There are not enough positive superlatives to describe my COVID shot experience at the Creighton University Field house on Saturday. My daughter called from New York Friday night telling my husband and me that there were three open slots to get the shot the next day and to sign up. We did. Possibly people had canceled, wary of the forecast of heavy snow in the morning.
The operation was a well-oiled machine, with friendly people starting at the receiving area outside in the snowstorm, to the signs pointing us in the next direction, to people at every station along the way, 16 COVID shot providers, and ending at the recovery area, where I was assigned a date and time for the second shot.
Having heard and read about endlessly long lines in other states, unavailability and other nightmares — my experience here in Omaha was being a recipient of the result of an incredible amount of planning and flawless execution of the plan. Five stars to the planners and hard workers.
Anne Carroll, Omaha
Safer on the road
After reading the editorial “Safer streets, safer residents, better Omaha” in Saturday’s OWH, I applaud the effort to make our streets safer. However, after reading the editorial, I believe the city and state may be missing some obvious opportunities to improve safety far more than street redesigns and simply asking drivers to slow down.
I believe three simple changes could dramatically reduce traffic accidents in our fine city and state.
First, significantly enhance driver training and minimum requirements to get a driver’s license in the first place. I have lived and driven in many cities around the country and have never seen a place with so collective poor driving skills as we have right here. Both of my daughters received their licenses here, and the skills testing to get a DL is ridiculously low. The licensing tester for one of my daughter’s driving tests simply had her drive around the block. That “driving test” took less than three minutes. Thankfully, I taught my daughters how to drive a car before I let them get their license, and they have the driving records to prove that better training means fewer accidents.
Second, increase the penalties for DUI and stop the legal games played by wealthy residents to find a way to get out of the penalties.
Finally, get people off of their phones when they are behind the wheel. It really is that simple!
Dave Reeble, Elkhorn
This past weekend I received my second vaccination shot for COVID at the Omaha VA. I would like to compliment the VA for an experience that should serve as a template for the rest of the VAs in the country.
Upon learning the VA was starting their vaccination program, I called for an appointment and was given one for the following day. I was screened and processed at the appointed time with no waiting by a cheerful and professional staff. The first shot was uneventful. I was told to come back in three weeks for the second shot.
For the second shot, I was met once again without any waiting by courteous and professional staff. The whole process was administered flawlessly and professionally at every turn. What a smooth operation.
The veterans served by the Omaha VA are so fortunate to have an opportunity to receive the COVID vaccine, especially after we see so many places around the country suffering from long waiting lines or an absence of the vaccine. This COVID clinic at the Omaha VA is yet another example of the excellent care we veterans have come to expect from the VA. My hat’s off to the staff that put this together and administered it in such a professional way. Thank you, VA.
Rich Stanko, Omaha
Kudos and many thanks to the team that organized a highly efficient COVID-19 vaccination site. We were very impressed with the friendliness of the greeters who met us outside, the way things were organized inside, and the speed that everything was accomplished. Our appointments were for 9 a.m. and we were leaving the facility at 9:20 a.m. We have our appointments already set up for Feb. 24. What a success! I’m sure this took much planning and a very willing staff. Thanks again, CHI Health at Immanuel.
Sandra Pistone, Omaha
As an active member of the Republican Party and former chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party (1993-1995), I want to express my deep gratitude to the Nebraska Republican Party for considering censuring Sen. Sasse (Omaha World-Herald, Friday, Feb. 5). As always to defend himself, Sen. Sasse reminds Nebraska voters of his extensive knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. However, his actions question his loyalty to the U.S. Constitution (adopted in 1787 and ratified in 1788). If he is loyal to this Constitution, then I have two questions: (1) where in the Constitution does it give the Senate the authority to impeach a private citizen, and (2) where in the Constitution does it give the Senate the authority to impeach a president without the chief justice of the Supreme Court presiding? Sen. Sasse is the primary reason to repeal Amendment 17 (direct election of U.S. senators) to the U.S. Constitution.
Glenn M. Freeman, Omaha
Sasse approach best
How many of the votes cast by our elected representatives in Washington are determined by party loyalty and polls vs. votes resulting from logical, informed, independent decisions after studying the issues? To some degree that question was recently answered. Because Rep. Liz Cheney didn’t vote on an issue the way the House Republican leadership and others in her party wanted her to, she was criticized by many in her party in her home state and by colleagues. She had to endure a vote by House Republicans to determine if she could retain certain leadership positions.
Our Sen. Sasse is often treated similarly. This practice occurs within both political parties. Do we really want our representatives to just be pollsters and sycophants? We could elect mannequins to Congress and let the congressional leadership and party consensus assign all our mannequins’ votes. I prefer the more cognitive Cheney/Sasse (and John McCain) approach.
Gary Welch, Bellevue
Same as a Democrat
Regarding this past year’s senatorial race, one must applaud the Nebraska Democratic Party. They knew if Chris Janicek couldn’t win that their other candidate, Ben Sasse, would! Well played.
Gregg D. Rhoades, Plattsmouth
I am so tired of this childish “vote the party, not the issue” rhetoric that seems to have taken over American intelligence. “Censure Sasse; he’s an independent thinker” — what a ridiculous, petty attitude. We are supposed to be one of the most literate and powerful countries in the world” and yet our “leaders” act like 2- and 3-year-olds who have yet to mature into independent thinking.
What ever happened to right and wrong, ethical standards, tolerance and respect? Does Congress even care about those of us here in the muddy trenches created by the pandemic, loss of employment resulting in inability to provide food, pay bills; conflicting, confusing, politics, fear of right-wing violence, etc.; or are they simply so full of egomania that they cannot condescend to think about solutions rather than “he said, she said and so I’m gonna get back at them”?
Coleen Vincent, Omaha
Stop the madness
I am appalled that the Republican hierarchy wants to censure Ben Sasse for his vote on impeaching Trump. When he was sworn in, he did not swear his allegiance to the Republican Party. He swore his oath to the great United States of America, her Constitution and the citizens he represents. He did not swear to forego his morals, his conscience and his courage to vote lock-step with his party. No senator or representative should be censured for voting in this manner. Perhaps a course in American government should be required in high schools today.
I am proud of Ben Sasse. Too many people today, not only in government, look the other way and stay silent. As long as no one is willing to stand up for what is right, this will only continue. It is time to stop the madness. Thank you, Sen. Sasse.
Sherry Gabriel, Omaha
NIMBY in Omaha
I can understand the unhappiness of the folks near 178th and Pacific. Building a large complex there would definitely make it crowded and the traffic difficult. Why not leave it in the semi-rural state it’s in now? Oh, wait a minute. I just remembered that when my wife and I moved into our new home on 103rd south of Center, the only thing between us and Elkhorn was Boys Town and a bunch of farms and a village called Millard at 132nd. And there was no traffic to speak of and no congestion and no retail stores and restaurants and other things bringing in a lot of people. But then the old saying “Not in my back yard” is still wildly popular, isn’t it?