Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvoate.com.

Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject.

A Prince Among Mercenaries (via email)

I was so excited to hear that Donald Trump is seriously thinking about privatizing the war in Afghanistan. We’ve been using private contractors for many years, so why not? Erik Prince’s latest version of Blackwater, Academi, could really go in there and kick derriere. No worry about being tried for war crimes. Just give ’em good ol’ John Wayne 1-2-3 punch. We’ve been puttering around in that country for 15 years now and haven’t accomplished anything. He could go in there, bomb the bejasis out of it, kill all the people, and free up U.S. corporations to go in there and extract our iPhone minerals and build our oil and gas pipelines. I’ve been waiting years for this much talked about pipeline. U.S. taxpayers could save tons of money if Blackwater took over the poppy fields and used that money to fund their operations. This is a win/win situation. More addicts mean more money for the private prison and private addiction/rehab industries, and for the gun manufacturers selling weapons to gangs and cartels. While Prince left the company when it became Academi in 2010, he’s lobbying for privatization and, you know, he could get into the undertaking business in Afghanistan, as well. Why beat around the bush. Let’s get Prince in there to clean up. When he’s done we can send him to Syria, Venezuela, Russia, and North Korea. Hee-Haw! Way to go U.S.A. I always knew Trump was a Deep State … dream.

— Charlotte Burns, Palmer

Bicycles in the Rotary (via email)

Micala Sidore nailed it in her letter regarding cyclists and respect for others [“Bicyclists, Stay in Your Lane,” Aug. 3-9, 2017.] Folks on their bikes are justifiably upset when motorists disrespect their rights on the road, but too often I see them blithely ignoring traffic regulations, putting themselves and drivers in peril. Case in point: Last Tuesday morning between 9 and 9:15 a.m. at the Greenfield rotary, a string of riders ignored the “yield” rule and forced rotary traffic to stop as they entered and rode on. The Massachusetts rules of the road for “bicyclists and motorists in the presence of bicyclists” says, when riding on public ways bicyclists must obey the same traffic laws and regulations that apply to motor vehicle operators. Please.

— Dyson Shultz, Greenfield

Wind Blows (via valleyadvocate.com)

Please don’t ask Maine to sacrifice its pristine open spaces to fill Massachusetts’ hunger for “clean green” renewables [“Is There Really an Energy Crisis?,” Aug. 10-16, 2017]. There’s nothing clean or green about wind power. Wind sprawl on Maine’s mountains destroys fragile habitat, displaces and kills wildlife, clear cuts large swaths of forest, contaminates streams and rivers and fragments a landscape that we rely on for our tourism. If you don’t want a gas pipeline running through your state, put these five hundred foot tall wind turbines in your own back yard. We don’t want them.

— Nadia Nichols

Farm Fresh Humor (via email)

I save my Valley Advocates for those moments when I can read them cover to cover. I recently read “What The Heck Is That?” by Dave Eisenstadter, as a supplement to Kristin Palpini’s “Farm Fresh Food For All” in the July 27, 2017, edition. I laughed out loud as his comments resonated with me — we bought a farm share this year for the first time and we were looking at some of the produce wondering what are we going to do with this? Please keep up the great work you are doing in the Valley.

— Dave Peterson, Heath