Omaha speaks up: Letters to the editor for the week of Nov. 11, 2022

Re-route trolley

The idea of an electric trolley running around downtown is a little short-sighted. If Omaha is going to go, it might as well go all in?

Most people in Omaha use the airport at least once a year. Why not also route this trolley to the beautiful Eppley Airfield? Imagine the first impression we would make on visitors to our city. The parking garages downtown could be used for parking and the electric trolley would whisk the travelers out to the airport via track laid in the median down Abbott Drive.

If the parking garages downtown can’t be used, there seems to be a lot of land available just north of Charles Schwab Field. Even the parking lots around the ballpark and the CHI Center seem to be almost empty most of the time. Instead of those lots sitting empty, if several hundred cars used those spaces at $6 a day, the income could help pay for the cost of the infrastructure changes needed.

There could be a trolley station built in the area as an arrival and departure station for the airport. The car rental companies could establish satellite stations at the station so when a visitor needed a car, they could ride the trolley into Omaha and pick up their rental from the station.

The idea is to serve all of Omaha, not just the several thousand people who live along the Farnam/Harney corridor.

Seems like a win-win for all.

Gene Anderson, Bennington

Commuter crossword

Loved your article about returning the “Commuter Daily Crossword” to the paper. And I love getting the puzzle again. It’s like getting back an old friend. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Ann Rutherford, Omaha

Health care delays

Do our elected state leaders read the paper? We have read heartbreaking story after story regarding the closures of Nebraska’s nursing homes across this state. Jeremy Nordquist’s recent Midlands Voices article said “[Nebraska’s hospitals] cannot sustain providing health care services with reimbursements that do not keep up with the rising cost of care.” The article “After stays in hospitals, many face care delays” states, “Nine patients had been waiting more than six months to get into facilities that provide what’s known as post-acute care, including skilled nursing, long-term care, acute rehabilitation and long-term acute care facilities. Sixty-eight others had been waiting between a month and six months.” Mr. Ricketts, over his term, cut Medicaid reimbursements to nursing homes until they closed and pinched our hospitals (especially our rural hospitals) until they are in jeopardy with increased need for medical services because of COVID. Contrast this story with another story in the Oct. 29 paper: “Record state cash reserve expected.” What are our lawmakers talking about — tax cuts! Well, we sure are sending a message that Nebraska is certainly “not for everyone,” but really only the rich who can afford their health care. I, however, am deeply disturbed that Nebraska’s pioneer spirit of working with and taking care of our neighbors is no longer what we should expect. We are not Nebraska nice, and I can understand why we can’t attract or retain workers. Nebraska: “The ‘former’ place for the Good Life?”

Marcia Anderson, Omaha

Praise for article

I enjoyed your article about Cuban Missile Crisis (Oct. 23). You left out how the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System played in preventing a nuclear war. I worked on the machine over the shoulder of Gen. Powers. It would have displayed the expected impact in the United States of a missile coming over the north pole.

Norlin Parker, Omaha

Created with rights

Native Americans were always human, though our courts did not recognize this God-given right until the 1879 trial of Chief Standing Bear vs. Crook.

African Americans were always human, though our courts said they were not. This was not recognized until 1868.

Unborn babies were considered human until the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision changed their standing from human to tissue, fetus. Courts denied their God-given right to life.

The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Courts and governments can only protect or obstruct God-given rights, but they cannot make them.

Jim Wiebelhaus, Omaha

Routing invaders

Bravo to the brave Ukrainians who have not only stopped the Russian invaders, but are now totally routing them. With our continued support, they will drive the invaders from their soil, which will go a long way to toppling the despicable Putin from his position of power and evil machination. What a welcome pleasure it is for the U.S. to be finally backing a winning cause in the struggle against tyranny.

John Brodston, Omaha

Film series

On Oct. 21, the Omaha Community Playhouse was host to the most recent production of Bruce Crawford, “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.” As special guest, Bruce brought out Ron Chaney (grandson of star Lon Chaney Jr.) for a very entertaining and light-hearted Q&A session before the screening. Also, two local actors performed the famous “Who’s on First” routine of Abbott and Costello. What a great way to start the Halloween season.

Ticket proceeds went to HELP Medical Equipment a local charitable organization. This was the second production held since the pandemic let up and, with a packed house, it showed it was a smash. I would encourage those interested to watch for Mr. Crawford’s next production in the future as it will be well worth it.

Bob Sheffield, Omaha

Executive order

George Mills is entitled to his opinion in his Pulse letter, “Debt Relief Lawsuit”. However, his equating the executive action proposed by President Biden to the 2020 Paycheck Protection Program is misleading and inaccurate. The PPP was approved by both houses of Congress and then signed into law by the president. The student loan forgiveness proposal, however well-intentioned, is arbitrary and, in my opinion, unconstitutional. If the president wants to pursue this course of action, it should be approved by the Congress.

Jim Stewart, Omaha

Ode to the Red Maple

We live on the corner of 50th and Farnam Streets and, for 20-plus years, have nurtured our Red Maple to its majesty. The City of Omaha has told us that it will be destroyed to make way for a worthless roundabout and the rest of our trees will also be eliminated. Why not go all the way? Our 100-year-old Dutch Colonial has occupied this corner too. If the city goes forward, why not level the house too and put in three stories of ugly townhomes?

Lisa A. Schneider, Omaha

On inflation

Excessive inflation hurts the low- and middle-income individuals the most. Sure wages and Social Security may rise at the CPI rate, but what’s the bottom line result? First, it may appear to be a neutralized effect of rearranging the deck chairs, but in reality, looking at the percentage of take home dollars required to purchase everyday goods and services versus the upper income individuals it tips in their favor. Additionally, Uncle Sam benefits from bracket creeping as very few — if any — income bracket thresholds are indexed to inflation. So they get a bigger piece of the pie and, again, it affects the middle class the most since, for the most part, they utilize a standard deduction.

Michael Garman, Papillion

Halloween month

The 2022 Halloween season is over! Maybe every channel of every type can now stop showing only horror movies. Every year, it is the same. I am confident the vast majority would like to avoid the mandatory diet of horror shows just because Halloween is coming.

James E. Burns, Omaha

Controversial play

The controversy over the play during the Malcolm-Bishop Neumann girl’s softball game is emblematic of the dangers of social media for all ages, but that is not my reason for writing.

The bunt sacrifice or squeeze play has been a part of baseball strategy since the game’s inception, and is a legitimate tactic in any league that does not forbid bunting. It is legal from little league through the major leagues. It appears to have been successfully executed. Malcolm coaches should be complimented for teaching and practicing this tactic.

Despite the post implying that Coach Meyer was somehow cheating and should have occupied the moral high ground and pointed out the base running mistake to an umpire, such an action would not have resulted in the runner being called out. Organized baseball rules state only the opposing team can appeal a play, either if a runner misses a base or tags up too early on a fly ball. The umpire cannot unilaterally make the call.

My real concern is the failure of the Bishop Neumann coaches, players or fans to point out an opposing player missing a base by a wide berth. No one on that side saw the runner miss the base? If there is an issue with coaching quality here, it belongs in the laps of the Malcolm staff. Coach Meyer did nothing wrong, except for his involvement on social media.

Doug Spier, Bennington

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