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Monday, November 26, 2012

pop-we Dinner Club Reviews Pink Poodle Steakhouse

Top Sirloin meal at Pink Poodle.
Just east of Omaha, across the Missouri River in Crescent, Iowa you will find the Pink Poodle Steakhouse that has been open since 1964. The location has had many things on the property since the 1940s: a house, a bar, a hotel and a tavern. Though the property has had two disasters a fire and a tornado, the wood arches that make up the cathedral ceiling are original. When you arrive at 633 Old Lincoln Highway, as you walk in the door you notice a large open room, with a couple old player piano’s to the left and a bar area in the middle of the room.

Tonight I had had the Top Sirloin for $17.95, which comes with a potato (I had hash browns), soup, salad, bread and they offer free refills. The steak was good sized, cooked to a nice pink medium and juicy. They offer two soups of the day, except for Monday as they are closed. The night we were there it was Potato that was good with large chunks of potato and a savory broth. The complimentary bread is homemade that everyone liked, as we had to keep asking for more. 

Beck ordered the Alaskan King Crab Legs (8oz.) with baked potato for $17.50. When they bring out the crab legs they also bring out a stand with the small candle to keep the butter warm for dipping the crab meat in. She really enjoys the crab legs and for the price you cannot go wrong. Check out for more information regarding Pink Poodle’s menu.

After compiling the surveys from the other foodies the pop-we Dinner Club gives Pink Poodle: 3.53 star average on a scale of 1-5.

Atmosphere/Decor – 3.14

Cleanliness – 3.14

Wait Staff – 3.57

Menu – 3.57

Food Presentation – 3.71

Food Portions – 3.71

Food Taste – 3.71

Cost (was the cost worth meal?) – 3.43

Noise Level – 3.71

Overall Experience – 3.57

Fellow population-we™ readers, if you’ve been to the Pink Poodle leave us a comment and tell us what you thought?

Want to do this yourself? To review how to start your own dinner club, visit our January post about doing just that. Remember it is a template; tweak it to fit you and your friends’ tastes. pop-we Dinner Club: good food…good friends…good times.
Pink Poodle Restaurant on Urbanspoon

-population-we™ blog post by Brian Brown
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Monday, November 19, 2012

Nebraska AIDS Project Presents 20th Anniversary Event Dec. 1

Hundreds of people are expected to dance and raise money to support the work being done by Nebraska AIDS Project (NAP) on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9 a.m. to midnight.

Attendees this year will be honoring the gala’s 20th anniversary at the historic Magnolia Hotel, 1615 Howard St.

This gala event has helped raise more than $3,000,000 to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS and their families across Nebraska, southwest Iowa and eastern Wyoming. Nearly 1,000 people living with the diagnosis receive help from Nebraska AIDS Project every year. The organization also provides confidential testing of sexually transmitted diseases in response to an alarming rate of infection in our community.

As part of this year’s gala, there will also be a silent auction, featuring works by notable and emerging Omaha artists. About two dozen works will be up for auction from such recognized names as Thakoon Panichgul (shown below), Eric Post, Amy Haney and Shari Post.
Thakoon scarf auction item.

Helping to make the evening unforgettable are honorary chairs Dianne and Allan Lozier and event chair Carol Wang.

The Loziers chose to support this event because, “[The Nebraska AIDS Project]’s belief in educating the community and providing client services, prevention education, outreach and advocacy tools shows their determination to provide strategies to reduce risky sexual behaviors in our community thus reducing HIV/AIDS and STD’s.”

Sponsors of "Night of a Thousand Silver Stars" include Lozier, ConAgra Foods, The Nebraska Medical Center, Cox, Ginger’s Hang-Up, The Holland Foundation, P.J. Morgan Real Estate, Methodist Hospital and Delinea Design. Benefactors include Mayor Jim Suttle, Hastings College, US Bank, Omaha GLBT Sports League, Good Samaritan Hospital-Kearney and University of Nebraska Medical Center.

"I hope people come to the Magnolia, fall in love with a piece of art, and dance until their feet are sore, celebrating that for the last 20 years, they've been a part of an effort to help our neighbors live longer, healthier lives," said Carol Wang, event chair.

To attend, visit here for R.S.V.P details.

- population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2012 population-we, LLC
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Monday, November 12, 2012

Elections of 1860, 1862 and 1864 Revisited

As we put another presidential election cycle behind us in the United States, the last thing many of us want to hear about is politics. Both parties have put forth their visions and the people have chosen. It has been another bitter struggle played out on the Internet, on the radio and on television. Hopefully all of you had the opportunity to chose who you felt was best by voting. As we look around the world we should realize what a gift we have to elect our leaders. Millions do not have that choice. Our own country offers some incredible examples of the power of the vote. Perhaps there is no greater example of this than the elections of 1860, 1862 and 1864.


The country was bitterly divided in 1860. John Brown’s Raid of Harpers Ferry in 1859 crystallized the slavery issue. In the South, slave owners fears of an insurrection were piqued when Brown attacked Harpers Ferry. In the North, a growing abolitionist movement continued to gain steam. The Democratic Party could not agree on a candidate, splitting the electorate. An opportunity presented itself for the relatively new Republican Party and Abraham Lincoln prevailed in a close vote. Shortly after, in December 1860, South Carolina became the first of several states to leave the Union. The stage was set for civil war.


The year 1862 brought Senate midterm and local elections. In the midst of civil war, the nation moved forward with the vote. The war had not gone as quickly as most predicted, and it was obvious the end was a long way off. In the Eastern Theater, Union armies were pushed back from the gates of Richmond in a series of bloody battles. The Confederate army under Robert E. Lee humiliated the Union army under John Pope and pushed the war into Maryland. Lincoln returned George McClellan to command to drive Lee back. McClellan gained a hard fought victory over Lee at Antietam in September and the Confederates retreated across the Potomac.

In the Western Theater, Union armies found more success. Early victories at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, Island Number 10 on the Mississippi River, and Forts Henry and Donelson allowed for the capture of Nashville, Tennessee, an important state capital. Fighting in the West also brought the nation its first shocking casualty figures in a Union victory at Shiloh, Tennessee. In September, Confederate armies invaded Kentucky and threatened Louisville and Cincinnati before being pushed back at Perryville.

Fall 1862 found the Union fighting back invasions in border states that threatened major cities, potential foreign intervention from England and France and growing casualty lists. Predictably, the elections did not go well for the Republican Party.


1864 was a presidential election year. Union armies were having success but the end was still a long way off. General Ulysses S. Grant led Union armies against Lee in Virginia. Hard fought battles at The Wilderness and Spotsylvania pushed Lee down towards Richmond. Grant continued to press Lee at Cold Harbor, but was stopped in a vicious battle. Grant continued to press on. By mid June, Grant threatened Lee at Petersburg, Virginia. He would still be there in November, locked in siege warfare. A Confederate army invaded Maryland and threatened Washington D.C. before finally being pushed back in the summer.

In Georgia, Union General William T. Sherman pushed towards Atlanta. Sherman battled General Joseph Johnston most of the spring and summer. North of Atlanta, Sherman suffered a bloody setback at Kennesaw Mountain. Sherman continued to push towards Atlanta. Confederate President Jefferson Davis grew frustrated with Johnston’s retreat towards Atlanta and replaced him with General John Bell Hood. Hood came with a reputation as a fighter from the East under Robert E. Lee and joined the western Confederate Army of Tennessee in September 1863. Hood launched several desperate attacks to drive Sherman back. 

In the midst of continued fighting the presidential election was held. The Democratic Party nominated former Union General George B. McClellan as their candidate and ran on a platform to end the war. Lincoln felt he was likely to lose the election in 1864 and feared the country would be permanently split with the recognition of the Confederacy. Casualty lists continued to mount with no end in sight. Lincoln’s presidential hopes looked grim in late summer. September finally brought some good news. Sherman finally took Atlanta. Later that fall, the Confederate army that threatened Washington earlier in the summer was defeated. These victories helped propel Lincoln to a second term in 1864. The citizens of the United States voted to continue the war and victory came in 1865. Lincoln lost his life shortly after Appomattox, never getting to put in place his ideas for bringing the country back together.

Elections of today are filled with partisan bickering. If you look at American elections through history you will find not much has changed. During our nation’s darkest hour, people still were able to make their voice heard through voting. It is important that we as citizens remember this fundamental obligation now, and in the future, regardless of your political affiliation.

- population-we™ blog post by Ron Wiley
© 2012 population-we, LLC
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Monday, November 5, 2012

Native American Heritage Month: Book Review About Indian Mascots

As someone with Irish ancestors, I do not mind the “Fighting Irish” mascot of Notre Dame University -- so people of Native American descent should not mind mascots depicting Native Americans, right? I was able to quickly find weaknesses in my reasoning as Irish in 21st Century America are not in my estimation widely stereotyped; while, there are still pervasive stereotypes towards Native Americans. After reviewing Mascots That Honor Indians: The Audacity of a Dope For Suggesting Schools Change Their Indian Mascots by Edouardo Zendejas, I know that the reasons are much deeper.

By studying the book, I learned that Indians find it very offensive to have sacred Indian rituals performed at sporting events. As a people they may wear regalia or perform dances and rituals when they honor their heritage as they understand the special symbolism.

The tone of the book is predominately congenial and recognizes that many schools that use Indian mascots are ignorant as to how demeaning they are to Indians. After being enlightened, it is hoped that schools will select an alternate mascot to honor Indians.

Some may believe that the image of an "Indian Warrior" pays homage to the proud fierceness and competiveness of their past leaders. The text quotes, Barbara Munson, who is a member of the Oneida Nation and the chairperson of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association. Munson explains how some Native Americans feel about the use of "Warriors" as mascots. She said, “Yes we are proud of the warriors who fought to protect our cultures from forced removal and systematic genocide and to preserve our lands from the greed of others. We are proud, and we don’t want them demeaned by being ‘honored’ in a sports activity on a playing field.” She also has concerns that this image keeps Indians in the past and ignores their contemporary experiences.

Furthermore, Munson feels that focusing on tragic parts of the history when men fought as warriors for their survival ignores the beautiful aspects of their cultures during times of peace. She adds, Many Indian cultures view life as a spiritual journey filled with lessons to be learned from every living being. She also shares the attributes revered by many Native American cultures where their good men are patient, learned and gentle. In addition, She shares how many Native American cultures are child-centered and women are highly esteemed as mothers.

In the dedication, Zendejas recognizes the Indian students who have had to “endure the chants, tomahawk chops and other words and actions that mock and degrade their culture.” When I read this, I was not really aware exactly what a tomahawk chop is or why a Native American student would be so offended. A couple weeks later, my radar was up as I viewed a recent video of staffers of a politician who were doing the tomahawk chops. Their demeanor and their behavior seemed to overtly insult Native Americans.

In the book, there are illustrations of "Indian Mascots," which to me range from caricatures with negative images to warriors depicted in a noble manner. It also gives examples of mascots that honor the rich heritage of the Indian people are Omaha Nation High Blackbirds in honor of Omaha leader and educator Elmer Blackbird or Minatare Mustangs in honor of the horse skills of the high plains.

People may argue that their individual school may show respect in their behavior towards their Indian mascots. However, the book demonstrates how they cannot control the behavior of the other teams who may have signs or shouts with racial slurs suggesting their opponents go back to the reservation or relive the “Trail of Tears.”

In addition to suggesting that schools voluntarily change mascots, the book also shows how the curriculum of schools often fall short in teaching about Native American history. In fact, some of the students surveyed in the book seemed to draw their limited knowledge of Native Americans from the mascots and activities associated with the mascots at the events that they attended saying such things as “Indians paint their face.” Other students may recall a book report in grade school or a week or two on a given tribe in grade school, but nothing in the higher grades.

As I am in my forties now, I believe the cumulative effect of images is important and that we do need to start young in giving a fair and balanced history. Yet, our reasoning skills improve with age and we need to be exposed to the histories as we grow older so that we can process it on a higher level.

I had little familiarity with U.S. Indian Policy prior to reading the book. The book does give an overview of the various stages starting with the Indian Treaty Era and ending with the Indian Self-Determination Policy implemented by the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975. While people who knew very little about Indian history including myself are generally aware of grave miscarriages of injustice towards Native Americans. This book shares important landmark decisions and background regarding the United States Government as it relates to Native American Tribes. According to the findings of the book, non-Indians may have sympathy towards the past treatment of Indians but rarely think about Indian issues and many have stereotypical views. It said, “Few non-Indians understood that Indians have a distinctive legal status based on a long history of treaties.”

I knew Zendejas prior to his leaving Omaha with his family to complete law school at Brigham Young University. Upon his return, I was aware that he was a Chief Judge for the Omaha Tribal Court although I may have been sketchy on the exact title or details. While I was attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), I would sometimes visit with him in the hallways and considered taking his class. I believe I was only taking classes in my major at that point, but I do regret not taking his class. I am grateful that he published a book to help me begin the journey to fill this void. By reading his brief biography, I learned that Zendejas is a member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. His biography and the book made me aware that I seldom associate the name of my city (Omaha) with the tribe for which it was named. It has piqued my interest to learn more of this tribe and other tribes of North America.

I am probably not alone in wondering whether Indian or Native American is the correct term to use. In the book, I learned that neither term is politically incorrect or offensive. They do not derive their sense of identity from either term. As the book states, "Our sense of identity comes from our Tribal membership or affiliation, and our extended nuclear families."

Members of Native American tribes do not want stereotypes perpetuated by mascots, in books, media, or Hollywood. They also do not want a romanticized view of their history. They simply want opportunities to tell their own story.
(Editor's note: This article is in honor of Native American Heritage Month. To find out more, visit

- population-we™ blog post by Barb Bohan
© 2012 population-we, LLC
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