FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2015


Bill Barstow and his daughter Andrea work together along with the rest of the family to make Main Street Theatres and Aksarben Cinema a success.                                        – Photo by Jordan Green
Locally Owned Aksarben Cinema Takes a Bow
As Chamber’s Small Business of the Month

By Dan McCann
The Daily Record

Dinosaurs wreaking havoc. A band of superheroes fighting to prevent it. Emotions on full animated display. It’s just another day at the office for Bill and Colleen Barstow, owners of Aksarben Cinema, one of the last locally-owned and operated theatres in the metro, and the Greater Omaha Chamber’s July Small Business of the Month.
“We have customers who want to know which of the chains we’re affiliated with, and we have to explain to them that we’re a ‘Bill and Colleen Barstow’ theatre. Some will actually argue with us,” said Bill Barstow. “It’s kind of a foreign concept these days, that a big commercial theatre would be family-owned.”
The “family” aspect of the family business also includes daughters Andrea, marketing director, and Amy, who assists in the front office; and son, Michael, who is involved in marketing as well.
“The family’s been involved from the beginning. It’s the only way we know how to do it,” Bill Barstow said.
Under the umbrella of Main Street Theatres Inc., the Barstows own eight theatres in Nebraska and Iowa, the first of which was a single-screen theatre in Plattsmouth. Aksarben Cinema opened in 2010, five years after developers first raised the prospect of bringing a Barstow-owned theatre to a yet-to-be-constructed, mixed-use urban concept called Aksarben Village.

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Kathy Pettersen, left, and Beverly Reicks, pose with Douglas County Clerk Thomas F. Cavanaugh as the first same-sex couple in Douglas County, Nebraska to be legally issued a Nebraska marriage license following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26, 2015 decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Leslie and Jim Cavanaugh, not pictured, were the couple’s official witnesses for the historic event.
In Landmark Ruling, Supreme Court
Extends Gay Marriage Nationwide

By Mark Sherman
Washington (AP) – The Supreme Court declared last Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States, a historic culmination of decades of litigation over gay marriage and gay rights generally.
Gay and lesbian couples already could marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court’s 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.
Douglas County Clerk Tom Cavanaugh issued marriage licenses Friday morning, soon after the decision.
Gay rights supporters cheered, danced and wept outside the court after the decision, which put an exclamation point on breathtaking changes in the nation’s social norms.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, just as he did in the court’s previous three major gay rights cases dating back to 1996. It came on the anniversary of two of those earlier decisions.
“No union is more profound than marriage,” Kennedy wrote, joined by the court’s four more liberal justices.

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From left are: Luis Olivas, Scholarship Founder Ross Pesek, Liliana Martinez, Jackeline Lopez, Martin Hernandez and Karen Pesek, Ross’s wife. Not able to attend were award recipients Jose Flores, Salvador Morales and Priscilla Hernandez.                                 – Photo by Michael Tran

True Potential Scholarships
Dreamers Closer to Realizing Their Dreams

By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

Seven True Potential Scholar-ships were awarded at a fundraising dinner at Metro Community College’s Fort Omaha campus on June 11.
The True Potential Scholarship, founded by Ross Pesek of Pesek Law LLC and Matters on Tomorrow, seeks out deserving young immigrants who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)   status  by the United States Department of Homeland Security. In addition, scholarship recipients must also meet the following criteria: They are attending or enrolling in classes at a Nebraska or Iowa community college, and have demonstrated a commitment to their continued education. They are often called “Dreamers” because of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.
As Ross Pesek said, “The ultimate goal of these scholarships is to allow these students to reach their ‘True Potential.’”
This year’s wirs are: Liliana Martinez, Priscilla Hernandez, Luis Olivas, Jose Lopez, Martin Hernandez, Salvador Morales and Jackeline Lopez.

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OPPD Names Comstock, Olson as Vice-Presidents
Omaha Public Power District President and CEO Tim Burke recently announced the appointment of two vice-presidents: Juli Comstock, vice-president of Customer Service, and Lisa Olson, vice-president of Public Affairs. Both functions fell under Burke’s previous role as vice-president of customer service and public affairs. In dividing the position responsibilities, Burke works toward his goal of continuing to improve communication, transparency and visibility in the community with the realignment his senior management team. It also allows for the continued focus on high customer satisfaction, which has been a hallmark of OPPD.

Comstock will oversee customer service operations, customer sales & service, and demand side management and energy efficiency. She joined OPPD in 1988 in the financial accounting & reporting area, and served most recently as division manager of customer service operations. Prior to her division manager position, Comstock played a major role for many of OPPD’s customer service technology projects, including customer information systems, mobile workforce management, automated callout and the e-business projects. She participated in the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce Leadership Nebraska Class VII in 2014 and also currently serves as a board member for Girls Scouts – Spirit of Nebraska. She is also chairperson of the Large Public Power Council’s customer service executive team and is on the Utility Analytics Institute Executive Advisory Council. Comstock holds a master’s degree in leadership from Bellevue University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Olson will oversee corporate marketing & communications, environmental & regulatory affairs, governmental affairs and economic development. Olson joined OPPD in 2011 as division manager of corporate marketing & communications. In that role, Olson oversaw marketing & education, customer communications, media relations, nuclear communications, market research and product marketing, as well as energy-efficiency programs. She played a major role in the resource generation options stakeholder process the past two years, and she has helped set the foundation for ensuring the voice of the customer is heard through the OPPD Listens stakeholder program. Before joining OPPD, Olson has served in various leadership roles, including her role as senior vice-president of corporate relations for Infogroup. Olson’s community involvement includes her work on several community boards such as the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, Nebraska Diplomats, Nebraska Humane Society Omaha Sister Cities Association, Durham Museum and the United Way of the Midlands.  She currently serves on the TeamMates Board of Directors.
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Angela Terry Lennon has taken Omaha by storm from the day she landed here in 2008.
– Photo credit: Christine McGuigan
Lennon on Fast Track in Legal Community
By Elizabeth Elliott
The Daily Record

As a young child, she set her sights on becoming an attorney. She raised those dreams through involvement in politics and volunteering for campaigns in high school and college. She even went so far as being a founding member of the Teen Court program in her home city of Rapid City, S.D.
Angela Terry Lennon, an associate attorney for Koenig | Dunne Divorce Law, PC, LLO in Omaha, has risen quickly in her field.
Lennon is a board member (and former president) of the Nebraska Women’s Bar Association. She became a member of the board in her first year of practice. A position for presidency opened up the following year.
“I felt compelled to serve and support the vision and mission of the NWBA and our community of women lawyers. I believe strongly in the mission, which is advancing the status of women in the law, supporting and improving the administration of justice, and promoting equality of the sexes in our society,” she said. “It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience and I’ve learned so much in my few years as a member and president of the organization.”
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Rossiter Nominated For Federal Judgeship
President Barack Obama has nominated Robert F. Rossiter Jr. to fill a vacant federal judgeship in Nebraska. Rossiter would replace U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon, who is taking senior status.
Rossiter’s nomination now enters the Senate confirmation process. After his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee will then vote on his nomination. Following approval by the committee, his nomination heads to the Senate floor for a final vote.
Senator Deb Fischer and former Senator Mike Johanns first recommended Rossiter to serve as federal judge for the District of Nebraska in August of 2014. Fischer and Johanns began a statewide search, accepting applications for more than four months before announcing their selection of Rossiter to fill the vacancy.
Laurie Smith Camp, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, said, “Bob Rossiter is a lawyer of the highest caliber. He is respected throughout Nebraska’s legal community for his intelligence, skill, temperament and commitment to justice. His distinguished career in trial practice, and his long history of public service, will make him an outstanding addition to Nebraska’s federal bench.”  
Nebraska is among eight states having a single federal district and only three authorized judgeships. In this group, Nebraska has by far the heaviest docket. For the 12-month period ending September 30, 2014, Nebraska ranked first among these districts in its per-judgeship weighted filings, felony caseload and supervised release hearings.
Rossiter is a partner at Fraser Stryker and is the president-elect for the Nebraska State Bar Association. He earned his bachelor of science degree from Perdue University in 1978, and he graduated, cum laude, from Creighton University School of Law in 1981, where he served as the editor of the Creighton Law Review. After receiving his law degree, Rossiter clerked for U.S. District Court Judge C. Arlen Beam from 1982 to 1983.

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Everybody’s favorite judge,” the Hon. Joseph P. Caniglia, reflects on a lifelong career of service throughout decades of change.
‘Papa Joe’ Caniglia Retires This Week,
Wrapping Up 18-Year Career on Bench

By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

He’s known as ‘Papa Joe’ in the Douglas County Courthouse and, after speaking with the Hon. Joseph P. Caniglia’s friends and colleagues, it’s easy to see why. Everyone loves him, and when he retires as a Douglas County Court judge tomorrow, June 30th, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.
“He is the nicest, most unassuming human being I know,” said Hon. Sheryl L. Lohaus. “He has been a good mentor. He’s going to be missed. He’s very humble, and offers advice on how you shouldn’t take yourself so seriously.  
“As an attorney, you knew you could approach him. I’ve known him for 18 or 20 years, and we [Hon. Craig Q. McDermott and Hon. Derek R. Vaughn] eat lunch with him almost every day. We told him anytime he wants to go to lunch, he can come down to the court. He really likes to ‘break bread.’”
“I’ve never heard a bad word about him,” said Judge McDermott. “He’s one of the most humble judges. He gets along with people so well. He’s so easygoing and even-keeled, and he treats people who come before him very well. He was like that before he was a practicing judge. When I was a young lawyer, he was always friendly to me and would say ‘Hi.’

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Ron Volkmer, Creighton University Law professor, presents Kerri Davis with the Practitioner Award named after him.
Adoption Specialist Honored for Creating
‘Pathways of Constructive Dialogue’

Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

Friday was a “Red Letter Day” for Kerri Davis, adoption/permanency specialist with Nebraska Family Collaborative. Not only did she receive the Concord Mediation Center’s Ron Volkmer Practitioner Award, which is presented to those who “create pathways of constructive dialogue and conflict resolution through consensus building activities of mediation, facilitation and education,” but she also announced her engagement to Danny Yosten.
“We got engaged on May 9, and are getting married on May 20 [next year] in Jamaica,” she said.
Born in North Platte, Davis graduated from high school in Plattsmouth. It was an internship at Royal Family Kids, the nation’s leading network of camps and mentor clubs for children of abuse, abandonment and neglect, that set her on her career path.
“Just seeing what those children went through made me know this is what I was called to do in life and where my heart is,” she said. “I also did Big Brothers and Big Sisters in college.”
She earned a bachelor of science degree in family studies from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2007, and immediately found employment in the human services field. In 2008, she began her career working as an adoption specialist. Since then, she has assisted in helping nearly 1,000 children achieve permanency through adoption in Douglas and Sarpy Counties.

From left, Heidi and Jeff Wilke accept the Pathways Award from Concord Mediation Center Board member Cindy Ellis, M.D.
When presenting Davis with her award, Lori McKeon, child welfare facilitation coordinator at the Concord Mediation Center and last year’s Ron Volkmer Practitioner Award recipient, explained that she was “excited” to give Davis the award, because she comes with a “smile, is passionate and articulate, and makes sure that every question is answered. She makes our job effective and more meaningful.”
In her position, Davis said that she answers questions and talks to clients about the process of adoption – what it looks like, and what the future holds. Although her job can be tough, she said, “it’s rewarding, knowing you are making a difference. I try to keep positive. Even though you might not think you are making an impact, you are.”
Davis is clearly making a difference at Nebraska Families Collaborative. She has, for three consecutive years, been given the organization’s Star Award for “her dedication and work with children and families.”
Wanting to advance in her field, Davis is earning a master’s degree in public administration through Bellevue University, with an expected graduation of January 2016.
Wilkes Honored
Heidi and Jeff Wilke, founders of The Heidi Wilke SANE/SART Survivor Program at Methodist Hospital, were also honored during the Concord Mediation Center’s Pathways Award Luncheon on Friday at the Omaha Field Club.
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– Photos by Lorraine Boyd
From left, Bill Harry, John Ashford and Matt Kraemer solve a few of the most pressing legal problems facing the Barristers at the annual Steak Fry.
Barristers Put the Sizzle in the Steak
It almost rained on their parade, but not quite. While rain was forecast for June 11 – the day of the annual Daily Record/Barristers’ Steak Fry – it rained before and after the event, but stayed dropless for the duration. Space to mingle outside was hampered by puddles of mud, but there was enough paved patio to go around. The freshly painted pavilion – with updated bathrooms to boot! – at Elmwood Park made a wonderful setting for the annual event for lawyers, judges and those who work in the legal community.
Joy Jordan Suder took over as president of The Barristers Club at the Steak Fry and had this to say about her coming year: “My year in office will be one of pragmatic diplomacy with an emphasis on song and dance, and more joy than anyone ever wanted or thought they needed.”
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