OPS should heed voters’ message

In May, Omaha voters voted overwhelming for the 2018 OPS bond program. In June, the Omaha Public Schools board voted against rehiring the 2014 bond program manager. One would have thought that when voters approved the new bond that a message of confidence in Jacobs Project Management Co., the company that has been managing the 2014 bond program, was also sent.

The OPS board would have been wise to recognize the passage of the bond as confidence in Jacobs. Where confidence has been lost is in the current board. Every second wasted on not making progress on the future expansion of OPS is another student lost to another district. It is another student who falls through the cracks because of overcrowding.

Jacobs has proven effective, and voters had confidence that they could continue to be effective.

Adam Wacker, Omaha

Charter schools bring benefits

The op-ed by Diane Ravitch (“Charters aren’t fair competitors,” June 28 World-Herald) reveals that Ms. Ravitch’s primary concern is the well-being of teachers unions, not students. She complains that 90 percent of charter schools are nonunion; apparently, all K-12 teaching positions should be union property.

She is blind to an interesting irony in her many complaints about charter schools: She does not believe in the American values of innovation and competition in a free market for goods and services. There is competition by preschools, colleges and universities, and even competition for K-12 students by private and religious schools. But competition from charter schools is somehow illegitimate.

Apparently the parents of the approximately 3 million charter school students are too stupid to recognize that they made a bad choice, but Ms. Ravitch will be all too happy to straighten them out. Significantly, the 146 Success Academy charters in New York City have dramatically higher test scores and draw from the same student population, by lottery.

Ms. Ravitch also deceives. The national average per-pupil cost for charters is less than that for public schools, not more. Therefore, increased numbers of charter students will benefit, not impair, public school budgets.

Michael B. Godfrey, Omaha

CHI arena naming rights

Why is CHI spending millions on arena naming rights? The spin answer or justification: No brainer ... competition ... business atmosphere … Naming rights deal is reality … etc.

Real reason: Big egos!

Does a $2 billion health system need to name a building to “be in the conversation”? I don’t think so!

Phil Fisher, Omaha

‘Elections have consequences’

In reference to Barb Wagner’s letter of how the Supreme Court is currently being picked (“America, what have we become?” July 10 Public Pulse), I ask: If the political tables were reversed, would things really have been different? As President Barack Obama said, “elections have consequences,” and, in case there was any doubt, “I won.”

In this case, “we” won.

Vern Greunke, Cedar Bluffs, Neb.

Thomas wrong on climate change

The commentary of Cal Thomas (“30 years of ‘global warming’ panic,” June 29) is in stark contrast to The World-Herald’s excellent series on climate change and its implications. He discounted the early warnings about climate change made 30 years ago by climate scientist James Hansen, preferring the soothing dismissals of Richard Lindzen. Thomas suggested that forecast meteorologists were pressured into promoting climate change fears.

As a retired forecaster who has always remained aware of climate research, I find this ironic. Forecasters know that there is value in making a gutsy forecast, before all the information is in, to alert the public to a major weather event. Such a forecast will not be right in all its particulars, but the big picture can be.

When James Hansen did this for climate change, I really had my doubts. However, they were erased over the years by the accumulation of scientific evidence and observations. Richard Lindzen also made forecasts, and these have proven wrong, one by one, as Hansen’s big picture has been verified.

We need to wean our economy from fossil fuels as soon as possible. A revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend system would help.

John Pollack, Omaha

Stop living in the past

Reading Mike Spinharney (“One-sided negativity,” July 5 Public Pulse), he needs to do a fact check before making comments on immigration of the past. At 74 years old I am tired of people living in the past and not knowing events that are happening to our country and that have happened in the past.

I, too, love America, and I see it going backward with women’s rights, health care, peace with other countries and discrimination. We have many breaking the laws of separation of state and church.

It is time to get out of the closet and see what is happening around you and your country. This, too, is hurtful to our kids’ future.

Please vote for youth in our next election so we can move forward instead of backward.

Connie McMillan, Omaha

What all of us should strive to be

Far too often we focus on and give attention to all the negative in our country and world. Rodney Smith (“Making a difference with every lawn he mows,” July 10 World-Herald) is what everybody should strive to be. This man is “giving up” his summer to travel to every state to make a difference in a few people’s lives. These people will be forever grateful of the good deed he has provided for them.

Also, it was encouraging to see Police Officers Nathan Meisinger and Logan Moran getting in on the action; after all, an officer’s duty is to serve and protect. This whole story needs to be spread more and throughout every avenue. Just imagine if this started a movement as seen in the movie “Pay It Forward” from 2000.

Josh Anderson, Omaha

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(2) comments

JIM BECHTEL

Many charter schools are a scam. A study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford found “17% of charter schools out-perform their local public schools, and 37% do worse,” and there have been many lawsuits for fraud because states have loose accountability laws for charters (run for profit, of course). Ravitch is a professional and respected researcher, an expert, while the Secretary of Education is a salesman for charters, a political appointee openly chosen specifically for her right-wing ideology and opposition to public education.

DANIEL BRANDT

You always have to wonder what some one is hiding by showing only one side of the statics. https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/

Statistics as above are worthless by themselves. There is no context. Just an attempt to deceive. Because as the last few lines show, it is all about a personal opinion and agenda.

Welcome to the discussion.

Please keep it clean, turn off CAPS LOCK and don't threaten anyone. Be truthful, nice and proactive. And share with us - we love to hear eyewitness accounts.

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