Let’s move forward
Amen to the letter “The way ahead” by Edward D. Porter in the April 22 OWH Public Pulse. It was a thoughtful letter pointing out that all of us have responsibilities if we are going to be able to move forward, try to heal from the past and make sure this will never happen again. I pray we are all up to the task.
Lois Hurd, Grinnell, Iowa
There is so much talk about retraining and re-educating police officers. What about educating the public to the fact that when you’re stopped by the police, don’t resist? It would go much better for everyone concerned.
Sylvia Jenkins, Omaha
I have been an Omaha Public Schools student throughout my whole life and can attest to my experience with and without comprehensive health education. In a perfect world, every student would have parental guidance to turn to and learn about their bodies with. We are not living in a perfect world, and I have experienced this firsthand. I lived in a single-parent household during my adolescent years and did not feel comfortable talking about menstruation, intimacy and other related topics with my father. I received most of my sexual education through what I learned at school and Google searches I made on my own time. Plenty of students across our state are without a supportive parent in their home and lack education through school. Sadly, these same students will turn to the internet with their questions or engage in behaviors they do not fully understand.
Even if a student has supportive parents, they are not educators. You wouldn’t expect a parent to teach their child calculus, so why is human growth any different? Parents are amazing people for their children to turn to for emotional support. Still, students deserve an unbiased, research-based curriculum. Preparing all students to make safe and responsible decisions is one of the most vital forms of prevention that exists. We need this information within our schools.
Cleo Zagurski, Omaha
The article about Dr. Fred Kader in the April 19 edition of the Omaha World-Herald was of great interest to me.
Some 35 years ago, when my granddaughter was 5, she contracted spinal meningitis and was critically ill with little hope of recovery. She was referred to Dr. Kader, who with his expertise, successfully treated her.
Our family is eternally grateful to this skilled, compassionate man for saving her life.
Marianne Psotta, Stanton, Neb.
Social Security, taxes
I was surprised and disappointed to read the Omaha World-Herald’s expressed opposition to pending legislation — LB 64 — in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature, which would over the period of nine years end our state’s status as one of only 13 states in the nation which continue to tax Social Security benefits for retirees. The projected cost of LB 64, when fully implemented would be $131 million.
Though you are quite correct that this is no small amount of money, comparing it to the total budget now being debated on the floor of the Unicameral offers a more reasonable and balanced view. The bottom line on the total biennial budget bill is $9.8 billion. I don’t own a calculator with sufficient digit capacity to compute what percentage of the total package would be tolled by LB 64 at the end of nine years, but suffice it to say that the number is miniscule. Picking it out as an example of reckless spending does no credit to The World-Herald, which in this instance calls to mind the cruelly myopic bookkeeper who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
We are constantly reminded of the importance of “growing” Nebraska. If that growth strategy is to include any effort whatsoever to retain our present residents while attracting new ones to our borders, scuttling LB 64 makes absolutely no sense. Retirees, with their working years behind them, have no real imperative to stay in Nebraska career-wise and need only to move as far as South Dakota to find a significantly better tax climate.
Beyond that, one is left to ponder a Nebraska that refuses to honor the important contributions of a lifetime of useful work, civic involvement, and yes, taxes paid to state and local government by our parents and grandparents. It has been said that the true measure of the humanity of any society is its treatment of the young and the old. I’m old enough to remember when Nebraska ranked just above Mississippi and Alabama in our fiscal support of public education. When enacted, LB 64 will prevent our state’s attaining the same ranking with respect to valuing our senior citizens.
Ron Jensen, Lincoln, Neb.
Welcome, Deirdre Haj, to Omaha as the Film Streams new executive director. Excited to see you join our Omaha community.
Tim Waldmann, Omaha
Luca La Fata-Hornillos (April 20 Public Pulse) and numerous other writers talk of a vile, unfathomable situation in which we find ourselves of late. I’m not sure what this “situation” is. If it’s all the shootings of late, most, if not all of them, have been done by people who possessed a gun illegally and/or have subsequently been determined to be of diminished mental capacity of some sort. Lessening Everyone’s Second Amendment rights would not — in and of itself — resolve the “situation.”
Increased mental health care and facilities and thorough background checks of gun purchasers would most likely make a huge difference. And just because our governor believes our state should be a Second Amendment sanctuary state does not mean that he has more concern for that than he does for the safety and welfare of all Nebraskans, as some writers have said.
And oh, there’s that nasty assault rifle thing again, mentioned most likely by those who have never held a gun in their hand or have any clue what an assault actually is and what type of weapon one would wish to have while doing that assault. The one-trigger-pull/one-shot rifles that way too many make out to be an “assault rifle” is indeed not such a thing, as any military or law enforcement person will tell you.
Dean Hayes, Bellevue
Time for change
Americans are sick and tired of mass shootings in our shopping malls, schools and/or any other place we may be free to travel as back and forth to our jobs. What some folks in our nation’s Capitol are saying is this: “We don’t need an AK-47 or an AR-15 with a clip of 30 bullets to go duck hunting!” We need some control of who buys a gun and where and a firm background checks! The Second Amendment will never change, but our citizens sure have to.
Jesse Salazar, Waterloo, Neb.
Living their faith
I am writing In response to Donald Busenbark’s Sr. comments regarding critic’s views toward Gov. Pete Rickett’s decision to not provide homes to migrant children. Gov. Ricketts, ardent Catholic and pro-life advocate, has said that he will not be allowing migrant children to come to Nebraska. That Nebraska needs to preserve its limited resources for its own children.
Busenbark stated that if critics would like to feed, house and teach these children to speak English so that they not become a “burden on the backs of Nebraska taxpayers,” he would tolerate their opinions. In other words, he asked that Nebraskans put their money and efforts where their mouths are. Mr. Busenbark Sr. assumes that all Nebraskans feel as he does and that there would be no “takers,” but there many generous and loving people living in this state. Gov. Ricketts has decided for them.
It would not be miraculous that there are indeed people in the state that would open their homes and hearts and provide the above without counting the cost. One should not assume that taking in an orphaned child is a burden to every Nebraskan. Some folks actually live their faith.
Susan Johannes, Elkhorn
Culture of death
Criticize the governor, change the Second Amendment, it’s the NRA, guns are the problem — none of the above. When I look in the newspaper and see pictures of so many young people who have been involved in shootings and killings, I want to find the source of the problem. We are living in a murderous culture and that culture has accelerated tremendously since the passage of Roe v. Wade.
One could poo-poo that, but when one life (the most vulnerable of all) is open game, that cheapens all life. And as the culture accepts that murder, the slide is on. Adolf Hitler did not start with the killing of Jewish people. In our murder culture, if something gets in the way of my pursuit, my desires, I’ll just snuff it out. Part of the solution: Value all innocent life, from conception to natural death. The culture of death is not going to change by defunding the police department; it’s going to change by adding value to all life.
Peter Smagacz, Omaha