Letters to the Editor - March 18

March 18, 2011

Markets, not people, set gas prices

To the editor:

 Please let this be the last word on gasoline prices. No president, no person has anything to do with the price. Crude oil (from which gasoline and other products are extracted) is traded on what is called the "futures" market.

If the cost of a barrel of crude oil goes up in price today, the price you pay at the pump will go up two months from now (the future). Conversely, if the price goes down today, two months from today (the future) you will pay less.

Financial pages, or the Nightly Business Report will tell you what crude oil traded for today. Prices in stations vary at different locations all over the country and locally, also. It depends on how much rent or investment the station owner has made.

Martin's, Sam's, AC&T, Pilot and Sheetz can all charge a few cents less because of the volume. The biggest cost after the gas itself, is in the big tax bite each state gets out of a gallon. Gas costs more in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia, but less in Virginia. California has an enormous tax on gasoline because of its stringent emissions control system.

Texas has the least amount of gasoline tax. You can find a chart listing how much each state charges.

All cars run most efficiently at 55 mph. So, if as in Maryland there is a 65 mph speed limit and you drive at the speed you are using more energy than your engine requires. So you speed demons out there doing 70, 75 and 80 mph rein in those horses under your hood because you are burning up your money. Drive slower and have a nice day.

Gladys E. Young

Poor planning for hospital parking

To the editor:

I had an 8:30 a.m. appointment at the wound clinic at Meritus Medical Center. I am disabled and I had to walk over 1,500 feet and fell down one time.

They only have 20 handicap parking spaces. As long as they had before they started to build the hospital, you would think that someone would have looked and said, "Where are all the handicap parking spaces?"

At the old hospital, they had a three-story parking garage with a shuttle running all the time. Why wouldn't they plan for the shuttle going through the parking lot?

They are totally disregarding pain and suffering, no respect, no compassion, no caring. Robinwood has all their handicap spaces tight, very close to all the doors. They care! You people are not in touch with reality, when you think of disabled people walking into a hospital.

They shouldn't have to walk hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of feet with walkers, canes and wheelchairs. I could see that situation in a third world country, not Hagerstown at a new hospital.

P. Allen McClain
Martinsburg, W.Va.

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