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The Public Pulse: Condemn all these assaults; Property tax relief crucial; Nebraska connections

The Public Pulse: Condemn all these assaults; Property tax relief crucial; Nebraska connections

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Condemn all the assaults

I hope that Officer Jeffrey Wittstruck makes a full and complete recovery, and I hope that Kenya Lamont Jenkins Jr. is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I also hope that all those who assaulted and killed police officers at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are arrested and prosecuted. Officers protecting the Capitol were attacked with bear spray, beaten with fire extinguishers and flagpoles, pinned between doors, and had thumbs jammed in their eyes when their arms were restrained.

Everyone engaged in these assaults should be arrested and prosecuted. And any elected officials who incited or aided the insurrectionists should be arrested and prosecuted, including any officials who told the mob to march to the Capitol and fight like hell, and any officials who gave reconnaissance tours in the days prior to the insurrection.

Assaulting a police officer is a grave offense, whether it happens at Westroads Mall or the U.S. Capitol. Everyone responsible for such assaults should be arrested and prosecuted. Everyone here in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District agrees on this. Right?

Kerry Tupper, Omaha

Tax relief is crucial

Both Iowa and Nebraska residents are demanding relief of the high farmland property taxes. As public service expenses go up for schools, parks, libraries automatically, everyone thinks property taxes must go up to cover these increasing costs. Stop! This logic has to change!

Economics 101: For the 2020 crop year, the price of corn was a negative $100 per acre below break even. Help — stop the bleeding. Consider Utah’s Truth in Taxation Law.

David Dittmer, Minden, Iowa

Protect your pets

I was glad to read that Ivy, the lost dog from the Sioux City area, was rescued and returned to her owner. My dog, Abby, didn’t get to have that happy ending. I was not only responsible for her death, but I witnessed it. All this was due to me not having her leashed. It was the only time I hadn’t leashed her, because I was confident she’d stay by my side. It was a harsh lesson to learn, but I took it to heart.

If you know your fence has a weak spot, fix it. If it can’t be fixed right then, leash your dog and go outside with it. I hope Calypso, the other dog, will be found, but the odds aren’t good. Another reason why you should always have your pets microchipped. It’s a small price to pay for something that could be a lifesaver.

To critics of the Nebraska Humane Society, today’s facility is nothing like it was in the past! It’s filled with light, larger pens and is a no-kill shelter. It’s no longer that dark, dingy and smelly place that was off of Northwest Radial Highway. Now, if an injured animal comes in, it’s treated. It is no longer left for the owner to seek treatment after you claim your dog, as was once done to my family.

Lois Hurd, Grinnell, Iowa

Necessary education

My reaction to reading the Pulse this St. Patrick’s Day was — wow!? I’m an old dog, and I think I only saw my Grandpa kiss my Grandma once in front of me. Sex was not talked about. But my parents sat my brother and me down in grade school and had a very frank discussion about sex.

Additionally, my parents brought me up in a household that accepted people for who they were and not to judge their choices. Only after I was grown did I know that their friend Roy was gay. I grew up in a time where people of different persuasions, now called LGBTQ, struggled with being accepted in society, and accepting themselves for who they were.

Two writers in the March 17 Pulse wrote in support of the new sex education standards, and I agree with these writers. Trust the professionals that wrote these new standards.

It is not for me to judge someone’s personal preference, especially when their private life does not affect me. However, it is my responsibility, society’s responsibility, to treat everyone equally and provide them the knowledge not only to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but also to prevent sexually transmitted disease, and to recognize unwanted or harmful predatory behavior.

Mr. Johnson, who wrote against these new sex education standards, in my opinion needs to do less judging of others. I think the teachings of the Bible include accepting those who are different than us.

Marcia Anderson, Omaha

Logan a strong leader

I am writing in response to the recent articles about major changes planned for OPS that have been front-page news in the OWH.

I have lived in the Omaha metro area for over 30 years. During that time, OPS has produced such mediocre student academic outcomes that it has consistently failed to graduate even 80% of its students, well below the Nebraska state average of 87%. That level of mediocrity must be acceptable to the school board members and the citizen who elected them, otherwise there would have been a hue and cry for positive change.

When Dr. Cheryl Logan was hired, I felt that OPS had finally found a superintendent who would have legitimacy with all stakeholders. If Dr. Logan believes that academies, block schedules and pathways are the best ways to improve student outcomes, why would anyone stand in her way of implementing changes that are in the best interest of the students?

For years, OPS boards have tolerated substandard student outcomes and the OPS board has often been used as a stepping stone by politically ambitious people who aspire to more prestigious elected offices. It seems like too many board members have just been passing through without the will to ask difficult questions, make difficult decisions, or drive changes that may be right for student outcomes but might be unpopular with voters.

Mediocrity is a difficult hole to crawl out of. There aren’t any shortcuts, and it takes the right person of vision to take the lead. I believe that Dr. Cheryl Logan is that person.

Jeffrey S. Bird, Omaha

Low-road politics

The Omaha World-Herald’s editorial about dark money is exactly on target. The dark money contributed to the Nebraska Republican Party so they could destroy candidates was unbelievable, especially when they went after a candidate who was a stalwart, long-time Republican worker. The people behind the dark money have absolutely no integrity or ethics. Politics in Nebraska has been ruined by the trash sent to the voters. I don’t know how these people can live with themselves.

Carolyn Gigstad, Syracuse, Neb.

The election, explained

In response to Gary Ralston’s letter about Biden’s win over Trump: There is no mystery, no cheating or fraud. It’s simple: Trump lost millions of votes because he was and is a world-class jerk and millions of swing voters had enough of him. They just couldn’t justify keeping him in the White House another four years.

Biden didn’t need to campaign; Trump did it for him.

Larry Johnson, Omaha

Nebraska connections

Reading the interesting article by Bob Marks (March 14) about famous people born in Omaha reinforced my (somewhat intentionally exaggerated) belief that everyone ultimately has some Nebraska connection. I have traveled to all seven continents, and virtually everywhere I go I encounter people who either lived in Nebraska at some point or have some other interesting connection to the state.

Many years ago in Argentina, for example, I was talking to a German who, upon hearing I was from Nebraska City, joyfully exclaimed, “ Apple orchards!” He knew a man back in Germany who had been a POW there during World War II, and had positive memories of how he had been treated. More recently, walking the beaches of Shelter Island, San Diego, a local woman stopped to talk and upon hearing I was from Nebraska, commented that she and her boyfriend were wanting to move to Nebraska; she asked me lots of questions about the state.

Nebraska may have a small population within its borders, but it has a much larger population outside its borders that is tied to the state in some way, even if not by birth.

Rebecca S. Fahrlander, Bellevue

Energy complications

The March 16 Midlands Voices column by Brittni McGuire illustrates how some of the youth of today are not only ill informed but lack a comprehensive viewpoint. Ms. McGuire calls for the University of Nebraska to “publicly commit to fully divest from fossil fuel industry by 2025” and “immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies on the CU200 list.” If these demands are not met, she threatened to abandon “our restrained means of advocacy” and take “direct action (sit-ins, protests, etc.)”

Does Ms. McGuire also advocate our farmers cease using diesel fuel in the farm equipment, our ethanol producers stop making their fuel additive and UNL stop heating their buildings with natural gas? Would she be OK with only solar and wind power in a cold winter that we just experienced? Does she have a plan for electrifying all of Nebraska and the U.S.? Can she point to an electric (nonfossil-fuel) car that can make it across Nebraska without refueling? Would she like California days-long blackouts during extreme weather conditions?

Life involves trade-offs, and an infrastructure built over decades cannot be replaced immediately. You have to have reasonable alternatives and policies that make sense, not impulsive demands and veiled threats of “direct action”!

Jeff Sena, Bellevue

Enough with the trash

The garbage on both sides of Highway 75 from Hamilton Street to Sorensen Parkway is an absolute embarrassment. Why do people continue to litter roadways, parks, trails, etc. when there are adequate trash cans available at numerous public locations?

My question is: Who is responsible for maintaining this stretch of roadway? As a longtime adopt-a-highway cleanup volunteer, it disappoints me to see this lack of pride in our city’s appearance. Come on, litterbugs, knock it off already.

Gerry Reinsch, Omaha

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