Letters to the Editor - April 11

April 11, 2012

Meritus Health highlights dangers of texting and driving

To the editor:

I was very pleased to see The Herald-Mail’s editorial on March 22 about the dangers of texting and driving. At Meritus Medical Center, our trauma and emergency services department sees first-hand the tragedy of distracted driving. Our “Stay Alive! Don’t Text and Drive” public awareness campaign is an effort to raise awareness among young drivers about the lethal impact of texting and driving. Our outreach efforts at Washington County high schools last fall brought the safety message to thousands and generated close to 2,500 signed pledges to not text and drive. In partnership with many local businesses and state police, the sheriff’s department, the department of emergency services and the schools, we hope to save many lives.

We are taking the pledge campaign into Frederick County this month to raise awareness among teen drivers by putting the message in front of 9,000 high school students during lunch periods at all 10 public high schools. Meritus Medical Center provides trauma services throughout the region, with one-third of our cases originating in Frederick County. Eliminating distracted driving is an important message no matter where you live, but it is our mission to prevent needless injuries and fatalities by increasing awareness and understanding of the dangers involved.

Community support for this campaign remains strong. Our partnership with Frederick County Public Schools and Frederick Regional Health System kicks off today at Oakdale High School, where we will spread the word among that new high school’s first set of student drivers. When the community as a whole comes together like this, there is hope that we can end distracted driving and save lives.

Joseph P. Ross, president and chief executive officer
Meritus Health

Program tonight to focus on thoughts of non-theists

To the editor:

What defines free thinkers, agnostics, atheists and secular humanists? Too often these terms are defined by those of religious belief. The public now has the opportunity to learn from non-theists themselves why they think the way they do.

The Interfaith Coalition of Washington County will present a program called “Conversation with Non-theists” tonight at 7 at Hagerstown Church of the Brethren at 15 S. Mulberry St.

A panel will share why they chose to be identified as non-theists and the influences that solidified this decision. This will be followed by a question-and-answer period. This presentation is free and open to the public. I encourage those who are curious about people of non-belief to attend and to ask questions. I also encourage others of non-belief to attend so as to encourage positive dialogue between these two groups.

At the completion of the program, attendees are invited to remain for informal discussions and refreshments.

Karlen Keto

Former congressman endorses Ramsburg in Pa. race

To the editor:

I am proud to endorse Karen Ramsburg as an Independent running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 9th District. She is exactly what this nation, the state and the 9th District needs: a believer that we can rebuild the American Dream for the middle class together, bringing respect across the political divide to unite people in what needs to be done.

Karen understands that people matter first, above party and self. She will work first and foremost to create quality jobs that have a future for families, with raising wages. She understands that we in Pennsylvania became the model when we established the first public school in America because we wanted everyone to contribute to the Commonwealth as they pursued their individual endeavors. She wants our children to inherit workplaces that are safe for them, with an environment that enriches their lives, including with jobs that ensure that type of environment. And like I had in the military, a health care system that ensures our work force is at its height of productivity because of their individual care while ensuring a fair health care competition that disciplines cost.

I fully endorse Karen’s campaign for Congress as an Independent in Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional district, and encourage everyone to get behind her because our nation needs real solutions, not more ideological posturing.

Joe Sestak
U.S. House of Representatives, 2007-11

Columnist omitted two local bands

To the editor:

I applaud Mr. Callaham’s column, “A treasure trove of arts opportunities,” that appeared in Sunday’s paper (April 8) and appreciate his enthusiasm for the Municipal Band.

However, as a member of both New Horizons Band and the Williamsport Community Band, I felt compelled to correct his statement that the only bands left are the Hagerstown and Rohrersville bands. I am sure the 80-plus members in Williamsport and the 40-plus members of New Horizons would disagree.

I would like to invite Mr. Callaham, as well as the rest of the community, to attend the Williamsport Community Band’s Mother’s Day concert in the Springfield Barn on May 13 at 3 p.m. and the New Horizons Band’s June 30 concert at the Peter Buys band shell in City Park.

Stefanie Boss

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