Recycling in Omaha (copy) (copy)

Sherrie Eastman, who works in accounting support for First Star Recycling in Omaha, helps manage the recycling of cardboard at the facility.

Innovative recycling options

As a follow-up to Neil Willer’s opinion printed in the Public Pulse on Dec. 26, I am in total agreement. The recycling program in Omaha is inefficient, wasteful and not profitable.

The recycling program as it exists today is a voluntary program as to whether a household believes in recycling and opts to participate. For the city to offer households the opportunity to recycle weekly with no mandatory participation is a waste of taxpayer money.

I liked Mr. Willer’s suggestion to require recycling dumpsters in every grocery store parking lot to be serviced by a low bidder(s). This is a more cost-effective approach. Those who believe and want to participate in recycling will continue to recycle under this approach. Moreover, they should feel even better with this proposal, since it reduces the carbon footprint of having trucks drive through every city street looking for those green bins where the family made a conscious effort to recycle.

I would like to add to Mr. Willer’s idea. Those who are physically incapable and cannot deliver recycled materials to the grocery store lot can ask their recycling neighbor for help (active community participation). If not a neighbor, those registered as disabled with HHS or handicapped and registered with the Nebraska DMV could sign up to have their recyclables picked up.

Jeff Sterba, Omaha

School discipline policy

It is disturbing to read that we have come to a bill at the Nebraska Legislature to give teachers the option to physically protect themselves from their own students. This is saddening for the teachers, as they are here for the purpose of educating Nebraska students. It is also concerning for the students who have acted out in such a manner while at school.

However, I am glad that we are supporting the teachers in this cause, but I also hope that we find a solution to help these students’ families. Perhaps we can offer personal case management for the students and their families once a violent incident occurs with that student. The primary vision for case management after violent incidents will be to eventually break the cycle of violence within the school systems, offer relief for teachers and create healthier families here in Nebraska.

John Horsechief, Omaha

Vaping’s health dangers

The president last week announced that he would bar the sale of fruit- and mint-flavored e-cigarette cartridges, favored by children, but not bar tank vaping systems found in vape shops. He would also still allow the sale of cartridges containing tobacco and menthol. Apparently he feels that this will address concerns about youth vaping but not hurt the vaping industry.

His concerns about protecting a vaping industry are totally misguided. This is an industry that targets our youth in order to hook them on e-cigarettes, in the same way as the cigarette industry did to us! Our own grandchildren are vaping as early as middle school.

Please let the president know that protecting the vaping industry is wrongheaded. Let’s think about the future of our children and grandchildren!

John Hill, Omaha

Taxes and Social Security

The Jan. 4 Public Pulse carried a letter from Tom Purcell which incorrectly states, “Nebraska does not have an adjustment to reduce Nebraska taxable income for Social Security benefits.” To the contrary, Nebraska Schedule I, Line 26 allows a deduction for Social Security benefits included in the amount shown on Line 5 of the Nebraska return for certain taxpayers.

As the instructions for Line 26 of this form explain: “If line 5 of Form 1040N is $58,000 or less for a married, filing jointly return, or $43,000 or less for all other filing statuses, enter the amount of Social Security income included in federal AGI. The amount claimed cannot exceed the amount shown on line 5b, Federal Form 1040, page 2.”

The deduction is then carried to Line 13 of the Nebraska tax return, where it is used to reduce taxable income.

Maureen McGrath, Omaha

Trump sent a needed message

Attention, Democrats. The U.S. can no longer afford to appease Iranian terrorists with pallets of cash as President Obama did. Mr. Trump is using a much more economic method — high explosives from a drone. It definitely gets our message across.

Lou Totilas, Kimballton, Iowa

Mideast attack ramifications

Two thing just happened as of Jan. 3:

1) Whether Americans want their kids going off to fight in a war in Iran now or in the future just became a top political issue for the 2020 campaign season.

2) The Democratic candidate who meets certain requirements just got their first best chance at taking the presidential oath of office before a Supreme Court justice in Washington next January: the candidate who can best make the case that they can either keep us out or get us out of a war with Iran, reduce further conflict with Iran and to the very best of his or her ability, avoid getting us entrenched in further conflict or hostilities in the Mideast unless in case of imminent threat.

Scott Cameron, Omaha

Give the president credit

Why don’t Democrat Trump haters see what’s happening now instead of what could happen?

President Trump ordered the killing of Iranian terrorist Qassem Soleimani, who was in Baghdad, Iraq, teaming with Iraqis to kill Americans and their supporters. President Trump ordered his death so the killing is stopped, but instead of supporting Trump for stopping it, Democrats are saying he’s going to start it.

Bill Allen, Blue Springs Neb.

Electoral College is unfair

In regard to Jeff Miller’s Jan. 2 Pulse letter, California with 55 Electoral College votes would still void the votes of the seven Midwestern states — 29, from the states mentioned. The problem with the Electoral College is that any Republican vote in California does not count and any Democratic vote in his seven Midwestern states does not count.

The way things are now, only seven states decide who is the next president. With the Electoral College, there is no “one man, one vote.”

Jon Devish, Yutan, Neb.

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