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.

Solar and recreation can coexist

Hickory Ridge golf course in Amherst is in its last throes. Course owner Dave Wasenda of Applied Golf in Millstone, New Jersey, plans to build a 5.2-megawatt solar array on the 150-acre property sometime soon. Solar is good stuff and the project would cover about 23 acres on the highest portion of the property. This leave sabout another 127 acres up for grabs. The unused parcel would make a nice recreational area for local residents with the Fort Hill River running through the rolling terrain for fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers. Winters have already been an attraction for cross country skiers and snowshoers on this beautiful course setting. There is no reason why technology and recreation cannot go hand in hand.

— Bill Paul, Chicopee


Climate change must be taken seriously

Climate Change is real and not just weather. It’s being caused by the actions of everyone on earth, from driving cars to business and vacation airplane flights, from burning coal to air conditioning office buildings, from launching satellites to sailing diesel aircraft carriers. The UN climate report says we have only 12 years to transform our economy to preserve the stable climate our civilization depends on. 12 years! Most of us will still be around 12 years from now to look back on where we stood.

The Senate is about to hold a “show vote” to force legislators to show their cards, to declare that they believe climate change is real and must be taken seriously. Or they consider it a joke and an opportunity to slander the other side. How seriously should they take your future?

Call your legislators and tell them that your future matters and to support Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Markey’s Green New Deal resolution.

— Bob Armstrong, Conway


Let the Venezuelans work out what is best for them

Serious discussion is needed NOW of the dangerous path down which the Trump administration is leading us in Venezuela that may involve the U.S. in another blood-for-oil war. Are we so gullible that, yet again, in the name of a humanitarian “saving” of the population from “dictatorship” (or radical Islam, pick your bogus reason), we buy the claim that the country poses a security risk for the U.S.? When will we understand that our economic sanctions and military interventions do not bring “democracy” and “freedom” but simply a humanitarian disaster?

The situation is bad in Venezuela and serious mistakes have been made by the Maduro government, but his election was considered one of the fairest and most transparent in Latin America by outside observers. The Venezuelan Supreme Court has judged that members of the National Assembly were fraudulently elected, including Juan Guaidó, who was funded and trained by right-wing U.S. NGO’s. Trump’s neo-cons John Bolton and Eliot Abrams (who was jailed for lying to Congress about his role in Iran-Contra) are now supporting Guaidó in order to get control of the oil that Trump has said should be ours!! But there is a third position we hardly hear about, which is a way to avoid a disastrous war and to let the Venezuelans work this out democratically. The Pope, the Presidents of Mexico and Uruguay and Russia have offered to mediate a negotiation with Maduro and the opposition. Maduro is willing to negotiate. The opposition and U.S. have said no. The UN and Red Cross have chosen not to help with the distribution of U.S. “humanitarian aid,” as they believe it is politically motivated. A citizen’s referendum is needed. Let the Venezuelans work out what is best for them! The referendum idea is supported by a NY Times by Jeffrey Sachs and Francisco Rodriguez. Contact Representative Jim McGovern, Senator Ed Markey and Senator Elizabeth Warren. Urge them to co-sponsor HR 1004, opposing US military intervention in Venezuela.

— Ann Ferguson, Leverett  
— Anne Perkins, Amherst  
— Emily Greene, Greenfield