20200420_ new_streetsbond_kf4 (copy)

A mix of water and oil flows into a small pothole on 117th Street near Sahler Street in northwest Omaha. The roadway is scheduled for improvements under the $200 million bond issue.

Street bonds deserve a no

Why are property owners expected to pay for the proposed Omaha street bonds? Every time they do this, the tax stays on even as projects are completed.

I’m sick of being Nebraska’s piggy bank. Find some other way to pay for it. Fifteen percent of my pension goes to property tax already. Enough is enough.

We also have to deal with never-ending rising valuations, which increase the taxes even more.

I vote no on street bonds. It’ll be cheaper to fix my car from pothole damage than fork out more for never-ending property tax increases.

Chris Lewis, Omaha

More aggressive action needed

When the pandemic first began to spread in the U.S., Gov. Ricketts took bold, decisive and early action to stem the spread, earning him praise from both left and right. His focus on designing a strategy fit specifically for Nebraska seemed ultimately reasonable and, even when I disagreed with particular policy choices, I did not quarrel with the overall approach.

Now, though, Gov. Ricketts’ strategy for Nebraska seems to be built on ignoring what is happening in Nebraska. As hot spots erupt around the state that are clearly connected to meatpacking, the chief medical officer for the state confesses that Nebraska is not specifically tracking infections in the meatpacking industry and the governor convenes a weekly telephone conference for industry leaders to discuss best practices. Both assert that Nebraska’s plan is working because we haven’t overwhelmed the hospital system.

While Ricketts is certainly right that the goal of “flattening the curve” pertains to controlling hospital census to prevent additional deaths, the public health goal in a pandemic is and must be containing the spread of the virus. This can only be accomplished in our state through aggressive testing, contact tracing and isolation combined with strong regulation of the meatpacking industry (mandating slowing the line to enforce six feet of separation between workers, paid sick leave and readily available and required use of PPE).

If the ultimate metric for the success of Nebraska’s plan is simply whether or not we overwhelm the hospital system, we can afford to have a lot more cases because Nebraska has a lot of hospitals. This is not the kind of Nebraska-centered plan I can support.

Kristin Mattson, Omaha

Sasse is stalwart for veterans

When President Trump endorsed Sen. Ben Sasse for reelection, he made sure to mention how great Sen. Sasse has been for our military and veterans. As a Vietnam veteran myself, I wholeheartedly agree.

Sen. Sasse understands that the only thing that brings peace is strength, and he’s worked hard in Congress to make sure our military gets the resources it needs to stay strong. Adversaries from the Middle East to communist party buildings in Beijing want to hurt America, and Sen. Sasse knows what it takes to stop them and keep us safe.

Sen. Sasse also knows how important it is to care for the folks on the front line of the mission to protect America. Our veterans give the best they can to our country, and Sen. Sasse is fighting to make sure our country gives the best he can back to our heroes. Whether it’s supporting the legislation we veterans need or the individual care he makes sure every veteran with a casework problem gets — Ben Sasse has got our backs.

I’m voting for Sen. Ben Sasse on May 12 because I believe in a strong America, and an America that takes care of the men and women who put on the uniform.

Gary Rohde, Eddyville, Neb.

Sasse’s non-eloquence

Regarding the letter of praise for Ben Sasse printed in the April 24 Pulse, I will take issue with the characterization of him as “eloquent.” Whatever one might think of his political positions, his use of words like “dumpster fire,” “dumb” and “rock star” mar his image as an intellectual conservative. His ideas might gain more credence if he would avoid such demeaning and puerile language.

Andrew R. White, Kearney, Neb.

Cooperative effort against virus

Kathy L. Arens’ outstanding April 19 Pulse letter, “Let’s work together,” merits being widely read and appreciated globally. In this coronavirus outbreak, our leaders in the increasingly political America should pull themselves together to work together in the same direction — the most sensible pathway conceivable to conquer the disease. We should work independently as part of a cooperative team, utilizing leadership with an attitude of interdependence with others.

America’s greatness down through the years witnessed its political leadership of only one type: supportive. It leads people, not drives them. It involves them, not coerces them. It considers people being entrusted to its care more important than supremacy, popularity and politics.

People-first presidents such as Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Reagan and Kennedy all were result-effective global leaders, encouraging us to feel the impact of our positions not only as multigenerational leaders and engagers of the United States of America, but also as multigenerational leaders and engagers of the world. They never courted popularity nor overplayed their prominence. They depended more than anything else on the spirit of the people involved in the undertaking, fully aware that the spirit of those people is a reflection, always, of the spirit of its leader.

Global multigenerational leaders and engagers matter first, and those victimized with coronavirus infection matter most. We strive together for the best interests of all as international citizens. Sorting out disagreements is not an option.

Frank R. Turk, Omaha

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