Letters to the editor
Readers write in about shortchanging Earth, the best move for Republicans, the true purpose of cooperatives, and Iran.
Stop shortchanging EarthSkip to next paragraph
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I believe there are ways to handle nitrogen fertilizers properly without damage and with increased production.
Strip farming, rotation of crops, legumes with good root systems, and nitrogen-fixing nodules can greatly reduce any adverse effect.
Soil testing and good management practices can save us from the damage caused by their absence. (There was a time when you could call your county agent's office and request soil sampling and analysis.)
Today you may find it difficult to find anyone studying to be a soils engineer. That is part of the problem.
For years there were whole departments of soil science in our "ag" schools. Now they are being reduced and cut.
Budget cuts must not shortchange Mother Earth.
Fred C. Beyer
Point Pleasant, N.J.
GOP 'tent poles'
Regarding Igor Kirman's commentary, "Best move for Republicans: Embrace the center": The author forgets that we live in a representative democracy and in the last presidential election the voters have spoken, loud and clear.
If Republicans want to broaden their tent, they have to remove the tent poles of greed, selfishness, flag-waving jingoism, and deceit. Twice this country has responded to the siren call of a Republican Party majority and paid the price.
In regard to the commentary "A jumpstart to US job market, turn workers into owners" : Melissa Hoover and Beadsie Woo offer an important alternative to the government's effort to restore the economy that failed.
Their statistics on the 29,000 cooperatives that hire 853,000 people and pay $25 billion in salaries is a good argument for expanding the co-op movement. But their essay fails to mention another – even more important – part of the equation.
Co-ops are created because of human need, not to save corporations or banks too large to fail. Food co-ops, housing cooperatives, community agriculture associations, peer lending groups, credit unions, cohousing, eco-villages, and many other social innovations serve people at a grass-roots level and promote community solidarity.