Nebraska voter ID proposal harms democracy, solves nothing

From the Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board:

There is a common phrase employed in legislative debates: This is a solution looking for a problem.

Cliches become clichés precisely because there’s a kernel of truth at their center. In this case, a voter ID measure — LR1CA offered by Sen. John Murante of Gretna, requiring a photo ID to participate in Nebraska elections — is a solution looking for a problem.

Secretary of State John Gale has stated plainly that there’s been no evidence of voter fraud being a problem in Nebraska. An earlier Local View from Kristie Pfabe noted that impersonation, the type of fraud an ID plan aims to stop, is the least efficient way possible to sway a race. It comes with a high cost criminally, and that high potential cost yields but one vote.

Murante argues that the bill is necessary to restore Americans’ confidence in the voting process.

But the plan creates more problems than it solves and does more harm to our democracy than it helps.

Read the full editorial.

Environmental groups file lawsuit seeking to stop KXL

From the Columbus Telegram:

National environmental groups and the company seeking to build the Keystone XL pipeline fired separate legal volleys Thursday over the contentious project.

Environmental groups — including one that got its start in Nebraska — made good on a promise to file a lawsuit seeking to reverse President Donald Trump’s green-lighting of the Keystone XL project.

Meanwhile, TransCanada filed a motion with the Nebraska Public Service Commission urging it to reject 56 people and groups seeking intervener status in the review of the Keystone XL route through the Cornhusker state, including the Nebraska Ponca and Yankton Sioux tribes and environmental and public-health advocacy groups.

More than 100 people and organizations, including more than 90 landowners and three labor unions, have petitioned to intervene, which would allow them to file legal briefs, cross-examine witnesses and present formal arguments to the PSC alongside TransCanada’s attorneys.

Read the full story.

Nebraskans pledge to fight after Trump approves KXL

From the Lincoln Journal Star:

Nebraska corn farmer Art Tanderup was just about to head to his workshop Friday morning to overhaul his 30-year-old field sprayer in preparation for spring planting when his phone rang.

President Donald Trump had granted a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, the voice on the line said.

Pipeline manufacturer TransCanada wants to plant a half-mile of the crude-oil pipe across a field where Tanderup and wife Helen have planted red, blue, white and speckled corn sacred to the Ponca Tribe, part of their ongoing protest of the project.

While Tanderup knew it was coming, Trump’s official reversal of former President Barack Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL struck a sour note.

“We’re quite disappointed,” Tanderup said. “Now we’re looking what we can do to stop it, and obviously that is through the Nebraska Public Service Commission.”

Read the full story.

Free showing of ‘1984’ in Lincoln April 4

From The Ross:

Free Screening of 1984: On April 4, 2017, almost 140 art house movie theatres — including The Ross — across the country in 124 cities and in 41 states, plus four locations in Canada, will be participating collectively in a NATIONAL EVENT DAY screening of the 80s movie 1984 in support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This date was chosen because it’s the day George Orwell’s protagonist Winston Smith begins rebelling against his oppressive government by keeping a forbidden diary. Participants in this event strongly believe in supporting the NEA and the NEH and see any attempt to scuttle these programs as an attack on free speech and creative expression through entertainment. This event provides a chance for communities around the country to show their unity and have their voices heard.

1984 is showing admission free at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center on Tuesday, April 4, at 5:30 p.m. (313 North 13th Street, Lincoln). The screening will be followed by a panel discussion about the importance of the NEA and NEH. Panelists include Suzanne Wise, Executive Director of the Nebraska Arts Council; Chris Sommerich, Executive Director of Humanities Nebraska; and Doug Zyblut, Executive Director of Nebraskans for the Arts.

Read more abut the event at The Ross.

Read more about the national event.

Omaha Green Drinks March 22

From Omaha Green Drinks:

Let’s shake off winter and embrace the upcoming Spring weather at this week’s meeting!

This is a friendly reminder that Omaha Green Drinks will be taking place this upcoming Wednesday, March 22, at 5:30 p.m. at Whole Foods Market (10020 Regency Parkway, Omaha).

Carpool, cycle, walk, or ride the bus! This is a great way to network, inspire, share ideas, and catch up with other “Green” people. Looking forward to seeing you!

Please RSVP on Facebook.

Lincoln City Council Candidate Forum March 16

From Nebraska League of Conservation Voters:

Please join us Thursday, March 16, for the Lincoln City Council Candidate forum – all of the candidates have committed to attending.

  • When: Thursday, March 16th, 7:00 PM
  • Where: The AULD, 1650 Memorial Drive, Lincoln, NE 68508

The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited. Please RSVP to attend.

This candidate forum provides an opportunity for voters to get to know the candidates and their positions, as well as highlight the differences in their proposed policies. All candidates have committed to attending. Candidates running for Lincoln City Council include:

  • Leirion Gaylor Baird (Incumbent)
  • Roy Christensen (Incumbent)
  • Bennie Shobe
  • Brayden McLaughlin
  • Lou Braatz
  • Tom Nesbitt
  • Maggie Squires
  • Deb Andrews

The questions asked during the forum will encompass a wide range of issues in order to provide the most informative experience possible for those in attendance. Candidates may be asked questions about energy and the environment, as well as sustainable growth, fiscal responsibility, government transparency, transportation, infrastructure, neighborhoods and housing, public safety, and education.

The forum is hosted by the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters (NLCV), NeighborWorks Lincoln, Witherbee Neighborhood Association, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Friends of Wilderness Park, and several other Neighborhood Associations.

NGP statement in support of Nebraska’s LB34

The Nebraska Green Party’s statement in support of LB34, under consideration by the Nebraska Unicameral:

The Nebraska Green Party would like to express its support of LB 34 and thank Sen Ebke for introducing it. The strength of a democracy lies in its ability to accommodate a diversity of voices, and any improvements in that regard will have our support. Third parties already face steep obstacles to entry in the political arena, and this at a time when, at least nationally, voters seem to have very low regard for the leadership of the established parties and are left wanting by the high barriers to entry of our current system. We urge you to pass LB 34. The bill would not take anything away from the current ballot access situation, but provides an additional path to ballot retention.

Support public schools March 14 in Lincoln

From Center for People in Need:

On Tuesday, March 14, at noon, please join us for a rally to support public schools and draw attention to the threats posed by school privatization schemes and budget cuts. At 1:30, attend the hearing for LB 630, which would bring charter schools to Nebraska and threaten public school funding. Here’s how to get involved:

  • Attend the rally at noon on the West side of the Nebraska State Capitol (near the Abraham Lincoln statue).
  • Attend the 1:30 p.m. hearing on LB 630 in Capitol hearing room 1525, which would bring charter schools to Nebraska.
  • Testify in opposition to the bill, or consider submitting written testimony by email to the Education Committee. Ask that your opposition be read into the official record.
  • Contact your state senator, as well as members of the Education Committee, and let them know you support public schools and oppose school privatization and budget cuts.

Contact info and more about the Unicameral’s Education Committee.

Omaha mayoral candidate forum March 14

From Progressive Omaha:

Do you want to hear from Omaha’s Mayoral candidates? Join ONE Omaha for a Community Conversation featuring Omaha Mayoral Candidates Ean Mikale, Heath Mello, Mayor Jean Stothert, and Taylor Royal. The forum questions focus on neighborhood issues and opportunities. The conversation will take place at the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus, Tuesday, March 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Moderated by KIOS, the forum is open to the public. All questions posed at the forum have been developed and submitted to ONE Omaha by Omaha residents.

For more information or to submit your question, visit One Omaha.

Free movie Monday at First Unitarian in Omaha March 6

Mark your calendar for a free screening of “Freeheld: A True Story of Love and Injustice” followed by a talk with Omaha author and activist Ruth Marimo.

  • When: Monday, March 6, at 7  to 9 p.m.
  • Where: First Unitarian Church of Omaha, 3114 Harney St., Omaha

Oscar winner Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Steve Carell, and Michael Shannon give acclaimed performances in this stirring film based on a true story. After detective Laurel Hester (Moore) is diagnosed with cancer, she learns that government officials won’t award her pension benefits to her domestic partner, Stacie (Page). Refusing to accept the officials’ decision, Laurel and Stacie lead a battle for equal rights in this unforgettable movie that speaks to the power of love and the pursuit of justice.

Ruth Marimo was born and raised in the Southern African country of Zimbabwe. She is a lesbian LGBTQ activist, Immigration Reform activist, a writer, a public speaker, owner of a successful cleaning business, and mother of two beautiful children. Their lives were turned upside down when the man she was married to tried to have her deported. It was while she sat in jail thinking, praying, and awaiting deportation, that she decided to write her life-story for her children. “Outsider: Crossing Borders. Breaking Rules. Gaining Pride” was released April 11, 2014, by Scout Publishing LLC.