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A tenant hugs owner Kay Anderson, right, as the tenants move out of the Yale Park apartments last month. 

Wrong kind of help at Yale Park

Something smells with the whole situation surrounding the Yale Park Apartments, and it’s not coming from the code violations that the City of Omaha used as a reason to displace an estimated 500 people from their apartments and scatter them throughout the city. Was this really the best way to help these people out?

Two statements from the tenants are telling. One said, “I feel like a refugee again.” Another told Kay Anderson, the landlord, that they didn’t expect this to happen.

From what I can tell, these people were living as a close-knit community who could rely on each other for support while they were making the transition into a society where they do not know the language, have limited income and struggle to get kids to school and hold down a job. Things were not perfect, to be sure, but I doubt that losing their small community and support system was what they expected when they were approached by Restoring Dignity, who went unit to unit and cataloged complaints. Maybe they just wanted to get some things fixed.

This looked to be well-choreographed, with massive pre-staged outside organizational support for the displaced residents plus plenty of photo ops for community leaders.

At this point I am more inclined to load up my tools to go help Anderson get his buildings back up to code, so the residents can move back to their community, than I am to donate to the cause that is breaking them up.

Randy Schreiner, La Vista

SNAP program makes a difference

I want to thank The World-Herald for its Sept. 19 editorial calling for sensible compromises on the new farm bill. While the Senate passed a bipartisan farm bill that protects SNAP (food stamps), the House proposed prohibitive changes to SNAP that would threaten critical benefits received by many working families with children.

Nebraskan families understand the struggle of making ends meet. In Nebraska in 2017, 14.7 percent of households were food insecure, with 13.9 percent of children and 7.8 percent of the elderly living below the poverty line, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

SNAP is especially important for children, not only meeting the immediate needs of hunger but also protecting children from the long-term physiological and psychological effects associated with food insecurity. SNAP protected me as a child from going hungry at times when my family had difficulty making ends meet. My success as a first-generation college graduate and a current Ph.D. student is thanks in part to SNAP.

As the conference committee works on the final version of the farm bill, I hope I can count on Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry to do the right thing and stand up for a program that helps over 40 million people put food on the table. Making cuts or changes to SNAP won’t help anyone find work or move out of poverty — it will just make people hungry.

Jamy Rentschler, Lincoln

Remove Janssen from office, ballot

State Auditor Charlie Janssen should be removed not only from his office, but also the ballot. The World-Herald investigation was for only a month. How long had he been doing this before being found out?

Gov. Pete Ricketts said the Auditor’s Office has done good work under Janssen. How does he know? He’s not there. Would he let a subordinate do the same thing, taking two- to three-hour lunches and drinking?

Walt Joyner, Papillion

We need expanded Medicaid

Despite the state having one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, thousands of Nebraskans aren’t paid high enough wages to make ends meet. Too many working people can’t pay for basic needs like housing, food and especially health care.

Most families opt for food, heat and electricity more than for health insurance.

Expanding Medicaid with Initiative 427 would bridge the gap for hard-working Nebraskans and their families who still can’t afford health care. It’s a fair shake and would cost less than paying for emergency room visits that are used as an expensive last resort.

Vote for Initiative 427 to expand Medicaid expansion Nov. 6.

Haleigh Klein, Lincoln

Shutting down our fireworks fun

I can’t understand why this city keeps taking two steps backward every time we try to move forward.

According to news reports, the city received “several hundred” complaints regarding fireworks this past July. Even if the number was 1,000, based on half a million residents, that’s just a small percentage of the population. That’s very few people speaking for an entire city. After all, it was just 10 days out of 365 in a year.

Instead of shutting down our fun, maybe the city could have had the Police Department enforce the law. It’s easy to see who is shooting off fireworks after hours.

Marc Weinstine, Omaha

Memories of front-line aid in Korea

I was glad to read about the Female Honor Flight from Omaha to Washington, D.C., and the inclusion of Loretta Swit of “M*A*S*H” fame. I am glad the 135 female veterans were honored. I am a fan of “M*A*S*H.”

In 1963-64, as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, I was in charge of a front-line aid station in the DMZ in Korea. This was 10 years after the cease-fire.

Part of my job was to help doctors, fresh out of medical school, get oriented in a combat zone. This included going on full combat alert Nov. 23, 1963, after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Roger Holthaus, Omaha

Grateful purse was turned in

One day this month we were at Walmart on South 72nd Street. After checking out, we left a purse in the shopping cart. Some honest person found it and turned it in to customer service.

We will be forever grateful to the person who found the purse and turned it in. May God bless you for this kind act. And once more, thank you.

Joe and Eleanor Kliment, Omaha

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