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Sandhill cranes

Sandhill cranes rest on the Platte River at Martin's Reach Wildlife Management Area in Hall County.

Platte diversion plan needs public hearings

Two natural resources districts — Holdrege-based Tri-Basin and the Alma-based Lower Republican — have partnered on a project that would take unallocated water from the Platte River and divert it to the Republican River. The goal: to ensure Nebraska's long-term ability to meet its water-supply commitment to Kansas via the Republican River.

The NRDs have approached this project in a responsible, professional manner, and the aim is worthy. Still, if the state's consideration of the project moves forward, public hearings are warranted.

The Platte is an invaluable resource for irrigators as well as a drinking water source for Lincoln and, to a lesser degree, for Omaha. The Platte's waters also provide a vital environment for waterfowl and other creatures. Before approval of any diversions is considered, Nebraskans need to have a full discussion so everyone can understand precisely what would be involved.

— Omaha World-Herald


Tariffs are bad news for all

The implementation of tariffs invites reciprocity. Already countries around the world have threatened to impose tariffs or impose other restrictions on U.S. exports.

U.S. agriculture is the best in the world; it has what economists call comparative advantage. It can and will feed much of the world. It thrives on free markets. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has placed our access to foreign markets in jeopardy.

Free trade rewards the low-cost producer in international trade. It forces domestic industries to compete or leave the market. The cars we drive today are much better automobiles because Detroit car manufacturers had to meet international competition.

Our congressional delegation needs to do everything it can to protect our access to international markets. Protectionism is a road to mediocrity and should be abandoned as soon as possible. We would prefer to see America as a leader in world trade and international diplomacy.

— Grand Island Independent


Nebraska loses out on online sales taxes

The Nebraska Legislature was wrong to end this year's debate on a way the state could collect sales taxes from online retailers. Considering our state government's fiscal health, we wonder why lawmakers didn't leap at the potential opportunity to collect an additional $30 million to $40 million annually through online sales taxes.

The online sales tax revenue could put a significant dent in our state's revenue gap, and, of greater importance, it would force online retailers and their customers to help support state and local government, instead of allowing buyers to dodge sales taxes by doing business online.

It's only fair that customers and online businesses should be paying, collecting and remitting sales taxes to help support schools, pay police and maintain streets and highways.

— Kearney Hub

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