Letters to the Editor - March 9

March 09, 2012

Return postcards to city; say no to recycling containers

To the editor:

I am a recycler. I recycle nearly everything. I never buy single servings of anything when I shop for food. I drink city water instead of bottled water because it creates no trash. I return my rubber bands and plastic sleeves for reuse by my Herald-Mail carrier. I do this and much more because I am very much concerned about our environment.

In the summer of 2009, the city appointed a task force to examine what changes could be made to increase the level of recycling. As a result of this group’s diligent efforts and recommendations, the city modified its curbside recycling program to allow us to set out our trash and our recyclables on the same night; and we will be able to place all of our recyclables in one container. I believe these changes will have a noticeable effect and they will cost us nothing. I commend the task force and city staff.

Unfortunately, our city council has now decided to spend $600,000 of our money to buy trash recycling totes for each and every one of us. This is equivalent to spending more than $41 on every house, town house, condo and apartment. Even worse, we have no money for this, so on Jan. 31, our city council voted 4-1 to borrow every penny, increasing the eventual cost to well over $700,000.

City-provided recycling bins are already in use around the city. I have researched extensively and found no examples that indicate this type of expenditure in a community with an established recycling program will increase the level of recycling.

I object to this waste. There is something we as citizens can do. Tri-fold postcards have recently been mailed to all residential property owners. On that card, we have the option to select a container size or to receive no container at all. If we do not return the card or respond by phone or email by March 12, the city will select and deliver a tote for us. I have returned my card directing the city not to waste money on a container for me. I urge all property owners who agree to do the same. Together, we have the opportunity to show that we do care how our dollars are spent.

Michael A. Heyser

Bohanan trying to cut USMH funding once again

To the editor:

Here we go again!

Del. John L. Bohanan Jr., D-St. Mary’s, proposes and sponsors a bill that would cut funds for The University System of Maryland at Hagerstown by $1 million.

Doesn’t this guy have anything better to do with his time?

The university has been in existence for seven years and this is Bohanan’s fifth attempt to cut its budget. He’s already had four strikes called against him.

Now, instead of being able to concentrate their efforts on more important issues, the chancellor and vice chancellor and our Washington County delegates have to go off to Annapolis to ward off any changes being proposed by Bohanan that could force USMH to close its doors.

A lot of money was spent to put USMH here. It represents a very important opportunity for students who graduate from Hagerstown Community College to complete their four-year college education locally. It is a very vital part of our educational system in Washington County.

USMH could become even more vital if it were promoted for its intended use instead of being threatened with political sabotage. This paints a very negative picture of the school. It must be very difficult to enroll as a student at a college in the fall not knowing if it will still be open at the end of your school year.

 So, I think it’s time that Chancellor Kirwan and Vice Chancellor Hogan of the university system and Dels. Serafini and Donoghue put Bohanan in his place. I always thought three strikes ... yer out! How many strikes does this guy get?

Why should Washington County have to deal with combatting a stupid proposal year after year from Bohanan that could ultimately shut down USMH?

George S. Coyle

Mandate requires Catholic Church to go against beliefs

To the editor:

The Health and Human Services mandate concerning contraception has entered the primary election process and by all indications will have an impact on the final outcome. The required inclusion of birth control in health care plans conflicts seriously with the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, and a Catholic candidate, Rick Santorum, is being ostracized by the secular media for adhering to his Catholic beliefs.

The argument put forth by most who favor the mandate seems to center around a woman’s right to choose. The church, in her teachings, also believes in a right to choose. It believes we were created by God, in His image, with free will, to love Him and serve Him. If we so choose, we can cheat and rob, maim and murder, lie and practice adultery, or abort our conceived children. Although we have free choice, the church teaches that there are right and wrong choices, and it encourages us to choose the right path and avoid the wrong choices. The church can not force us to do what is right, and when we recognize that we have done wrong, the church offers forgiveness. The church can not justify what it believes to be wrong by providing us the means to commit the wrong, however, there is nothing stopping us from providing those means through our own resources. 

The birth control mandate requires the Catholic Church to go against its belief and provide the means to do wrong. The church can not do that. If the government continues to insist upon its mandate, the church will have no choice but to shut down its universities, schools, hospitals and charities. Such action will impact everyone, not just Catholics, and I urge everyone to write your representatives and ask that this mandate be rescinded.

As for Santorum, I find it refreshing to have a political candidate who will stand by his beliefs, and I applaud him.

Dick Byrne
Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

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