Lagoon1 (copy)

There are now “more opportunities to fish and watch the ducks” at north Omaha’s Fontenelle Park following $7 million worth of work in and around the lagoon, which is tied to Omaha’s sewer project.

Sewer fee is a city issue

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify an issue that two different writers recently submitted to The World-Herald.

The Metropolitan Utilities District serves as the billing agent for sewer use fees on behalf of the City of Omaha and other municipalities; this fee is identified, for example, on the monthly customer bill as “City of Omaha Sewer.”

The amount of the sewer use fee is determined wholly by city government. MUD serves as the billing agent in order to save citizens, who are also MUD ratepayers, the cost of separate billing and mailing. This is a prime example of government entities working together to take advantage of efficiencies.

Any questions about the City of Omaha sewer use fee should be directed to the City of Omaha.

Mark Doyle, Omaha

president, Metropolitan Utilities District

Bills deserve a vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated he will not give consideration or a vote on any bill in the Senate that President Donald Trump won’t sign. In one statement, he is wiping away part of the checks and balances of our government.

In the history of this country, there have been many times when Congress passes a bill over the objections of a president. There have been vetoes and veto override attempts.

No Senate has ever given up the duty and power of the legislative branch of our government to the executive branch. There are at least 200 bills passed by the House that McConnell refuses to even talk about in the Senate. These bills all deserve the full consideration of the full Senate. If they are bills that a majority favor or disfavor, they still deserve a vote.

McConnell may go down in history compared to the likes of Joe McCarthy, but he makes McCarthy look like a saint.

Al Mumm, Waterloo, Neb.

president, Nebraska Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund

Bring our soldiers home

People have short memories.

I wonder how many people who today condemn the decision to bring American troops home from the decades-long counterinsurgency wars throughout the Middle East once condemned President George W. Bush for putting them there, vehemently protesting and calling Bush a war criminal.

Many of these same people supported President Barack Obama, who preached on the campaign trail that the soldiers should come home, only to leave them there after being elected.

Politicians have many times been slammed for welching on a campaign promise, but I can’t recall a political figure being criticized for keeping one. Yet under the delirium of three years worth of rage, many people appear to be doing just that. Wasn’t ending the senseless wars one of Bernie Sanders’ more visible platforms of his 2016 campaign? Now it’s wrong if President Donald Trump actually does it?

For people to blame presidential politics for the Kurds “paying with their lives” because American soldiers are no longer going to be deployed in the Middle East — to pay with their lives in these eternal wars — is confirmation that the time is right to bring our soldiers home.

Daren Schrat, Bellevue

America Alone

President Donald Trump finally, and fully, has drawn back the curtain on the fiction of his “America First” policies. In another of the president’s “policy by Twitter” moments, he essentially gave permission to Turkey to start a military invasion of Syria.

Kurdish troops in the Syrian Democratic Forces, who did the heavy lifting for the U.S. in our fight against the Islamic State, were then slaughtered. Further, some Islamic State prisoners under SDF’s control escaped. The Islamic State will certainly reconstitute itself.

The president says he is trying to stop “endless wars.” However, predictably, his latest move was done on a whim, without consultation with any experts, either within or outside of his administration.

It’s useful to remember that this is the same president who initially suggested the U.S. should withdraw from NATO, the same president who calls North Korea’s Kim Jong Un his “friend,” the same president who extorted the president of Ukraine, using military assistance, and the same president who cannot bring himself to criticize Vladimir Putin. This seems like a pattern.

None of this is America First. It is America Alone. Historically, this has never worked. It won’t work now. Under Trump, American leadership in the world is dying quickly.

James A. Harrold, Plattsmouth, Neb.

Less industry, less pollution

China is the biggest polluter on the planet. President Donald Trump’s trade war with China is stymieing and slowing industry in China.

I want to thank the president for fighting climate change.

Evan Trofholz, Columbus, Neb.

Supports ‘Medicare for All’

“Medicare for All” would raise taxes. But a person’s overall medical costs will be less. If you are covered by a private insurance company right now, then you already pay for coverage in the form of a premium.

Medicare for All would reroute your premium payments into one public insurance program to fully insure comprehensive care for every man, woman, and child in this country. This would insure your premiums will not go towards naming rights on a sports arena.

Medicare for All would also be better than a public option. Why? The former Medicare administrator, Dr. Don Berwick (2010-11) argued against the public option, saying insurance companies want to provide insurance to people who do not need it, which is how insurance companies make money. I think “we the people” need to fight for Medicare for All.

Colin Siert, Omaha

Cashing in

The NCAA has just voted to allow athletes to cash in on their fame. That’s great.

Now these athletes should be appropriately charged for using the expensive taxpayer-funded facilities and resources that allowed them to acquire their fame.

Lou Totilas, Kimballton, Iowa

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