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The Public Pulse: Teachers, virus threat; Tort claim justified; Gay rights ruling correct

The Public Pulse: Teachers, virus threat; Tort claim justified; Gay rights ruling correct

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Teachers and virus vulnerability

What needs to be addressed with school openings is staffing. I have yet to hear solutions to the problem that schools will have when staff members become sick from the virus. There will be the transmission of the virus in schools because some districts have refused to recognize the fact that masks help keep the virus from spreading. Some districts are just recommending that students wear masks and not requiring them. OPS seems to be the only exception.

I sympathize with teachers in those districts that have chosen not to protect their essential employees and students. Some have conditions that make them vulnerable to the virus. Some have family at home that are vulnerable.

When teachers get the virus, it will become very hard to find a substitute that wants to jump in and replace them. How will districts fill in for this sickened teacher? The best solution is a long-term substitute so students have consistency in the classroom, but finding a substitute that will commit for an extended stay will be a challenge. Districts already compete for substitutes because the list isn’t that long. Being a retired teacher and substitute teacher, I know how in demand substitutes are and will become even more so.

Ron Phelps, Omaha

Parents’ tort claim is justified

I am totally behind the Minardi, Pfeifer, Odermatt and Barth families. Their losses are beyond comprehension. These four daughters were shining stars — beautiful on the inside and out, academically grounded, athletic, outgoing and beyond all else, loved their parents and siblings.

What more is it going to take to correct this stretch of Platteview Road? Even the most experienced driver traveling eastbound near 180th Street after dark could face a serious situation. I am not a highway design engineer, but why was the guard rail on the south side not extended another 30 feet to the west, at the very least ?

God bless these families, and may the good Lord keep these four girls close to His side.

Ron Watton, Omaha

Sarpy road wasn’t the problem

Regarding Stephen Johnson’s 5 July letter regarding the dangers of Platteview Road, he states that when he was in high school, they had a similar problem when kids “would drive 80 or 90 miles an hour and launch ourselves over the hill.” Eventually, he states, the county “fixed” the road.

Mr. Johnson must be aware that even on flat I-80, teenagers drinking and driving 80 or 90 is a bad combination. Don’t blame the road.

Dave Peck, Bellevue

Thank you, officers

We are in a time when a minority of American people are getting a lot of press by being overly critical of law enforcement in general. Some of those persons, through their words or actions, have even caused chaos, destruction, loss of jobs, injury and death by their senseless actions.

On behalf of law-abiding American citizens of all ages, races and political affiliation, I want to say thank you to the men and woman, past and present, who are now honorably serving in law enforcement, or who have honorably served in the past.

There are a lot more bad people out there than there are bad cops, but how many times do you hear an uproar about that? It just seems to be accepted too often as the norm.

The next time you see a police officer, say “thank you” if you have the opportunity. You owe them at least that much. That man or woman is probably a very good cop. And they are looking out for your safety and for the safety of your family and friends.

Chances are, you may need a police officer sometime in your life. Maybe you already have.

Roger Anderson, Omaha

Ruling on gay rights is sound

Mr. Charlie Aliano asserts (July 4 Pulse) that as a practicing Catholic, he is appalled by the recent Supreme Court decision prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in business and government. No one on the Supreme Court struck down the First Amendment’s provision of free exercise in any church. That would include churches which accept LGBT persons in their services.

Fortunately our nation is not run on the Catechism of the Catholic Church or any particular person’s interpretation of the Bible. It is a secular state which allows free exercise for all faiths and none.

The argument “God said” has been used in our country to deny rights to women, to enforce slavery, to enforce Jim Crow, to enforce miscegenation laws and to enforce anti-Catholic laws.

The Constitution, which is the law of our land and not the Bible, explicitly prohibits the government from interfering in the affairs of any church, so they are as free to be as restrictive and non-welcoming as they wish. No Catholic Church is going to be forced to distribute the Eucharist to any person it deems unworthy.

By law your church may enforce its Catechism on its members as it wishes. It may not enforce it on anyone outside the Catholic Church, just as the Lutheran Church may not enforce its doctrines on Catholics.

Five of the Supreme Court Justices are Catholic; fortunately they ruled for the rights of all Americans, not their own sect. They are appointed to uphold secular laws, not church laws.

James Kulacz, Broadwater, Neb.

Family structure a key need

Johnny Rodgers seemed to argue in a July 5 Midlands Voices that County Board members Mike Boyle and Jim Cavanaugh’s opposition to the $95 million courthouse addition and $30 million youth facility stemmed from a lack of compassion for troubled black youth. I personally know both men, and nothing could be further from the truth.

I think they both have legitimate concerns about an overburdened taxpayer and the functionality of the of the construction proposals. Voicing an opinion and putting up opposition are how a democracy works. Rarely are decision-makers all on the same page. A byproduct of their opposition was the project’s improvement.

I hope that in addition to employment, justice, and police reform, community leaders start beating the drums for strengthening minority families. Specifically they need to promote two-parent families. Therefore, community leaders, government officials and philanthropist who are trying to help, please realize that “it’s the family, stupid.”

George Mills, Omaha

Fireworks burden residents

Celebrating our independence with a barrage of fireworks within our residential neighborhoods needs to be curtailed or stopped altogether. What I witnessed was not a celebration but, instead, a demonstration of explosive prowess. Well to me, it’s now about clearing my roof and gutters of the debris you scattered during your celebration.

Ironic how the celebrating suddenly stopped when a resident participating in your celebration was loaded into an ambulance and the reality of what’s really important hit home.

Cities approving block parties to facilitate these so-called celebrations and careless citizens handling explosives makes easy pickings for liability lawyers. Me: I’ll continue to fly my flag year-round, visit the veterans cemetery on patriotic days and truly appreciate the sacrifice I and others have given for the freedom to safely and peacefully live our lives. For cities and neighbors to deny us that right, even for a short time each year, is appalling.

Mark Butler, Bellevue

Fireworks harmed people, pets

It was four nights of total lunacy: Fireworks shot in the New Cassel parking lot by total idiots till 1 a.m. I live in the apartment building where war veterans of Korea and Vietnam live. They are sick. The elderly get no sleep. Pets are under beds. Calls to the Mayor’s Hot Line and Fireworks Hot Line achieved no permanent result.

Ban fireworks after 10 p.m. Issue arrest warrants and make fines big.

Don Shennum, Omaha

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