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The Public Pulse: Omaha an unwelcoming city; Volleyball equity; Gun violence

The Public Pulse: Omaha an unwelcoming city; Volleyball equity; Gun violence

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Omaha’s festering problem

After reading the article on this subject, I want to express my real experience in Omaha. I came here 25 years ago as vice president of retail banking for First National Bank. While I found myself at a C-level position of the largest privately held bank in the nation, I still feel my voice was not heard and my leadership was challenged daily. Moving to another bank, GWB, and working for I believe one of the best leadership team — only to be taken over by a group from South Dakota that had never ever been exposed to black men in leadership — I left and proceeded to another challenge. I found that the nothing changed.

My son, who graduated from Creighton University and on the law school from University of Minnesota, came home and joined a local law firm. After three years he decided that Omaha was not conducive in respect to opportunities and environment to grow a career. He now is an executive with Amazon in Seattle.

My daughter, who graduated from Minnesota and Harvard college, stated she would not ever consider coming back to Omaha. Why? This community has a very long way to go to ensure people of color has equal opportunity to grow at the same level as the white community. Just remember: Black people make up 17% of the population here but represent 38% of the poverty in the state. We represent twice the unemployment rate. The North community has received the least amount of investment.

Want to decrease the brain drain? Look deeper than the surface.

Andrew Williams, Omaha

Volleyball equity

With the NCAA under fire for the unbalanced treatment of men’s and women’s sports, maybe it’s time they reconsider the number of teams allowed to play in the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament scheduled for April in Omaha. Allowing only 48 teams to compete this year — in the past, there have been 64 — is certainly an unfair decision to all teams throughout all conferences. Especially when other NCAA sports were allowed to have their full number of teams competing in their tournaments.

OK, NCAA, time to step up. Make it right and let 64 volleyball teams compete in Omaha this year.

Monica Yankus, Plattsmouth

Gun violence

As we return to normal after year-long pandemic, we cannot allow mass shootings to return to pre-pandemic “normal.” We must act to prevent a new story of gun violence every week from seeming “normal.” We need universal background checks and robust red flag laws. I call on our congresspeople and state representatives to act now before the epidemic of mass gun violence becomes commonplace again. Masks and vaccines won’t protect us from bullets.

Richard King, Omaha

Biden’s border disaster

Less than 100 days in office, and POTUS has muffed up the border! Blaming it on Trump is a smokescreen for his own failings. Using a page right out of the Obama playbook, when Obama spent three years blaming Bush for a sluggish economy, does not pass the stinky fish test. This is on Biden.

Now I read that the unaccompanied teens and younger will be put up in motels. The same motels that probably got COVID stimulus checks. Did POTUS bother to use Trivago to get a good rate? As long as the kiddies are here, sign them up for a path to citizenship, free medical and dental care, quarantine and test them for COVID and possibly promise of a free college education. Skip paying off tuition debt and just make it free from the very beginning. Excuse them from taking personal responsibility for their own actions. These children are being used as anchors for their parents to gain entry.

Biden is completely incompetent, and it is less than 100 days in! Just 1,400 more days to go. This country will be unrecognizable by the time his term is over.

Scott Long, Omaha

Our strange times

I must have unknowingly been transported to an alien universe. When I woke up I found that we couldn’t tell the difference between boys and girls, Dr. Seuss was banned and a family making less than $150,000/year is poor and needs a stimulus check.

Paul Koehler, Omaha

Climate hysteria

I see the climate crybabies at The World Herald are at it again. The OWH’s editorial staff, whose mantra is “the thermometer is nonpartisan,” is again ignoring real problems. Consider these three factors:

Nebraska agriculture rises and falls with land and water. The OWH and others have been outspoken in support of renewable energy facilities to solve the climate problem, while disregarding the fact that both can bring long-term harm to Nebraska land and water. Climate policies that make energy more expensive (which is the case with renewables) do greater harm to land scarcity and drive up food costs. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization concludes that technology will cause up to a 30% increase in food production by 2050. Technology outweighs climate change in every scenario.

Nebraska’s world-class research capability has been successful at developing drought and heat-resistant crops, better and safer pesticides and fertilizers, and better irrigation practices. These advances were brought about without drastic changes to our energy policies, and, moreover, without the help of the doomsday pundits and crybabies.

Are climate challenges today any worse than the Thirties? Having lived in Nebraska for 70-plus years, I have seen my share of tornadoes and blizzards, hot spells and cold snaps. I have yet to see an editorial prevent any of those challenges. But our economy has survived and grown enormously in spite of these climate calamities.

It is eminently more sensible to address Nebraska’s real problems. Solidify our foundation to grow by addressing our infrastructure problems; improve our future by strengthening our education system; and, above all, give us reason to grow together by eliminating racism.

Barry Butterfield, Omaha

Creighton smiles

Writing to congratulate Creighton on their NCAA win and thank No. 13 Christian Bishop for his rendition of the Bluejay of Happiness on the front page. A genuine “smiler.” Nice picture, OWH, thanks.

David Gibb, Omaha

Feds can help

Part of the last stimulus package signed into law by President Biden included money to states for infrastructure improvements. Now is the perfect time for the Legislature to send some of that money to Omaha and help pay for the federally mandated sewer separation project which is ongoing. MUD ratepayers have been fleeced enough for this project, and it’s time for the federal and state governments to take some of the pain away from our utility bills.

Rick Madej, Omaha

Poetic excellence

I was so pleased to read Professor Kwame Dawes’ first selection as he began his new position with The World-Herald to fill the very large shoes of his predecessor, Ted Kooser, to provide us with words of a higher artistic order. The poem he chose was filled with exuberant joy and love in a completely unexpected location! In these times when so many are using words to hurt, mislead and denigrate, it brought delight to my day.

I thank Mr. Kooser for the excellent recommendation of his successor, and The World-Herald for accepting that recommendation. I look forward to reading more of his choices, and I hope he will from time to time include some of his own work.

James Hanna, Columbus, Neb.

Herald’s Angel

Hark! The Herald’s Angel Slings! Our fantastic OWH carrier is Ms. Kris Kardell, and she’s just started her 30th year of “slinging.” She just retired as a kindergarten teacher, so she’s been doing two jobs for decades. She has gone above and beyond as our carrier since she pulls into our driveway and actually tosses (lefthanded, I assume) so that the OWH is usually right up against our garage door. Especially in bad weather, this reduces our risk for falling and is just downright considerate.

She double bags and knots (rather than just the rubber band) it if it’s wet outside. She is truly our Herald’s Angel, and we sling kudos and gratitude her way.

Larry and Stephanie Moeller, Omaha

Shortsighted

So, Pete Ricketts held a press conference saying that if Nebraska legalizes marijuana, we’ll kill our kids. He doesn’t seem to have an issue with opioids or alcohol, which kill people every day. He’s not considering the benefits for people with cancer, arthritis, seizures, MS, epilepsy or many other diseases for which people are successfully treated with marijuana.

I think Rickets is being shortsighted and cruel. Medical marijuana is regulated. I’m not against legalization for social reasons either, but medical marijuana should be a priority.

Glad he can’t run again for governor. Hope he doesn’t run for Congress.

Gery Whalen, Omaha

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