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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

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The Lake Wanahoo “Education” Building was constructed in 2019 at a total cost of $340,000. Sixty percent of this money came from the state-level Natural Resources Commission, whereas the remaining 40% came from private donations.

However, the building is not used for educational purposes, but rather as an event venue for hire. This unnecessary project represents another example of runaway spending by the Lower Platte North NRD, particularly as it relates to the Lake Wanahoo recreation area.

It would be one thing to promote the Lake Wanahoo area as a nature preserve or some other place of natural beauty, but that is not what the NRD is doing. They are liberally interpreting their legal obligations in order to develop the land as a public business – in this case a campground and event venue.

The NRD’s public businesses share more in common with Mussolini’s Italy than with our Founding Father’s America. It is wrong for the government to use taxpayer money as a source of funds for its own business ventures.

If the NRD wants to develop the land around Lake Wanahoo, they should have done so privately. As the largest lake in Saunders County, a variety of homes and businesses (i.e. bars or restaurants) could have been built on specific portions of the lakeshore.

Instead, what is happening today is that the Lower Platte North NRD is requiring its residents pay a fee in order to use the facilities that taxpayers already paid to construct and continue to pay to maintain. This is wrong.

I will continue to stand against runaway government spending and fight the creep of socialism. Moreover, if we fail to stop the rise in spending and taxes, we will have no one but ourselves to blame – this is OUR local government!

Nicholas Oviatt,



Mary Harding is your voice of experience on the NPPD Board of Directors. For 17 years she has ensured affordable and reliable energy for your city, business and family. I have known and admired Mary for years and I know she brings the passion, knowledge and commitment NPPD needs to transition to the future. She brings the same values to NPPD that she does to her personal and family life; integrity, teamwork, service and caring for the next generation. She fought for increased transparency by getting the NPPD Board meetings livestreamed and online for the public to see what their representatives are doing for them without driving all the way across the state to Columbus. I have been impressed with Mary’s understanding of the complexity of the utility, and with how hard she works to make sure NPPD customers are represented at the regional and national level; at the American Public Power Association’s Policy Makers Council and the Southwest Power Pool. Mary will continue to guide NPPD in pursuit of low-cost, dependable power and modern, clean technology in an all-of-the-above approach. Mary Harding is a proven leader who is sorely needed in these times of rapid change.

Janece Mollhoff,



As a former Senator, I have been watching the District 23 race for legislature with much interest. I am writing to give Sen. Bruce Bostelman of Brainard my full endorsement for re-election this fall.

Sen. Bostelman has been a solid conservative who has delivered on key priorities for our communities. First, he helped deliver substantial property tax relief totaling $650 million annually, a significant boost from previous relief efforts. Second, he has been a defender of the Second Amendment, introducing the only gun bill signed into law in the last few years. Finally, he has been a vocal pro-life senator, supporting multiple pro-life bills. Sen. Bostelman’s vote for the recent dismemberment abortion ban was critical to getting it across the finish line. The bill would not have made it through the last round of voting without his support.

I urge the people of District 23 to join me in supporting Sen. Bostelman’s re-election on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Loren Schmit,



I am writing to the voters of Legislative District 23 to encourage your support to re-elect Bruce Bostelman to the Nebraska Legislature.

Bruce is a great colleague and friend and has been consistent and fierce advocate for the interests of rural Nebraskans. He has been adept at solving issues important to the residents of District 23. He has been a strong supporter of property tax relief, rural broadband deployment and numerous other issues important to rural Nebraska.

As a member of the transportation and telecommunications committee that I chair, Bruce has been a constant and persistent supporter of providing rural broadband solutions for the unserved and underserved areas of Nebraska. Our committee passed groundbreaking rural broadband legislation in 2018 and 2020.

We have created the position of a Nebraska Broadband Coordinator, a process to use existing electric easements for broadband development, and a means to better utilize excess fiber owned by electric utilities to lease to private broadband companies. He has considered alternatives for better deployment, including reverse auctions in areas with sub-par service, leveraging federal dollars.

Public libraries will benefit from a special construction fund that will support installation of fiber-optic cable to libraries, and should assist in providing Wi-Fi “hot spots” for students and residents to use in accessing the internet.

Our state needs Bruce Bostelman, and I hope the voters in District 23 continue to support him, His continued service is important to the citizens in Nebraska.

Sen. Curt Friesen,

chair of Transportation and Telecommunications



I am writing to correct the lies that Bruce Bostelman and his supporters are spreading about Helen Raikes, so that voters know the truth: Helen Raikes is strongly pro-child, promoting life at conception and at every stage of development. Helen Raikes has never supported abortion, nor has she said she doesn’t want more pro-life legislation.

Unlike Bruce Bostelman, Helen Raikes completed the Catholic Church’s political questionnaire, indicating she opposes dismemberment of the fetus in the second trimester. Unlike Bruce Bostelman, Helen Raikes is a dedicated champion for children and their families; her work has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally.

Because of Helen Raikes’ leadership for the Sixpence Program, many low-income children in Nebraska receive early childhood education that boosts their development and learning, maximizing their opportunities for success in school and life. Many children and families in Nebraska benefit from the Early Head Start program, for which Helen Raikes provided leadership at the federal level.

Every Nebraska governor from Nelson to Ricketts has appointed her to Nebraska’s boards that advise our nationally recognized early childhood programs. Helen Raikes is endorsed by Holland Children’s Fund and Nebraska Social Workers.

In contrast, Bruce Bostelman has the lowest rating from Holland’s Children Foundation (13%). Voices for Children gave Bostelman a score of 7/16 for consistently voting against measures to support the health and development of children.

Helen Raikes is the candidate for District 23 who will be a champion for children and their families, throughout the lifespan.

Julie Torquati,



When it comes time to vote how do I decide for whom I will vote?

For some that is an easy mindless choice, I’ll vote for anyone in my party regardless of their qualifications. Sometimes we do these things because we do not have the time or energy to investigate the qualifications of a candidate.

I would like you to consider voting for Helen Raikes for Legislative District 23. I went to her website and found a person who has broad leadership experiences. But in addition she has ideas that can help revitalize our rural communities. I also found that since 1994 all governors, including Gov. Ricketts, affirmed her leadership.

I want someone who understands the issues of citizens in rural District 23. She lives in rural Ashland on their beef farm. Helen understands what it means to have schools relying on local property taxes. She has a deep understanding of the issues and choices that families with children face.

We are truly fortunate that someone qualified like Helen Raikes, who has never held political office, would have the courage to step into politics, not something most people would choose to do. I urge you to vote for Helen Raikes for the Nebraska Legislature.

Leverne Barrett,



Over the past 20 years, according to a recent poll, rural Nebraskans expressed their low or diminishing levels of satisfaction with nursing home care, medical and mental health services, childcare, and internet availability. More than 60%, however, also believe that they have the power to control their future. Doing so has much to do with who represents them in the unicameral. We strongly believe Helen Raikes is the candidate who will best represent Legislative District 23.

We have known Helen for over 35 years. Her integrity, trust and respect speak for themselves. Helen has worked endlessly over her long academic and community-based career to improve the lives of family and children. She believes in the power of collaboration and building alliances to help make communities thrive, not just survive. We need people with new ideas and ways to re-invigorate communities of all sizes and Helen has the vision, commitment and know-how to make that happen. Helen is an Independent candidate who will reach across party lines to take positive action for rural Nebraskans. She will also be a compassionate and effective spokesperson, combining her voice with others who want the best for all Nebraskans.

Becky and Gale Breed,



I have known the Raikes family for two generations. They are good farmers and always involved in community. You would enjoy knowing them.

Helen will be a very good senator. No one will tell her how to vote. She will carefully weigh each issue and make her decision solely on what’s best for Nebraska and her district.

Vote for Helen Raikes – you will never regret it.

John C. Klosterman,

David City


Mary Harding is running for re-election to the Nebraska Public Power District, she has set a new standard for NPPD Board members; she takes her responsibility very seriously.

For example she delved deeply into the complexities of making our electrical system work. She was the first board member from Nebraska to attend meetings of the Southwest Power Pool. She was concerned that the power pool would change all the rules of the game for buying and selling power, this could have affected us who use NPPD power.

She also has a wider vision by serving as a member of the American Public Power Association’s Policy Makers Council. That council advocates at the national level with our federal representatives about what it takes to keep the lights on, affordably and reliably. We have a person in Mary Harding who has the leadership experience in the complexities of public power, let’s re-elect experience.

Leverne Barrett,



I am writing in regard to the bond issue for the Ashland-Greenwood School District. As a parent, nothing is more important to me than the education my child receives in the community we live in. To be successful later in life, a strong educational foundation and the best tools to build upon that foundation are essential.

Schools are as good as the teachers, administrators, parents and, most importantly, the children are. Therefore, in order to be most effective, they must have the necessary basics to start, and then any additional tools to help them be even better.

The current school facilities that exist in the Ashland-Greenwood School District are overcrowded and despite any upgrades and adaptations, the current impact has made the schools unsuitable for the number of students registered in the district and cannot support the educational demands.

As a parent, I support the bond issue to build two new school buildings and a new auditorium that will support future community growth demands for education, utilizing more resources and giving our children more opportunities to learn. This bond will provide for our students by keeping up with the competitive edge other same class school districts have over our school district and enable them to excel by keeping in line with capacity demands. It is also important that the expansion of the high school is being considered in this bond issue as well.

Without this bond, our school system is left with no choice but to expand by using portable classroom structures because the number of students will and have exceeded the capacity of the current buildings. Portables should be temporary and not used as permanent lower cost expansions. Students will have larger class sizes; courses will be cut and spaces not meant for classes will have to be utilized.

Ashland-Greenwoodw schools are excellent. Their reputation is stellar and because of their outstanding teaching staff and administration, there is a great desire for families to move to our community, as we have seen with all of the new developments being built in and around the school district. As a result, registration numbers are going to keep increasing, demand for more classrooms, technology and quality infrastructure are necessary, the time for this bond issue to pass is now.

Education is one of the best gifts we can give our children. Now is the time to act so that all of our children will benefit from the necessary changes to the schools. I stand with so many concerned parents in support of the Ashland-Greenwood School bond issue.

I encourage all parents, future parents, grandparents, extended family members and friends in the district to vote in support of the bond issue on Election Day, Nov. 3.

Let your voices be heard that education is important, that building our future is important. Providing the necessary school facilities are critical to the success of the Ashland-Greenwood School District.

Thank you and vote “yes” for the Ashland-Greenwood bond issue.

Cory Mero,


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