Missouri River (copy)

A flooded Missouri River, as seen from Lewis and Clark Park near Council Bluffs, in October.

No more flooding studies

It is inconceivable that four Missouri River state governors — who have entered into talks with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to bring about changes on how the river is being managed to limit flooding — would enter into another lengthy study. This is redundant because the corps already has access to all of this information. This will prolong flooding and cause more devastation to our properties. Do your job, corps!

The corp’s actions for wildlife protection have added tons of sediment to our river, thus reducing the amount of water the river can accommodate. Habitat and recreation have taken precedence over flood control. Our flood control — a dredged channel, wing dikes and river banks buffered with rock — has been destroyed. The corp is not allowing enough storage above the dams for spring mountain and plains snowmelt.

Governors, let’s get to the source of the subject and end this continuing nightmare of flooding. It is past time to get our congressional leaders from all affected states to join together and be our voice to Congress. The master manual needs to be changed to require the corps to get back to flood control. It is about our valuable farmland, livelihoods, safety, infrastructure, protecting our drinking water, economics and so much more!

Donette Jackson, Tekamah, Neb.

Great idea to meet housing need

As a local advocate and volunteer for the Missing Middle Omaha effort, I was thrilled to hear about State Sen. Matt Hansen’s Legislative Bill 794, which would enact the Missing Middle Housing Act. Missing middle housing refers to housing in between single-detached houses and large apartment buildings. The bill would give communities a deadline to reexamine their residential zoning code. Omaha’s zoning code prohibits most types of missing middle housing and has not been updated on this score since 1987.

I rearranged my schedule to drive to Lincoln to hear the Urban Affairs Committee’s hearing on the bill. LB 794 had a robust discussion. Community members listened intently, and our Urban Affairs Committee asked smart questions. I left feeling excited about our democracy, and I recommend all Nebraskans to find a bill they support and follow it through our state Legislature.

Giving property owners the right to build a duplex, triplex or mother-in-law cottage is the right thing to do. Amendments to the zoning code would have positive effects on young families, our aging community and the working class throughout the state.

I hope the Urban Affairs Committee moves to advance LB 794 to general file.

Grace Thomas, Omaha

Episcopal support for LB 627

There will surely be opposition from some religious groups to Legislative Bill 627 and the protections it would offer to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Nebraskans. Writing as the bishop of the Episcopal Church in Nebraska and on behalf of our 52 worshipping communities across the state, I strongly endorse this legislation.

Jesus offers no teaching whatsoever about homosexuality or gender identity, but he speaks clearly and compellingly on behalf of people and communities who — like the present-day LGBTQ community — were oppressed, assaulted and vilified by the people of his day. “Love one another,” Jesus says — even your enemies — “as I have loved you.”

Opposing legislation like this on religious grounds is often a cover for prejudice and ignorance. The Episcopal Church in Nebraska is thriving in part because we celebrate and bless the presence and gifts of LGBTQ folks in our churches and communities across the state. We’re all created in God’s image, and we all deserve the opportunity to live and thrive as citizens of Nebraska.

The Right Rev. J. Scott Barker, Omaha

A major parental failing

Jay Purdy asks in his Jan. 26 Pulse letter, “What has changed in the past 25 years that only now the school teachers lobby for a special law to keep order in the schools?”

Mr. Purdy, the answer is simple. Lack of parental control. If parents would teach their children self-discipline, teachers would be free to teach instead of doing what the parents should be doing.

Jim Sanford, Blair, Neb.

History and energy awareness

I recently looked through a family scrapbook and found a photo of my then-4-year-old sister, visiting Fontenelle Forest, that was featured at the bottom of the front page of The World-Herald on Dec. 27, 1973. That day, on the top half of the front page of The World-Herald, the stories were:

» The “government energy chief” announced procedures, if fuel consumption was not reduced, to ration gasoline purchases in the United States to no more than 35 gallons per person per month.

» The U.S. president, a Republican, traveled to “the Western White House” without Air Force One or a helicopter, instead traveling by domestic carrier and then a car “at a sedate 55 miles per hour” because, the president said, he “is out to set an example” to save fuel.

• A regular local feature called “Energy Savers” suggested ways that regular citizens could reduce energy use.

As the Trump administration continues to assail environmental policies affecting endangered species, water and air quality, and to roll back regulations aimed to reduce energy consumption and mercury contamination, I wonder how today’s children in 46 years will view the legacy of the 2020 approach to energy and the environment.

Dan Sitzman, Omaha

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