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Archive for July, 2015

OTOC Housing leaders testify for nearly $1 Million in demolition funds and a new housing inspector

July 28th, 2015

Susan Kuhlman at podiumOTOC leaders attended the City Council’s annual budget hearing at on August 11 at  the City Council chambers.

Four OTOC speakers supported:

  • $957,000 in city and federal funding for demolition of dangerous buildings—the 3rd year in a row since OTOC first won this increase for 2014.
  • add a housing code inspector position and assure that all housing code inspectors have the training they need to be certified inspectors under the Uniform Housing Maintenance Code;
  • City Council create a Vacant Property Registry to require to register vacant houses as a means to encourage owners to do something with their vacant property before it slowly deteriorates and has to be demolished.

From KVNO News

…The Council recessed for several hours, meeting again at 7pm to hear from the public concerning the Mayor’s proposed 2016 budget.Read More . . .

Sr Kathleen Erickson leads 30 people on Aug 5 about detention of Immigrant women and children

July 26th, 2015

Sr. Kathleen Erickson with crowdOn Wednesday, August 5, at 7:00 p.m. at Urban Abbey Sr. Kathleen Erickson of the Sisters of Mercy led a lively discussion about her two months as the interim chaplain at a federal immigration  detention center in Dilley Texas. The center was built to house up to 2,400 women and children who have fled to the US border to escape violence in Central America. Sr. Kathleen described how the the Center was designed not to look like a prison and had many amenities, but was still a way to detain immigrant children who came to the US with their children.

A California federal court recently ordered that the Dilley facility and others like it which house immigrant women and children be closed.

According to the New York Times on July 25, the Judge ” found that migrant children had been held in “widespread deplorable conditions” in Border Patrol stations after they were first caught, and she said the authorities had “wholly failed” to provide the “safe and sanitary” conditions required for children even in temporary cells.Read More . . .

160 people learned about Pope Francis’ Encyclical on July 30 and 35 attended July 23 conversation about sustainable food

July 18th, 2015
Team at July 2015 meeting

OTOC Environmental Sustainability Action Team

It was more than a full house at the Weitz Community Engagement Center on July 30 as an overflow crowd  learned about Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Si”  which lays out our responsibility to care for God’s Creation and how we can take action to create a more sustainable environment for the future of our region, state and world.

Panelists included Father Dennis Hamm, Professor Emeritus in Catholic Theological Studies at Creighton University; Dr. Roger Bergman, Director of the Justice and Peace Studies Program, Creighton University; and Rev. Kim Morrow, Director of Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light.

Rev. Morrow laid out clearly the science behind climate change. Fr. Hamm and Dr. Bergman gave an overview discussed in engaging manner each of the chapters in the encyclical. More than a dozen people asked questions or made comments in the following period of question and answers.Read More . . .

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