Litter piling up

I am concerned about the volume of trash piling up on the lot south of Sam’s Club on 35th Avenue and Metro Drive. There seems to be no initiative in cleaning the area up. I worry about the environment as well as local businesses and homes nearby.

Gabrielle Watson

Council Bluffs

Give veganism a chance

With crippling storms hitting our country in past months, we look forward to the first day of spring, balmy weather, and a superb second chance to actualize those New Year’s resolutions favoring more exercise and healthy eating.

The shift toward healthy foods is everywhere. Popular fast-food chains like Chipotle, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s all offer plant-based meal options. Food websites tout vegan recipes. Global Meat News reports that nearly half of consumers are reducing meat intake.

The financial community is betting on innovative plant food start-ups, like Beyond Meat, or Impossible Foods. According to Gallup, sales of plant foods grew 8.1 percent in 2017 and exceeded $3.1 billion last year. Britain’s prestigious The Economist declared 2019 the “Year of the Vegan.”

The reasons are ample. The World Health Organization has linked consumption of processed meats with elevated risk of cancer. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend reduced meat consumption.

The media keep exposing factory farm atrocities. And animal agriculture is chief culprit in climate change.

Every one of us can celebrate spring by checking out the rich collection of plant-based food options in our supermarket’s frozen food, dairy, and produce sections. An internet search on vegan foods offers ample recipes.

Weaver Johnson

Council Bluffs

Bad ideas thrive when good people remain silent

My wife Jan and I went out to eat today. There was a table with several young women nearby and I noticed they were looking at us. When they got up to leave, one of them came over and said to me, “I like your hat”. It was a blue cap that said, “Immigrants Make America Great”. I told her Jan gave it to me last summer and it has become my headwear of choice. She responded positively and I thanked her.

Whenever we are out in public there is rarely a day that a clerk, server, or someone else, doesn’t make a comment on it. I’ve begun to realize that this seems to be the general consensus and I’m glad. After all, we are all descended from immigrants.

I’m not a one-policy voter, but this is important. Call or email your senators and congressperson about this and other matters that are important to you. Don’t forget, your voice is important.

Bad ideas thrive when good people remain silent.

Steve Patterson

Marion

Response to Casady letter

I am truly saddened that Greg Casady indicated in his latest “View” that he is “sick and tired” of “lame arguments concerning ladders and tunnels.” Possibly he means Chutes and Ladders? I don’t understand why he is derogatory when referring to fellow human beings living in South America and Mexico. “Coyotes” and “aliens”, perhaps he’s referring to the movie, Cowboys and Aliens? As a liberal, I surprisingly cheered on the cowboys, because the outer space aliens were ghastly.

Mr. Casady does create quite the scenario: describing Mexican citizens purchasing 32-feet, one hundred pound ladders that “Coyote” bosses would demand the citizenry carry to The Wall. Mr. Casady then assumes Mexicans don’t have the brain power to purchase a minimum of two ladders! With one ladder, one Hispanic can climb to the top, encountering flesh-tearing razor wire. According to Mr. Casady, jumping from the top of the wall would probably cause injury and, if a woman were pregnant, miscarriage. He suggests the grieving mother would be really upset to lose a child because she wouldn’t be eligible to stay in the U.S. for 18 years to raise said child. You are all heart, Greg. And you give excellent advice to anyone trying to get over that non-existent wall: carry two ladders at all times and don’t jump.

Seems to me tunnels into the U.S. don’t have to originate in urban buildings. Greg’s letter states it’s almost mandatory they do. He reasons this covers up the antics of wily, tunnel-building, South-of-the-Border diggers. There are piles and piles of dirt in the countryside, even outbuildings. Go rural! Couldn’t the proffered “seismic motion sensors” Greg recommends detect tunneling without The Wall?

In closing his letter, Mr. Casady implores liberals (not the socially conscious or political moderates or the compassionate or Republicans against a wall) to stop “lame ladder/tunnel arguments.” Whoa, these are harsh words, indeed.

Greg — I hope you don’t mind my use of your first name, as I feel I know you — there is only one item more lame than your argument ...!

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Kathleen Jurgens

Council Bluffs

Don’t throw road blocks in the way of renewable energy

At present, the Iowa Senate is considering a bill supported by MidAmerican that would end net metering for new solar installations. Net metering allows solar users to get credit for the excess energy they produce. This bill could eliminate 800 jobs in the solar industry in Iowa. As climate change is becoming one of our greatest priorities, now is not the time to throw road blocks in the way of renewable energy.

Our private solar generators are connected to the grid. The utility sponsors claim that solar generators are not paying for electric infrastructure, but solar customers already pay full service charges just like other customers, and solar generators actually make our electrical grid stronger by helping meet peak demand, reducing line losses, and avoiding the need for other more-costly generation, transmission, and distribution. I would welcome the creation of utility grade solar by MidAmerican. Now they need to make good their promise and submit a proposal to the Iowa Utility Board.

Whether or not there is agreement that climate change is happening or that it is a threat. We do know that the atmosphere is warming and capable of holding more moisture — which in turn intensifies rain and snow fall amounts. I look at the flooding in Nebraska and western Iowa and pray that our levees hold again in Council Bluffs.

Patricia Fuller

Council Bluffs

Lawmakers not helping Iowa with Ag-Gag law

The Iowa Legislature just showed its true colors by passing a new version of the Ag-Gag law. In spite of Iowa’s courts ruling the Ag-Gag law unconstitutional, they feel the need to bend over backwards and kowtow to the factory farm industry.

Legislators down in Des Moines need to recognize that folks are sick and tired of the problems factory farms bring to our communities — polluted air and water, ruined roads, devalued property, and dying rural communities. But that’s why the Farm Bureau and factory farms want Ag-Gag — to try and keep us quiet.

It won’t work. Thousands of Iowans are calling for a moratorium on factory farms. And in the meantime, legislators and Gov. Reynolds need to respect the court’s decision and stop carrying water for their big campaign donors by passing bills like Ag-Gag.

Nick Schutt

Alden

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