I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Nov. 3 World-Herald story regarding the fall of the Berlin Wall (“They were there when the Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago”).
My wife and I were both students of Janet Stuckenschmidt at Morton Junior High School in the early 1980s, and we both agree that she was our favorite teacher. It was fascinating to read about her adventures after she left Omaha.
As a teacher she was very engaging and influential (I still love Kraftwerk), and she had the greatest impact on my education and development as a person.
The students at Aspen Creek Middle School in Gretna are very lucky to have the opportunity I did 38 years ago, and I don’t doubt some of them will have this same sentiment when they are my age.
Brian Klare, Omaha
Watching the events since the 2016 presidential election has been like watching the old “Road Runner” cartoon, with the Democrats as Wile E. Coyote and President Donald Trump as the Road Runner. Beep-beep!
Douglas Furlich, Laurel, Neb.
Service charges questioned
The Metropolitan Utilities District president and a board member both responded to an Oct. 24 Public Pulse letter from a ratepayer who complained about bloated utility bills.
Both responses focused on the sewer fee, which for years now most folks are aware have been made much higher due to federal mandates to address stormwater issues. It’s insulting and disingenuous for MUD’s president (with a salary of $400,000) and an elected board member to exhibit tone-deaf responses to ratepayers who really are questioning the justification for separate “service charges” for reading a home’s gas and water meters.
Remote devices have been installed for water usage next to or near the gas meter so that the meter reader can quickly ascertain the figures. Charging a separate service fee for this simple task is an egregious example of a means to fund bureaucratic bloat. Our home’s actual gas and water usage are often less than the service charges assessed for each.
While I’m at it, the Omaha Public Power District has increased its service charge, and this fee consistently and significantly overshadows the amount of electricity our household uses.
Electing individuals who serve on both utilities’ boards who are willing to take a poke at the sacred cow of “service charges” is the best way to address this matter.
Scott Yahnke, Bennington
Plan ahead on West Dodge
There are big changes coming to the West Dodge Road corridor.
There is a big development planned for 192nd Street. The automobile sales industry is moving to the area between 168th and 180th Streets. The Boys Town development is coming along. There are other businesses moving in.
The point is there will be much job growth in this area and consequently a large growth in rush-hour traffic.
There are some problems already. A daily traffic tie-up occurs at the intersection of Interstate 680 and West Dodge. That and other traffic tie-ups will only get worse in the future.
It is now time to plan for transportation improvements in this area. One possible step would be to extend the planned bus rapid transit system to at least 192nd Street. Planning should start now so that bus station sites at the right places are available. The actual service can follow as transportation funds become available.
Of course, a bus rapid transit line is not a complete solution. There also needs to be a service that gets people from their residences to the rapid transit line. We need a complete plan now.
David Purdy, Omaha
Care of immigrant children
Angie Wingert wrote compellingly of the need to have compassion for children in our judicial system (“Heartbreaking cruelty,” Nov. 1 Public Pulse). I would add another area where innocent, blameless children suffer as a result of public programs: our immigration and asylum policies.
Shamefully, seven children died while in U.S. detention from May 2018 until now. They ranged in age from 18 months to 16 years old.
We Nebraskans pride ourselves on being pro-life and electing people who reflect our values. How could they have supported an immigration policy that allowed these children to die? The pro-life label rings hollow if we limit it to protecting only the unborn.
My hope is that Nebraskans will contact Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, as well as Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, Don Bacon and Adrian Smith. It’s up to us, their constituents, to give them the political will to change things.
Beyond that, I hope people of faith will ask their clergy to speak out about Scripture’s call to welcome the stranger and Jesus’ commandment to love others as we love ourselves. Religious leaders especially have a prophetic responsibility to preach what may make their congregations uncomfortable.
You may be thinking that immigration is political. You’re right. How our tax dollars are spent is always political. It becomes partisan only when we allow ourselves to be manipulated by people and groups more interested in power and money than in what’s right and just.
Never forget, the children are blameless.
Ellen Moore, Bellevue
Where are the doctors?
The American Medical Association has already stated that we are 90,000 doctors short in the U.S., and of the doctors currently practicing in our nation, 30% will reach retirement age (65) within the next 10 years.
So, with the increased demand for medical care via “Medicare for All,” where will all the doctors come from?
Then there would be even more government red tape to struggle with.
K.C Bagby, M.D., retired, Blair, Neb.
Turn back DST
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, which established Daylight Saving Time from the last Sunday in April through the last Sunday in October.
It’s been changed twice, most recently in 2005 by President George W. Bush. I believe it’s time to go back to 1966 and keep DST as intended by LBJ.
Van Argyrakis, Omaha