The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 05, 1999, Page 2, Image 2

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    Senate moves to end trial
Request to issue subpoena for Lewinsky rejected 70-30
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate moved Thursday
to bring President Clinton’s impeachment trial to a
prompt conclusion, rejecting a last-ditch request by
House prosecutors to summon Monica Lewinsky for
live testimony. Republicans also shrank from a plan to
declare the president guilty without ousting him from
With 25 Republicans joining Democrats, the Senate
rejected, 70-30, the prosecutors’ request to issue a sub
poena requiring the young woman at the center of the
impeachment drama to testify in the well of the Senate.
With support from several Democrats, however,
Senate Republicans approved the House prosecutors’
request to show at the trial this weekend all or portions of
the videotaped depositions of Lewinsky, Clinton’s friend
Vernon Jordan and White House adviser Sidney
Blumenthal. All three had been questioned in private
earlier this week.
Prosecutors and White House lawyers would have up
to three hours each to show portions of those videotapes
Saturday before the two sides begin closing arguments.
Earlier Thursday, emerging from a closed-door
meeting with fellow Republicans, Majority Leader Trent
Lott declared the Senate was on track for a final vote on
the two articles of impeachment by Feb. 12, or perhaps a
day earlier. Democrats renewed a call for a formal cen
sure of the president, but only after the trial ends with his
acquittal on charges of perjury and obstruction of jus
While the drive to end the trial picked up steam,
Republicans thwarted a Democratic request to skip the
airing of any witness testimony and move directly to
closing arguments. The idea, offered by Minority Leader
Tom Daschle, was rejected 56-44.
While senators began laying the groundwork for the
trial finale, they turned away House prosecutors who
pressed for live testimony by Lewinsky. The House pros
ecutors, at times, flashed their frustration over being
unable to secure enough votes for conviction or live wit
“If one senator has failed to personally sit through...
every deposition, that senator is not equipped to render a
verdict on the impeachment trial,” Rep. James Rogan, R
Calif., chided at one point.
White House special counsel Gregory Craig
opposed Lewinsky’s live appearance and the release of
the videotapes, too.
“We think it is a bad idea,” Craig told die senators,
arguing the tapes would “produce an avalanche of
unwelcome” testimony “into the living rooms of the
nation.” He argued that only written transcripts should
be made public,
• i i -1
rrogram to recruit teacners
By Kim Sweet
Staff writer
Students graduating from UNL
this spring could go from Lincoln to
Louisiana, thanks to a new organiza
tion on campus.
UNL Teach for America is recruit
ing graduates in all majors - whether it
is physics or physical education - to
teach in locations across the United
The organization, which places
teachers in school districts that have a
shortage of teachers, began a chapter at
the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
last year, said John McNally, campus
coordinator for Teach for America.
Since then, the organization has
been trying to recruit UNL students.
The program places teachers in
states such as Louisiana, Texas,
Arizona, California and others on die
West Coast, McNally said
The organization is targeting math
and science students because of a
shortage of math and science teachers,
nationwide, said Gordon Woodward,
an associate professor of mathematics
and statistics, and Teach for America
Woodward said that many UNL
graduates have gone on to teach in
inner-city areas where shortages exist,
and many have expressed interest in
doing community service work.
Since electing officers, the organi
zation has been busy preparing to ful
fill a new goal - to make students
aware that Teach for America wants
Reaching potential teachers will be
a big job because all students are eligi
ble to join the program.
“I think it is a potential interest to
everyone,” McNally said
If chosen, die new teachers would
participate in a summer training insti
tute. After attending die training, stu
dents are placed in school districts.
UNL graduate Phillip Gerlach is
employed in a Teach for America
school in Los Angeles.
Gerlach, who teaches at a school in
Compton, Calif., said he was not
apprehensive about going to a school
district that lacked funds or teachers.
He said he was nervous about mov
ing to a new city and working in a com
pletely new profession, but added that
the support staff and the school had
oom oeen supporave.
The school, which lacked teachers
and resources when Gerlach arrived, is
now the recipient of funds that are
starting to funnel in* he said.
“I’ve been pleased about how peo
ple are willing to make changes,” he
said. “If anything, I have been pleasant
ly surprised.”
Gerlach said he had intentions of
being a teacher at die beginning of his
undergraduate career at UNL.
But after dropping out of the
Teachers College, he pursued degrees
in English and history.
After attending Boston University,
getting a master’s degree in theology
and deciding against becoming a min
ister, Gerlach decided to try Teach for
Gerlach said many students are
indecisive about what they want to do
after graduation.
Teach for America provides an
opportunity for these students, as well
as those going to graduate school or
pursuing other careers, he said.
“No matter what you go into, two
years of this can broaden your experi
NETV building’s name change debated in session
From staff reports
Lawmakers considered a bill
Wednesday that would rename the
educational television building on the
University of Nebraska-Lineoln’s East
The building is now named the
Terry M. Carpenter Educational
Telecommunications Building. LB233
would change its name to the
Carpenter-McBride Educational
leiecommumcanons nuiiaing.
The late Carpenter was a Nebraska
state senator from Scottsbluff who led
the effort to gain funding for the build
ing. Jack McBride was a longtime
manager of Nebraska Educational
Television who recently retired.
Former Gov. Frank Morrison testi
fied in favor of die name change, say
ing it would honor McBride for his
contributions to educational program
ming in Nebraska.
“He was a leader in developing
puoiic educational television an over
die United States,” he said in an inter
view. “He was the father of public tele
vision and radio in Nebraska.”
Mike Carpenter, the late state sena
tor’s son, testified in opposition. He
said the name change would demean
his father’s memory.
Morrison said the bill was intended
to honor McBride, not to diminish
Carpenter Is contributions. *
The committee took no action on
the bill.
Question*? Comment*?
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Opinion Editor: Cliff Hicks
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Bills propose lightening load
for elderly, disabled homeowners
TAXES from page 1
homestead exemption proposals in the hope of reaching a
consensus. ,
Those other proposals included several also offered to
the committee Thursday:
■ LB 179, sponsored by Sen. Don Preister of Omaha,
would increase die homestead exemption income allowance
fay $5,000 for married or related persons, and by $3,000 for
single persons.
. ■ LB145, sponsored by Sen. Deb Suttle of Omaha,
would increase all of the following by 10 percent: the income
allowance, the maximum amount of a homestead exemption
and die maximum value of property eligible for a homestead
■ LB429, sponsored by Sen. Jon Bruning of Omaha,
would increase die income allowance for disabled veterans
by $5,000.
"■ ■ LB766, sponsored by Sen. David Landis of Lincoln,
would standardize income allowances for all eligible groups,
and set the following income allowance ranges for home
stead exemptions: fbrmanied couples, a 100 percent exemp
tion for $26,200 up to a 25 percent exemption for $31,200;
for singles, 100 percent for $23,600 and 25 percent for
■ LB139, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Bourne of Omaha,
would end the practice of counting Social Security as income
for homestead exemption purposes.
No one testified m opposition to the first five bills.
Ray Hogrefe of the Nebraska Federation of the National
Association of Retired Federal Employees testified against
LB139, saying it would be unfair to retired federal employ
ees, who receive a federal pension rather than SociaJ
Offering neutral testimony, John Jordison of the ’
Nebraska Tax Research Council proposed that the state con
sider providing property tax relief for elderly, disabled and
low-income citizens by setting a maximum percentage of
income they could be charged in property taxes.
Sen. Bob Wickersham, die committee’s chairman, made
a similar suggestion.
Nebraska fights
Y2K problem
BUG from page 1
order, the Information Resources
Cabinet to study technology issues,
A bill passed by the 1996
Legislature provided a $1.4 million
jump-start for the Y2K project and
redirected cigarette tax revenues, with
about 2 cents per pack allotted for that
cause. The tax generates about $2.6
million each year for Y2K efforts—
Henderson and others working on
the problem divided the project into 14
mini-projects, working on two or three
of those at a time.
By the end of 1998, the state’s cen
tral computer systems were Y2K-com
“The bulk of our work - the actual
meat and potatoes of making changes
- is finished,” Henderson said.
In the final year before the century
date change, the state has designed a
four-point plan to address remaining
problems, he said.
The first task is to ensure Y2K
compliance among computer systems
* in agencies outside die DAS, including
personal computers and embedded
chips. Embedded chips are found in
computer-operated mechanisms such
as medical equipment
“Our concern is making sure all
state services function correctly, and
that we’re not leaving citizens without
the services they need to carry out
their lives,” Henderson said.
The state’s largest agency, the
Health and Human Services System,
is one agency whose internal compli
ance efforts are critical, Henderson
Because the system provides
essential services for many citizens,
the task of ensuring those services are
provided efficientlyin the next century
is daunting, said Linda Salac, who
leads HHS's Y2K efforts.
“Frankly, it is a tremendous job,”
she said. “We’re working on every
possible issue that may come up, and
the whole HHS is cooperating.”
HHS has been working on an
extensive Y2K preparation program,
involving surveys of outside vendors’
and suppliers’ compliance, prioritizing
and developing backup plans to ensure
Y2K complications don’t shut down
health care services in Nebraska.
“I’m very optimistic, with the
cooperation we’ve had from our sup
pliers and vendors,” she said. “We also
have very good cooperation with the
state. I feel confident we will be com
pliant on Jan. 1,2000.”
The second step for the state is
preparing for disaster response. The
state is discussing emergencies that
could arise and is checking to see if
emergency response departments are
equipped to respond.
Steve Schaefer, acting chief infor
mation officer in the DAS, said many
of the state’s utilities, because they are
operated by sophisticated computer
The bulk
of our
work... is
Steve Henderson
leader of Y2K attack
systems susceptible to the Y2K prob
lem, could have been threatened.
Telecommunications, electrical power,
oil,,water and sewer services all could
have been affected.
“If no one had done anything, a lot
of services we take for granted would
have encountered some serious prob
lems,” he said.
Third, the state has offered assis
tance to local governments, small
businesses and other entities that may
need help in preparing for die century
date change.
The fourth step is to promote pub
lic awareness of the Year 2000 problem
and die inconveniences it may cause.
The state set up a Web site, linked to
the state’s main Web page at, dedicated to
the Year 2000 problem, its possible
consequences, information citizens
should know and other links.
Henderson said he was pleased
that the state had addressed die fore
seeable problems.
“We are not in a situation where we
clearly see an issue that demands
attention, and we are unable to address
it,” he said.
The challenge for 1999, he said,
lies in preparing for the unpredictable.
Despite everyoqg’a best efforts,
unforeseen problems are likely to
arise, he said.
“Humans have this nasty habit of
being imperfect,” Henderson said.
For example, in today’s intercon
nected world, the state’s efforts to con
front Y2K depend on the compliance
efforts of outside service providers and
vendors, other levels of government
and even other countries.
Although it is difficult to predict
the consequences of the Year 20Q0
problem, Henderson said he doubted
the fallout would be apocalyptic.
Schaefer agreed with Henderson that
the results ofY2K were unlikely to be
* Nevertheless, it is difficult to pre
dict what problems Y2K might cause
because of the range of conceivable
eventualities - everything from minor
problems with personal computers to
the alarmist belief that Y2K noncom
pliance could cause Russian nuclear
missiles to fire inadvertently.
“The number of scenarios you
could come up with are infinite,” he
said. “The reality falls somewhere in
between the extremes.”