Letters to the Editor, May 28

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Who is lying? 

A recent letter to the editor criticized the press for reporting "certain misdeeds by our duly elected president that are patently false and are known to be false." The letter suggested voluntary resignation and forfeiture of all compensation by any reporter proved to have lied to the public.

I would support such a proposal, provided our duly elected president takes the same oath. He can even keep the compensation.

Carl Croce, East Naples

Herbicides on landscaping

On my walk one recent morning, I noticed several crews spraying landscaped areas in Baker Park at the very edge of the Gordon River — an area in Naples that could have been left natural and would have been just as pleasing. The full impact of chemicals used in commercial herbicides is not known.

One such herbicide, Roundup, is touted as safe, environmentally friendly and easy to use. However, when glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, reaches rivers and streams, it is very toxic to aquatic life.

In fact, glyphosate-based herbicides can harm all facets of an ecosystem, including the soil biology and composition, water, and non-target plants, aquatic organisms, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, animals and humans.

Glyphosate use could foster herbicide-resistant super weeds. Glyphosate, a patented desiccant (drying agent), could greatly increase the risk of fire. Its effect on the soil composition could lead to greater risk of runoff and erosion. Glyphosate and its metabolites can be highly active and mobile and persist for many years in the environment, depending on conditions. Using toxic glyphosate and glyphosate formulations could not only harm beneficial vegetation and wildlife but also could jeopardize public health and safety. (Source: "The Unintended Consequences of Using Glyphosate," by Sharon Rushton, Ann Spake and Laura Chariton, January 2016, https://www.sierraclub.org.)

Existing alternative products play the same role as Roundup in weed management. Acetic acid, or vinegar, fatty acids (in the form of soaps) and essential oils can act as herbicides.

For the sake of people, manatees and the health of the Gordon River, I fervently hope a safe alternative is being used.

Chris Ashley, Naples