A snake caused a large power outage in the Millard area (copy)

Great job, OPPD

Kudos to Omaha Public Power District. In the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, OPPD made sure that we all have reliable electricity while maintaining the safety of their employees. In addition, OPPD is suspending all electricity disconnections for non-payment until April 30. To top that off, OPPD made sure that its committee meeting and board meeting were made accessible to its customer/owners. At the virtual board meeting, there was even an opportunity for the public to weigh in.

As we all adapt to the pandemic, it is heartening that OPPD didn’t forget about community engagement. As OPPD embarks on its Power with Purpose initiative towards net zero carbon production, customer/owners will be able to virtually participate in the stakeholder process until we can get back to face-to-face encounters.

David Corbin, Omaha

vice chair, Nebraska Sierra Club

Local tax burden is too much

I completely agree with Messrs. Fulton (Public Pulse, April 15) and O’Neill (Public Pulse, April 18) that the $200 million street bond puts undue financial burden on the city and the taxpayers at a time when everyone is stretched to the limit due to the coronavirus pandemic. While no one could have predicted the pandemic and the effect it has had on all aspects of life, the timing of the street bond issue could not be worse.

Just like Mr. O’Neill, 68% of my property tax bill goes to payment of city and schools bond. I am like many other citizens who are tired of seeing my tax bill go up every year because of another bond issue. The city and schools have discovered that issuing another bond is the easiest way to raise new money. Well, I say enough is enough and I ask my fellow citizens to vote no on the street bond.

John Toney, Omaha

Bolz shows character, dedication

Several years ago, Kate Bolz was a guest at our Alzheimer’s Support Group meeting. As we went around the table with each attendee describing the disease’s impact on their loved ones and their own lives, Kate Bolz listened intently. She didn’t interrupt or interject. She was there to listen and learn.

When asked to speak, she responded with sincere empathy. In her calm, confident manner, she explained how she and some Unicameral colleagues were working to address health care issues evidenced during our meeting. This was my wife’s and my first in-person contact with Kate Bolz after voting for her in both Unicameral District 29 elections. We’ve followed her actions, words and votes and have been impressed with her attitude and approach. Her focus on people rather than partisan ideology has been obvious and refreshing. She is a person who doesn’t seek to place blame or vilify those who disagree with her positions.

Kate Bolz is the type of person we want to represent us in the United States Congress. We want someone who listens, learns, cares and acts. We now urge others to consider her candidacy and vote Kate Bolz for Congress!

George and JoAnn Churley, Lincoln

Masks are imperative now

While waiting in our car today outside the Sam’s Club for our phone-in order, my wife and I could not get over how many people were going in and out of the store without wearing some sort of face mask. It appeared that maybe only one person in every nine or 10 were wearing a mask. Saw one person who was coughing deeply without covering his mouth at the door before entering.

A lot of people seem to have the “it can’t happen to me syndrome” and do not realize (or maybe care) about the harm they could be doing to the person that happens to be stand by them.

Masks may not be readily available for purchase, but anyone can easily make one. There are instructions on the Internet that do not even require sewing. Come on, people, be smart and stop being stupid.

David Peters, Papillion

These workers deserve support

Essential and unemployed workers deserve better. People like nurses and hospital clerks, janitors, trash collectors, grocery store workers, restaurant workers, food bank volunteers, child care workers, police and fire fighters, meat packers, bus and taxi drivers have always been essential. We should honor them with better pay, respect, regular schedules, paid vacation and sick leave, child care, health insurance and pensions. Everyone deserves these!

Those out of work deserve dignity, too. Working people and employers pay for unemployment insurance through taxes, and the state’s job is to make sure we get it when we need it.

I helped someone apply for Nebraska unemployment insurance and found the website baffling, and tech support wasn’t available. That’s unacceptable! The online-only application is also unavailable to people without good home Internet access, who perhaps need it most of all. And libraries and other places where they might go online are closed.

The State of Nebraska should redesign the NEWorks website and allow applications by phone and Internet chat and hire staff to do so.

Curtis Bryant, Omaha

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