omaha trash pickup (copy)

A Waste Management employee at work. 

Ban disposable diapers next?

The recent push by certain members of the Omaha City Council to ban plastic grocery bags makes little sense.

It has been claimed by some that plastic grocery bags contribute to excessive litter and don’t belong in our landfills.

If the architects of these claims were really serious about harm to the landfills, they would ban disposable diapers before even considering grocery bags. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that about 20 billion disposable diapers are dumped in landfills each year, accounting for more than 3.5 million tons of waste.

Disposable diapers need to be exposed to oxygen and sunlight to decompose. They do not degrade well in a landfill.

What’s more, disposable diapers take about 500 years to decompose.

Frank Kowal, Omaha

Confirmation class has right idea

Hip, hip, hooray! for the First United Methodist confirmation class (“Confirmation class won’t join church over LBGTQ rules,” May 1 World-Herald).

It sickens me to realize there are people (and church conferences) out there who pick on people who are different from them. It seems these teens have learned to love and accept others who are not like them. I commend the adults who have nurtured these teens.

Those of you who are hateful about LGBTQ people need to understand the love and compassion Jesus had for others. He said: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Who is your neighbor? LGBTQ people are our neighbors.

I am appalled at members of the United Methodist Conference for being so unloving and not Christ-like in their thoughts and actions. They are setting a poor example for their members.

I used to be in the United Methodist Church and am grateful I left before this sexist prejudice reared its ugly head. I believe in peace, love and joy. I believe in practicing them by learning to love and accept those who are different from us.

I also believe in staying out of others’ business and letting them be themselves. This has been called tolerance, and it needs to be a Christian practice.

I commend First United Methodist Church for its openness.

Rev. Margaret B. deGraw, retired Omaha

Sunset Hills’ concerns ignored

If someone told you that an Omaha developer planned to build 210 apartments and 37 homes on a flood plain (despite the historic, deadly March flooding), what would you say? Would it be more unbelievable if all of the traffic from this proposed development would be pushed onto existing neighborhood streets with no sidewalks?

And finally, that a generous local private donor with plans to protect the flood plain as a public park has been pushed aside?

We in the Sunset Hills neighborhood are at a loss –- especially after what happened just two months ago when my hometown, like many others across our state, was evacuated. But that is exactly what NP Dodge is proposing and what the City of Omaha is supporting.

On Tuesday, the City Council is scheduled to vote for a final time on the proposed “Arbor Woods” development on the Sunset Valley golf course near 90th Street and West Center Road, adjacent to the Big Papio Creek. These are dangerous precedents that affect every Omahan.

We believe that our great city and state can do better. We believe that our voice matters and that we shouldn’t be silenced. Join us by speaking up and emailing your City Council member and the mayor.

Sheila Karpf, Omaha

Pothole analysis and solutions

Now that the furor over the many potholes in Omaha streets has died down, it is time for an analysis of why they happened in the first place.

An analysis shows that they mostly occurred in expansion joints in the concrete.

This is the result of either the use of improper sealer when the concrete was installed or improper installation techniques.

Also, resealing every eight years is required to maintain a proper seal to keep water out of the joint.

In the winter that water turns to ice, which causes the joint to heave, resulting in a pothole.

Solution: Research new sealers and installation techniques and reseal every eight years.

Also, when Platte River gravel is mixed with cement, a corrosive action within the concrete takes place, causing the concrete to fail early and a pothole to form.

Solution: Research what neighboring states are using as a mix with cement to form concrete, which might allow their roads to last longer than our city streets.

Tim Goodman, Omaha

Cooperating for survival

The sobering article “People hasten extinctions, creating ‘grave’ risk to ourselves, U.N. says” (May 7) points out that nations must cooperate in order to survive.

We should be leading the way.

Perhaps even more important, it is time to question the unquestionable economic ideal of growth.

The article makes it painfully clear that it is impossible to sustain infinite growth on a finite planet.

Frances Mendenhall, Omaha

Temper tantrum by Chambers

I have never seen the problems with American politics so aptly summarized in one sentence as I did in the article about the death penalty in Nebraska on April 26 (“Chambers’ latest bid to repeal death penalty fails”).

I have long felt that the immaturity in both state and federal legislatures has gotten out of control, but when I read that State Sen. Ernie Chambers “pledged to ‘get even’ with senators who opposed him during the rest of the 2019 session,” I was flabbergasted.

For too long politicians on both sides of the aisle have acted like children throwing temper tantrums when they don’t get their way. A vote against a bill should not result in childish antics obstructing future legislative proceedings.

All senators should be working together for the greater good and not seeking revenge for perceived attacks.

Christopher Presz, Omaha

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