Scooters (copy)

Scooters in downtown Omaha.

Scooting down sidewalks

The May 21 World-Herald carried an article about a 16-year-old girl who had tried one of the new electric scooters. She “wobbled and fell off,” injuring an ankle. Just the previous evening, my spouse and I were at Baxter Arena to witness our granddaughter’s graduation from Central High. After 9 p.m. we were walking in Aksarben to get back to our vehicle. As we passed a scooter rental site, we watched several young men mounting scooters for what appeared to be their first ride.

These riders maneuvered scooters among and around pedestrians on the sidewalk. Then they darted onto a street, dodging traffic, cutting in and out of the line of traffic, rounding corners and passing stop signs without signaling or stopping.

When I entered my car and began driving home, I observed just how difficult the scooters are to see in the dark and rain. My wife and I both are concerned that many more injuries will be suffered by folks riding scooters in traffic, especially at night and in inclement weather.

None of the scooter riders we observed were wearing helmets.

If police actually are ticketing scooter riders who ride on sidewalks or don’t obey traffic laws, the city missed an opportunity to reap income from several young men in Aksarben that evening.

Daniel Graham, Omaha

Intolerance and the fall of empires

In her book “Day of Empire,” Amy Chua concluded that the root of the ultimate demise of all our historical empires is intolerance.

The posturing of our national political parties does not give me much hope for the future of the United States.

Diane Davis, Omaha

Mayor holding us back

Mayor Jean Stothert wouldn’t support a ban on plastic bags on grocery stores because the ban was too narrow. Now she won’t support a ban because in cities where there is a ban, people buy more plastic bags.

When people buy plastic bags, they are more likely to dispose of them properly. Under current conditions I have to pick plastic bags out of my rose bushes after windy days or wait for them to disintegrate when they are high in my trees.

The mayor is holding us back from being a big-league city. Forward-looking cities are banning plastic bags, collecting recyclables and composting yard waste. Omaha is destined to be viewed as one of the small, backward cities with her thinking.

Mary Anna Anderson, Omaha

Generosity in some cases

So I see over a billion dollars has been raised to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral.

Here’s something to ponder. On the day before Notre Dame burned, why weren’t those same donors giving those same dollars to cure cancer, feed the hungry, further medical research or support any cause that improves human lives?

If we can raise a billion dollars in a few days for a building that isn’t worth one human life, why can’t we be more generous when it comes to supporting truly important causes?

Kent Walton, Papillion

Socialism and the rich

Regarding Kevin Rooney’s Public Pulse letter of May 16 (“Socialism corrupts politicians”): He states that the Constitution) “does not allow for the government to give people money that they had taken from others.” How does he square that with Republicans’ taking hard-working people’s money and giving it to millionaires, billionaires and corporate fat cats with their disastrous tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy plan? Is socialism bad when it goes from the rich to the poor but fine and dandy when it’s taken from the poor and given to the rich?

If the tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy plan wasn’t the disaster that it is, Republicans would have run on it in the midterms. They didn’t. A quick $1.5 trillion could be added to the budget long term if only the abominable tax-cuts-for the-wealthy plan were repealed.

Rooney writes about “entitlements.” One presumes he is referring to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare and SNAP. One comes to the conclusion he would prefer the elderly to live in abject poverty and not to be able to afford any health care or prescriptions, prefer poor children to starve and does not care one iota about anyone except the rich.

Mary M. Roeser, Omaha

Job seeker frustrated

I suffer from a condition called schizophrenia. This frightens people at first, but it shouldn’t. We are just people who have to deal with difficult situations on a minute-to-minute basis. I know others with this condition who are the most intelligent, caring, down-to-earth people you ever want to understand and believe in. But my frustration is that my illness hinders me and my fellow citizens with this condition from effectively working and coping with situations involving social interactions with coworkers, handling stress and anxiety and the inherent problem of mentally functioning in situations that require cognitive skills on demand.

Specifically, I would like to get a job with pay. But I can only cope with a part-time position due to the difficulties mentioned above. If I earned over $55 a month, the Medicaid program that covers the thousands of dollars of medicine that I require every month to function and stay healthy would be taken away. This is very frustrating and disillusioning.

I would gladly pay part of my paycheck back into the system if the state would give me the chance to attempt working at a job. There are some work opportunities, but according to the state, I have exhausted those opportunities.

I understand that the state of Iowa does not have that roadblock. Since I can’t relocate, this is not an option. Basically I would like to work, but the “system” does not allow me to, under outdated and counter-intuitive regulations. I want change.

David Fried, Omaha

Thanks from flooded communities

From all of us who live west of the Elkhorn River, thank you to everyone who shared their roads and communities with us since the March 2019 floods that damaged so many roads and bridges.

A special thank you goes out to residents of Ashland, Gretna, Waterloo and Elkhorn for being patient with all of the cars, trucks and construction traffic. We appreciate it.

Cathy Nachreiner, Yutan, Neb.

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