The right to protest

I thank Trib sports editor Brice Cherry for being the voice of reason when things so frequently get out of control [“In debate over kneeling for anthem, listening means everything,” Sept. 29]. I am not a sports fan, but I always read his column. He always takes a sticky situation and applies a balm of common sense. People have forgotten what started the taking of a knee during NFL games and have instead made it about being unpatriotic, so I appreciate his reminding us all that this is not about our flag, our country or what race you are.

It’s our right as citizens to protest the leader of our country without fear of reprisal. Isn’t that what we have fought for since the very beginning? My family came here in the 1600s and family members have fought and died in every war from 1776 to Afghanistan. They did this so that we can all — repeat all — express our opinions. We don’t have to agree, but we have to extend the same freedoms to everyone. But if you are in a position of great responsibility such as the president, you need to temper your words with wisdom and thought, the way Brice Cherry did in his column.

Janet Smith, Waco

No landfill needed!

Regarding Trib contributor Ashley Bean Thornton’s Oct. 10 column, “No perfect decision exists on placement of future regional landfill”: We don’t need a new landfill. What we need are our city leaders to join the 21st century and implement modern waste management technologies and processes, similar to what other cities are doing. We also need our city to be up-front and transparent because it doesn’t appear they are reviewing two or three potential sites. Those of us who live in the area see the work on the new site already in progress with survey markers and a flurry of trucks coming in and out of the future entrance of the new landfill.

With regard to environmental hazards, property values and such, the city has already been cited for leachate contamination. The Texas Association of Realtors is against this new landfill and the FAA will most likely pull funding because the new landfill would violate several of their guidelines. And it’s no surprise that you state there isn’t much of a smell — and if there is a smell, it isn’t that bad. That’s the standard city response. Hundreds of my friends and neighbors beg to differ. As a mother, what I want to know is what my child is breathing in when that odor is present? And if it’s not the landfill causing the smell as the city has said, then what is it and why can’t they fix it?

Our concerns are real and we have the freedom to voice them and expect transparency in answers. As an active member of the Citizens Against the Highway 84 Landfill, I invite Ms. Thornton to meet with us in person so that we may have a real discussion.

Jennifer Kampermann, Waco