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Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

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Mental health month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it’s a cause dear to our hearts. We know one in every four adults will be affected by a mental health issue in their lifetime, so it touches virtually every family. If you’re suffering, or know someone who is, please talk to someone. It’s OK not to be OK, and there’s help in our community. The Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center does a tremendous job of providing help. We’re honored to support a Mental Health Awareness Virtual Breakfast, a benefit for the center, at 7:30 a.m. May 14. Join us to learn more and be inspired about keeping these valuable services in our community. Learn more at, call (319) 235-3960 or email

Bette Wubbena and Stacey Bentley co-chairs of the Mental Health Awareness Virtual Breakfast

Inactive voters

News broke April 26 that “Hundreds of 17-year-olds who could not cast ballots in the 2020 election because of their age are among 294,000 registered Iowa voters recently marked as inactive, Iowa’s election office confirmed Monday.”

This makes the secretary of state’s recent push to register high school students rather disingenuous. The secretary of state reached out to our local League of Women Voters to support his March 30 voter registration drive, marking the 50th anniversary of Iowa lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. Every School that registered 90% of eligible students got recognized with the Carrie Chapman Catt award. Catt is the Iowan who helped pushed through the passage of the 19th Amendment, when women won the right to vote. She also founded the League of Women Voters.

Mr. Paul Pate, do not ask for my support registering 17-year-olds and then mark them as inactive when they could not vote in 2020. Carrie Chapman Catt said: “The vote is a power, a weapon of offense and defense, a prayer.”

Do not disillusion our youths by making them question their registration status, and do not invoke Catt’s name in your efforts.

Cherie Dargan,

president LWV of Black Hawk-Bremer Counties

Griffin supporter

Did you watch the funeral service of Sgt. Jim Smith of Independence? Rebranding the police logo is wrong and very disrespectful to the Waterloo Police Department. The griffin logo stands for service.

Judy Miller Ciesielski,


Farms and carbon

While it is vitally important that we slow global warming by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that is being added to the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, what about the excess carbon dioxide that has already been added to the atmosphere? This carbon will continue to warm the planet for many years unless it is removed. The ocean removes some of it, but agriculture also has a huge role to play.

Farmers may hold the key to saving the planet by employing regenerative agricultural practices that remove atmospheric carbon and improve the soil. These practices include using winter cover crops to change atmospheric carbon into organic matter while holding the soil, employing no-till planting methods to reduce erosion and increase water infiltration, rotating crops to build up soil nutrients and a diverse population of soil microorganisms, and returning grazing animals to grasslands where they add natural nutrients and aerate the soil while the plants sequester atmospheric carbon.

In addition to saving the planet, these practices may also save the farmers. According to research conducted by the United Nations, the Earth’s top soil may be gone in 60 years. This dire prediction can be reversed by regenerative agricultural practices.

David Voigts, Jesup

Think vegan

Last Sunday night’s Oscar for best documentary went to Netflix’s trailblazing documentary “My Octopus Teacher.” The documentary chronicles a complex relationship between a man and the world’s most bizarre animal — an octopus. It further testifies to our highly conflicted relationship with non-human animals and the natural world.

Most of us treasure our “pets” — dogs, cats, horses. Our allegiance to them transcends that to our own species. If our dog and a Congolese child were competing for scarce funds for life-saving surgery, we know who would live.

Yet, we torment, kill, and consume other animals that are similar in appearance, intelligence, and ability to suffer. Then, we condemn Asians who do the same to animals we consider pets.

We pride ourselves on being intelligent, rational beings. We have gone to the moon, unraveled and modified genetic codes, and found cures for deadly diseases. Yet we still have not figured out our relationship with non-human animals and the natural world.

Some of us have. Vegans profess compassion and respect for all sentient beings. Veganism requires no special courses or certifications. Every one of us can become one on our next trip to our supermarket.

William Carruthers,


New rules

Are we seeing “rules for revolutionaries?”

One rule is to not identify your name, nor state what you will do after you are in power. Their plan: Speak only in vague generalities and use simple phrases the public can identify with. Terms such as “socialist”, “communist” or “Marxist” generally have a negative connotation, and while millennials typically like them, the population at large does not. Do not look to antagonize ordinary Americans more than is necessary. Use terms such as “progressive” or “social justice warrior” to describe yourself. These are far less threatening to the average American. Fidel Castro initially identified himself as a “humanist.” Only after he felt secure in his new position did he announce to the world: “I am a Marxist-Leninist.”

Another rule is get control over mass media and the education system. Truth is defined by whatever the revolution says it is, and anyone who dares speak out is immediately silenced. Only information advancing the revolutionary cause may be heard and taught. Once the revolution gains control over mass media, it controls all the information that is disseminated. Once the revolution gains control over the education system, it controls the future.

How is President Biden responding to rules espoused by revolutionaries?

Dave Smith, Waterloo


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