With the advent of this current administration, it is time to find ways to prevent such a travesty from ever happening again. The major political parties should establish a few rules and regulations before anyone deserves consideration as a candidate for president.
How ironic that Trump is hell-bent on vetting folks who come into our country, yet the White House is full of questionable individuals who certainly were never exposed to any vetting themselves. Such a process should demand the prospect provide the previous 10 years of his or her IRS tax filings.
Looking over Trump’s real estate business over the last three decades might have revealed the financial misdealing and corruption that would have prevented his being considered fit for office. Dissolution from all business enterprises would have prevented his conflict of interest and profiteering problems.
Regulations should include excluding family members from participating in the governance of this country.
Knowledge of U.S. and world history should also be a prerequisite for becoming president. There must be respect for and adherence to the Constitution and rule of law.
A candidate ought to have the ability to communicate properly and with decorum. Tweeting is unprofessional, ignores governing protocols, reaches a limited audience, and precludes lengthy explanations on policies and practices.
Prior governing experience would also be helpful.
In addition to education, character is paramount. In remarking about the current president, actor Jeff Daniels articulately states, “As a country we lost respect, decency, civil behavior, integrity, class, accountability, responsibility — he’s got none of that.”
He also lacks trustworthiness.
In summary, parties must set up statutory standards of conduct, conflicts of interest, and public disclosure of financial enterprises.
Our country is in its present moral and ethical morass because of how the stars aligned in 2016. In the future, political parties must support candidates who will represent the office of president and our democracy in ways that will make America proud again.
Karen Minto
Mount Cory

Every year the average global temperature increases. Recently, balmy temperatures in the 40s were recorded north of Greenland. This was warmer than much of the northeastern United States on the very same day!
Most scientists say that we do not have much of a window of time to change our human behaviors that are responsible for climate change.
It is imperative that we drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels now if we want to mitigate global catastrophe in the near future. One simple way that we can do this is by reducing the size of our lawns.
We may want to calculate the amount of gasoline and time we use to maintain large expanses of manicured lawn. Would it not be more beneficial to spend our valuable summer hours with family and friends?
Instead of breathing noxious fumes and hurting our eardrums, we could be enjoying the sounds and fragrances of nature that come from meadows of tall grasses and flowers. This would especially be true for those living outside of city limits.
Besides, lawns are boring biological deserts. Pope Francis writes in “Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home” that climate change mostly affects the poor and that “its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries and among the poor who have no way of adapting. Those who contributed the least to the problem will be affected the most.”
For many, the season of Lent is a time of repentance and change. Why not start making plans now to reduce your carbon footprint and add beauty to your environment?
Vincent Petersen