Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject.

The Great Bag Race

In response to “Northampton Resident Challenges Mayor to Race Over Plastic Bag Ban

Forget that race. How about the race for the bags to decompose in the landfill… Or maybe the race for carcinogens into our lungs if they are incinerated?

— Joel Liebman, Facebook comment

I offer to FB live stream the big event! Also reusable cloth bags have handles too FYI.

— Nate Jasper, Facebook comment

Something everyone seems to forget, most poor people, and what’s left of the middle class, use plastic grocery bags as free trash bags. If they don’t give out plastic bags at grocery stores anymore we will have to buy trash bags to then throw awa into the landfill with all of the other plastic bags. Except now that we have to pay for them, they are of a much higher quality and will take that much longer to decompose, and the poor get poorer and the rich get to feel good about themselves for “saving the world.”

— Bill Curran, Facebook comment

Praises and Suggestions

The Valley Advocate offers a refreshing insightful alternative/progressive views on how our current times effects the local community. It also offers valuable information and insights into the art/entertainment scene.

Your paper is gutsy, fair, entertaining and helpful.

Thank you for that.

Couple of quick thoughts.

On Chuck Shepherd retirement with News of the Weird:

Bizarro Briefs are a good attempt but often lacks the humorous bite New of the Weird offered. Hope it can improve.

And why is such a talented writer as Blaise Majkowski wasting his efforts reviewing movies few people care about?

There are an abundance of subject matters available to fit the bill for an amusing read through.

Juvenile movies with cartoon plots is probably not high on the must read entertainment list for most folks.

With so many great movies both foreign and domestic that go under the radar of recognition could not his talented articles maintain its uniqueness by reviewing good undiscovered movies instead?

Trust this is understood to not merely repeat what Staff Picks and Cinemadope do so well.

To your continued success,

— Charles Cooper, email

Holyoke Needs to Help the Homeless

In response to “Panhandlers Find Loophole in Holyoke Law” (January 11-17, 2018):

This is so sad if this is the best that the Holyoke City Councilors think we can do about the issue of homelessness in Holyoke. Makes me wish I hadn’t voted for them. Passing something like this would be at least somewhat understandable IF there were currently in place adequate programs/shelters to help the homeless. Saying “we need to invest in work programs to help the homeless” sounds good for “the future” (if it actually happens) but in reality it doesn’t help a homeless person who now can be jailed for panhandling.

— Mark Sherry, website comment

Getting Green from Green

In response to “So … Is Pot Legal Or Not in Massachusetts?” (January 18-24, 2018):

If it’s not illegal, how can the feds make the $????

— Burnt Berry, website comment