Obama in Omaha - Ricketts

President Obama was greeted by Gov. Pete Ricketts, among other local and state personnel.

Comprehensive sex ed protects kids

Here’s what we know:

We know that in Douglas County, youth-contracted sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancies rates exceed the national average.

We know that abstinence-only programs are often inaccurate and ineffectual.

We know there is scientific consensus that comprehensive sex education works. These programs stress abstinence first, while providing students with the information and skills they need to make healthy decisions for themselves to reduce the extent of STIs and unintended pregnancy.

We know that youth who receive comprehensive sex education delay sexual activity, have a reduced number of sexual partners and increasingly effectively use contraceptives.

Most everyone eventually makes the decision to no longer be abstinent. Regardless of age, having all of the evidence to make an informed decision serves no threat. However, keeping this information out of our public school programs is a threat to public health and the well-being of our youth.

It also should be noted that including discussions surrounding abortion and emergency contraceptions are what make comprehensive sex education comprehensive. Removing this curriculum would be a glaring omission.

Meghan Francis, Omaha

Addressing prescription drug abuse

I commend the Nebraska Legislature, and in particular State Sens. Sara Howard of Omaha and Kathy Campbell of Lincoln, for advancing a bill that would help curb prescription drug abuse.

If not managed appropriately, prescription drugs such as opioid painkillers, often originally prescribed for patients suffering from chronic pain, may eventually lead to the tragic consequences of addiction, abuse and fatal or near-fatal overdoses.

While medications can be a useful form of treatment in some cases, I encourage patients, physicians and other health care professionals to also consider physical therapy as another first-line approach to management of chronic pain. Research has shown that seeing a physical therapist is a safe, beneficial and cost-effective treatment for chronic pain.

Conservative non-drug treatments, such as physical therapy, should be considered an instrumental part of a comprehensive, patient-centered and long-term approach for the active management and relief of chronic pain and thus an additional means of combating the growing epidemic of prescription opioid abuse.

Phil Hageman, Omaha

Uproar changed governor’s tune

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts initially had no intention of greeting President Barack Obama when he arrived in Omaha on Wednesday. His childish, self-centered behavior changed only upon receiving public outrage. What a guy.

Lucy O’Hanlon, Omaha

Iowa’s poor batting average

Before July 12, 2015, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush topped the Republican field for president in at least 18 polls. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie led in 12, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio eight, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul seven, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker six, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee five and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz one. Since then, Ben Carson has topped four polls and Donald Trump 56.

Despite this, Iowa Republicans are courting Ted Cruz, who topped one national poll on Sept 26, 2014, exactly 135 days after Cruz renounced his Canadian citizenship.

Iowa’s GOP voters have a reputation for picking losers. We aren’t sure why Trump would want to win the Iowa GOP caucus. Perhaps he wants a clean sweep. That would be tidy.

Mark and Ellen Anich, Omaha

Sanders represents ordinary Americans

Before the last presidential election, I ran a joke campaign for the office. But, for the first time in my 55 years of life, I know there is one person in the political realm who represents me — a typical, lower-middle-class American.

Bernie Sanders is not a politician who is running to further his career. He is in this race to make a difference — to change Washington politics.

Every other candidate (including Hillary Clinton) will just be more of the same — taking money from corporate interests to improve the financial well-being of the top 1 percent. We have to stop this.

I do not want anarchy. I want true change. And Bernie Sanders is the person to bring it.

Jonathan Wilhoft, Omaha

Best qualified in either field

Rarely, if ever, in the history of this nation has a candidate for president been as qualified as Hillary Clinton. Among the current wannabes, the distinction is especially profound.

Gary Welch, Bellevue

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