Mayor’s gun ownership promotes safety
In her letter critical of Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert’s handgun ownership, Diane Green wrote, in part (Aug. 20 Public Pulse): “I would think that ... the mayor would want to promote the safe environment that Omaha’s communities and businesses want.”
Well, I propose that Stothert is doing exactly that. Consider:
According to Pew Research, Chicago has the toughest gun-control laws in the country, yet its 2012 murder rate of 15.65 per 100,000 was nearly four times that of the Midwest’s rate of 4.5.
The state of Illinois’ murder rate was only 5.6, even with the inclusion of Chicago’s embarrassingly astronomical level. But then, perhaps that’s merely anecdotal.
Ted Quick, Omaha
Stothert grandstanding with gun permit
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert has shown a great sense of timing in regard to her revelation that she is now a member of the concealed-carry fraternity.
Omaha seems to be racing toward an annual homicide record, and the George Zimmerman verdict is still in the minds of many.
Her message is either that to be safe in Omaha, you need to carry a concealed weapon, or the Second Amendment is her favorite of all.
I hope the mayor’s future plans do not include her going on citizen patrols in southwest Omaha. If she really wanted to know how the permit system works, was it necessary to announce it to the public?
Tom Prohaska, Omaha
Mayor sends wrong signals with gun
I am shocked and hot with the revelation that our mayor has decided to be “packin’.”
Will Mayor Jean Stothert next get an armored Humvee? What a message she sends as we wipe up the blood of our dead young people almost weekly. Are we fostering a Zimmerman syndrome?
I would suppose there could be a plus to some of this, if it attracted the NRA to hold its next convention at the CenturyLink. Perhaps the City Council will be asked to pass a stand-your-ground ordinance, where when something moves, you shoot.
Stothert should get all the campaign support from our arms dealers.
James Rawlings, Omaha
Involve grandparents in school family
Kudos to Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman and first lady Sally Ganem for designating August as Parental Involvement in Education Month. It’s a great beginning to helping young people get the most from their education.
As a grandparent and Nebraskan who cares about our state’s future, I urge the governor to expand that call to grandparents and extended families. According to a recent report, more than one in 10 grandparents regularly provides care for at least one grandchild. Teachers, child care providers and other educators are increasingly interacting with grandparents about their grandchildren’s learning, growth and development.
As grandparents, we must stand up, speak out and get involved at the very beginning in advocating for children. Research shows that when children are exposed to high-quality early learning experiences, they not only do better in school, but they have stronger family bonds, contribute more to society and are less likely to commit crimes. That’s the kind of future I want for my grandchildren and my state.
As children head back to school, I invite fellow older adults to connect with the children in their lives. Getting involved is as easy as providing a warm, reassuring presence, reading to schoolchildren or sharing what you know.
You can play a key role in preparing children to inherit Nebraska’s legacy.
Mary A. Harding, Lincoln
Move to ditch coal for cleaner energy
I am writing in response to Scott Baker’s letter (Aug. 19 Pulse) in which he says the technology does not exist to replace fossil fuels.
Completely replacing fossil fuels immediately is one thing, and making progress to move to renewable energy is another thing. One need only look to Iowa to see what can be done.
Iowa will be phasing out seven coal-fired boilers at three Iowa power plants by April 2016. Iowa also is investing in wind power and is aiming to get almost 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources in the near future.
Nebraska isn’t remotely close to that. Isn’t it better to invest in our local resources instead of sending jobs and money to Wyoming for coal? Isn’t clean energy better than dirty energy? How is it that Texas, an oil state, and Wyoming, a coal state, generate much more wind energy than we do, even though Nebraska is in the top five states for potential wind power?
How is it that states like Massachusetts and New Jersey produce more solar power than Nebraska, even though Nebraska has more solar potential? OPPD does not have to build the wind and solar installations. The utility just needs to purchase the power from developers, just as it will do with the newest Nebraska wind farm.
National studies have commented that the north Omaha coal plant is “ripe for retirement,” outdated and dirty. We can do much better.
David E. Corbin, Omaha
Health insurance covers too much
Where was the outrage decades ago over health insurance coverage?
I have paid thousands of dollars in health insurance premiums for treatment of others’ alcohol and substance abuse, children having babies, etc., none of which fit my beliefs or lifestyle.
Now I am on Medicare, which covers Viagra and Botox, under some circumstances.
This country is long overdue to get back to a common-sense policy where we can buy insurance for what it was intended — emergencies.
Dianna Long, Clarinda, Iowa
Complaint about noisy park event echoes
I agree with Larry Melton’s concerns (“Maha Festival too noisy for neighbors,” Aug. 20 Pulse) regarding the noise from acitivities at local parks and how it affects those living close by.
We live near Zorinsky Lake, and I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been awakened early on a Saturday or Sunday morning with music blaring for a race or event in the park.
There are also hot air balloon operators that start up noisy generators early in the morning. Young people like to congregate at the playgrounds around the park at all hours of the night, although the park is supposed to close at 11 p.m.
I love living near the park, but I don’t love the noise sometimes. It would be nice if folks understood that there are people living close by our city parks, and just as they would not appreciate loud noise early in the morning or late at night in their neighborhoods, we don’t either.
Mary Ann Beck, Omaha
He did the crime; he should do some time
Something is wrong with our justice system.
A drunken driver destroys three cars, a house and almost kills someone. The person almost killed is still undergoing rehab as a result of that accident, which occurred over a year ago.
Where is the drunk who is guilty of a felony? Back to his normal life, on probation, no prison, no jail time. It would be a stretch to even call this a slap on the wrist.
On the other side of the coin, a woman sets up meetings between willing buyers and sellers of services that harm no one, destroy no property and are legal in parts of the United States and most nations that are not theocracies (“Operator of Omaha ‘spas’ sentenced in prostitution ring,” Jan. 16 World-Herald). She is sent to prison for three years because we let moral issues creep into our laws.
The disparity in justice between these two cases is appalling.
Dave Teer, Papillion
Cancer takes heavy toll on families
Two years ago, we lost a grandson, Ryder, to cancer. This year, we lost an aunt and uncle to cancer. All three different types. All three devastating.
To lose a 3-year-old is particularly devastating. To lose two family members who were as close as parents is equally devastating.
We need cancer research and to find a cure for all of the cancers that tear apart lives and families, leaving holes too big to fill. Ask Congress to support funding for cancer research and to find a cure.
Get involved. Make a difference.
Steve Jackson, Omaha
Mountain lion hunting not necessary
It’s hard for me to understand why we have to kill mountain lions for our own protection.
They are such grand animals, and we have to kill them because we are afraid of them? How many people have been attacked by mountain lions? None that I know of in my 74 years in Nebraska. And believe me, it would be big news if it ever happened.
Please don’t do this; if you leave the mountain lions alone, they leave you alone. It makes no sense to destroy an animal that just wants to be left alone.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is doing this because it can, not because it should.
Jean DeWald, Norfolk, Neb.
Polarized nation needs common purpose
Tom Purcell’s column on the Aug. 21 Editorial Page (“America today leaves me longing for Cold War”) really nailed it.
I wish his description of our “squabbling among ourselves,” rather than uniting to focus on our problems, were required reading for all and would be heeded as well.
Nancy Long, Omaha