Letters to the Editor - July 5

July 05, 2011

Many benefit from generosity of late curator

To the editor:

This past week, many local charities became the very fortunate beneficiaries of three-quarters of a million dollars left to them by Miss Elizabeth S. Niemyer. The list includes Washington County Free Library, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Humane Society of Washington County, Girls Inc. of Washington County and San Mar Children's Home.   

Elizabeth (Liz) was born May 4, 1925, in Waynesboro, Pa., and later grew up in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. She received a B.A. degree in English in 1947 from Wilson College and also did graduate work at the University of Virginia. Both of these charities received more than $300,000.

She was hired by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C, in 1950. The Folger Library is home to the world's largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials and to major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts and works of art. Liz continued to work at Folger and live in Washington, D.C., for the next 42 years. She was renowned among her peers as very bright, imaginative and personable. In 1987, she became the first acquisitions curator and later became the Louis B. Thalheimer Curator of Acquisitions, both positions considered illustrious in the book world. She was internationally recognized as a leader in her field and was elected to membership in the Grolier Club, America's premier association of book collectors and experts, in 1977.

Liz was a voracious reader, world traveler and lover of cats. She set up The Elizabeth Niemyer CAT Fund at the Community Foundation of Washington County to help the Humane Society of Washington County or other qualified not-for-profit organizations that provide similar services. The CAT fund is to be used to assist Washington County residents in the spaying/neutering of feline pets, and providing for their limited medical care and vaccinations, including feral cat colonies.

Liz has been a client and friend for more than 20 years. Washington County is very fortunate to have had such a remarkable, generous woman within its community. She did not expect praise or recognition for her contributions, but I felt it necessary to commend her selflessness and her desire that others would benefit from her richly rewarding life. She will be missed.

Ron Sulchek, CPA
Guardian and personal representative

Oil is not just for transportation

To the editor:

It could be said that in today's world it would be easier to list items not using oil as a constituent of its makeup. The water we drink is one. Not considering its transportation in pipes, drilling to get it, treatment to sanitize it, the cup to drink it out of, the towel to wipe my spill, the waste bag ... never mind.

How about the weather? No oil is needed to feel the sunshine. Unless I am too hot or it is winter.

Great Caesar's ghost! I cannot live without oil or I'd be living under a rock as a nematode.

We are so dependent on oil, that going without it would put life back to the Stone Age. Try to think of one item used, medication or purpose for living not dependent on oil.

Life expectancy has dramatically increased since oil was extracted in Pennsylvania and allowed efficiencies in farming, manufacturing, transportation, etc. And it also allowed profits, ease of living and comforts in life to attain the expected standard we now have.

So when an interruption (higher cost of everything) occurs, get used to it. The world supply of cheap crude oil is decreasing.

Products made from a petroleum chemical must also increase in price or be replaced by something else. Substitutes for crude oil are being used and, with time, will improve. But I do not see prices returning to 'normal.' Unless food is locally grown, my lettuce for a salad or watermelon at Christmas could cost $10 each because of shipping costs from where it was grown.

We can delay the inevitable loss of petroleum with increased recycling, but the world as we knew it will evolve into one where petroleum will be a luxury item. A substitute for petroleum will be the new norm.

Bill Pechumer

Pitts dishonored, misrepresented King

To the editor:

I take exception to Leonard Pitts' column (June 30), "On gay marriage the president is still evolving." He started by quoting Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King did not condone gay relationships or gay marriage (nor did Bobby Kennedy). Using his words to support this "cause" misrepresents and dishonors him.

Somehow, it has become acceptable to ignore that many Christians, Jews and Muslims believe God does not condone homosexuality. Stating gays are a minority and tying this to Dr. King's civil rights movement might be clever strategy, but it is not accurate and is just plain wrong.

Next, Pitts suggests marriage "legally" is "not defined by love and commitment." Lawyers who have lost and won "loss of affection" cases might disagree, but, beyond that, who said marriage is only a legal matter? Marriage without love and commitment is nothing more than a dry shell. Who wants that?

This is not a game of semantics we are playing here. Gay men and women do deserve dignity and to be treated civilly. Yet, the argument that there's been enough hate so we should all accept the gay lifestyle throws more than confetti into the face of all who believe homosexuality is morally wrong. Our belief is not hate. On the contrary, it is God's love that directs us to oppose immorality. The simple truth is we are all sinners in need of God's forgiveness.

Marriage, biblically, is defined as between a man and a woman. Most people in this country believe this and want it to stay that way. We don't want to see President Obama "evolve" faster. Many of us don't believe in evolution either; we prefer Intelligent Design.

Michael J. Dix
Greencastle, Pa.

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