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Letters to the Editor

April 19, 2010

The Coffee Party: It's not what you think it is



To the editor:

No, this is not a response to the politics of the highly publicized TEA Party movement, although we do not agree with the TEA Party's approach and techniques.

And no again, we're not a bunch of elderly people sitting around and gossiping over local news while sipping coffee.

First, consider the Coffee Party's mission statement:

"The Coffee Party Movement gives voice to Americans who want to see cooperation in government. We recognize that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges that we face as Americans. As voters and grass-root volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them."

Although the Coffee Party's "platform" is still being formulated, the movement has already established a few goals, and they are goals important to all of us - Republicans, Democrats and independents.

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The first is that we encourage civil discourse in politics. While we will not all agree on everything, it seems reasonable to expect that we Americans should be able to sit down and discuss our issues politely. The old adage, "We agree to disagree," is appropriate here, or perhaps, "We agree to disagree - in a civil manner."

The Coffee Party is also concerned about the influence of big money in politics. Thus, currently being considered is inclusion of another Coffee Party goal - stricter limits placed on lobbyists and the amounts that large corporations can contribute to political favorites. Again, this represents a nonpartisan concern.

Other issues being actively discussed include term limits for all elected officials and methods for dispensing correct information to our citizens, rather than depending on the media, which, in many cases, does quite the opposite.

Those of us who have gathered in Hagerstown to discuss the above, as well as other issues, come from the Tri-State area, and include people of all ages from a wide range of backgrounds. But several things have brought us together. First, a desire to get involved, in a positive way, to provide a forum for civil discourse on our country's many challenges, and hopefully, to eventually affect policy.

Ultimately, the Coffee Party would like to see a government that "responds to the needs of the majority of citizens as expressed by our votes and our voices."

Care to join us?

David George
Hagerstown




It's about time someone stood up for Democrats



To the editor:

I was so pleased to read Jeff Driscoll's letter to the editor in the April 12 edition of The Herald-Mail ("Don't blame all of our problems on Democrats," page A4).

It is about time someone stood up for the Democrats and remembered who got this country in the mess it is now. How short peoples' memories are.

We were lied to and deceived every day by the GOP and I truly believe that President George W. Bush was not running this country, but Karl Rove and Dick Cheney were.

I also am proud to say I voted for President Obama. He is a good family man and is trying his hardest to get us out of this mess. The stock market has gone up a lot since he took over and as far as health care, at least it is a start. The Republicans couldn't come up with a good working plan in all of the years they were in control, but they sure could bad-mouth the Democrats for doing so.

If we would stop listening to the pundits, we would be so much better off. Most of them don't tell the whole truth or any truth, they just spew hate. Good job, Mr. Driscoll.

Sandra Clark
Martinsburg, W.Va.




Foundation says quarry permits are illegal



To the editor:

We at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation appreciate The Herald-Mail's coverage of the proposed permits for the North Mountain Shale Quarry ("Hearing speakers oppose quarry project," Thursday, April 15, page B1).

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation contends that the proposed permits are illegal, both under the federal Clean Water Act and West Virginia law.

The proposed permits would allow more sediment pollution into waters that already have too much, a clear violation of the Clean Water Act. In addition, the waters that would be affected by increased pollution are designated as trout streams. Trout are very susceptible to too much sediment. It can clog their gills and affect their ability to feed.

West Virginia law requires an assessment of the potential impact of this additional sediment load. That assessment has not been done.

Beth McGee
senior water quality scientist
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Annapolis

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