The Proposed Ernie Chambers Museum
and the Lost City of Saratoga
The area of North Omaha where the proposed Ernie Chambers History-Arts-Humanities Museum will be located was once part of a frontier town called Saratoga.
Museum founder Gayla Lee-Chambers, daughter of Nebraska’s longest-serving state senator, teamed with an architectural historian to unearth facts about a boom town abandoned by its investors, long ago swallowed by Omaha’s northward expansion.
Story by Kietryn Zychal. Originally published in NOISE. Republished in The Reader.
Reed Moore’s Daily Rundown
Happy National Tooth Fairy Day
Today’s news recalls the old-school way to summon the Tooth Fairy — some string and a doorknob: Former U.S. Rep. Brad Ashford opens up about his “four-year personal health journey” in a piece he pens for the Nebraska Examiner, Nebraska is getting $100 million in damages from opioid makers and distributors, and $433.1 million is the price tag on the proposed Mutual of Omaha skyscraper that’s slated to replace the downtown library following its demolition, according to the Omaha World-Herald, which says the Fortune 500 company is asking the city for up to $68.6 million in tax-increment financing to help with construction — even though TIF is designed for “extremely blighted” areas.
Harper’s Index Fact of the Day
Percentage change since 2017 in the number of married Americans who say their spouse makes life meaningful: −58
Source: Pew Research Center (Washington)
Reed Moore’s COVID-19 Roundup
As announced in the Wednesday, Dec. 29, bonus newsletter, in light of the Omicron variant, Reed Moore will replace the “Thing To Do” section with a COVID-19 spotlight featuring coronavirus-related content. The Reader believes it’s irresponsible to promote events when hospitals are nearing capacity and some community members refuse to get vaccinated. As cases continue, The Reader won’t promote any events — be they concerts, plays, art-gallery openings or stand-up comedy — that don’t require
masks, vaccination and social distancing.
- Here’s how to find out what the CDC recommends in Douglas County, given its new mask guidance, and here’s where to get KN95 and N95 masks.
- Nominate a nurse and/or Nebraska Medicine provider to be honored as a local health care hero.
5.9% of Douglas County residents are partially vaccinated.
For nationwide COVID-19 case
and vaccination trends, click here.
- $433.1 million is the price tag on the proposed Mutual of Omaha skyscraper that’s slated to replace the downtown library following its demolition, according to the Omaha World-Herald. The Fortune 500 company is asking the city for up to $68.6 million in tax-increment financing, the paper says, to help with construction. The TIF request would be the second-highest in Omaha’s history, according to the Nebraska Examiner, even though TIF is designed for “extremely blighted” areas.
- Alden Global Capital loses another fight in its battle to take over Lee Enterprises, which publishes the Omaha World-Herald and almost every daily newspaper in Nebraska.
- Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway boasts almost $40 billion in fourth-quarter profit, according to CNN.
- In solidarity with Ukrainians, there’s a weekend protest at 72nd and Dodge.
- You should be on the lookout for cyber attacks, in light of the Russia-Ukraine war, according to experts.
- Latest in the Legislature: Water proposals move forward, as does a proposal to prepare in case of a major livestock disease breakout, a proposal to increase the death benefit for firefighters, police officers and state troopers, and a child welfare bill in the wake of the St. Francis controversy. Sen. Mike Flood wants to create a long-discussed four-lane expressway between Yankton, South Dakota and Norfolk. Senators also discuss Medicaid coverage for disabled folks and the use of electric services for political campaigns.
- Nebraska is getting $100 million in damages from opioid makers and distributors, to be given to 93 counties and 16 cities over the course of 18 years.
- Check out the latest in the case of indicted GOP Rep. Jeff Fortenberry from the Associated Press and Nebraska Examiner.
- Humanities Nebraska gets a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to teach U.S. history from diverse perspectives.
- Former U.S. Rep. Brad Ashford, who endorsed both Brett Lindstrom and Carol Blood for governor, opens up about his “four-year personal health journey” in a piece he pens for the Nebraska Examiner.
This Week in Your Local Government:
TIF Projects and ARPA Spending
Presented by Reader government reporter Anton Johnson
- Skylark Development: The Omaha City Council will hold a public hearing and vote on a $3.8 million TIF loan for the Skylark Development. The plan proposes a six-story, mixed-use building at 38th Avenue and Dodge Street with 131 apartment units.
- Abbott Drive Industrial Building: The City Council will vote on another TIF request Tuesday for a warehouse and distribution center near Eppley Airfield. The project at 5906 Abbott Drive requested nearly $3.9 million.
- County Board: The Douglas County Board of Commissioners will meet Tuesday to discuss using ARPA funds to replace lost revenue to the county’s general fund. The Criminal Justice Committee will also meet Tuesday at 1 p.m. to receive updates from emergency management and the county sheriff’s department.
Every week, Anton Johnson picks noteworthy agenda items from the Omaha City Council and Douglas County Board of Commissioners. See the full City Council and Board of Commissioners agendas for Tuesday, March 1, and tune in here to the Douglas County Board at 9 a.m. and
the Omaha City Council at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
The Daily Funny
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