Letters to the editor - March 6

March 05, 2012

Celebrate Red Cross Month by sharing in mission

To the editor:

March is Red Cross Month and recognizes the work done by the American Red Cross in communities across the country and around the globe — and how we depend on public support to help people in need.

Thanks to support from individuals, organizations and businesses in Washington County, the American Red Cross is able to respond to disasters both large and small; help members of the military, veterans and their families; provide blood for those in need; and teach lifesaving skills.

We want to thank those whose generosity enables us to continue our work, both here at home and around the world. You can help by making a donation, becoming a volunteer, taking a class or giving blood.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. We provide 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families; collect and distribute more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply; and train more than 9 million people in first aid, water safety and other lifesaving skills every year.

The Washington County chapter responded to 37 local disaster emergencies, assisted 101 military families and trained 4,594 people in lifesaving skills. People from this area donated 7,774 units of blood, and 1,591 veterans were transported to medical appointments at the VA Medical Center.

Red Cross Month is the perfect time for people to become a part of our mission and to help people in need by making a donation, volunteering, giving blood or taking a class. Please help us help those in need by supporting the American Red Cross.

Cassandra Weaver
Washington County Chapter chair

Writer clarifies remarks in letter

To the editor:

Richard Clark’s Feb. 25 response to my letter of Feb. 11 makes clear that, in my effort to condense what could have been a lengthy letter, I failed to make the point that government has no purview to redefine marriage. Marriage existed before earthly government, and therefore marriage itself is not a civil issue.

God created male and female and “brought her to the man.” From that point, marriage extended to every continent and culture, and to every generation. Marriage is God-defined, biologically and biblically. Marriage is not a contract, as some perceive; rather it is a relationship bound by covenant.

Government may rightly affirm marriage, granting legal protection, just as it legally protects (or purports to) the pre-existing rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that are affirmed — not granted — in our Declaration of Independence.

Diane Eves

Criticism of Tractor Day, participants is shortsighted

To the editor:

The recent criticism and threatened legal action toward the Future Farmers of America’s Tractor Day is one of the least thought-out and shortsighted actions from local law enforcement that I’ve recently seen.

Who on earth would even allow a law that limited tractor use on roads? Instead of making the FFA students who participated in Tractor Day feel like criminals, they should be given a police escort to make sure they get to school safely and show some community support to the kids who will be feeding the 7 billion people this planet has to support.

So many jobs are easier, less demanding and more financially rewarding than farming. It is a thankless profession, even more so than teaching, since most people don’t consciously think about the abundance of food that fills our shopping carts whenever we buy groceries. If most of us had to harvest our own food, we’d starve to death.

To think that any kids today would even consider aligning themselves with the noble cause of farming should bear status in our little corner of the world. Students in agriculture classes, learning the science behind farming, should be treated with the same reverence as honors and advanced placement students. Instead of admonishing the tractor-driving students as they participate in their FFA-sponsored activity, they should be treated as heroes, because they’re the ones who will be feeding us and saving mankind from starvation on our already overburdened planet.

Dirk Hoffman, teacher
Boonsboro High School

Support bill to help Maryland stay safe and clean

To the editor:

Thank you for publishing Julie E. Greene’s article on natural-gas drilling in Garrett County (Feb. 28). As a student at Frostburg State University, I recognize the importance of the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission’s work.

The list of harmful effects caused by natural-gas drilling includes much more than affecting recreation and priority natural resources areas. It could poison groundwater and contribute to global climate change, due to the extraordinary planet-warming power of methane leaked during all stages of gas drilling. Currently, however, the commission is unfunded and will remain a paper tiger until this issue is resolved.

The solution? Del. Heather Mizeur, D-Montgomery, has introduced a bill that would require gas companies to pay a retroactive fee of $10 per acre of leased land to support the commission. The bill (House Bill 1204 and Senate Bill 798) would make gas companies fully responsible for making sure Maryland stays safe and clean.

I encourage readers to write or call their delegates and senators, and ask that they support this bill so that Maryland can make smart, informed decisions about our future with gas drilling.

Megan Spindler
Frostburg, Md.

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