Letters to the editor

April 25, 2005

Bruchey: City must do more on sewers

To the editor:

(Editor's note: Because former Mayor Robert Bruchey did not make it through the city primary, he is not being asked to respond to candidate questions with the other contenders for mayor.

However, as a write-in candidate, he is being allowed to answer those questions in the letters column, provided his answers do not exceed the approximately 150 words other candidates are allowed.

Q. Considering the city must make improvements at the wastewater treatment plant, are the requirements set by the Maryland Department of the Environment enough to safeguard against future plant failures?


A. No. The City must focus on finding solutions to help increase our capacity while implementing safeguards for possible accidents.

The failure of the electrical system was most definitely unfortunate, but it was just that, an unfortunate accident the first time. The second failure was unconscionable.

The city should focus on transferring more flow to the county in areas where it is feasible. This will increase our capacity to serve our residents and future growth to the east while increasing revenue for the county plant.

The M.D.E. has always set strict guidelines for our plant and others in the state. If we can work with the county, adjust our thinking to be proactive and communicate with M.D.E., we can guarantee our current needs and future needs at our plant will be successful.

We have always been vigilant with our wastewater treatment, we must now bump it up a notch and make sure that we are doing it better than everyone else.

Robert Bruchey
Mayor of Hagerstown

The financial side of illness

To the editor:

How many people have been involved with loved ones who are afflicted with Alzheimer's? The insurance company where he worked for 25 years did not cover his nursing care in a facility. Neither did Medicare.

What's a person to do but pay out each month to the tune of $50,000 until he passes away? It's not so much about understanding the disease, but getting help money-wise to finance the term of the illness.

K. Downin

Give priority to organ donors

To the editor:

Your story about Jayden Miller highlighted the tragic shortage of human organs for transplant operations. More than half of the people who need an organ transplant in the United States die before they get one. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 life-saving organs every year. More than 6,000 of our neighbors suffer and die needlessly every year as a result.

There is a simple solution to the organ shortage - give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to sign donor cards. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. About 70 percent of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs when they die. People who are too lazy or too selfish to register as organ donors shouldn't be eligible for transplants as long as there is a shortage of organs.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a nonprofit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. They do this through a form of directed donation that is legal in all 50 states and under federal law. Anyone can join for free at LifeSharers has 2,979 members, including 37 members in Maryland.

David J. Undis
Executive Director

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