Dear Editor, 

I guess the “do nothing Democrats” think they won a victory since the Republican health bill did not pass. I understand about party loyalty, but I know it takes compromise and teamwork to accomplish worthwhile agendas. To me, by not being willing to work with the Republicans, the Democrats are not doing the job for which they were elected, so they should not be re-elected. Every representative, senator and congressman elected to office has a responsibility to work for the benefits of the American people.

Obamacare needs revising. It should not have been passed the way it was. Nobody read it all the way through, they did not study it and try to figure out just exactly what it should do. Instead they did what Pelosi said to do, “Just pass it. We’ll find out what’s in it later!”

That’s such a sorry way to do business.

Now the Republicans are trying to replace it with something better, and the Democratic leaders aren’t even willing to step up and try to work with them. This is a great opportunity to work together for the benefit of the American people. That is their job! That is what they were elected for and if they don’t do their job, they should not be re-elected. I hope the American people will remember this. Thank you.

— Richard Medcalf, Stonewall

Dear Editor,

The Washington Post reports that the The Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” is now larger than ever — the size of New Jersey, dwarfing the infamous Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.

Dead zones — where no aquatic life survives, are created by agricultural runoff from Midwestern factory farms, which is dumped into the Gulf by Mississippi River. Nitrogen and phosphorus from animal waste and animal feed crop fertilizer cause explosive growth of microscopic algae. Dead algae are consumed by bacteria that suck out all the dissolved oxygen, leading to widespread extinction of all sea life and destroying fishery operations and recreational activities.

A temporary solution, recommended by agricultural experts, is crop rotation, selective applications of fertilizer, wastewater treatment, and sediment and storm water controls.

The ultimate solution is to convert wasteful production of cows, pigs, chickens, and the corn and soybeans that feed them to more eco-friendly raising of grains, vegetables, and other crops for direct human consumption.

Each of us can accelerate this process by switching our personal consumption of animal flesh, dairy, and eggs into the many delicious, convenient, healthy plant-based meats, cheeses, ice creams available in our local market.

— Adam Eastman, Ada