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Letters to the Editor

February 12, 2008

Keep an eye on biodiesel plant



To the editor:

The proposed biodiesel plant appears to be a welcome addition to Washington County, providing an economic boost in jobs and income for the growers, while helping improve the country's energy independence.

What hasn't been publicly addressed, but will significantly impact the county's residents, will be the issues surrounding the transportation of the raw and finished products.

The recent article by Andrew Schotz would indicate additional information needs to be publicly disseminated, since these important facts were not included and perhaps not available to him.

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Washington County growers produced approximately 330,000 bushels of soybean in 2006 and if that number increased by as much as 50 percent to 495,000 bushels, that would leave a balance of roughly 20.5-plus million bushels to transport in by truck or rail.

Then of course the finished products, both solid and liquid, need to be dispersed in the same manner. That's not an insignificant amount of truck loads or impact, considering the already congested Interstate 70 and 81 corridor. The increased potential for environmental calamities would also dictate the need of additional emergency equipment and the associated manpower cost. Another issue might be the need for a rail spur and, depending upon the location selected, it might have to be built. This could result in a concession of a taxpayer subsidized spur.

One would reason that our representatives: The legislative delegation, the county commissioners and the economic development commission are already out in front of these issues and have a general impact study on hand for immediate release to these concerns regarding the sites under consideration.

The public needs to be kept adequately informed on both the positive (economic /jobs) as well as the potential negative impacts (traffic/roads/subsidies/environmental). We also need to be at the front of these issues, not run over by them.

R. Z. Roane Sr.
Smithsburg




Potomac Playmakers is great theater



To the editor:

I attended a performance of the Potomac Playmaker's production of "Smokey Joe's Caf." For just $16, I enjoyed more than two hours of quality entertainment. This local community theater is made up of the most talented musicians, actors and production people. I've attended and enjoyed many professional theater productions and am always delighted to find presentations of the highest quality right here in Hagerstown.

This particular performance was full of high energy songs, dances and humor. I was left at the end of the evening wanting more. I eagerly look forward to the next production which is listed as a "hilarious British farce" entitled "See How They Run." I'm sure I will not be disappointed.

We are so fortunate to have such a fine quality theatrical group in this area. They have been providing us with entertainment for more than 75 years. In addition to long-time supporters, there are many young people involved in these productions.

We need to support this group, not only in sales of tickets (and what value you get for such a little price), but in many other areas of need. Don't let this wonderful community tradition die out for lack of support.

Thank you Potomac Playmakers for many hours of joyous entertainment.

Linda Mumma
Hagerstown




Democrats block energy progress



To the editor:

The latest scientific report says there is no global warming, let alone a human cause of it.

Congress didn't ban all incandescent bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent lamps. Why? Light bulb companies lobby in D.C. to keep lawmakers from banning what they make. Light bulbs are inexpensive, easy to make and are what makes producers rich.

This energy bill is to work for liberal environmentalists and hoodwink you and me into thinking the Democrat Congress is doing its job. Why isn't Congress enforcing nuclear plants or domestic drilling to meet our oil demands? Congress won't do either so we can become independent in energy. The bill contains nothing to increase domestic energy and lower foreign oil purchasing.

This is the handout for Gore and alternate-energy experimenters.

We could end our dependence on Saudi Arabia in 10 years. The bill Congress has introduced addresses none of this. Democrats are suffering from "The China Syndrome." The money they are squandering (yours and mine) could be invested in research to turn coal into motor oil and extract the oil shale from the Colorado mountains to run autos. Democrats have been blocking solutions for 30 years. Big oil companies win out.

Michael Arpaio
Waynesboro, Pa.

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