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Letters to the Editor

June 14, 2009

Zumbathon Organization gives thanks to many



To the editor:

The Washington County Zumbathon Organization extends appreciation and thanks to the following for making the first Washington County Zumbathon fundraiser in Hagerstown a success:

- To the Children's Miracle Network's Miracle Child and 2009 champion, Jessica; her mother, Sheila; and her family for appearing at the event.

- Our special thanks to Sen. Donald F. Munson and Del. Christopher B. Shank for appearing at the fundraiser and showing support for the Children's Miracle Network.

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- The hosts, Miss Washington County Whitney Colombo and Heather O'Neill of South Pointe Fitness.

- Washington County's energetic Zumba instructors - Sharee O'Haver and Sonia Reyes of the Hagerstown YMCA; Diana Reyes of Gold's Gym and the Washington County Recreation Department; Claire Houseknecht of Gold's Gym; and B.J. Ostrum, Heidi Bodenheimer, and Anita Binder of South Pointe Fitness and Hagerstown Community College.

- Sharon Dominque and Michael and Edwen Reyes for their special dance performance.

- We are grateful to our sponsors - South Pointe Fitness, Gold's Gym, Hagerstown YMCA, Washington County Recreation Department, Dr. William Bodenheimer, South Mountain Family Practice, Tracy Galloway, South Mountain Women's Health Center, Diane Hutzell, Carolyn Lanning and Marlene Hersh.

- Sincere appreciation to our vendors - 24/7 Dance Studio, Arbonne, Bejou Bags, Chocolates, Decorative Totes and Baskets, Personal Fitness Clothing, Premier Jewelry, Silpata Jewelry, South Pointe Fitness, Tastefully Simple and Touchstone Jewelry.

- Door prize donors - South Pointe Fitness, Barefoot Bernie's and the Washington County Zumbathon Organization.

We thank Bonnie Waltman and Julia Lowe and all of the staff at Hager Hall. And to our volunteers, friends and family, who took time from their day in helping to make this event a success. Everyone had an important role in this fundraiser.

Anita Binder
Hagerstown
Washington County Zumbathon organizer




Maryland must stay in forefront of biotech



To the editor:

Creating a strong and vibrant biotech industry takes vision and commitment, both of which Maryland has consistently provided, as evidenced by the soon-to-open Maryland Biotechnology Center in Montgomery County and the World Trade Center in Baltimore.

Maryland is a recognized leader for biotech excellence from our academic institutions and federal laboratories to our private-sector companies that are leading the way in introducing products that better our health. This was evident at the BIO International Convention recently in Atlanta - the largest global event for the biotech industry. With Gov. Martin O'Malley leading the way, Maryland was well-represented.

Yet Maryland cannot rest on its previous successes. There is tremendous competition worldwide and nationwide to lure the best and brightest scientists and create an environment that attracts biotech companies.

If the Maryland biotech industry is to grow and prosper, it must stay at the forefront of ensuring a favorable regulatory environment. While other states are raising taxes and creating burdensome regulations on the biotech industry, Maryland took a significant step during the last legislative session to encourage early-stage biotech companies to stay here.

We must continue to find innovative ways to stay competitive. I urge our legislature to support Gov. O'Malley's Bio 2020 Initiative.

Richard A. Zakour
executive director
MdBio and MdBio Foundation
Tech Council of Maryland
Rockville, Md.




Praying that love can overcome hatred



To the editor:

This nation has witnessed two heinous hate crimes in the past two weeks. My heart is breaking and my eyes are filled with tears.

Doesn't anyone remember that Jesus was born a Jew and lived in the Middle East? Doesn't anyone remember why our fathers fought and died in World War II?

Our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, was the victim of a hate crime and I have a constant knot in my stomach that history could repeat itself.

I pray each day that the majority in our country who live their lives in love and kindness will somehow overcome the small minority that thrive on fear and hatred.

Ellen Mullenix
McConnellsburg, Pa.




Letterman's Palin joke is absolutely shameful



To the editor:

David Letterman's latest Top 10 list and late-night monologue directed at Gov. Sarah Palin and her family is absolutely shameful, to say the least. Not only did Letterman's list include a vulgar sexual reference to the governor, but his monologue on June 8 went so far as to try to "joke" about 14-year-old Willow Palin being "knocked up" by Alex Rodriguez at a New York Yankees game.

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