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The Public Pulse: School germ factories; Tax relief; Sports, politics

The Public Pulse: School germ factories; Tax relief; Sports, politics

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Germ-factory danger

As a high school senior, I’ve dealt with imbeciles disregarding those around them, but COVID has brought out the worst in Nebraskans. This isn’t a complete population, only what I’ve experienced every day with the kids in one school. People don’t wear their masks over their noses in the hallways, nor in classes. The only retribution they receive is being told off once and almost never again. They are doing it because they are lazy and believe that the coronavirus “is a scam.”

The school encourages students to not stay at home but rather come in person, mainly because the school cannot afford the resources or the lack thereof for zoomers that are significantly struggling with their classes and grades. At lunch tables, people do not social distance; in fact, they do the opposite, crowding around a small table with at many as eight others (though six is the norm), and visit other tables randomly. If you try to social distance others or yourself from your normal group, they will either ignore you or even eradicate your friendship.

Our safety is just a joke to our educators. One teacher declared this to be just a media scam, calling quarantine “corona jail” without acknowledging the fact that students have gotten coronavirus — to him and others, quarantine has no reason to exist.

In the bathrooms, properly washing hands is a rare miracle — most will wet their hands for a few seconds and then compensate for their lack of cleanliness with heaps of paper towels. Germ factories walk out, and nobody cares.

Nebraska should be ashamed of itself.

Benge Graner, Omaha

Tax cap needed

While it is admirable that the Nebraska Legislature is addressing our high property taxes by giving us a credit on our income tax for the school property tax and another credit on our overall property taxes, they are only addressing one part of the property tax equation. The other part is the valuation process our county appraisers go through when they appraise our property for tax purposes.

Douglas County re-appraises different neighborhoods every five years in accordance with state law. That is why those homeowners are so shocked by such a large increase in the value of their property, even though they have avoided every-year increases. Sarpy County re-appraises neighborhoods every year. Last year my appraisal went up 9.5% based on the sale of one house in my neighborhood. This year my appraisal went up 3.5%. With the price of lumber up 260% this year over last year, I hesitate to think what my appraisal will be next year. And when I checked the Sarpy County website I found out that none of my neighbors had been granted a reduction in their valuation when they appealed the appraisal.

The difference in when property is appraised also affects taxes paid to the Omaha Public School District, as it overlaps Douglas and Sarpy Counties, as reported previously by the Omaha World Herald.

Is there a solution to this problem? Of course there is. California’s Proposition 13 limited the amount of increase in a property’s valuation as homeowners were being taxed out of their homes. Nebraska’s lawmakers can do the same thing. The state should also reconcile the Douglas and Sarpy County appraisal procedures when a taxing authority (OPS) goes across county lines.

Tim Goodman, Omaha

Even baseball

After suffering through a mind-numbing election period, coronavirus, countless shootings every week — it’s sad to see our beloved pastime, baseball, being saturated with politics! It makes me sad to say I won’t be watching the All-Star Game this summer.

Say it ain’t so!

Jack Foral, Omaha

Sports, politics

I have my qualms with the Democratic Party, but one thing I will never fault them on is their strategy.

Take, for example, the concept of racism. For years, the prevailing notion for private businesses, sports leagues and the like was to stay out of politics in order to keep their customers. The left needed a way for these large interests to support them publicly, and these institutions needed cover for taking a political stance.

Most everyone agreed in past years that civil rights was an exception to that rule mentioned above. A business could, for example, support Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and it wasn’t seen as “politics.” The left saw this and exposed it. Now, they call anything they don’t like racism — like Georgia’s voting rights bill. Or the OK hand sign. Or being a white cop and defending yourself against a black assailant.

The MLB yesterday decided that they would move their All-Star Game out of Georgia this year. The left’s cries of racism against Georgia’s voting bill give the left-leaning MLB the cover they need to carry out political activism.

Maybe these leagues and businesses don’t realize what they’re doing. But I think they know exactly what’s up. Well played, Democrats.

Behn Nost, Bellevue

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