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Letters to the Editor

February 29, 2008

No woman should carry burden alone



To the editor:

Hats off to Tim Rowland for the wonderful column he wrote on men who have anger problems and the women who love them. My two sisters and I were discussing the rise in violence against women recently as we headed for the Hagerstown police station to report a mysterious phone call my sister "B" had received.

"Someone would be out to assist her with her paper work from Medicare on Saturday at five in the evening." A nice gesture, but one call to Medicare and she was told to contact the police. It seems our government does not provide this one on one service.

Sgt. Tom Langston of the Hagerstown Police Department met with us and we were assured the matter would be handled. True to his word, he called my sister the next day, sent an officer before the 5 p.m. deadline, and spoke with my other sister as well, because we were beside ourselves with worry. (Officer Kelley, sent to the call, handled the situation and made "B" feel very safe.)

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Women can run the world, but without changes in the system we remain helpless due to our bodies. We can carry guns, take karate lessons, but still are the weaker of the two sexes. (Sorry ladies, but it is the truth.) We are no match physically for an angered spouse, a hot headed boyfriend or unwanted intruder. Also, women often remain in unhealthy relationships because the lies are repeated until facts cannot be separated from fiction. More education is needed, especially for young women to learn, early on, that abuse cannot be tolerated under any circumstance.

Thank you, Tim Rowland, for your sincere and informative article and to the Hagerstown police force for not thinking we were overreacting to this call. Nothing happened because the person did not show, but too many times the same scenario ends in violence or being conned.

For the woman already living in fear, please get help. You need not carry the burden alone. In the process of seeking counseling or leaving, you may not only save your life, but also give help to a tormented abuser by sending a wakeup call. More importantly, you may discover how very special you are with or without him.

Kate Prado
Hagerstown




Good program for transportation



To the editor:

The nonprofit Good News Mountaineer Garage (GNMG) began as an idea in 1999 and has evolved into an agency that has provided more than 600 vehicles to families in all 55 counties in West Virginia. The idea is simple: The GNMG takes good used vehicles, repairs them and recycles them to needy parents who have jobs or are in job- training programs, but do not have a way to get there.

This is what makes the GNMG different from most car donation programs. Instead of being sold at auction, our cars stay on the road taking families to work, school, daycare, the doctor, soccer games and play practice.

The tax law changed on Jan. 1, 2005. If the donated vehicle is repaired and provided to a family, the donor can deduct the fair market value as a charitable contribution on their itemized federal and state income tax returns. If the car is sold, the donor can only deduct the amount the vehicle is sold for. This is why the GNMG is a win-win situation for both the donor and the recipient. The donor gets the maximum tax benefit and the recipient gets reliable transportation.

Since opening our Eastern Panhandle office in January of 2006 to serve Eastern West Virginia, Region 3 has taken in 138 vehicles.

With the support of the local community, we have been able to repair these vehicles and put 87 families on the road to financial independence.

I would like to thank everyone who has donated a vehicle and supported us in our efforts to publicize our program.

For stories about the lives these cars have changed, visit our Web site at: www.goodnewsmountaineergarage.com.

Thanks again to everyone who has made the Good News Mountaineer Garage program so successful.

Marie Galazzi
Director, Region 3
Good News Mountaineer Garage
Martinsburg, W.Va.




The meat of the issue



To the editor:

Although the Food and Drug Administration has approved the sale of meat from cloned animals, the Department of Agriculture has asked producers to keep this meat off the market because consumer fears over cloned animals pose a threat to U.S. markets. But does cloned meat pose a threat to our health?

As a dietitian, I know that cloning animals for human consumption is a serious issue and has raised many ethnical and health questions. But America may have an even bigger problem on its hands: Our meat-heavy diets have contributed to increased rates of obesity and diabetes among children and adults. And numerous studies have linked meat consumption to an increased risk of cancer and heart disease. In fact, heart disease is now the No. 1 killer of women in America.

What America really needs is a shift in our diet. Plant-based diets rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, and other healthy vegetarian fare can help prevent obesity and other chronic diseases. By avoiding meat - whether it's cloned or not - we can fill up on healthy foods that protect our health over the long term.

Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.
Staff nutritionist
Physicians Committee for
Responsible Medicine
Washington, D.C.

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