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The Public Pulse: Student journalists; Great work, MUD; Climate concerns

The Public Pulse: Student journalists; Great work, MUD; Climate concerns

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Student journalists

On Jan. 29, 2021, Dr. Shavonna Holman, the president of the OPS Board of Education, wrote a letter of opposition to the Nebraska Legislature Judiciary Committee regarding Legislative Bill 88. If this bill is passed, it will allow student journalists, like myself, to publish any story in the school newspaper without risk of the school taking it down simply because they disagree with it. This is a bill that needs to be passed in order to make sure that students’ voices are heard, no matter the opinion, throughout the state of Nebraska. As student journalists, we are taught to maintain a standard of professionalism and to follow the principles of ethical journalism.

The OPS board’s opposition to this bill is a clear political move to keep student journalism rights in Nebraska suppressed while they retain complete control over students’ speech. As a current journalism student in OPS, I believe that students in this district are creative and as the future leaders of society, we deserve the right to speak and write freely in our schools, regardless of what our schools’ opinion may be on the issue.

Bryce Johnson, Omaha

Great work, MUD 

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all MUD employees for their dedication, commitment and hard work during the recent extreme cold weather. These employees worked around the clock, many in the extreme cold weather to ensure that the needed natural gas and water deliveries were made to all of our homes and businesses. As any good, responsible business, MUD had developed a detailed Business Continuity Plan (used successfully in the floods two years ago and most recently in the current pandemic) that provided guidance and direction to manage its way through this extreme cold snap.

MUD’s water plants, the LNG facility and two propane air facilities performed well. All natural gas facilities worked at maximum capacity that required around the clock employee presence by MUD’s dedicated employees. Throughout this extreme weather, MUD was able to meet the natural gas and water needs of the customers in the Omaha area. MUD will review the actions taken to meet the demand to enhance and improve its Business Continuity plan for future extreme events.

On behalf of the Board of Directors -- thank you to all MUD employees for a job well done!

Mike McGowan, Omaha

chair, MUD Board of Directors

Energy reality

The wind stopped blowing and the gas lines froze. Windmills operate in Antarctica, all year long. Oil flows through the Alaskan Pipeline, and the pumping stations operate as well, all year long. Texas gets 7% of its energy from wind, the bulk is from natural gas, but it's the wind's fault? if I were to fix any blame, most, not all, should be on Austin, where all energy-related decisions are made.

Lastly, when ill, it's a medical doctor I seek, not a stock broker.

Cesar Rosales Jr., Omaha

Safeguard our rights

The big tech companies can shut down a politician if it isn’t to their liking. They can also block a business over views of the owner.

Our First Amendment is being abused by censorship of free speech. This compares to communist China's “silencing” of people in their country. Facebook/instagram, Twitter, Apple, Amazon and Google are participating in such activity. Also, local TV channels have been taken in by not giving a full and accurate reporting about what is going on in Congress. This is about our rights as citizens.

Pay attention and write to our senators and representatives to express your appreciation of their vote and also your displeasure if their vote doesn’t agree with your views. They need to hear from their constituents and be held accountable. We all need to take an interest in how our country is being governed. We need to put America first!

A quote from President’s Kennedy’s inaugural speech: “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.” We need to heed his words and fight for the rights in our Constitution. The First Amendment is being threatened along with our Second Amendment, which is very concerning.

We the people need to review the Constitution, which is the fundamental law of the U.S. federal system of government and a landmark document of the Western world. This is all so important regarding our welfare, safety and prosperity, for generations to come.

Donette Jackson, Tekamah, Neb. 

Climate concerns

Thanks to The World-Herald for the Feb. 11 article about the devastating implications of climate change as understood in the aftermath of a flood and the breach of dams in northern India. There, a hydroelectric dam broke because of the burden from the melting glaciers in the Himalayas. At least 31 people were killed. Much devastation flowed downstream. “Glacier disaster shows climate change risks.”

I am reminded of the most compelling reason of all to fight climate change -- the fact that those who are already suffering the most did the least to cause the problem.

We in the climate movement work hard to make the arguments that might move our elected representatives: That the last year saw unprecedented costs from fires and catastrophic weather events. That climate change is recognized by military leaders as a threat multiplier weakening our national security. That the economy of Nebraska is at risk because of droughts and other increased challenges to agriculture. That our own children and grandchildren will suffer.

We must also remember -- and remind our elected officials as well -- of the moral arguments, that it’s not just about us. I believe they are capable of listening.

Frances Mendenhall, Omaha

Energy situation

As an interested citizen in the global warming carbon tax debate, I am sorely disappointed in these subzero temperatures. I thought that we would have a warm winter, not the Siberian lows faced by my uncle, a young Marine at the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea of minus 50 degrees and minus 76 degrees wind chill.

Thank the Lord that our Green Energy will save us. Oh, I am wrong again. The Wall Street Journal reports that from Oklahoma to Houston, snow and clouds have shut down shut down solar and many of the gigantic raptor-killing wind chargers are frozen up. Thank goodness that the Keystone XL pipeline has been shut down. Canada can now sell its oil to communist China so they can heat their homes.

Will Lake, Elkhorn

Pesticide Science 

I would like to respond to the Feb. 4 Public Pulse opinion from Scott Yahnke about pesticide concerns.

While he may be right that the farmer was spraying Roundup herbicide to kill his cover crops, that is certainly not the only herbicide that he could use for that particular job. A person should never assume something and then publicly bash that practice.

I would like to point out some facts about Roundup herbicide that many people may not know. I get my information from the July 2014 issue of Popular Science magazine.

1) Roundup is a contact herbicide -- not a soil-applied herbicide. There is a big difference. It does not get into the soil and poison it, as some people think. After three days from application, the sun breaks down the herbicide into harmless particles. It won’t wash down into rivers and streams like a soil-applied herbicide.

2) Roundup kills the target pest (weeds ) by shutting off the chlorophyll in the plant's leaves.

3) Roundup only works on the enzymes found in plants -- not in any animals.

4) Roundup has a toxicity 25 times less than caffeine.

5) There have been hundreds of scientific studies around the world and not one single one found any link to cancer.

I have farmed for over 40 years and have used many different herbicides and insecticides. If a person uses chemicals according to the label, they can be a very useful tool in food production.

Our government leaders tell us to trust science in regard to the COVID vaccines. Maybe people should trust science when it comes to this also.

Lewis Carlson, St. Edward, Neb.

An Omaha treat

Our “Rotella’s loving” Italian doctor friend flew back into town this year, but since Rotella’s was closed for a holiday, he requested we make a stop at another of his Omaha favorites — Orsi’s — to buy some of their twisted Italian sliced bread that he could pack in his suitcase for his return flight a couple days later — along with the Rotella’s bread he bought the next day!

Since we knew he wanted to stop at Orsi’s, we decided to phone in our order for their delicious take-out pizzas to enjoy for lunch! Our doctor friend happily snapped several pics of the interior to share with friends. If you’ve never eaten Orsi’s pizza before, you’re in for a fabulous treat! If you have, you will definitely — like us — return often for both their pizza and bread! Another Omaha win!

Linda Hankins, Omaha

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