Sign apparently criticizes Berkshire

A sign apparently criticizing Berkshire Hathaway hangs Wednesday over Dodge Street on the pedestrian bridge that connects Elmwood Park and Memorial Park. A city crew removed the sign because it was not authorized.

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City officials are uncertain who installed a sign reading “BRK profits from pollution” on the pedestrian overpass between Elmwood Park and Memorial Park in Omaha on Wednesday.

The sign apparently is a reference to Berkshire Hathaway Inc., because BRK is the Omaha investment company’s ticker symbol for stock market trading.

A city crew removed the sign because it was not authorized, said Mike Gaughen, who handles such permits for the public works department.

He said the city doesn’t allow advertising or messages about controversial issues on public property such as the overpass, “certainly not criticizing a major corporation like that.”

Signs on the overpass may promote a civic event such as Shakespeare on the Green, he said, and require permits from the city. Nobody applied for a permit for the sign displayed Wednesday morning.

Environmental groups have raised issues about Berkshire companies’ power plants and trains that haul coal and crude oil, but the banner didn’t include specifics.

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