Urban railway vision an exciting concept
The Omaha Belt Line proposal is generating lots of buzz locally and in newspapers from San Francisco to New York. Rightly so.
It is a visionary concept that could change the face of our city. Omaha ranks high on many fronts, but sadly, public transportation continues to lag.
Plentiful jobs, events and attractions don’t mean much without adequate access. The Belt Line and rapid transit could catapult us to a new level, benefiting citizens and visitors alike.
We owe a profound debt of gratitude to the design team that has gifted the city with countless hours of pro bono work on this exciting project. I hope our civic leaders recognize the potential and get on board.
Ellie Archer, Omaha
Bellevue City Council fight vexes voter
Regarding the special election in Bellevue, I hope the voters remember this come election time.
Bellevue City Council members Don Preister, Carol Blood and Steve Knutson “declared they would vote down any nominee presented by Mayor Rita Sanders,” the Bellevue Leader reported.
That held Ward 1 hostage, forcing a special election, which isn’t free. Regardless of whether there is money to pay for it, the City of Bellevue receives those funds from the taxpayers.
Keep this in mind the next time these council members are up for re-election. Ward 1 residents may not be able to vote against Preister or Knutson, but they sure can vote against Blood, the at-large council member.
I am very proud to be from Ward 3, where my council member, Paul Cook, stuck to his principles and integrity and voted against the special election. At least someone on the council is looking out for the Bellevue taxpayers.
John McKercher, Bellevue
When polar bears come to Omaha
While she was running for mayor of Omaha, Jean Stothert said she would try to get rid of the wheel and restaurant taxes. I have a better chance of seeing a polar bear in my backyard than that ever happening.
The first thing Stothert did after she was elected was to put a gag order on all department heads unless the information to the press is filtered through her office.
Will the mayor try to put a gag order on the City Council? Just wondering.
Charles Bruno, Omaha
Accept father’s proof of child support
I write in angry protest over the treatment of disabled veteran Bryan Sheffield.
As outlined in a July 14 World-Herald article, he has the canceled checks proving beyond a doubt that he made his child care payments. However, a state agency is taking steps to force him to again make the child care payments, apparently because he sent the checks directly to his ex-wife and did not route them through the agency.
Nebraska’s child support administrator, Byron Van Patten, gave this bureaucratic, cover-yourself explanation: “The state doesn’t want to be in the position of second-guessing what a judge might do.”
But if his agency would accept the irrefutable documented evidence of canceled checks endorsed by the ex-wife, there would be no need for a judge.
The unfair treatment of this disabled veteran should be corrected.
James E. Burns, Omaha
A better bet for Kearney Archway
I know how to get the Kearney arch solvent in a very short amount of time: Build a casino there.
With the way so many Nebraskans love to gamble, plus the travelers on Interstate 80, it would not take much time at all to get the arch back into the black.
Oh wait, I just remembered, Nebraska only wants other states to have casinos and the jobs and taxes that go with them. That way, Nebraskans can lose out on another source of revenue that, whether right or wrong, is still going to happen.
Jim Kenyon, Omaha
Nebraska veteran recently ran for Senate
I recently read in The World-Herald about Shane Osborn’s announcement of his U.S. Senate bid. Osborn said that it is time to send a combat veteran to Washington.
So I would ask Osborn, assuming he voted in the 2012 election, if he opted to send the veteran candidate to Washington in the 2012 Senate race between Deb Fischer and Bob Kerrey. Or did party line skew this veteran’s battle cry?
As I recall, there was grumbling within the GOP when now-U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel supported Kerrey.
I wonder if this veteran camaraderie between Hagel and Kerrey bothered Osborn, the newly announced Republican for Senate.
Robert Perrault, Omaha
Saving the planet begins at home for U.S.
Michael Lovejoy’s July 13 Pulse letter struck a chord — a sour one. His assertion that President Barack Obama’s “war on coal” is misguided because many other nations in the world will still burn coal is, well, misguided.
Just because other nations continue to pollute and destroy their environment doesn’t mean we have to follow along. Real change never comes from sticking to the status quo.
If we want to live in a world with clean air and water, we need to set an example. Ensuring that the natural resources we have on this planet are still around for future generations is worth the price we might pay by shutting down or retrofitting existing coal plants.
If we are ultimately able to innovate and switch over to more renewable and less costly sources of energy, other nations will follow suit — and they’ll ask for our help and expertise to do the same in their countries.
Andrew Melichar, Omaha
Congress should make its leave unpaid
Did Congress consider taking a 20 percent cut in pay due to their sequester? Might not be a bad idea, since they have so many vacations and do very little while in session.
Peg O’Dea Lippert, Papillion
Obstructionist history in the making
President Barack Obama: “Yes, we can!”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: “No, we won’t!”
A decade from now, when objective historians record and evaluate the events in this period, it will be interesting to read their interpretations of how our nation’s government fared.
What got done and what didn’t? Who will be judged favorably and who won’t? My prediction: The cohorts of McConnell and supporters of his obstructionist tactics will be uniformly and severely castigated.
What a legacy.
Gary Welch, Bellevue
Modest hopes for Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano’s decision to leave the Department of Homeland Security to become president of the University of California system may bode well for American security. Of course that depends on whom President Obama selects as her successor.
Given prior selections during the president’s first term and now extending into his second term, it appears evident that the primary qualification for an administration appointment is liberal political purity and not related experience.
Following the selection of Napolitano, whose attitude toward border security was well known from her tenure as governor of Arizona (and who can forget her defense of Anita Hill in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas?), it is no wonder that such incongruous picks would include naming an enlisted man as a secretary of defense who has yet to question the president’s meandering direction for America’s national defense policy.
Chuck Real, Omaha
Questioning veterans home site choice
As a distant observer, I think moving the well-established, community-supported veterans home from centrally located Grand Island 50 miles westward to Kearney smacks of favoritism.
This proposal was recommended by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman’s handpicked site-selection committee (Carlos Castillo, director of the Department of Administrative Services; Catherine Lang, director of the Department of Economic Development and Labor; and John Hilgert, director of the Division of Veterans Homes and Veterans Affairs).
Were the 350 job losses in Grand Island or the emotions of our vets and their families living in GI to be close to loved ones taken into consideration at all? Are we further disabling their well-being? Is this a politically motivated manipulation?
Let the public in on the rest of the story, please. Did each community receive the same forewarning at the same time? Were each of the cities given a level playing field?
Something just seems amiss here. Was there anything else motivating this notion to relocate? This begs investigation.
M.R. Davis, Fremont, Neb.
Country Club made city, state look good
I didn’t watch all of the U.S. Senior Open on TV, but I saw enough to appreciate how the Omaha Country Club distinguished itself and made Omaha and Nebraska look good. The fans made us all look good, like the majority of them do at Nebraska football games.
The only thing missing from my limited viewing was the fans’ screaming of “get in the hole” on every shot. Did the fans self-impose some restraint, or did Omaha Country Club have something to do with this?
Rich Stanko, Omaha
Good coverage made tourney more fun
Thank you to The World-Herald for the outstanding coverage of the U.S. Senior Open. There were many excellent articles and superb pictures. The “Time to Shine” special section was fascinating with all of the history and bits of trivia.
I found the detailed layouts of each hole really helpful as I watched the TV coverage. Good job.
Carol Sanderhoff, Omaha