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The Spring Lake Park Project Team is the winner of the 2019 Master Conservationist Award in the Community category. The lake collects stormwater and runoff from nearby neighborhoods, keeping it out of the city’s sewers.

Conservation collaboration

The purpose of this letter is to thank the Omaha World-Herald for its role in establishing the Master Conservationist Award and to motivate other community leaders to keep nature in the city by revitalizing neighborhood greenspaces.

For the Spring Lake Park Project, the essential element that earned it the award this year is our partnership building between grassroots activists, government entities, local and national nonprofits, educational institutions and especially the Nebraska Environmental Trust and Groundwater Guardians.

The unexpected EPA mandate for cleaner water through sewer separation and a boom in support for green infrastructure in Omaha’s Public Works and City Planning were the catalysts that brought about broad-based awareness of the public health impact and economic value of greenspaces in urban settings.

Though neighbors formed the Spring Lake Park Restoration and Preservation Team that triggered the restoration visioning sessions two decades before the CSO project work, the City of Omaha’s willingness to invest in making the original community-generated concepts a part of the CSO enabled a pragmatic blend of beautification and stormwater control that is extraordinary. The city actually included area residents in the design process. The inclusive partnership approach for the Spring Lake project is now a role model for other cities.

It is a joy to see the park’s lake restoration and reforestation projects celebrated for the cooperative effort they truly are and will continue to be.

Janet Bonet, Omaha

President, Spring Lake Park Team

Nebraska youth sent right message

The Youth Climate Strike led by students and many others demanded that our governor pass a state climate action plan to combat the continued warming of our state and the planet. In response, the office of Gov. Pete Ricketts issued the following statements:

“I encourage folks to educate themselves on what we do here in our state instead of adopting the dangerous agenda of a global movement which wants to stop meat production and end our way of life.” He goes on to say, ”Nebraska’s family farmers and ranchers are the original conservationists and do more to protect the environment than almost anyone else in the world.”

I had to read that twice because at first I didn’t comprehend it nor believe what I was reading. It’s very troubling to know that our governor and his staff have such a grossly inadequate and bizarre understanding of this situation, one that is becoming more and more important to citizens of Nebraska as well as the entire world.

The youth of Nebraska participating in this global strike deserve a more responsible and pertinent response. They have more at stake than anybody, including those cows in Nebraska that our governor was referring to.

Patrick H. Poepsel, Omaha

Stop fighting the president

It seems that our Congress has found another way to waste taxpayer money instead of trying to solve the major issues surrounding this country. The fighting with the president, whether they like him or not, has got to stop.

And now we are “excited” to welcome the always incoherent speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to Omaha on Oct. 27. I think that Gov. Pete Ricketts should declare that day a statewide day of mourning and we should all wear black.

Lisa Todd, Papillion

We need better traffic enforcement

A Sept. 6 World-Herald front-page picture showing four women on scooters on the sidewalk is visual proof of little or no traffic enforcement in Omaha.

In recent weeks, at least three people have been killed in Omaha or surrounding counties by reckless drivers: a motorcyclist on inner-city Interstate 80 and two children in surrounding cities. The driver that killed the motorcyclist is still at large. This is madness!

Law enforcement needs to enlist a massive show of force to rein in these idiot drivers who treat our city streets as if they were on Germany’s Autobahn.

Jeff Bruckner, Omaha

Impeachment facts

In the Friday, Sept. 27 Pulse, Robert Nunez Jr. claimed in his lecture that Bill Clinton was impeached for adultery. False. He was impeached for lying under oath and for pressuring Monica Lewinsky to lie under oath. If adultery were an impeachable offense, half of our past presidents would have been.

Barbara Danielson, Omaha

Husker hopes

Regarding Nebraska football:

“We are Nebraska” giddiness — THUD.

“Wild” 2nd year expectations — THUD.

“Miracle worker” coaching — THUD.

“Weight room” miracles — THUD.

“Unreal” sports page opinions — THUD.

But: Big Red is not DEAD.

And: Fans have not FLED.

Onward, Nebraska football.

James E. Burns, Omaha

Protect our rights

In his Aug. 23 Public Pulse letter, Stanley Gocek says that machine guns were outlawed in 1934. He is wrong.

The 1934 National Firearms Act did not outlaw machine guns. It did create a registry for them. In May 1986, the manufacture of new machine guns that civilians can own was prohibited. Thus, currently, only registered machine guns made before the 1986 ban can legally be owned by civilians, provided they are legal in the owner’s state of residence.

The more disturbing part of Gocek’s letter is his willingness to do away with a bedrock principle of our justice system -– the right to due process and to appeal a conviction. He wants to take away someone else’s rights. Be careful — someday someone else will come along and take away rights that he holds dear.

Scott Moore, Carter Lake

Rewarding theater experience

We hear of movies and shows that were risky and did extremely well or badly, but rarely learn the thinking of their creators. The script for “Bernhardt/Hamlet” — performed by the Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre Co. — lets us in to that. The show is terrifically cast and directed by Cathy Kurz. The costumes give personality to each part.

Those who like theater will be rewarded by attending this Brigit Saint Brigit offering.

Jim Carroll, Omaha

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