Imagining a better nation
Imagine a country without a leader who urges citizens to pack arenas and inhale infected air – a country with 4% of the global population and one-fourth of its pandemic deaths.
Imagine a country without a leader conflating peaceful protesters and Nazi sympathizers as “good people on both sides” – a leader goose-stepping his way to Make America Hate Again.
Imagine a country without a leader who photo-ops the Bible and hugs the flag – who cheats on his wife with porn stars and cages 4-year-olds.
Imagine a country without a leader who demonizes Vietnam War heroes and denigrates citizens with neurological disorders – a leader who hides behind bone spurs and struggles to sip a glass of water.
Imagine a country without a leader who detests science and declares himself a genius – who prefers a Sharpie instead of satellites to track dangerous storms and wants to know if Finland is part of Russia.
Imagine a country where ignorance isn’t a badge of honor, arrogance no longer a point of pride.
Imagine Nov. 3.
Joe Starita, Lincoln
Clean energy and tax relief
Gage County has an opportunity to participate in another clean renewable wind generation field. A new 1-mile setback from a residence property line from the current 3/8-mile ruling is in question and up for vote.
Forty-two percent of all of Iowa’s power is generated by wind as opposed to 40% by coal. Iowa’s property tax relief is significant.
I have talked to Iowans, and farmers are excited with their lease income, the general public is extremely happy with the increased tax revenues and construction workers and power company operators are happy with their new jobs.
As a Nebraska property tax payer in Lancaster and Gage counties, we could certainly use tax relief! I have stood underneath operating wind turbines having experienced minimal noise. Talking to Realtors, all have said that land values are not affected at all. Property consumed with these turbines is usually less than an acre because these turbines are usually placed close to public roadways.
The power plant/generator on top typically has a 20-year lifespan and the pedestals for 60 years, which allows for three generator exchanges, pushing the overall life to around 60 years. The new proposed 1-mile setback from a residence property line compared to the current 3/8-mile setback is ridiculous. This proposal would eliminate most wind generation fields.
If we don’t do our part with renewable energy now, then when? A mere stroke of a pen from the House and Senate ending coal production and the widely used coal-fired power plants would end. The phrase “I’m in favor of this but not in my backyard” is simply selfish. Let’s leave the current setback ruling of 3/8 of a mile as is and enjoy some welcome tax relief!
Marvin Leners, Lincoln
Broadband will pay dividends
New state investments continually ignore farmers’ and ranchers’ needs for broadband internet for their now-highly complex businesses. They require state-of-the-art technology service as much as Lincoln and Omaha enterprises do.
So far, few states and the feds have not invested in rural broadband agriculture, including Nebraska. Distance between customers? Find a strategy soon. The ag industry pays its taxes regularly.
Also sorely overlooked during the pandemic and future is limited delivery of instruction to rural schools. Unequal education is tragedy; correct this limitation before it’s a scandal.
The nation brought electricity to rural America in the mid-20th century. Let’s have Gov. Pete Ricketts lead the charge to bring broadband to all Nebraska by 2023 as a model for the nation. It will pay more dividends than repairing the Sower and irrigating the corner gardens.
Lavon Sumption, Lincoln
Fischer balancing DACA, security
A June 24 Journal Star editorial said, “It is time for Congress to finally take care of the Dreamers.” What the piece failed to mention is that the U.S. Senate has made a good-faith effort to do so.
Two years ago, I voted for Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) immigration proposal, which provided a path to citizenship for 1.8 million DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals. That proposal also included strong measures to secure our border, including a border wall system, the closing of asylum loopholes and a comprehensive biometric entry-exit system so that we know who is coming in and out of the country.
Law-abiding individuals who contribute greatly to our communities — such as our state’s DACA recipients — deserve the chance to become Americans. There’s a way to provide that certainty without surrendering the rule of law, border security or the safety of our fellow citizens. This is the type of compromise I have supported in the past and that we should continue to work toward in the future.
Sen. Deb Fischer, Valentine
Counties know risks the best
Wait! What? Gov. Pete Ricketts has dictated that counties cannot require masks if they want federal coronavirus funding? Where’s the logic in that?
Counties know their public health risks and should be able to make those decisions. That funding was for the State of Nebraska, and no county should be penalized for wanting to protect its citizens.
Patricia Taft, Lincoln
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