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ERIC GREGORY, Journal Star 

Boone Central/Newman Grove quarterback Dylan Gentrup tries to get off a second-quarter pass under pressure from Norfolk Catholic's Ethan Piper during the Class C-1 state championship game in November at Memorial Stadium.

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DACA rally: 'If you won't let us dream, we won't let you sleep'

This is my home, Yovana Aliaga Centon says.

It's been her home since she was 5 years old, ever since her family boarded a plane in 2001 and flew from Venezuela to Nebraska in the middle of the winter with travel visas in hand.

Yovana Aliaga Centon

Centon, 22, has lived here ever since, graduating from Lincoln Southeast High School and pursuing a career in social work as a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

"When we came here, I didn't know anyone, didn't speak English, was not equipped for the winter," she said.

"But people in Lincoln helped us survive with donations. That really sticks with me. This has always felt like home to me."

It's a home that became a secure and safe harbor in 2012 when President Barack Obama took executive action to create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that gives Centon and hundreds of thousands of others who were brought to the United States illegally when they were babies or children legal presence to remain here.

Centon and her family lost their legal presence when their visas expired. 

President Donald Trump has announced he will revoke DACA protections if Congress does not enact immigration reform, and Monday was the day he imposed as a deadline for action.   

Centon is still here with a DACA permit in hand that is due to expire in August 2019.

But other DACA recipients are losing their legal protection every day as their documentation expires. 

"I recognize the privilege and opportunity I have," Centon said during a telephone interview Monday before participating in a vigil at the state Capitol in support of DACA recipients.

As winds howled, more than 50 people huddled together in offering a unified message to elected officials. "If you won't let us dream, we won't let you sleep," they chanted.

Jorge Marroquin, a freshman economics student at UNL, spoke out at the event organized by Nebraska Appleseed.

"It is unsettling to think that people who have been here for most of their lives, who just want to be role models and give back to their community, would be sent back to a place they know nothing of," Marroquin said.

The United States, not Venezuela, is her home, Centon said.

"I don't have family there. I can't imagine going back. I never established a life there."

DACA has been a blessing for her, she said, and it's been supplemented by new state laws in Nebraska that opened the door to acquisition of a driver's license, college tuition assistance and eligibility for professional and occupational permits.

Beforehand, she said, "I felt that no matter how hard I tried, I was limited and I didn't have security. Now, I have more rights and the ability to better myself, to work at one or two jobs, to buy a car, to pay for tuition, to give back.

"I want to help better our nation and to help better the community that helped raise me," Centon said. 

"And I want to be a voice for minorities and to help refugees."

Centon traveled to Washington last week and spoke at the Nebraska breakfast hosted by the state's congressional delegation, delivering her DACA message about hopes and dreams that she shares with all the other so-called Dreamers whose future remains in doubt.  

"DACA helped me become a fighter for myself and for others," she said.

Trump's boasts aside, trade wars typically leave no victors

WASHINGTON — Trade wars generate no medals, monuments or military parades. But they do tend to leave a lot of economic wreckage, often hurt the very people they're meant to help and can fracture diplomatic relations among allies.

After announcing plans last week to slap taxes on imported aluminum and steel, President Donald Trump called trade wars "good" and breezily forecast an "easy" victory for the United States.

Economists see it rather differently. Starting a fight with trading partners has mostly proved to be self-defeating, they note.

"Usually, all sides lose in a trade war," says Douglas Irwin, a Dartmouth College economist and author of the just-published "Clashing Over Commerce: A History of U.S. Trade Policy." ''Trade shrinks as countries pile on barriers in an effort to remedy some grievance, with consumers paying the price."

Wall Street clearly agrees. Stocks sank Thursday and Friday after Trump announced plans to slap tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports, effectively threatening to wage commercial war on U.S. trading partners from Brasilia to Berlin to Beijing.

Shares of some of America's biggest exporters — Boeing, Deere, Caterpillar — fell hardest on fears that other countries would retaliate against U.S. products.

The term "trade war" is usually tossed around when countries spar over commerce, often without a clear sense of what it is. Eswar Prasad, professor of trade policy at Cornell University, defines it as a series of "escalating tit-for-tat trade barriers imposed on each other by two or more countries."

Edward Alden, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, says the world hasn't endured a full-blown trade war since the 1930s. But globally, war drums are beating again.

Europeans have threatened to retaliate against Trump's metals tariffs by targeting American blue jeans, bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. It may not be a coincidence that Harleys are produced in House Speaker Paul Ryan's Wisconsin and bourbon in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Kentucky. Trump has met Europe's threat of retaliation with a piled-on threat of his own: To slap tariffs on European autos.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, which stands to suffer most from Trump's proposed steel and aluminum tariffs, warned that he was prepared to "defend Canadian industry" from the tariffs.

China has responded to earlier Trump-imposed trade sanctions — tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines — by launching an anti-dumping investigation into U.S. sorghum exports, a move seen as a warning shot at American farmers who depend heavily on trade.

China, after all, consumes a third of the soybeans American farmers produce. John Heisdorffer, president of the American Soybean Association, warned that a Chinese retaliation to Trump's tariffs "would be devastating to U.S. soy growers. Our competitors in Brazil and Argentina are all too happy to pick up supplying the Chinese market."

Though full-blown trade wars are mostly destined to fail, countries can sometimes pressure their trading partners to change their ways, Alden says. With U.S. automakers reeling from Japanese competition in the 1980s, the Reagan administration strong-armed Japan into agreeing to "voluntary export restraints" on car shipments. Japanese automakers ended up moving factories to the United States to avoid the limits.

But shielding one domestic industry from foreign competition can hurt others by driving up prices. A study by NERA Economic Consulting found that a 7 percent aluminum tariff — less than what the administration is planning — would save 1,000 jobs annually in the aluminum industry but wipe out 22,600 other jobs across the U.S. economy.

In 2002, President George W. Bush imposed tariffs on Chinese steel. The move allowed U.S. steel producers to increase prices, raising costs for companies that buy steel and pressuring them to cut back elsewhere. But the tariffs are thought to have cost significant U.S. job losses.

Or consider the "Rubber Chicken" dispute of 2009. The Obama administration slapped tariffs on Chinese tires, charging that a surge in imports was hurting the U.S. tire industry. Beijing counterpunched: It imposed a tax of up to 105 percent on U.S. chicken feet — a throw-away item in the U.S. that's considered a delicacy in China. The Peterson Institute for International Economics calculated that the tariffs probably saved 1,200 American tire jobs — but consumers paid over $900,000 in higher tire prices for each job saved.

To justify its proposed tariffs, the Trump administration invoked a section of U.S. law to declare that metals imports threatened America's industrial base and national security — even though the Pentagon says the military needs just 3 percent of U.S. aluminum and steel production.

The administration "stretches the definition of a national security threat to the breaking point," says Alden at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The World Trade Organization gives member countries leeway to protect their national security interests. But "there's always been a gentleman's agreement that you don't use (a national security pretext) just because you have an industry in trouble," says Kent Jones, an economist at Babson College. "This is extending the definition of national security for protectionist purposes and, believe me, there's going to be a big backlash."

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Lincoln City Council decision may keep Royal Grove open on weekends

The Lincoln City Council paved the way for the Royal Grove to continue staging weekend events, assuming the northwest Lincoln night club gets the blessing of the state Liquor Control Commission.

The council Monday approved the Royal Grove's liquor license application, contingent on required zoning changes.

That paves the way for the liquor commission to allow the Royal Grove's new owners to operate on special designated licenses, known as SDLs, on weekends while they work through the zoning issue. 

Three weeks ago, the council denied the license because of the zoning issues, but under the assumption the night club could get SDLs for weekend events until its owners could get the zoning change and reapply for a liquor license.

But the council members learned, after that vote, that their license denial meant the liquor commission would not allow any more special licenses. 

Last week, the council agreed to reconsider the denial and Monday, members unanimously agreed to approve the liquor license with the zoning condition.  

With the council's approval, the liquor commission is inclined to continue approving SDLs for the Royal Grove, said Councilwoman Cyndi Lamm. 

The Grove's new owners have run into several roadblocks as they tried to reopen the popular night club on Cornhusker Highway that sat empty the last four years.

They thought the entire area was zoned for business use and there would be no problem getting a liquor license, but information on the assessor's site was not accurate, the owners told the council in a letter.

Part of the club's parking lot is zoned residential and must be changed in order to meet city requirements that businesses with a liquor license be more than 100 feet from property zoned residential. That rule is intended to keep bars and off-sale stores from opening near homes.

The zoning change, which must go through both the planning commission and city council, will not be final until sometime next month.

The city clerk will not issue the new liquor license until that zoning change is approved, the council was told Monday.

Greg Votava, who has played music at the Grove, urged the council to make sure the club remains open. 

The Grove gave him an opportunity to "grow my career. It is where I cut my teeth," Votava said.

There are other establishments in Lincoln where there is live music, but they are much smaller. The Grove allows bands to see what it's like to have a larger audience, he said.

"It really is a place we called home," he said. "That was where we hung out."