Whiteclay

People passed out on the sidewalks in Whiteclay, Nebraska. The beer sales make Whiteclay a magnet for homeless people, who are frequently seen drinking, loitering or passed out along the highway through town.

Ricketts should let the people choose

We all want representatives who don’t bend to pressure groups that spend large sums of money, use every trick available and threaten to handpick a candidate who will do their bidding if they don’t get what they want.

Now Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and party leaders are spending large sums of money, using every trick in the book and handpicking candidates to run for Legislature (“Incumbents who placed 2nd all drew Ricketts’ ire,” May 30 World-Herald.)

This is something that should concern everyone, regardless of whether they are Democrats, Republicans or not affiliated with any political party.

When the governor and party heads start thinking it is their responsibility to choose who will be our representatives in the Legislature, it’s really scary. These folks can just leave my representative alone, thank you.

Tom Lutz, Papillion

Save the Bohemian building

If a buyer cannot be found to continue operating the Bohemian Cafe with its delicious food (“Bohemian Cafe’s long goodbye,” June 1 World-Herald), then it would be nice if the building could be used as a Czech museum/social hall. I would really hate to see the beautiful building demolished.

Connie Seals, Wahoo, Neb.

Waiting on his ‘big’ tax break

I had to chuckle when I read Steve Jones’ June 5 Public Pulse letter, “City dwellers also deserve relief,” claiming “big tax breaks for farmers, huge valuation increases for us city folk.”

I farm and ranch in Buffalo County, and I received my updated tax valuations last week, as well. This might surprise him, but my valuation increases were also huge.

The median property tax in Nebraska is $2,164. The property taxes on my farm will be almost 30 times that next year. That might be tolerable if I was making 30 times the median income for the state. However, after the steep drop in commodity prices, I currently pay more in property taxes than I net in income. I have yet to see that “big tax break” that Jones claims that I have received.

Also, property valuations and property taxes are locally derived. Property taxes go to, and are set by, the city/county/school district that you live in. The governor has nothing to do with that.

Craig Nickman, Pleasanton, Neb.

The thin-skinned candidate

Donald Trump is a crybaby. If someone doesn’t agree with him or asks him a tough question, he says they are treating him unfairly. What a joke.

He has the gall to insult his naysayers, call people names and trash their careers, yet he thinks he is being treated unfairly.

I cannot believe that a person of his character might become president of the United States, although I will admit there isn’t much else from which to choose.

Allen Barnard, Omaha

Stop fight and start explaining

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders need to be candidates and not brow-beaters. They need to tell us how they are going to fix problems instead of telling us what is wrong with the other candidates. I think they are all smarter than what they are showing us right now, but their act is getting very old.

Dan Busch, Howells, Neb.

We must do something about Whiteclay

Last month, about 60 people gathered in Whiteclay, Nebraska, to discuss the epidemic of fetal alcohol syndrome on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a mental and physical birth defect caused by a mother’s consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.

Nationally, about one in 1,000 Americans suffers from the syndrome; in Pine Ridge, the number spikes to one in four. This spike is due, in large part, to the sale of the equivalent of 4 million cans of beer every year in Whiteclay, just two miles from the reservation.

Two months ago, Gov. Pete Ricketts wrote: “In the coming years, I look forward to working with the Legislature to continue to prioritize initiatives to ensure that our state’s laws respect unborn life.”

Reducing fetal alcohol syndrome is clearly a pro-life issue, affecting thousands of unborn children. Yet the Ricketts administration has failed to address this epidemic or constructively address any of the Pine Ridge’s problems that are caused by the sale of alcohol in Whiteclay.

A South Dakota nonprofit organization, Roots to Wings, provides valuable education to Pine Ridge women about fetal alcohol syndrome and other pregnancy issues and support to families affected by the syndrome. However, the impact of Roots to Wings is limited by insufficient financial resources. In order to reduce the number of incidents of fetal alcohol syndrome, government support for the organization is necessary.

Ricketts should acknowledge the link between this epidemic and alcohol sales in Whiteclay and should support Roots to Wings to truly protect the lives of the unborn.

Ian Salzman, Omaha

Smaller portions, more variety

I look forward to attending the Taste of Omaha every year and haven’t missed one since it started, but I am frustrated with the restaurants and booths that serve huge portions. I want to try a lot of different things and don’t want to fill up or spend all of my money at one place.

I thought it was the Taste of Omaha, not the Meal of Omaha.

Stephanie Paulsen, Omaha

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