn’t just lose the debate, Mitt Romney won it. Decisively.

A deep sense of dread began to grow in the pit of my stomach.

In the days...

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Coal’s Assault on Human Health

Alan Lockwood, M.D., is a man with a mission -- to educate the public about the health effects of burning coal. 

“Research on toxins has been my life’s work in one form or another,” he said. Lockwood spoke last week to two Omaha audiences, including a presentation at the UNMC School of Public Health. Lockwood, a retired professor and board member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, is on...

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Apple of My Eye

I told anyone who asked that no, I wasn't caught up in the iPhone frenzy. I simply needed a new phone.

The camera on my “ancient” iPhone 4 was badly scratched, likely from riding in my pants pocket with my car keys (I never use one of those God-awful plastic phone covers that look like orthodontic head gear on an adolescent child). The earphone jack also was all screwed up and slightly dented...

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Development as a Moral Imperative

In the summer of 1969, 25-year old Ken Johnson went to his job as a night clerk in the data center at the Omaha National Bank at 17th and Farnam. As the shift progressed, his attention was drawn away from his job to the sight of north Omaha in flames. Though he was a native of West Virginia recently discharged from the Air Force, the riots had an impact on him. “I watched it. I saw it burn.”

...

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Transit from the Ground Up

“My education in planning is that when I was in fourth grade, I started riding the bus across Portland, Oregon to school, with a transfer downtown,” explained Jarrett Walker, author of Human Transit and the keynote speaker at the 2nd annual Heartland Active Transportation Summit this Friday at Metro Community College.  

“I became fascinated by the transit network, and before long, I had...

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Of Sound Mind and Opinion

This week’s column is a return to my old indie music critism schtick. Because I still listen to music -- lots of it -- and have more than 20 years’ experience writing about it, which I think gives my critical analysis a modicum of relevance.

Or maybe not.

The role of the music critic has become somewhat (mostly) marginalized. Anyone interested in modern music with the available income to...

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