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Letters: Readers discuss extreme heat, agriculture technology, 'false claim' by GOP

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Technology and agriculture Technology infuses every aspect of our lives with improvements and advances that increase production, facilitate diagnostic calibrations, maintain efficient operations and generate opportunities for additional revenue.

In Nebraska, we know how the agriculture industry has benefited from technology through GPS, crop sensors, aerial imaging, drone operations and robotics. We should grow technology here. Located in the middle of the country with available land, quality of life and low cost of living, Nebraska is the ideal state for technology to flourish.

As the founding chair of the Nebraska Tech Collaborative, I work to build a world-class tech ecosystem in Nebraska that draws in tech companies, attracts investments and creates tech jobs. The NTC has a goal for Nebraska to increase the number of tech jobs by 10,000, and the number of new tech companies by 300, by 2025. To do this, we need an ample, secure and reliable supply of semiconductor chips. They power the technology that runs our economy.

U.S.-headquartered firms represented approximately 80% of all semiconductor wafer fabrication capacity in the U.S. in 2021. Similar to so many other industries though, our semiconductor manufacturing capability has declined. We now rely heavily on foreign manufacturers. Much of the world’s manufacturing capacity is now in Asia, which has recently caused massive supply chain congestion and, as Taiwan is a major supplier, sparks concern about the threat China poses.

Nevertheless, semiconductor exports totaled $62 billion in 2021, ranking the fifth-highest among American exports. Semiconductors are an American invention that formed an American industry. We need semiconductor chip manufacturing to thrive here. Our nation needs to invest in and incentivize the industry.

Congress has legislation stuck in conference that would aid in building more manufacturing capability. The legislation needs to include $52 billion in CHIPS Act grant resources and an investment tax credit that incentivizes the construction of new semiconductor facilities.

The U.S. semiconductor industry accounts for a quarter of a million direct U.S. jobs and over a million additional indirect U.S. jobs. Every semiconductor manufactured in the U.S. supports almost six more jobs across our economy, like the 10,000 tech jobs we will create in Nebraska with the help of these vital measures in Congress. This is an opportunity for America and for Nebraska.

Mike Cassling

Omaha

GOP’s false claimNobody epitomizes professing one thing while quietly supporting the exact opposite like the Republican Party. Their pro-life platform includes the death penalty, unlimited gun ownership and unregulated environmental devastation. The latter will kill more worldwide than all the rest, and guns are the leading cause of a child’s death in the United States.

The irony of pro-lifers supporting the death penalty is the verbal jaw dropper that lets you know that P.T. Barnum was right. There’s a sucker born every minute. And the party of small government has outdone itself attempting to control every American woman’s uterus. Nobody really knows when life begins, but because the religious right has adopted conception as that beginning, the death of Roe v. Wade is hailed as a win for the party faithful. No matter that more women will die from pregnancy than legal abortion — the GOP and the people who vote for it are killing us in ever greater numbers. Hundreds of thousands died needlessly from conservatives politicizing vaccination alone.

Well-meaning Republican supporters are still responsible for needless death. Passive ignorance of the truth is no defense. Watching Jim Jones’ followers, there was no way to know that he would lead them to drink the Kool-Aid, but the outcome of the GOP’s policies is more obvious.

A look behind their curtain shows Republican politicians for what they are: Killers disguised as being pro-life. People who truly value life need to thwart their political ambitions before they kill more of us.

Clint Jones, M.D.

Kearney

Tips for extreme heatWe saw extreme heat conditions in the Grand Island area this weekend, and we can be certain we will see more before this summer is over. As director of programs for the Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter, I would like to offer these tips for families facing Alzheimer’s and other dementias to prepare for extreme heat conditions:

Plan ahead. Family and friends should prepare accordingly and make plans to regularly check-in on a person living with dementia during extreme heat. Arrange alternative plans for cooler spaces, if air conditioning is unavailable, and dress in loose, light clothing.

Stay hydrated. Increased water intake is essential to maintaining good hydration and health during extreme heat. Know the signs of heat exhaustion to avoid heat stroke. Dehydration may be difficult to notice in a person living with dementia, as signs like increased fatigue, dry mouth and headache may be difficult to detect.

Pay attention at night. Keep people living with dementia cool by using fans and keeping the air conditioning on. At night, low temperatures can still exceed 75 degrees with little fluctuation in humidity levels, making for difficult and exacerbating sleeping conditions, heightened anxiety and increased agitation.

Stay informed. Keep an eye on local weather forecasts. High temperatures are not the only cause for concern. Humidity and air pollution indices can cause breathing difficulties. The person should be monitored regularly and seek medical attention if symptoms of dehydration or heat exhaustion last for more than one hour.

For more information and additional safety tips, visit alz.org or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.

Julie Chytil

Omaha

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