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The Public Pulse: Sigerson, Fahey set good example; Correct, incorrect virus responses

The Public Pulse: Sigerson, Fahey set good example; Correct, incorrect virus responses

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Chuck Sigerson (copy)

Former Omaha City Councilman Chuck Sigerson.

Sigerson, Fahey looked beyond party

I read with great sadness of the death of Chuck Sigerson. Chuck reminds us that partisanship need not mean obstructionism. Chuck was a ferocious and combative Republican leader who rose to head the Nebraska GOP and the power on the Omaha City Council. He never abandoned his conservative principles. At the same time, he worked cooperatively with Mayor Mike Fahey, an active Democrat and former Nebraska Democratic National Committeeman. Two partisans who used their political knowledge to find compromise for the betterment of their city — Omaha.

When it came to politics, they were on opposite side, but Sigerson and Fahey didn’t spend every minute trying to destroy each other. Today’s political leaders could learn much from how Fahey and Sigerson competed and governed.

C. David Kotok, Omaha

Taxes provide services for all

In David Peel’s Aug. 31 Pulse letter “Tax burden weighs on retirees,” he mentions that he is “looking at acreage in northern Missouri.” It may surprise Mr. Peel to learn that thousands, perhaps millions, of people, including retirees, are struggling to make monthly rent or mortgage payments. For them, looking at acreage anywhere only happens in their dreams.

He further states, “I have no intention of giving the State of Nebraska my hard-earned retirement and Social Security funds.” I doubt any state will take all his retirement funds, but it will levy taxes based on his accrued wealth and income. Those taxes pay for services provided by the state, which benefit all its residents.

Mr. Peel also writes that he “cannot wait to escape $191 a year in wheel tax on three vehicles and a boat trailer.” Again, he may be shocked to learn that most people struggle to support one vehicle, let alone two additional vehicles plus a boat trailer (and the boat that likely goes with it). He should understand that the modest wheel tax helps build and maintain the roads his vehicles and trailer travel on.

Lastly, Mr. Peel notes that “The time for tax reform is long overdue!” I agree! Higher taxes should be placed on excessive wealth and income and the proceeds applied to social programs that give hope to, and improve the lives of, those less fortunate.

Ed Prohaska, Plattsmouth

A view spoiled

The trash containers on and near the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge were overflowing and disgusting on Monday. It was a beautiful place to take a walk on a lovely day, and the sight of these trash cans was a shame. Can’t the responsible parties make sure these are emptied on a regular basis, please?

Judith Brookstein, Omaha

Ill-considered mask exemption

The Omaha City Council has apparently determined that COVID-19 does not spread among athletes in team sports. But does it make any scientific or rational sense to exempt team sports athletes from the mask requirement? Team sports athletes are a bunch of heavy-exercising, hard-breathing, spittle-spewing people in close contact with each other, often in each other’s faces. They are a great breeding ground for viruses, bacteria and germs.

If the Omaha City Council mask mandate is based on any rational reasoning, or on any medical science, the exemption just makes no medical or scientific sense. That the politicians give an exemption to a group of people who are among the greatest risks of spreading and contracting COVID-19 and other such airborne diseases defies all logic. If such obviously COVID-19-risk people are exempt from the mask mandate, then apparently the Omaha law is not based on any rational, logical reasoning or science.

Jay S. Purdy, Omaha

Correct, incorrect virus responses

Dr. Ali Khan, dean of UNMC’s College of Public Health, summarized the strategies to control the coronavirus: 1. Integrated leadership at the local, state and national that is based on data and science. 2. Solid testing, tracing and isolation. 3. Engaging the public in masking, social distancing and hand-washing. I would add the words of Richard Feynman, who participated in the investigation of the Challenger space shuttle accident: “Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”

With over 190,000 deaths in the USA compared to less than 400 for South Korea, it is clear leadership at the national and in some cases state level has been catastrophically deficient. I urge all citizens to follow Dr. Khan’s advice when they can and, in addition, to vote out of office all those who failures have put us all at risk. Your life and those of your loved ones depend on your actions.

Werner (Bill) Shoultz, Omaha

Way to go, Johnny Rodgers

Johnny the Jet Rodgers took the ball and ran it all the way home ... to his ol’ Tech High! On behalf of Omaha Public Schools athletes, their families and fans, thank you for speaking at our rally. You still got game!

Janet Kohll, Alan Hauschild and Lisa Carlson, Omaha

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