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Letters to the editor - 10/2/02

October 02, 2002

Preserve farmland; buy our local farmers' products



To the editor:


Recently a lot of smoke and heat has been generated over Washington County's recently enacted Comprehensive Plan that purports to preserve the agricultural heritage of Washington County. Discussion also has been generated concerning increased development of Washington County and the negative effects it will have on our way of life as we lose our pastoral views.

In order to preserve the farmland, we first need to preserve farmers, for they will take care of the land.

Many seem to have the belief that farmers farm to supply us with a lovely drive in the country. In fact, they farm to support their families. How can we help keep those beautiful views? We need to spend our dollars buying locally grown produce. Currently, Washington County is awash in apples and other fall fruits.

Don't just go to the nearest super-sized food store and buy the apples shipped in here from other countries. Ask the manager to stock local apples. Take a ride in the country and bring home a basket of apples or other fruits. If you want to eat fresh vegetables in the winter, obviously they will have to be brought in from somewhere else.

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But in the summer and fall, local fruits and vegetables are abundant. Local farmers produce beef, pork and chicken. Ask your favorite store to stock local meats. In short, put your money where it will do us all the most good. Our local farmers' markets are a start to help our local farmers sell their produce. Find out where you can shop at these markets. Keep a farmer in business and you will help keep his land as farmland.

The government has various things it can do to support the farmer. One of the easiest things to do would be to create a list of farmers with items to sell and publish that list on a Web site or in the local paper where potential customers can look for sources of locally grown produce.

The local Economic Development Commission has a staff and office space dedicated to bringing new business to the county. Why not use some of their time and expertise to support the businesses that are already here?

As budgets are cut and there are few employees for the state to use in the agricultural field, we need to decide if those who remain will be regulators or educators. How much easier it would be if our governmental supervision of farming would be focused more towards finding new methods that are good for the environment and conveying that information to the farmers and other land owners in the area, rather than designing ways to farm by committees in Annapolis and dictating methods to those who have to implement them. An example might be to allow farmers to become certified in developing their own nutrient waste management plans as opposed to them being required to hire expensive outside consultants. Carrots work better than sticks.

Keep a farmer happy and in business and you will help keep his farm for another generation. Drive him nuts with regulations, don't buy his produce, and you will see houses spring up where you don't want them.

Mary Newby

Candidate, Md. Senate District 2

Hagerstown




Celebrate nurses' week



To the editor:


This year, the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) celebrates Emergency Nurses Week, Oct. 6-12, with Emergency Nurses Day on Oct. 9, to honor emergency nurses across the country and around the world. This year's theme, "Caring, Healing, Educating...One life at a time," recognizes the comprehensive role of emergency nurses combined with their heartfelt compassion for the population they serve.

As the manager of the Emergency Department at City Hospital, Inc., I would like to acknowledge my nurses for their comprehensive role combined with their heartfelt compassion for the population they serve:

Kim Arvin, Shirley Knisely, Glen Shapiro, Lori Baker, Christy Lyons, Caroly Siviero, LaDonna Banks, Linda McQuaid, Dana Sterner, Lola Barron, Kathy Nicholas, Cheryl Butts-Stroop, Janice Boserman, Kerry O'Neill, Teresa Thomas, Sarita Bowers, Carol Pancake, Ray Unger, Tracey Breeden, Sharon Pieper, Stephanie Vallance, Joshua Dunham, John Poffenberger, Ami Vermillion, Mary Fuss, Sherry Porter, Amy Weller, Rodney Jenkins, Virginia Reisenweber, Pat Williams, Tracey Keller, Joyce Rogers and Dina Zuczek

Edie McGoff

Emergency Department Manager

City Hospital

Martinsburg, W.Va.




More than one belief is protected



To the editor:


The letter urging us to keep "under God" in the Pledge, by Regina Sanders, does a good job of showing how deeply rooted the belief in God is both in American history and the majority of its citizens' daily lives.

It's sad we so often are reminded of this fact when some tragedy occurs. But as is so often said, even out of the worst of calamities often comes something good. We have already seen a great deal of good come out of the terrible events of the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

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