Praise for reopening the government
Brad Ashley (Oct. 22 Pulse) blasts the entire Nebraska Republican congressional delegation for voting to reopen the government and praises Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and Iowa Rep. Steve King, who voted not to reopen it.
Fortunately, Ashley’s views are distinctly in the minority among the electorate. Polls show that the American public overwhelmingly disapproved of the partial shutdown.
Every day of the shutdown caused damage to our national reputation abroad and to our economy at home. We were in danger of defaulting on financial obligations to the rest of the world. Had Mr. Ashley got his way, we would be in danger of total financial collapse by now.
Kudos to the president — and to Bill Clinton back in the 1990s — for standing up to the anti-government wackos.
Herb Vermaas, Omaha
Tea Party is hope for fiscal responsibility
The Tea Party is our only hope. It’s the only party that says we must balance our checkbook.
The Democrats and the Republicans have increased our national debt to more than $17 trillion. Stop the madness.
The Tea Party has the only adults in the room, and many in the media say they are crazy and hate government.
I am just so sad when I talk to my kids and grandkids. They don’t have a clue about what they will have to pay back.
Joe McAvoy, Omaha
Judge’s abortion question a natural one
Abortion groups want an investigation of a Douglas County district judge for his questioning of a minor seeking an abortion (Oct. 19 World-Herald). This shows how these groups are attempting to make an issue out of what has already been ruled constitutional by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The judge asked the young girl whether she understood that “when you have the abortion it’s going to kill the child inside you.” This is a natural line of questioning for a judge seeking to measure the maturity and level of understanding of a girl seeking an abortion.
In 2011, the 8th Circuit upheld a South Dakota law requiring that women be informed that “the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being” and that the woman “has an existing relationship with the unborn human being.”
The fact that abortion advocates claim this line of inquiry is out of line proves that what they really want is to keep women in the dark about the truth of abortion.
Suzanne Gage, Lincoln
Americans United for Life Nebraska
Getting a charge out of OPPD’s wind buy
Omaha Public Power District deserves a big round of applause for its decision to invest in a much larger amount of wind power (Oct. 18 World-Herald).
This is a huge win for our state, which is among the windiest in the nation. With this decision, OPPD is encouraging development of our own clean, safe and homegrown energy.
I appreciate the job opportunities and financial benefits that wind farms bring to our state. I’m also grateful that we are making progress in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. As climate change has begun taking its toll on our agriculture and economy, it’s good to know we are doing our part in mitigating these consequences.
OPPD’s efforts make me proud to live in a public power state.
Melissa Bees, Bellevue
Overpopulation threat ignored for years
The Rockefeller Commission of 1972 and President Bill Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development both recommended that our government adopt policies to stabilize U.S. population.
The message has been ignored for over 40 years, and America’s population has grown from 183 million in 1960 to 314 million in 2013. It is projected to rise to 420 million by 2050, mostly due to massive immigration.
In the future, our exploding population growth will require a steady increase in farmland while simultaneously taking out farmland for development — more highways, airports, shopping centers, housing projects, etc.
George Bernard Van Haven, Omaha
Planning Department salaries frightening
I find it highly hypocritical and mind-numbing that the Stothert administration would openly bash the Suttle administration for the salary paid to the previous planning director ($185,000 a year) when Mayor Jean Stothert herself is willing to pay up to $240,000 a year combined for two individuals to co-run the Planning Department.
Also, why would you pay the current director $40,000 more than he was making as an assistant planning director and then turn around and hire Steve Jensen, the previous director, who happens to already be taking home a handsome pension ($114,000)?
It is scary the kind of decisions being made at City Hall, and it isn’t even Halloween yet.
Gene Bell, Omaha
A cheaper Papio bridge makes sense
John Sage (Oct. 21 Pulse) claims a bridge spanning the Papio Creek near the TD Ameritrade headquarters is unnecessary. He says people on the west side can simply cross a half-mile south, at Pacific Street, or somehow navigate through high-density traffic along West Dodge Road to get to the trail on the east side.
Sage overlooks two basic principles in real estate that apply to putting a bridge at this location: functional obsolescence and the need for updating due to different needs at this time.
Sage also ignores a critical segment of our population who would benefit from a safer and closer crossing point: teenagers and children who ride with or without their parents. A pedestrian-bicycle bridge at this location would allow families to more fully explore the potential of our trails system.
This bridge should be installed, but at a cost far less than its $3 million estimate. Mayor Stothert, please have the “folks who do the figgerin’” sharpen their pencils to get this done.
Scott R. Yahnke, Omaha
Spend bridge funds on other trails
Pulse writer John Sage is 100 percent correct in stating, along with the mayor, his opposition to spending $3 million on the proposed trail bridge over the Big Papio near Old Mill.
This trail money could be much better spent filling in holes in Omaha’s existing trail system, such as the north terminus of the Keystone and completion of the trails along the riverfront north and south from downtown. The Papio bridge would serve only a minute number of people.
Jerry Freeman, Omaha
Make Nebraska’s good-time law tougher
State Sen. Ernie Chambers has stated he will do all he can, including a filibuster, to stop any attempt to alter or do away with the good-time law.
The good-time law is a big reason there have been so many killings in this city, along with allowing the mentally unstable to be put back into society. It is both appalling and disturbing that a judge had to rule on a petition whether to release Erwin Charles Simants from a mental institution. (The judge ordered that Simants would remain at Lincoln Regional Center for one year -- editor.)
I urge all Nebraskans to support Sen. Brad Ashford in his attempt to make the good-time law more stringent.
Charlie Aliano, Omaha
HHS disciplinary rate is the concern
After reading about Nebraska Health and Human Services officials planning to alert 563 employees regarding a review of their disciplinary records by the State Auditor’s Office (Oct. 21 World-Herald), I have a concern. It’s not so much about the officials notifying the employees but about the huge percentage of employees who have had disciplinary issues.
HHS employs about 5,600, which makes about 10 percent who have had disciplinary issues. Where is the accountability of these governmental programs that allow such a disciplinary rate? These people would not make it in the private sector for very long.
Paula K. Eble, Omaha
South Omaha’s jewel sinks to burlesque
How low does the Sokol Auditorium have to dip to find entertainment? I realize the days of the polka bands playing to a capacity crowd are gone, but I don’t believe burlesque (Oct. 17 World-Herald) is the answer for a place that was the pride of South Omaha.
Marcy Miller, Omaha
Wheelchair help boosts community pride
Thanks to the six-plus people who assisted me after I had an issue with my electric wheelchair at 90th Street and Maplewood Boulevard. I neglected to get your names, but it is heartening to know that no more than a minute after upending my chair I was surrounded by so many concerned individuals, who no doubt pulled over on a busy street to render assistance.
My pride was the only thing injured, but I was left feeling very good about the community I live in.
Jan Nipper, Omaha