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The Public Pulse: Don't add to burdens of trans children; Feds, help ratepayers; Jays fans

The Public Pulse: Don't add to burdens of trans children; Feds, help ratepayers; Jays fans

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Help these children

In the wake of recent controversy surrounding the inclusion of gender identity in the Nebraska State Board of Education’s proposed health standards, I would like to mention the following: Transgender identities are recognized as valid by a host of reputable, nonpartisan medical institutions like Johns Hopkins University and the Mayo Clinic. Other major medical organizations have affirmed this as well, including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association and (most relevantly) the American Academy of Pediatrics.

If the mainstream medical consensus isn’t enough to convince you that transgender issues are not only real but worth addressing, then consider some data. According to a Canadian report published in 2012, the likelihood of a trans child attempting suicide falls from an alarming 57% to just 4% when the child’s gender identity is validated by at least one parent.

Those who write off trans identities as “mental illnesses” are usually quick to point out the high rate of suicidality within the transgender community. This study suggests, however, that these numbers are a result of social stigmatization rather than anything innate. Put another way, how many children’s lives could be literally saved by normalizing the transgender experience and acknowledging it in the classroom?

While it may be engaging for us to frame the validity of one’s gender identity as a debate, we should always keep in mind that real, material harm is done to trans individuals while we dawdle in our support of them.

Tyler Degener, Omaha

Good use for funds

I agree with Rick Madej letter to the Public Pulse of March 25 that some of that federal stimulus money should help pay for the federally mandated sewer separation project that is ongoing. Omaha ratepayers have been fleeced enough. Please take some pain away from this added cost to our utility bills from this project. I pay more for this right now than for my utility cost.

Kathleen Watson, Omaha

Public power

As I opened my February and March OPPD bills with some trepidation, I was relieved and thankful to find that we, in Omaha, had not been hit with the kind of outlandish bills levied against those who do not have publicly owned utility companies and have given over their trust to private companies and the open market.

Eric A. Rost, Omaha

Rasmussen leadership

For more than 60 years I have been attending Creighton athletic events and have been involved with their Jaybackers most of that time. I believe strongly that the current success is due to the vision and tenacity of Bruce Rasmussen. Before he became the athletic director, this success could not have happened!

Terry Haney, Omaha

Hooray for Jays

It’s with selfishness that I am sad to see the Jays’ season end. They have given me something exciting to look forward to, even if it’s one to two hours. It must be hard for the team to focus without their dedicated fans. All the screaming and hollering when Zegarowski and Ballock make their threes — so much added enthusiasm! Jefferson making his strong layups, Mahoney making his steals, and Bishop making his famous dunks!

It’s not quiet on the homefront here, either. The couch potato comes to life!

Re Coach McDermott, I too have said remarks to loved ones I regret. Not the same as yours, but you have admitted your mistake and apologized. In all the games, including previous years, I have seen his love, care and concern toward all his players. I also agree with Tom Shatel’s statement re getting in another bracket other than with the Zags.

I’ll be a “basket” case without my Jays!

Coleen Bockelmann, Omaha

Election schedule

I just filled out and mailed my absentee ballot for the spring city of Omaha election. I was shocked to find I had to vote for only two candidates: mayor and City Council person. Just two. Hopefully the powers that be can change the city election to share voting with other elections. As it is now, it’ a big waste of taxpayer dollars even in the postage alone.

Jerry Freeman, Omaha

Guns, public safety

Gov. Ricketts says gun control proposals won’t solve underlying problems, but he does not concede they could be part of the equation in preventing mass killings. As a youngster I remember the fun I had hunting pheasants with my first gun, a .410 single-shot gun. I got few pheasants, and I did get some rabbits. Later, my dad bought me a 12-gauge Remington Wingmaster pump gun.

Some of the laws I learned were the opening and closing of hunting season, the hours of the day when hunting was permitted, and that you were not to shoot hens. The other law I remember was that the gun was to be plugged so that only three shells were available.

My question to the governor is, why don’t we have the same kind of laws protecting humans as we do pheasants?

Donivan Huwaldt, Uehling, Neb.

Biden beginnings

After following the recent OWH Pulse letters, I discovered that there is a lot of “New President” Anxiety Going On. It’s much like the “New President” Anxiety of 2016.

I want to share these newsworthy facts, just in case you may have missed this relevant information....

In a little over two months the Biden administration has:

1. Passed the American Rescue Plan.

2.Administered 100 million COVID shots.

3. Rejoined the Paris Agreement.

4. Reversed the transgender military/ Muslim bans.

5. Expanded access to health care and voting.

Integrity, honesty, respect and competence matter. Maybe we all need to take a time out for a while and just breathe!

Kathe Strand, Omaha

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