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The Public Pulse: Omaha, ban fireworks; NU's big buyouts; Help these Afghans

The Public Pulse: Omaha, ban fireworks; NU's big buyouts; Help these Afghans

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Fireworks explode over Werner Park after a Union Omaha match on Saturday.

Fireworks excess

Does anyone else find it incongruous that the city gathered a police militia to trap unarmed Black Lives Matter activists on a bridge following a legal protest, but then have turned a blind eye to inebriated pyromaniacs with potentially deadly explosives blatantly ignoring a city ordinance?

For the past three weeks, those of us who are working to pay our exorbitant wheel, restaurant, property and other taxes have been rudely awakened at all hours by blasts from fireworks. While enduring endless workdays with practically no sleep, our pets and veterans have suffered much more from this senseless trauma.

Any ordinance or law is only as good as its enforcement. Offenders have grown used to the lackadaisical attitude the city has taken toward fireworks, so will continue to break the law.

Fireworks are not toys and should only be handled by professionals. It is time Omaha joins other large metropolitan areas and invokes a total ban, with stiff fines for offenders. If enforced, the fines could help offset tax money lost from fireworks sales, and our law-abiding citizens could once again live and work in peace.

Jon Nelson, Omaha

NU buyouts

Why are we paying our departed Athlete Director Moos at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln almost $3 million as a buyout when his contract was set to expire in a year? Since 2005 the athletic department at UNL has paid out almost $28 million in buyouts! Why?

No winners yet in football, which funds the Athletic Department. Last time I checked Coach Frost has a dismal losing record here at Nebraska. No bowl games either under his being a head coach here. I do not see Frost’s win record to be improved after looking at this year’s schedule. He will be next in line to get a buyout!

One thing for sure: Our buyout record will continue into the distant future. Why?

Joe Krajicek, Bellevue

NIL problems

College sports is entering an unwholesome, regrettable and monumental change. Colleges as well as businesses can now give financial gifts including money to student athletes based on the popularity of their Name, Image or Likeness (NIL). The amount of gifts depends on what some business or school values an athlete’s worth to them.

There are many problems that could result from this. For example, smaller schools would be left out, or if there is no ceiling on the amount, it would turn into a bidding war. Some athletes will get paid and others not. Some students will transfer to a different school for being slighted. Competition for high school graduates will be like the pro football draft. There are many more negatives.

The Supreme Court ruled the NCAA has no jurisdiction over the matter. Although the NCAA can’t legally prevent NIL, it can ask the schools and sporting world to observe the rules as in the past. If a school pays students and wins championships, their success will be malformed.

Donald F. Sutton, Omaha

Be neighborly

Recently there was a nice story in The World-Herald about two couples in the Stonybrook neighborhood who are gardening, use a clothesline, and have chickens with the intention of using less resources and living a more sustainable lifestyle. In the same story, there were neighbors who were both supportive and some who were critical because their property didn’t look like everyone else’s.

An update to the story revealed that the family has now had people drive by and yell curse words and throw garbage in the yard, presumably because they have a Black Lives Matter sign. Residents in the neighborhood complained that they were farming in a residential neighborhood and should be using a dryer to dry their clothes and that the appearance of their property devalues the neighborhood.

These people’s close-mindedness and intolerance of a citizen’s right to freedom of expression and freedom to use their property as they see fit, are what devalues this neighborhood and our community. I would welcome these couples as my neighbors. I hope people can be kind and welcoming to these people who dare to be different.

David Finken, Omaha

Help these Afghans

I wholeheartedly support providing visas and a path to citizenship for those in Afghanistan who helped us so in many ways. (OWH opinion essay, July 3). I deployed to Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division as a civilian adviser, and these men, and yes on some occasions women, were instrumental in our mission success. We could not have been successful without them.

Kudos to Jay Jackson for making such a cogent argument to help bring these hard-working dedicated men, women and their families to freedom.

Peter Sakaris, Omaha

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