Because of my experience, I would like to express my appreciation to The Herald-Mail for sending the eighth grade spelling champion, because I think the National Bee is a wonderful opportunity that is great for many spellers to experience.
Thanks again for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Rethink artificial turf
To the editor:
Much has been written about the new stadium being built at North Hagerstown High School. It will be the pride of the community when completed. And it should be. Many have expended countless hours in making this project become a reality.
Difficult decisions regarding various aspects of the Mike Callas Stadium have required serious deliberations.
However, in my opinion, one decision needs to be revisited and reversed before other commitments are made. I'm referring to the turf versus grass issue. The selection of turf as the preferred playing surface is wrong.
Put cost aside. Cost doesn't matter. Safety is the factor that should drive this decision.
It is an established fact that athletes playing on turf are more likely to sustain more serious injuries than when playing on grass. Injury is even more prevalent when athletes whose bodies are young and still developing play on turf.
I urge the Board of Education, the Washington County Commissioners, the Hagerstown mayor and council and the stadium committee to abandon the selection of turf as the playing surface and install grass instead. In the long run, the young athletes will benefit.
As a further suggestion, I urge all involved in the stadium project to consult with those in the medical profession for their expert opinions.
Thanks for supporting health research center
To the editor:
As the former director of the George W. Comstock Center for Public Health Research and Prevention, I would like to express my appreciation and that of all the staff, to the Washington County Commissioners for their strong support for keeping the center in its present location at the Washington County Health Department. As is obvious from the bronze plaque in front of the building, the original building was built for research with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Coffman, two local philanthropists who did so much for their community.
Since its construction in 1958 as a research laboratory, it has housed a long line of public health researchers, most of whom were primarily interested in risk factors for cancer. Their hope was to identify risk factors which could be modified to reduce the risk of cancer.
As has been stated publicly on many occasions, Washington County has contributed more per capita to improve public health than any other place in the world. More than 230 scholarly papers have been published in peer reviewed journals, bringing the county to the attention of the medical community worldwide.
The County Commissioners have done the public a great service by allowing this work to be continued in a setting that has been developed to maximize the productivity of all those who work there.
George W. Comstock, M.D.
Center for Public Health Research and Prevention
Professor of Epidemiology Emeritus
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health