Throw-away society

With proposed bans of single-use plastic grocery bags in the news, I would like to share some memories and observations.

I was working at a supermarket, not long out of high school, when local grocery stores began discontinuing paper bags and introducing plastic ones. Most shoppers, especially senior citizens, expressed disappointment and sometimes outright anger at the loss of paper bags. The plastic bags, they said (correctly, in my opinion), were inconvenient — several plastic bags were needed where one paper bag had done the job. The plastic bags were cheaply made and often ripped open. They spilled their contents all over the trunk of the car. And so on. Now, ironically, these same plastic bags are too necessary to give up, according to shoppers who object to proposed bans.

Throughout Northeast Ohio communities, it's hard not to notice the discarded plastic bags stuck in trees and bushes and partially submerged in streams and roadside ditches.

People who don't have the self-respect or community mindedness to clean up their own properties can't be expected to care about protecting our natural world for the next generations. And people who lack the responsibility and decency to refrain from tossing plastic bags of dog waste into the brush and creeks in our parks can't be expected to care about other people or animals who must live in a world polluted by callous persons.

Responsible, far-sighted government representatives and civic leaders must take the lead in pursuing reasonable actions to protect our Earth, regardless of mindless political propaganda or local lack of interest. If we wait until a vast majority of Americans, as well as various governments and business interests, are in agreement, too much damage to the Earth may already be done.

Kevin Johns, Brunswick

 

Hiding from danger

According to several senior Trump administration officials, the secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen (chosen by Trump), tried to warn our government that the Russians are planning to interfere with our 2020 elections. (They had already done so with our 2016 elections.)

Since voting is the most sacred right of our citizens in this democracy, the government officials rushed to warn our president of this threat and to consult him as to what our response should be, right? Wrong. The officials told Nielsen to cool it, since they didn't want to upset the president. Telling him might indicate to him that he only became president with the help of the Russians. And stroking the fragile ego of our toddler-in-chief is obviously far more important than protecting democracy.

Carol Button, Cuyahoga Falls

 

Why moss grows

The April 22 commentary on abolitionist John Brown (“John Brown and the price of apathy”) suggested his memorial has been relegated to obscurity because of politics or other dogmatic issues. More likely, the actual reason is the general apathy toward history by our local citizenry.

As much as it pains me to say, if this memorial were located in Canton (a much smaller city) it would be well kept and highly visible.

For whatever reasons, Stark County seems to do a much better job of promoting and maintaining its key attractions. For contrast, compare how it deals with the Pro Football Hall of Fame to our area’s treatment of the Rubber Bowl. It makes one wonder: If Canton had the Inventor’s Hall of Fame, would it still be a thriving, local venue?

Lachlan McIntosh, Akron