Protect pristine from turbines
In my opinion, Nebraska is not the fourth-best state for wind production. If you take out the natural areas with still-pristine grasslands and landscape (Sand Hills, Pine Ridge, etc.), we don’t come close to that mark.
Fortunately, Nebraska is not Iowa. Iowa is the most altered state from its natural landscape in the United States. More areas have been plowed, terraced, fenced, tiled and intensively farmed, with more rivers and creeks straightened, than in any other state. Now the land is covered with wind turbines.
Thankfully, Nebraska still has a large share of the undisturbed lands in the Great Plains. I am no fan of industrial wind farms, but if we have them, they should be built in previously disturbed ground.
Any tax benefits from wind farms should be shared to ensure that these natural areas can remain as they are. If my tax dollars are used to subsidize the wind industry, do it so that the good life and natural environment we now have in Nebraska is preserved.
Ron Beaman, Blair, Neb.
Premium, regular or 2-percent
We need to invent a car that runs on milk; it’s cheaper, and we’re less likely to get fleeced by the cows than the oil companies.
Lew Morgan, Omaha
Stothert targeting Planning
Omaha Mayor-elect Jean Stothert obviously has a big ol’ target on the Planning Department’s back. This broad-based, multifaceted department has many dedicated, hardworking employees. If I worked there, I would find Stothert’s comments insulting.
Under the Suttle administration, great strides were made in implementing plans to reduce the time for obtaining permits. This was done through online permits and information technology advances.
If Stothert aims to undo urban design review protocol, she will have to undo 12 years of hard work aimed at making Omaha a more attractive city and improving our quality of life. Those ideas and strategies came from a consortium of developers, designers, planners, architects, engineers, landscape architects, business owners, educational institutions and private citizens. Urban design initiatives received the blessings of the Planning Board, City Council and mayors.
Good management should have employees’ backs, provide them with needed resources and let them do what they do best. Management through fear and intimidation only alienates employees. Stothert doesn’t seem to have the Planning Department’s back. Before engaging in inflammatory rhetoric, she should have all the facts and reveal the reasons for her assessments.
Debi Herman, Omaha
Legislative lock-ins worth a try
I was pleased to see Nicholas Sauma’s intelligent and thought-provoking May 16 letter, “Try lock-ins for legislators.” His creative ideas are worth pursuing in Lincoln as well as Washington.
I have an additional recommendation. These elected representatives are to work for us, and they should not be paid a penny or receive any of their perks until they produce results that benefit the electorate.
We put them there to work for us, at our expense, and we should be able to control what they can take home. When they know how it will affect their pocketbooks, they will start finding ways to work with each other or figure out how to work, period.
They also can be locked in at their expense until they produce results, for as long as it takes.
Sunny Andrews, Omaha
Legislative move was misguided
On May 21, State Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha attempted to attach Medicaid expansion to a veterans bill. I’m a veteran and frankly do not appreciate or like his misguided politics.
Krist attempted to attach Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act as an amendment to State Sen. Charlie Janssen’s Legislative Bill 224, which would require the state to give preference to disabled veterans who submit the lowest bids for public contracts. (Krist has since withdrawn the amendment — editor.)
While the members of the Nebraska Legislature are attempting to help expand work opportunities for veterans and focusing on other issues concerning the state, Krist was pushing his personal agenda to implement a controversial initiative on the backs of veterans.
I’ve already been questioning Krist’s beliefs on public policy. Now I strongly question his ability to make good decisions for his constituents and our state.
Brian Mahaffey, Blair, Neb.
Douglas County wants input
The Douglas County Health Department and Live Well Omaha are making a concentrated effort to make Douglas County a more healthful community.
We have taken some big steps, but the next move is up to the residents of the county. We are conducting a one-question survey that is being used to develop the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). It is a simple matter of letting the people of Douglas County tell us the most important health issues facing our area.
All people need to do is choose their three top priorities from the list of 11 that was determined by a recent community needs assessment. The survey is at www.douglascohealth.org. Once at the site, people can go to the middle of the page where it says “Click here to take survey” and follow the directions. A minute or so now can make a lifetime of difference.
Adi M. Pour, Omaha
Douglas County Health Department
Man’s fancy turns to ‘Spring’
The 100th anniversary of the first performance of the Paris premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” is Wednesday. Yet the Omaha Symphony has taken no notice of this milestone on the history of music, even though Stravinsky’s “Rite” is one of the most important and influential pieces of the 20th century.
Instead, last week the symphony played the same composer’s “Petrouchka,” which is a vastly inferior work. Our local symphony seems to be becoming less of a vital force for the understanding of music and more of a music museum.
William Collen, Omaha