Letters to the editor

Animal waste pollutes

Last weekend the drinking water of 400,000 Toledo, Ohio, residents was fouled by animal waste. With unfettered growth of animal agriculture and ineffective discharge regulations, it will happen again in our own state.

The problem has become pervasive. Waste from chicken farms has rendered ocean off the East Coast unfit for fishing. Waste from Midwest cattle ranches carried by the Mississippi River has created a permanent “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico larger than that of the infamous 2010 BP oil spill.

Animal agriculture dumps more pollution to our waterways than all other human activities combined. Principal pollutants are animal manure and fertilizers, as well as soil particles, organic debris and pesticides from feed cropland. Manure and fertilizers promote growth of toxic algae that poison drinking water supplies. Organic matter feeds microorganisms that deplete oxygen and kill fish.

Effective regulations to limit dumping of animal waste into water supplies have been blocked by the meat industry. Fortunately, every one of us has the power to stop this outrage three times a day by saying no to polluting meat and dairy products. Our local supermarket offers ample alternatives. Entering “live vegan” in a search engine provides useful recipes and transition tips.

Stewart Gilpin


Congressional intent

As Congress goes on its five-week summer leave, leaving a variety of governmental problems ignored and unattended to, a parting shot to the President is don’t you dare take any executive action to alleviate any pressing problems under threat of impeachment.

After all, there is such a thing as division of authority and if we take no action with respect to a problem, then it should be obvious that it is the intent of Congress that no action be taken.

That must be it; those members of this persuasion must have run for office on a platform of doing absolutely nothing, except to frustrate any attempt by the President to take some action in the interest of the people. God save the Republic!

Randy Ludacer

Lake Placid

Traffic solution

While most traffic laws were initiated to expedite the flow of traffic and for safety reasons, most morph into revenue producers. Likely stop lights are the most notorious. Since the time laps between the green light and the stop light is anyone’s guess, it is time for science to kick into this puzzle.

I have two nationwide uniform proposals: The time lapse between the green light and the red light should be determined by the given posted speed. Again, factoring in the posted speed, at least a food-wide yellow line should be painted across the street at a distance from the light.

If a person has crossed the yellow line when the yellow light appears, the person should proceed through the light. If a person has not crossed the yellow line when the yellow light appears, the person should stop.

My proposal would eliminate most intersection cross traffic and rear-end wrecks. Most people are law abiders but they are faced with split-second subjective (not objective) decisions at each stop light: Shall I stop and risk a rear-end wreck or proceed and risk a cross traffic wreck?

Jim Rahenkamp

Avon Park