Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 14, 1995)
Resent won’t back down
to reach goals
By Rainbow Rowell
HASTINGS— Maverick.In 1971,
Robert Allen infuriated the Hastings
school board with his demands to
change the district’s scheduling
Troublemaker. In 1976, Allen,
then the mayor, waged war with the
Hastings City Council trying to real
ize his vision of a better, more mod
t ------: „ .
Loose cannon. As a regent, Allen
has harshly criticized three univer
sity presidents, his fellow regents
and the UNL football coach. He’s
said the current UNL chancellor
should be fired. He’s made some of
the most powerful people in Nebraska
very, very angry.
Regent Robert Allen of Hastings
has been called many things since
he’s entered the political world. But
those who know him say those labels
are just too simple.
Robert Allen is a complicated man,
they say, a man who knows what he
wants and is determined to get it.
Robert Allen is an intelligent, intimi
dating, tenacious man of the people,
some say. And though they may criti
cize his style, few fault his vision.
It is this complex man who con
ducts both his university and retail
business from an office above his
Hastings shopping center.
Files line the room and fill his
desk in thoughtful, if not neat, stacks.
Throughout the interview, he wheels
his chair around the room, searching
for one document or another to prove
his point. Usually, he finds them.
Sometimes the conversation changes
too soon, and he’s wheeling in the
opposite direction seeking a second
copy before he’s found the first.
He seems to have collected every
newspaper story written about him,
every political cartoon and editorial.
He also saves articles about subjects
that interest him. There are files for
his business, files for education and a
See ALLEN on 8
Regent Robert Allen, right, has an impromptu chat about
university issues with his attorney, Douglas Pauley, Saturday
in Allen’s Hastings shopping center.
class^vas^lfroadMst viaV^ell!te acrossiNebraska.ernment class "°"da» ava"'"S Walter Scott Engineering Building. The
By Julie Sobczyk
For an hour and a half Monday
night, Gov. Ben Nelson moved from
the head of the Nebraska government
to the head of the class.
Nelson was the guest professor ol
Journalism 954, Mass Media and the
Government. The class, which is nor
mally taught by broadcasting Profes
sor Larry Walklin, features guest pro
Walklin said he invited the gover
nor to speak because of the influence
he had on public policy.
“The class deals with public policy
Nelson moves into new forum
issues and government policies,” he
said. “I invited Nelson to speak about
state issues that deal with-the mass
Nelson said he not only wanted to
teach the class, but wanted to learn,
“When professor Walklin asked
me to do this we talked about what it
would involve,” Nelson said. “I said
‘yes’ because I wanted to tell folks
about mass media and politics. I
jumped at the chance.”
In his lecture, Nelson talked about
the importance of communication and
technology for the future.
“One thing we’ve accomplished
in this administration is to tie our
selves closer to communication,”
The key to effective communica
tion in Nebraska was realizing die
geographic distances across the state,
“We need to see the state come
together in telecommunications,”
Nelson said. “Telecommunication
bridges the gap because of geogra
One way the gap has been bridged
is through public television and the
Internet, he said.
“TTiere are 122 schools connected
to the Internet and it will be over 200
by September,” Nelson said.
Although communication is
needed, Nelson said he wanted to
keep costs at a minimum.
“We stress low cost,” he said.
‘Technology does cost a lot, but we’ve
felt it was worth it.”
Nelson said Nebraskans needed to
keep looking to the future, in terms of
“We are at the beginning,” he
said. “The faster we go, the more
there will be around us. We all want
to get on the bandwagon.”
For communication and technol
ogy to be efficient in the future, Ne
braskans needed to prepare for
“We need to catch up where we
need to,” he said. “We need to posi
tion ourselves for changes ”
After Nelson lectured, the class,
which is broadcast via satellite to sev
eral cities throughout Nebraska, had an
opportunity to ask him questions.
Nelson said lecturing was not as
difficult as answering questions.
The most challenging question
came from a student who asked him
how the electronic and technological
changes of today would affect his
position as governor, Nelson said.
“That question made me go back
and think about of all the change and
growth in technology,” he said.
By Matthew Waite
In the middle oftalking about slot
machines and video lottery termi
nals, the Legislature’s General Af
fairs Committee took on a more Ve
gas-like atmosphere than most ex
I The hearing,
more than 5 1/2
hours, took on the
trappings of a
prize fight, and
more than 140
1 people from
across me state
LEGISLATURE out for *e
In one comer was Tim Hall, a
senator from Omaha whose district is
bordered by Council Bluffs, Iowa,
which is set to open four casinos next
In the other, the mayors of
Nebraska’s two largest cities.
The fight was over LB765 and
LB851, two bills that would expand
gambling in Nebraska.
LB765, proposed by* committee
chairman Stan Schellpeper, would
allow gambling in the form of slot
machines at horse racing tracks and
video lottery machines in bars and
LB851, proposed by Hall, would
give cities the option to vote whether
to allow gambling.
Round One. Mayor Hal Daub of
Omaha begins testimony against the
bills, saying that adding slot ma
chines and video lottery games to
Omaha would put an added burden of
social services, police and crime on
the city’s budget.
With casinos, Daub said, crime
went up while high school gradua
tion rates went down. He said drop
outs then took the only jobs casinos
provided: minimum wage jobs.
During questioning, Hall chal
lenged Daub on several points. He
said that with casinos in Iowa, Omaha
would still see increases in crime,
social services and high school drop
Hall also questioned why a high
school dropout would take a mini
mum wage job in a casino. Daub
insisted it was the glamour of the
See GAMBLING on 3
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