hugh tinley WWII eisenhower war (copy)

Omahan Hugh Tinley, seen in this 1995 file photo, was the last surviving person to witness the German surrender 75 years ago last week. He is buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in Council Bluffs, former World-Herald columnist Mike Kelly writes in the Public Pulse. 

Midlander was witness to history

The 75th anniversary of V-E Day is a reminder of an Omahan who witnessed the German surrender at the schoolhouse in Reims, France. Hugh Tinley, 27, was a captain on the staff of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower.

Tinley told me in 2005 it was deathly still in the Allied War Room on May 7, 1945. Hitler had died from suicide on April 30, and Col. Gen. Gustav Jodl (later hanged at Nuremberg) signed for the Germans at 2:41 a.m. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith signed for the Americans and led Jodl to another room to see Eisenhower.

A communications officer who posted supply-movement information for Ike on maps, Tinley grew up in Council Bluffs and graduated from Creighton Prep and Creighton University. He was assigned to Allied headquarters in 1944, and recalled his shock at seeing on a wall map in large letters “OMAHA,” for code-named Omaha Beach. He crossed the English Channel 10 days after D-Day, and headquarters eventually moved to the schoolhouse in Reims.

Back home, he rose to president of Farmers National Co. He and wife Wanda had four daughters and traveled the world. In the last year of his life, he taped a three-hour interview for the Eisenhower Presidential Library, and died at 88.

Rifle salutes punctuated the air at St. Joseph Cemetery in Council Bluffs, full military honors for the man believed to be the last witness to the German surrender in World War II.

Michael Kelly, Cincinnati

Retired World-Herald columnist

No to bonds

I wonder if anyone looks at their property tax bill. I have watched my property taxes go up almost every year since I have owned a house since 1970. And now we have more bond to vote on. They tell us that it will only add a small amount to our taxes, but they fail to mention that this small amount is added to the bond cost from previous bonds.

After looking at my tax bill for next year, I have discovered that we are already paying for six previous bonds. There is a City-County Building bond, a county bond, a schools bond, an Omaha bond and a NRD bond. All of this more than double my tax bill. In fact, these bonds make up almost three-fourths of my property taxes.

The reason bonds are so popular with elected officials is that it is easier to pass them than it is to raise taxes. Most people do not mind paying a little more for services, but that is not the case here! I am a retired individual on a fixed income, with my home as my biggest asset. I do not wish to be taxed out of it. And, if you rent, you can credit the high cost of rent on the taxes that have to be paid on your building.

I would like to see Nebraska go to a consumption tax. That is a tax on purchases only.

Check your property tax bill and see if I am right!

Ginger Gosch, Omaha

Street bond to boost Omaha’s future

Full speed ahead on approving the bond to repair Omaha’s roads. Many Pulse writers have lamented how this will increase their taxes. However — based on how some have noted their ages — I find it hard to empathize because these same people have been evading paying to repair these streets and sewer lines for decades. Of course their solution is to push to have the next generation solely foot the bill they owe.

Cities are not going to evenly bounce back from the corona situation. If you want Omaha to become like 1980s Detroit, or St. Louis, or Baltimore, keep kicking the can on maintenance. However, this will not be what it takes to retain or — even better — attract the talented workforce that allows Omaha to grow.

Invest in the city so that it can become like Portland or Austin did after the 2008 economic crash. What person or corporation looks at a broken-down infrastructure and is motivated to move there?

Michael Zack, Omaha

Yes to Omaha street bond

According to campaign information, the road repair budget has increased every year since 2013 and yet, Omaha needs to spend more to catch up and to maintain our streets. I’d rather pay a little more every year in property taxes than repair my car due to pothole damage. Vote yes on the May 12 street bond issue and make our streets reflect the kind of city that pays attention to its infrastructure.

Steve Moffitt, Omaha

A harm to downtown neighborhood

Regarding the proposed “justice center”: It is brutal enough that our county commissioners have decided to intrude, with a prison, upon a downtown neighborhood that is imagining and experiencing a Renaissance. And it’s brutal enough that they have chosen to incarcerate youth in an urban location with no outdoor space to exercise or even breathe.

Now, the ugliest of ugly, outdated “Brutal Style” architecture is proposed to grace the site. What are they thinking? Certainly not that anyone is ever going to want to stroll by that foreboding building.

I am a downtown resident, and I do not find walking by the jail that’s already on Leavenworth Street inviting. This proposed “justice center” is totally unjust to our community.

Sandi Bruns, Omaha

Don’t dismiss Fox News

There is only one conservative voice out there that protects the people, and that is Fox. All the other voices out there are pushing left-wing propaganda. People who want to fix the world at the expense of everybody, no matter whether they are Republican, Democrat or Independent. Give everything to everybody, and we have a world of people who will get everything and still want more because we have enough ignorant people who feel they deserve it.

People need to earn what they get. They may need some help, but charity is not a permanent living. Am I too harsh? Maybe I am, but I also have worked for everything I have and it not might be much, but I don’t feel I deserve more.

Everybody has an opinion, no matter if they are right or wrong. But at least listen and think about what other people say before you are critical of what they say. Form an intelligent opinion, not just a critical opinion.

Mike Dworak, Omaha

The Brainwash Channel

I have tried to watch Faux News on multiple occasions and have been astonished by what I saw. It was just a constant stream of right-wing propaganda. A constant stream of language that is derogatory toward Democrats.

It is quite obviously not news. It is a right-wing propaganda machine designed to manipulate the weak-minded using every psychological manipulation trick known to mankind! So much so that I have come to call it The Brainwash Channel! Truth and facts are not fake news.

Randall T. Langan, Cedar Rapids, Neb.

Times then, times now

1924: My father was born. Before his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served in the South Pacific. He didn’t know whether he would come home alive. No one who went, knew. His childhood had a depression. No, not a two-year recession — a decade-long depression.

Times were tough. Real tough.

Meat shortages? They had real food shortages. Costco limiting meat purchases to just three packages does not constitute a meat shortage.

During the war, people grew their own vegetables in Victory Gardens, not because they thought it was quaint. Many needed those vegetables to get by. And in addition to food shortages, they also had to ration gasoline. For those who were blessed with having some money during the war, what did they do? They bought war bonds.

What are we doing now? We are sending lower-paid meat packing plant workers to potential death with insufficient testing or occupational safety, just so we can have our “essential” hamburger on the shelf at the supermarket. We the public don’t want to sacrifice anything in an emergency, but we are willing to sacrifice those workers.

My country used to do amazing, great things. We airlifted supplies to Berlin for 323 straight days, coordinating with our allies (when we used to have allies) to send supplies to a foreign city in need, and the logistics were done without computers and our modern technology. Planes at times landed every 30 seconds to supply that city with no known end date. It was an attitude of “whatever it takes.”

Our leader self-anointed himself a “wartime president” yet my country today cannot figure out a way to get swabs made and distributed where they are needed. And so we have surrendered, shrugged our shoulders and attempted to rationalize mass deaths as normal and inevitable while also besmirching the vulnerable elderly as “no longer productive.”

And the craziest, most insanely impossible thing 2020 Americans have been asked to do? Just stay home.

No doubt these are difficult days too, but we used to not be so soft. We used to not quit so easily.

Frank Adkisson, Omaha

Time to hitch a ride

So, Warren Buffett has dumped all of his portfolio’s airline stocks. At least, he kept all of his BNSF holdings. Now, since it might not be practical to take a flight, we can still try to “hitch a ride” on his freight trains, like the hobos did decades ago. Yes, don’t bet against America, as Mr. Buffett implied.

Marjorie Stevens, Ralston

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