Ode to a bike shop
We live in the middle. Though we reside on the south side of the state line, my family’s home is equidistant to Omaha and Kansas City.
Most of our friends and family travel to K.C. for the “city experience”; and we, too, once deferred that direction. Then on an occasion where we were in Omaha for a concert, I decided to hunt up a bike shop.
In my quick Googling I came across the illustriously named Omaha Bicycle Co. We drove from Sokol Hall west-northwest to the amazing little community of Benson.
A little shop with a friendly staff, eclectic decor and delicious coffee exceeded our wildest expectations. We spent our time discussing not only bikes and the neighborhood, but the city of Omaha writ large.
We found out loads about the town and its features. Walking Maple, we fell in love with the place.
This was all a handful of years ago and we have since become big fans of Omaha.
We’ve convinced our friends not only of the greatness of OBC, but also of Benson and the city. We have swayed a lot of Kansans to consider the city a viable and in many ways superior alternative to Kansas City, all because of an evening and a little bike shop.
Now Omaha Bicycle Co. is no more. We are all guilty of appreciating too little what lies in our midst,
But I wanted to be sure you Omahans understand that many of us outsiders mourn your loss as well.
Todd Frye, Marysville, Kan.
The very moving piece by Emma Lazarus on the Statue of Liberty is what it is -– but of no relevance today. It was 19th century reality and of no relevance in the 21st century.
In those days, the U.S. was a young, rapidly expanding and underpopulated country with a gold discovery in California, plains that needed farms and crops thanks to the Louisiana Purchase, the acquisition of Texas and the Gadsden Purchase.
The U.S. was expanding from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
We needed people to do the hard work of manual labor: harvest fields, mine ore, be stevedores, lay track, build factories, cook, plumb, practice medicine, etc., to create the prosperous financial giant that the U.S. became -– and to win wars in the 20th century and graduate into the 21st century.
We do not need any more poor, huddled masses, yearning to get welfare.
Joe Johnson Jr., Lincoln
Dreamers, TPS workers
As Labor Day is celebrated this month, I am particularly grateful for Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status workers who contribute so much to our American life.
In both cases, our government has given them an opportunity to thrive, and they excel at working and keeping our community moving forward.
These folks provide us with secure roofs, fine steaks, clean buildings, great teachers, motivated students and their very own small businesses.
They represent the American Dream which was given to our own ancestors when they arrived generations ago.
It is time for Congress to provide a path to citizenship and ensure the continuation of their dream and our economy.
We appreciate the efforts of Rep. Don Bacon to support legislation, while the silence of Sens. Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer is deafening.
Dee Ebel, Omaha
The Y chromosome
A recent news item reports that the University of Montana has a so-called “transgendered woman” running on its women’s cross-country team.
The term is a misnomer. The individual is actually a man. Here is how it works: Individuals who have a Y chromosome are male; those without a Y chromosome are female.
To be sure, there are chromosomal abnormalities, and there are sex chromosomal abnormalities, but the Y chromosome nevertheless exists in a binary condition.
It is either present or absent. Sex is thus also binary.
And the common term for a male, adult specimen of the species Homo sapiens is “man.”
The binary condition of sex is part of a larger issue within the study of nature through the scientific method: that there is such a thing as truth, and that truth is timeless, universal, objective and external to ourselves.
Truth does not bend itself to our desires, the existence of gender dysphoria notwithstanding.
Robert W. Smith, Omaha
Department of Chemistry
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Explain to me why I should feel secure because “good guys have guns” when 21 guns were recently stolen from unlocked vehicles and when a woman was recently arrested for shooting at a fleeing robber, narrowly missing the clerk who had gone after him.
If this is responsible gun ownership, then we are in very big trouble indeed.
Cathy Lindmier, Omaha
Beverage deposit fee
Mayor Jean Stothert talks about choosing a company to pick up the trash for the “next 10 to 20 years.”
More important should be what trash to pick up.
The future of recycling as we know it is doomed by market collapse. Economic and environmental costs have become prohibitive.
The current recycling CEO suggests not, but his bias is obvious.
Aluminum cans and plastic bottles are the clean, desirable recyclables.
No need to send a truck to pick them up. Put a deposit on beverage containers and they will disappear from garbage and litter.
The beverage industry would scream bloody murder, but isn’t it time they take responsibility for a problem largely of their making?
In any event, with all the uncertainty, a 10-year contract is imprudent.
Stephen Eytalis, Omaha