City Sprouts

Interns from the City Sprouts Summer Urban Farming program partnered with volunteers from the Ronald McDonald House Charities program to build five raised garden beds at the Ronald McDonald House. The project will help provide fresh food for patients and their families.

Grow foods locally

While taking a nutritional anthropology course regarding food’s influence on culture and the environment, I learned about the importance of producing food locally and its impact on the environment compared to food produced commercially.

According to Emily Honeycutt, locally grown foods reduce CO2 emissions by reducing the need for long-distance transportation, which would greatly benefit our environment. She also explains that commercial produce is picked unripe and then ripened with ethylene gas.

These foods already contain pesticides, but to artificially ripen produce adds more chemicals to foods we ingest that could have been easily avoided.

We need to start buying and producing foods locally because our current method is inefficient and deteriorating the health of our society. Local food production increases economic opportunities and health benefits and reduces our environmental impact.

City Sprouts, a community garden in Omaha, grows various produce, and people pay a small fee to receive lots of it; this program is called Community Supported Agriculture. They also teach people how to start their own garden and teach different ways to store produce — jams, sauces, soups, etc.

While producing food locally will take more time and effort from communities, the efficiency and benefits outweigh commercially produced foods.

Blake Zdechlik, Omaha

Troops in Saudi Arabia

President Donald Trump says he withdrew our troops who were supporting the Kurds in the fight against ISIS because he wanted to end the endless wars.

Then why is the administration sending thousands of troops to Saudi Arabia?

Karen Guilfoyle, Omaha

Let others defend their turf

I assume this country is yet a constitutional republic. The Constitution is the document that defines our government.

In that document there are explicit reasons for calling forth the militia, which has devolved into a standing army. Article I, Section 8, Clause 14: “To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections, and to repel invasions.”

And that is it. There is no provision to police the world. I am a Vietnam veteran. Mothers and fathers lost 58,000 sons and daughters in that conflict. I have yet to find anyone who could tell me for what legitimate reason this country got involved.

President Donald Trump is correct in trying to get us out of these conflicts which are of no consequence to us. We have caused death and carnage all over the world. We will defend our turf. Let the other guy defend his.

Greg Weldon, Papillion

Carbon fee and dividend

Thanks to The World-Herald for ongoing news of the climate crisis, including the story about the record-breaking typhoon that just hit Japan (“Japan typhoon death toll climbs, while floodwaters recede,” Oct. 16 World-Herald).

As we continue to see more records in extreme weather being broken, we are also seeing an increased understanding that climate change increases the risk of such events to all of us.

It is time to act not only with a humanitarian response to the disasters, but to reduce the incidence, made more likely by the greenhouse gases we are putting into the atmosphere.

We need to put a price on fossil fuels.

Kathleen Hughes, Omaha

Tax incentives

I do not understand how companies are getting millions of dollars of Nebraska tax incentives, and they are using out-of-state contractors with an out-of-state-workforce to build their projects.

Google in Sarpy County is getting huge tax incentives for 30 fulltime jobs, and the project is being built by an out-of-town contractor using mostly an out-of-town workforce.

The proposed niobium mine that is asking for $200 million of taxpayers money can be built using out-of-state workers, which means a potential of more than $1 billion in lost wages for Nebraska workers. Nebraska taxpayers should be furious. Legislative Bill 720, the tax incentive bill proposed by Sen. Mark Kolterman, needs to have construction language added to the bill.

Nebraska workers live, retire and continue to pay taxes for their lifetime. Out-of-state contractors and workers are laughing all the way to the bank.

Bob Grothe, Omaha

Who is advising Trump?

As a lifelong Republican, I ask: “Who, if anybody, is advising President Donald Trump on foreign policy?”

His decision to pull a few U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria and to give a green light to Turkey to invade the area was appalling, dastardly and sad. Our allies — the hard-fighting Kurds — have been betrayed, the war has been intensified, much blood has flown and ISIS and Russia are smiling. Our credibility has been seriously damaged in the world.

Maybe Trump just isn’t listening to the sensible and principled advisers he has left.

James Enright, Omaha

Blame the House

Two recent letters have focused on Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House of Representatives for avoiding needed national legislation.

In reality, the House has passed legislation which died stillborn in the Senate, due to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s refusal to even bring it to the floor for debate or votes.

The media is not doing its job analyzing these bills properly and making members of the Senate responsible for its inactivity. With the election cycle upon us, it behooves our representatives to explain their positions and new ideas beyond sound bites.

Jeff Johnston, Elmwood, Neb.

Different doves

Not everyone notices the change in the bird population. As a young wife in the late 1950s, as I hung out my clothes in the morning to dry, I heard the mourning doves sing with their cooing.

They are now gone from this area, replaced with larger doves with a black ring around their necks. I notice.

Nola Reed, Lexington, Neb.

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