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The Public Pulse, Nov. 3

The Public Pulse, Nov. 3


What’s so scary about questions?

It was hilarious to see the Republican presidential candidates band together to whine about the “gotcha” questions in the last debate. It looks like they are uniting to make sure only “softball” questions are asked in all future debates — no inquiries into any questionable political activities or disastrous records.

When a candidate has a history of bad decisions, scandals and incompetence, it is very hard to ask any question that isn’t a “gotcha.”

I guess we can look forward to worthless “debates” that are nothing more than free political ads for the candidates. Why not just eliminate the moderator altogether and give each candidate a few minutes to say whatever they want with no challenges to their statements?

David W. McCord, Omaha

Maybe HDR would like a river view?

ConAgra strong-armed the city into tearing down Jobbers’ Canyon — a big part of our historical district — for its headquarters. Now, ironically, ConAgra is moving its headquarters to a “historical” part of Chicago.

Now we have HDR trying to fit into a spot in downtown Omaha where it just doesn’t fit. Rather than tearing down historical buildings, why doesn’t it tear down the old Rick’s Boatyard Cafe and build its new headquarters along the Missouri River with a beautiful view of the river and Omaha?

Anna White, Omaha

Think outside the architectural box

The existing tension among the preservationists and the political/developer class regarding historic Dodge Street buildings presents an opportunity for something more innovative and cutting edge than Omaha has previously witnessed.

Citibank was faced with a similar conflict when planning its strikingly handsome tower in Manhattan. A historic church interfered with the plans. The architects solved the dilemma by cantilevering the building over the church, thus preserving it, while satisfying Citi’s goal of a signature building to house its headquarters.

The HDR tower could be built from behind the existing properties and cantilevered over them with a slim entrance on the Dodge Street lot controlled by the Holland Center interests, thus preserving the historic facades and most of the structures.

While theoretically possible, the added costs and complexity of such a project may not be feasible. But we are not talking about some architectural startup; we are taking about HDR.

Simon Noel, Omaha

A possible use for ConAgra site

Perhaps instead of destroying historic buildings downtown, HDR could move to the ConAgra campus after it relocates to Chicago.

Judy McGee, Omaha

Some questions for Planned Parenthood

I want to thank Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts for checking up on Planned Parenthood (“Ricketts probes Planned Parenthood,” Oct. 27).

I have some questions of my own for Planned Parenthood. It states that the vast majority of its public funding comes from the state-federal Medicaid program for services to Medicaid recipients. How many of Planned Parenthood’s clients are Medicaid recipients?

It also states that it gets grant funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs. Where does this grant money come from? How many teens take part in these programs? Do the funds go toward providing contraception to teens?

We need more transparency on where Planned Parenthood’s money is coming from and what it is being used for.

Angie Wingert, Omaha

Nebraska shouldn’t flunk this test

An easy quiz for Nebraskans.

Question 1: What’s that loud jingling noise heard all across Nebraska? Answer: The flow of money from Nebraskans’ pockets and purses into the treasuries and departments of revenue of Nebraska’s six neighboring states. That money is being used to lower state income taxes, gas taxes, school taxes, county and local taxes.

Question 2: If that flow of millions of dollars could be reversed by legalizing casinos within the Nebraska border, what state would benefit through possibly lower state, gas, school, local property and county property taxes? Answer: Nebraska.

Bingo. End of quiz.

Les Krings, Columbus, Neb.

A Halloween treat

A wedding reception on Halloween prevented us from being able to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters, so we set up a self-service candy bin on our front porch. A sign directed the kids to “Say ‘BOO!’ and take two.” We typically have about 100 Halloween visitors each year, so we left out 300 pieces of candy. When we got home, there were still about 100 pieces left. You do the math.

Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching. Congratulations, parents. You are doing a wonderful job raising great kids.

Patrick S. Fahey, Omaha

Anyone have Bo’s number?

Regarding the Cornhuskers’ 3-6 record, where is Bo Pelini when you need him?

Thomas A. Triba, Omaha

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