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The Public Pulse: Millard property taxes; Who are we?; Thoughts on reproductive rights

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Property taxes

The Millard School Board is floating the idea of a district vote to allow continuing the property tax override in case they need it. Really? My home‘s property tax value in Millard the last two years has gone up in value almost 20%, an additional $1,800 in property taxes, of which the school district gets 56% or over $1,000. I believe the school district needs to live within their means. With these kinds of property tax increases, I am going to have to figure out how to adjust to live within my means.

Michael Erdmann, Omaha

Misleading rhetoric

As a nurse specializing in OB/GYN care, as well as one that has lived through previous losses of a preborn child, I have been concerned with the misleading rhetoric since the reversal of Roe v. Wade that has caused great confusion and concern. Should abortion be disallowed in Nebraska, it is important to understand the distinction between procedures that take the life of the preborn child versus appropriate medical intervention to help women.

One example of misinformation is that medical professionals would be prohibited from providing necessary medical intervention in the event of a miscarriage. In all cases of a miscarriage, a child has died, and the necessary expulsion is not considered an intentional or deliberate threat to a living baby in the womb. Therefore, any law restricting abortion in Nebraska would not impact the medical care necessary for a woman suffering this tragic loss.

Another erroneous statement touted by pro-choice advocates is that a woman would not receive proper medical treatment in the event of an ectopic pregnancy. This type of pregnancy occurs outside of the uterus, and unfortunately, medical technology has not provided a means by which to save the child, leaving removal of the baby as the only recourse to save the life of the mother.

These facts are well-known by medical professionals, who swore an oath to “do no harm” but who now twist that oath by supporting abortion rights under the guise of protecting women’s reproductive rights.

Sandra Brichacek Kelley, Lincoln

On reproductive justice

Thank you, Sheritha Jones, for your eloquent commentary on the importance of body sovereignty, especially among poor African American women (Nov. 6). The right to give birth, or not, in a safe, healthy environment should not be determined by a legislative body, but rather the owner of the human body affected by pregnancy.

Sally Lansdale, Omaha

Keeping us in limbo

Dear Trev Alberts, can we please keep Mickey Joseph and his crew? All of them. Before someone else grabs them. Win, lose or draw, this team is a fun bunch to watch. Do you really want to start from scratch? Again? Can we please get off the new head coach merry-go-round? Stop keeping your fans and players — current and future — in limbo. Scott Frost got five years. Mickey Joseph, et al, deserves more than eight games. He also deserves our thanks for breathing life into this program.

Birte Gerlings, Omaha

Nitrates and childhood cancers

I am stunned by the article the OWH carried from the Flatwater Free Press on Oct. 29 regarding the growing incidence of pediatric cancer in Nebraska. Despite efforts to regulate how much nitrogen can be applied to our precious corn fields, golf courses, rolling lawns and more, those limits continue to far exceed any numbers considered safe in Nebraska’s drinking water. I would love to know if the people who care more about spectacular corn are the same people who are so dead-set on having an elected official in a gynecologist’s office, sitting between a woman and her physician. Which is it? “Pro-life” or cash crops?

Helen Jordon, Omaha

Grief into action

According to the Alzheimer’s Association more than 61,000 Nebraskans are caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s disease. I am one of those caregivers. It’s easy to lose hope when you’re impacted by Alzheimer’s, a devastating and fatal disease. But for so many of us, we channel our grief into action.

As well as being a caregiver for my father, for the last six years I have been the executive director for the Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter. And, recently I was given reason for hope with the release of new data about a possible treatment.

For the families we serve, a new treatment could mean more time to attend a family wedding, have another family holiday together, make more meals together, or to live independently.

I know this isn’t available in doctors’ offices yet, but for the millions of Americans impacted by Alzheimer’s — the mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, husbands, wives, grandchildren and more — we’re hopeful for more time together.

When this drug is approved — and based on the current science, it’s looking promising that it will be — people who need it must be able to get it. That’s what I’m fighting for. Will you join me?

Sharon Stephens, Omaha

Renewable energy

It’s no secret that Iowa knows what we’re doing when it comes to renewable energy. We’ve been doing it since 1983, when Iowa became the first state in the nation to adopt a renewable portfolio standard. Today, 59.5% of all electricity produced in Iowa comes from renewable sources, totaling 12,591 MW.

The positive impacts of this development can be seen in every corner of the state, specifically here in southwest Iowa.

Major companies and organizations see what Iowa is capable of in terms of renewable energy generation and choose to bring their operations here to help meet their clean energy goals. The business and investment that have been attracted to this region is outstanding: food production, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, logistics organizations, technology, data centers, and more.

These industries are critically important to what we’re able to attain here in our community, and it’s thanks to our renewable portfolio.

But it doesn’t stop there. Council Bluffs’ own Iowa Western Community College offers programs in Renewable Energy Technology and Solar Installation — programs that are designed to provide the skills and knowledge required for careers in the installation and maintenance of renewable energy systems.

The renewables industry offers students in Iowa a whole new world of opportunities for their future, and we’re able to educate them right here in our own community and often keep them here with the jobs that clean energy projects create.

The success that we have seen here in southwest Iowa can be achieved in every community in Iowa with the acceptance and implementation of clean energy. It is my hope that fellow community leaders can use our region as an example to follow and help Iowa continue its national success.

Drew Kamp, Council Bluffs

Who are we?

When Congressman Steve Scalise (R) was seriously wounded by gunfire, Congress and America was outraged. Americans condemned the violence and voiced their support for him. When Nancy Pelosi’s husband was brutally attacked, we saw the opposite. Political ads attacking her should have been pulled out of respect. Instead, we saw conspiracy theories and unbecoming comments about her. Please God, don’t make this an America that supports this kind of behavior.

Vicki Krecek, Omaha

OWH Public Pulse October 2022

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Pulse writers weigh in on candidates and issues prior to the Nov. 8 general election.

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Pulse writers through their support behind local school board and State Board of Education candidates.

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Pulse writers submit their support for local candidates.

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Pulse writer says that Ranked Choice Voting is a more democratic system of voting.

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Jim Pillen must let the voters know where he stands on the issues, Pulse writer says.

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Pulse writers give reasons why they support various local candidates.

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Pulse writers say regardless of party, candidates should participate in debates.

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Pulse writer is ashamed that Gov. Pete Ricketts decided to join other states suing over Biden's student loan initiative.

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An increase in government spending is a must to reduce the telling effects of a recession, Pulse writer says.

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Pulse writer supports Wendy DeBoer for re-election to the State Senate. 

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Mr. Pillen, please explain why you are not completing your application for the job as governor, Pulse writer says.

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Pulse writer says the nonviolent key to enacting change in our government is your vote.

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Pulse writer is concerned with the wording of Initiative 432 on the November ballot.

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Pulse writer says railroads are vital and the best way to stay safe is by strictly obeying crossing warnings and gates. 

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Pulse writer says Tony Vargas' background gives him the knowledge and personal insight to worker struggles and values.

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As Nebraska Department of Correctional Services Director Scott Frakes prepares to retire, he expresses his appreciation and thanks NDCS staff for their hard work and commitment during the past eight years.

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Omaha’s Legislative District 31 is in good hands with Sen. Kathleen Kauth, Pulse writer says.

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The state should be required to provide a free valid photo ID to any voter who doesn’t have one, a Pulse writer says.

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Pulse writer lauds sale of Wounded Knee site to Oglala and Cheyenne River tribes.

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Pulse writers give their thoughts on Trump's political inquiries and legal issues related to his time in office.

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