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Letters to the Editor - May 2

April 30, 2011

Boonsboro's Green Fest keeps growing



To the editor:

Three years ago, the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force set out to host an event to promote conservation, recycling and sustainable living. We were not prepared for the positive community response. Eighty-five earth-friendly vendors played host to a surprisingly large number of visitors for four hours on that bright, sunny day in 2009 in Boonsboro's Shafer Park.

Now, we are set to host the 3rd Annual Boonsboro Green Fest, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, for the citizens of Washington County and the four-state region. The Green Fest has grown to 113 vendors of earth-friendly products, services and useful information promoting sustainable living.

This family event is free, thanks to a host of volunteers and our 45 sponsoring partners. It includes ongoing children's activities and speakers' presentations, demonstrations, food, a water-filling station and a recycling drop-off loop for more than 40 different recyclables.

Dignitaries, including U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin, and town, county and state officials, will participate in the opening ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:45 a.m.

We invite everyone to take some time to help Mother Earth on Mother's Day weekend by attending the Green Fest, to gather some fresh ideas for sustainable living in your home and community.

More information can be found at www.boonsborogreenfest.com.



Janeen Solberg and Barbara Wetzel

Boonsboro Green Fest Committee co-chairs





We can survive high gas prices by being smarter



To the editor:

Has the pain at the gas pump hit you yet? For most consumers, the price of gas is pushing us to the limit, and $5 per gallon could bring the recovering economy to a screeching halt. Are we simply going to sit by and calmly take it? Please help yourself and the struggling economy recover by committing to the following techniques to stretch our gas dollars.

Back off in speeding — Gas mileage usually decreases at speeds over 60 mph, according to the Fuel Economy Guide. Every 5 mph over 60 is costing each of us about a quarter a gallon. Slow it down and become a smarter gas consumer.

Clear out the junk from the trunk — We know that carrying around 30 to 60 pounds of tools, repair parts, boxes of hardbacks, etc., can add unnecessary weight. Less weight saves more gas.

Keep that engine in tune — Check the car's air filter regularly and keep it clean (this can save 30 cents per gallon); also check the emissions system (12 cents); tire pressure (10 cents); and motor oil (3 to 6 cents). Regular wheel alignment and balancing also can help.  

Consolidate all errands into one trip — We can all do this by planning efficiently. No more making a trip to the cleaners, back to the bank, back to the grocer, back to the drug store, etc. Make your list and stick to it on one trip.

Pick your pump wisely — Find cheaper gas by visiting such websites such as www.gasbuddy.com, www. gaspricewatch.com or auto.msn.com. Taking a little time to comparatively shop can save gas dollars that you can spend on other necessities.

We consumers can and will survive these high gas prices if we have the will to commit to these techniques and stick to them.



Blanton Croft

Hagerstown





We will have a democracy if we are willing to fight for it



To the editor:

It's strange that the "new patriotism," this anti-government, anti-community spirit, seems to find the efforts to fulfill what the Constitution described "to promote the general welfare" as somehow destructive to our nation. The efforts over the past century to provide programs to benefit the general public and regulations to improve life should instead be regarded as examples of the best of our democracy.

Most citizens would resist the efforts to dismantle programs that others have labeled socialistic and therefore destructive — Social Security benefits for the retired and disabled, and Medicare, paid for through our salary deductions, and Medicaid to provide health protection and treatment for those in need, paid for through our taxes, along with the new programs that will ensure that eventually no one will be denied medical coverage.

Similarly, citizens support regulations when they become aware of the alternative — laws that properly funded and executed are designed to ensure safe working conditions, proper health standards regarding the food we will eat, and a healthy environment for the water we drink.

It is a belief we are meant to live in community, that we are to support one another, so that public education, for example, should not become a battle between the young and the old.

We will have a democracy, if as our founding fathers indicated, we are willing to fight for it — one in which we all share, not just the few and most economically powerful. I do not reject what has been a century of progressive America; I see it as fulfilling our American dream.



Stephen Harris

Waynesboro, Pa.

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