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UNMC should pursue better goals

Nebraskans should view UNMC’s outsized plan to apply for a $1.5 billion federal NExt grant with skepticism. Every news cycle since January has explained and touted Chancellor Gold’s ambition to have a “once-in a generation” opportunity for the state to “catapult itself” into national prominence. The state cost for the epidemic/pandemic project is $50 million.

The largest and most urgent problem for our state is flooding, not biocontainment. A warming climate will create more flood disasters for Nebraska and surrounding states. We will need research, big plans, financial resources including federal grants, cooperation at all levels of government and flood victim relief. This is a problem that cannot be postponed. Other projects should be secondary to it.

The university regents must have approved the UNMC project. What was their rationale for signing off on a public university project of this proportion in a state with less than 2 million people?

The excellent Buffett Cancer Center was privately funded. Surely there are cancer care and research opportunities which are just now gearing up at the center. Nebraska’s public school students, our elderly, our lonely, our addicted cry out for social and behavioral mental health treatment and support. In central and western Nebraska, solutions more than “telehealth” are required. Expand Alzheimer’s research and care.

At the very least, when the diseases hit Nebraska, we the taxpayers will expect to get first dibs on those containment beds.

Ann Stephens, Fremont, Neb.

A dangerous Capitol

I agree with the conclusion of the Feb. 28 editorial, “Open carry at State Capitol,” but I couldn’t believe the naivete of the sentence, “Regardless of how non-threatening in intent an individual openly carrying a firearm at the Capitol might be ... .” The only intent of carrying an exposed firearm is to threaten, whether it’s to threaten a possible robber or to threaten someone who doesn’t agree with your ideas.

I just hope that the law is changed before someone grabs one of those loaded firearms and opens fire inside the Capitol.

Don Wells Jr., Omaha

It’s about freedom

Gov. Ricketts is on the record as backing the “open carry” of firearms in the Capitol building. What outrageous concept is he going to support next — free speech?

Mike Hendrick, Omaha

Keep grandchildren safe

Not surprised by Gov. Ricketts support of the open carry of firearms in the Nebraska State Capitol. Just curious: Does the NRA contribute to his campaign fund?

I wonder if he is comfortable with his grandkids in the Capitol when someone is open carrying? I am not!

Gary Brehmer, Pender, Neb.

Hunters, landowners, fairness

As a hunter who has hunted deer for 40 years on private and public land, I take exception with Mr. Rupp’s comments in the Feb. 26 Pulse. I think it would be a real courtesy to the landowner/ farmer/rancher for them to have a two- or three-day reprieve from the massive onslaught of the walking pumpkins (the deer hunters) that profit immensely from the devastation to their livelihood that deer do. I know many of my farm friends and family that actually don’t hunt the opening weekend because of the immense number of hunters that descend on their land and adjoining property. Also, the amount of crop damage for some farmers and ranchers is far from insignificant but a huge cost. A couple of permits and a few days of relaxing hunting alone with family is, in my opinion, a small price the rest of the hunting community could pay for the privilege of being a guest on their land.

Mervin Vannier, Omaha

Dems abandoned sound principles

I was not old enough to vote for John F. Kennedy. I was only 13 when he was assassinated. However, I remember him well and I admired him. His quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” resonated with me, and when I was old enough, I registered Democrat because of JFK and that quote.

Look at how far the Democratic Party has moved left since then, when the current group of progressive candidates preach that your government should do everything for you and then control every aspect of your life in return, including health care and education.

I also remember growing up with my teachers and parents saying that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything in America. Now the Democrats say if you work hard and accomplish great things, they want to take it away from you and give it those who do not want to work hard and even those who sneak in illegally to reap the benefits of this once-great country. The left has been moving us way off the track our forefathers set us on which made this country the greatest in the world for 200 years.

Needless to say, I changed my party affiliation a long time ago.

Jeff Miller, Omaha

A kindness remembered

We wish to thank the person(s) who paid for our breakfast Sunday morning, Feb. 23, at the Village Inn on 180th and West Center. What a treat and surprise. God bless you!

Ron and Shirley Haase, Omaha

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