People must insist Reps do their jobs

Whereas -- the people of the United States have elected members of Congress to represent our needs and take care of national business for us.

Whereas -- members of Congress have proved to be more concerned about partisan politics and their own political future than caring for their constituents' needs.

We, the majority of the voters of the United States, insist that members of Congress begin to respect their constituents' demands to accomplish the goals and business of the people, setting aside their own political aspirations.

Our Founding Fathers were willing to relinquish "our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor" for their country. We should expect no less from those who represent us now. If they are unable to do that, then they shouldn't be in Congress.

Jim Cauble

Hayward

Use of bird feathers shows indifference

The Oct. 5 Timeout section included an article on feathers.

I had thought that selling or using feathers of many different birds was illegal and had stopped many years ago. Marni Jameson writes admiringly of their decorative use.

It suggests a great indifference to wildlife, especially birds, in an age of protection of the environment, which ours is supposed to be.

Lillian Hetherington

Berkeley

Federal shutdown is counterproductive

On Oct. 4, I received an email: Dedication of wildlife viewing platform at local wildlife refuge canceled.

This event was years in the making. My Ohlone Audubon bird club contributed $30,000.

At Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, scores of public events, hikes, wildlife interpretive activities, garden plant sales, and habitat restoration projects occur during the annual Refuge Week. Now, these events are canceled, despite the weeks and months of planning and preparation on the part of refuge staff and citizen volunteers.

Yes, eventually Congress will get an appropriations bill passed, but not without causing hardship to citizens.

Do the honorable representatives have any idea how long it takes to schedule elementary and high school field trips to the wildlife refuge? How many hours of preparation on the part of school teachers and parents and refuge staff such out-of-door activities require?

Who are these misguided representatives in our nation's capital holding us hostage?

It is ludicrous to shut down national parks, wildlife refuges, recreational seashores and historic monuments at a time when citizens are becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits of spending time outside.

The government shutdown is so very counterproductive and it is greatly hurting us at the local level.

John R. Bradley

Newark

Hazardous dangers threatening us all

An underreported consequence of the government shutdown is the suspension of routine safety inspections at the biowarfare facility operated by the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, which conducts research with anthrax, plague and other deadly bioagents.

Because of the dangers to human health these pathogens pose, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials are supposed to inspect the facility's safety and security. Regular inspections are important to uncover deficiencies that might lead to a theft or accidental release of pathogens.

The House GOP shut down the government because it didn't want to fund the Affordable Care Act. So, as the few lash out against the many, truly hazardous outcomes -- like halting inspections of biolabs handling deadly biological agents -- threaten us all.

What to do? We can call our representatives and insist they end this dangerous shutdown without trying to undo a law that already passed and the Supreme Court declared constitutional.

We can also tell our representatives to act in the interest of all Americans and take a fresh look at what constitutes a critical government service.

Jo Ann Frisch

Livermore