Flooding in 2011 reached much higher (copy)

In this 2011 photo, Matthew J. Placzek's "Labor" sculpture at Lewis & Clark Landing was beginning to emerge again from the waters of the flooded Missouri River.

RiverFront under water?

The City Parks Department approved the rename of the three downtown parks to “The RiverFront.”

This is absolute genius and completely unique. What an imaginative name for a park near the river. I can’t believe it.

It’s too bad the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is going to let it flood every year.

Neil Willer, Omaha

Desecration of a memorial

This letter is directed to the person or persons who removed the flowers and vase from Sgt. 1st Class Clay Ward’s Mission22 memorial that is located in front of the Fresh Thyme grocery store at 17550 Gold Plaza.

Ward was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army who was a medic and served multiple tours of duty in Iraq. After he retired, he began to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sadly, he was unable to find the help that he needed to deal with his PTSD, and in 2013 he took his own life.

I have made it my mission to honor Ward and his widow, Sabine, for their sacrifices by regularly placing flowers on his Mission22 memorial.

On Sept. 14, when I went to replace the flowers and water, I found that the flowers had been thrown on the ground and the vase had been taken.

I’m not particularly bothered by the theft of a $6 glass vase, but taking it from the memorial to a man who served our country with honor does trouble me.

I would encourage anyone who is interested in the alarming rate of suicide among our combat veterans to visit Mission22’s website, and if you are so inclined, to visit Sgt. 1st Class Clay Ward’s Mission22 memorial, touch it and say a prayer for his soul and for his widow who was left behind in Texas.

Jeffrey S. Bird, Omaha

Resisting arrogance

Congratulations to Mick Knudsen (“Silly lean toward socialism,” Sept. 15 Public Pulse) who, despite confusing some of the logic of collective action and common good in democracy, makes a very good case why resistance to arrogant leaders who profess that only they can provide solutions is essential to the preservation of democracy.

Thanks for providing new insights into the rationale for opposing the current occupant of the White House.

Carl D. Ekstrom, Omaha

Raise the discussion level

I commend the Public Pulse for positioning together the two letters on governing (“Silly lean toward socialism” and “How laws are made,” Sept. 15).

Jim Lowe’s observation that sound governance/democracy is being thwarted by Sen. Mitch McConnell’s curtailing debate and allowing votes only on bills approved by the president was spot on.

I also agree with Mick Knudsen that “democracy is a group project and that “demonizing is the first refuge of scoundrels.” Ironically, he demonized supporters of partial socialism mirroring the “Red Scare” about communism in the 1950s and ’60s.

Instead of supplanting fear, we need to raise the level of discussion by providing credible alternatives to our health care and college debt problems. We should remember that the U.S. rejected total socialism at its height during the Depression, except for the commendable concepts of Social Security and Medicare for the less fortunate.

Healthy debate and compromise are the mainstays of good governance and problem solving.

Jeff Johnston, Elmwood, Neb.

Crises vs. long-term support

Recent news about the efforts to create a mental health crisis center in Sarpy County and to reestablish one in Douglas County draws attention to the great need for therapeutic services, affordable housing and supports for patients after they are assessed and stabilized.

Families, too, need assistance. Cycling in and out of hospitals and crisis centers is not cost-effective or helpful for patients.

Parallel stories in recent weeks about our overcrowded jails and prisons being the largest mental health institutions in our state highlight yet another aspect of our inadequate mental health system.

Those of us who work in primary care with integrated physical and behavioral health services are dedicated to helping our patients maintain good health. The reality is that we need a better and stronger system of services that recognizes that some children, youth and adults are going to need housing and longer-term care.

While we focus on crisis intervention, let us also commit to establishing additional affordable, quality housing with supports to help people live in the community and receive the ongoing care they need.

Let us couple research, best practices and experience with support from our public officials and generous donor community to act in concert now.

Together, we can help this vulnerable population, their families who struggle, our employers, our schools and our neighborhoods by having the array of services and therapeutic placements that are needed.

Andrea Skolkin, Omaha

CEO, OneWorld Community

Health Centers

Passports now needed

The Sept. 16 Public Pulse letter from John Wilson, “Bahamians deserve more,” blaming President Donald Trump for not letting hurricane victims from the Bahamas into the U.S. without passports, makes me wonder what rock Wilson has been hiding under for the last 18 years.

We’ve been to the Bahamas once, Mexico four times and Canada many times without passports or visas, with the last time being in July 2001. Everything changed after Sept. 11, 2001. Passports and/or vistas are now required to cross any international border. Note: 2001 was before Trump.

Bill Allen, Blue Springs, Neb.

Nursing shortage

Concerning Nebraska’s nursing shortage (“Nebraska nursing shortage expected to rise 34% by 2025,” Sept. 14 World-Herald): Pay them what it’s worth to endure an expensive education and training and long, often grueling physical working experience.

I’ve worked with many dedicated professional nurses who put huge efforts into helping others.

Vic Scheer, Ashland, Neb.

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