This weekend, Evan Jolley will stand up before several hundred people from all over the country. He will stand and step to the microphone. He has not yet decided what he will say. It doesn’t really matter, he thinks. The point isn’t what he will say. The point is the speaking itself.
A fascinating part of Omaha identity is the reality that many east Omahans all but refuse to go west, and many west Omahans all but refuse to go east.
It's a "process that unfolds over time. You think, ‘It hasn’t happened to us. Maybe it’s not ever going to happen to us.’ The level of acceptable risk slowly ratchets up, and you eventually get to a place where it becomes the new normal.”
The 44 pages of the Nebraska attorney general's report paint a picture of a broken nonprofit whose leaders — now ex-leaders — had lost sight of the reason for Goodwill Omaha’s existence.
Seemingly every day, the president he voted for escalates a trade fight with China. Seemingly every day, the price of his soybeans plunges further into the toilet.
The average American adult travels 26 minutes to get to work, according to government surveys. And while Omaha is light-years from the worst commuting city, both census data and anecdotal evidence suggest our once-simple trips to work are getting longer and harder, too.
This farmland seems like a winning lottery ticket because it might fetch $40,000 or $50,000 an acre if or when they sell it to a developer. They know that’s serious money. They know it’s inevitable, though they don’t like to think about closing the book on five generations of Rohwers who have farmed in west Omaha — or west of Omaha — since the Civil War.
“For the next hour, we reserve our telephone line. Call in to air your views and opinions. Call in with your hints and tips. Call in on items of interest — something to sell or buy.” The phone rings immediately.
Aaron Jones is a frequent trader on Predictit, a political stock market that allows you to buy and sell real-money shares on things like the outcome of presidential elections or congressional races. A political stock market that often more accurately predicts the results of elections than any one poll, any TV talking head or any newspaper columnist.
Did the packed house at the Millard South auditorium know what they were seeing on this April night? Did the hundreds assembled for the Mr. Millard South competition know they were witnessing a stunningly spot-on impression of a two-minute scene from a 2004 cult comedy?
Since Jan. 9, 2016, the residents of the condos next door to M's Pub have endured a biblical series of catastrophes: Fire, flood, ice, mold, asbestos, insurance claims, lawsuits and enough paperwork to try the patience of Job.
Susie and Jim Silverman know that a particularly bad patch of money mismanagement, or a layoff, or a tough divorce, or simply getting seriously ill and ... people can fall right over a financial ledge. The Silvermans know it because they have seen it again, and again, and again.
“If we want to become a world-class city with world-class transit, we have to start somewhere,” developer Jay Lund said during a recent talk to a group of Omahans. “I believe the streetcar can be the catalyst.”
You can lawfully turn left into most businesses and homes along our main thoroughfare, though turning left onto another street is banned. But the truth is it doesn’t much matter. What happens when you turn left on Dodge is far scarier than a traffic ticket.
There is no obvious point to this story — in journalist-speak, no “news peg” — unless we can agree that sometimes the point is the story itself.
Developers and three different Omaha mayoral administrations have looked at the city block at 14th and Dodge Streets and dreamed big dreams. They have imagined a gleaming luxury condo building, a slightly smaller luxury condo building and a 25-story office building. Yet this spring marks the 10-year anniversary of a crew ripping down the old Union Pacific headquarters.
Seth Wannamaker, a 26-year-old who broke his neck last year and was believed to be paralyzed from the shoulders down, has somehow clawed his way back into a go-kart that he drives like a skilled madman.
“This job was so important to me,” Roy Jones says. In his 18 months there, he had been promoted once, then given a raise, as superiors rewarded his skill and hard work.
For two decades, we have talked streetcar. For two decades, the idea has animated politicians, business leaders, developers and young Omahans who see it as a way to commit to the city’s future. And for two decades, the idea has infuriated large swaths of residents who question the plan’s price tag and its value.
For the past few months, I have been periodically wandering the streets of Omaha in search of the pay phone, that most elusive of 20th-century species, that tech version of the ivory-billed woodpecker or the Himalayan snow leopard.
The pledge itself is simple: For 40 minutes a day for 40 straight days, you promise to close your laptop, click off your television and hide your smartphone.
Figuring out how things work. Writing about those things in a way that can entertain or infuriate or inspire. That ain’t nuclear physics. That, to me, is newspaper journalism.
To achieve its goal, Project 18 needs to loosen a particularly tangled knot: How do women break into and then stay in an industry that often looks and feels like a boys’ club? Only 23 percent of Omaha tech employees are women, which is close to the national average. Years of stories about Silicon Valley’s bro culture have cemented the high-profile industry’s sexist reputation.
Ricketts has withdrawn just two admiralships: Those of Amanda Gailey and Courtney Lawton, who stand on one side of a free speech controversy that has roiled the UNL campus.
Ed Ruscha is arguably the greatest living American artist. But hardly anyone knows he lived the early years of life in Omaha — odd considering our city celebrates an American president who lived here for 16 days and claims a tennis player who lived here for several months.