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Letters to the Editor - April 30

April 30, 2012

We all need to give nature a chance


To the editor:

With spring here, we are working outdoors — planting and tending trees, bushes, gardens and lawns. What about the lawns created to “save the environment” — the lawns maintained in the runoff basins, also known as retention and detention ponds? As places are developed, these runoff basins are built to “protect the environment.” But, they are manicured like lawns and golf courses. Our natural environment is not the tundra or open plains. Most of them are next to a wooded area because a portion of it was cleared for the basin. How does removing woodland for these runoff basins help the environment?  

The runoff basin has the capacity to help control the excessive flooding created by the 100-year storm. What about the other 99 years while awaiting the big flood? The root systems of trees and bushes go much deeper than grass and withstand temporary flooding of the basins. The sod could wash away or be smothered by mud from the flooding and be slow in returning.

The first step would be the termination of mowing these runoff basins. Planting tree saplings or bushes without further tending would help the restoration of the basins. Return these basins to woodland like existed before development. Give nature a chance!


Robert Streeper
Hagerstown




Former playhouse owner thanks many for memories


To the editor:

The Playhouse is offering a retrospective on the past many years of providing entertainment to our lovely Tri-State region. A worthy gesture, and deserving of praise. While no stage or page can possibly pay full tribute to the many folks who have made their mark and offered their talents to deserving and grateful area audiences, please allow me to add my humble gratitude and respectful remembrance to those named and unnamed for their contributions, services and talents through the years.

Along with those fine performers listed in the current Playhouse program, and with no disrespect intended to changed names or unfinished lives, please join me in also thanking Jessie Dickey, Dawn Younker, Chas Rittenhouse, Sherry Wyne, the late, great Tod Lofquist, Maria Malkiewicz, Jim Banzhoff, Chris Musser, Al Gardner, Joe Banzhoff, Blake Brown, Vanessa McCambridge, Alfredo Jiminez, Eric Hurd, Charlotte White, Dan Henderson, Gerry McCarney, Penne Vickers, Flo Musser, Shawn Martin, Ray Henderson, Katzi Carver, Jim Middleton, Kim Tantillo, Kelly Jenkins, Earl Moreland, Niki Perini, Bob Hagerman ... and, of course, my beloved, Susan Young Wiswell.

There are so many to thank. For those that I have omitted or lost in my imperfect memory, I wish you all the best. To the patrons that made it all possible, I am forever beholden.


Don Wiswell, former owner
Washington County Playhouse




Soul Haven invites residents to visit, volunteer


To the editor:

I am the executive director of the Office of Consumer Advocates Inc. (OCA), which has several programs in the Hagerstown area that assist individuals who have mental health challenges. One of our programs is Soul Haven, on West Franklin Street, which is a wellness and recovery center.

The focus of Soul Haven is to assist adults who have such challenges with furthering their recovery from mental illness, and often homelessness, through groups, support groups, educational and informational classes, and other activities. Soul Haven also provides meals and snacks Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.

Often, I have heard about questions that community residents have raised about Soul Haven. What is it about? Who are the folks who are standing outside of Soul Haven? What are they doing there? We at OCA would like to invite any and all community residents to visit Soul Haven, to meet our staff and individuals who utilize the center, to get to know us, and, perhaps, to even consider volunteering to help further our mission.

The coordinator of Soul Haven is Kirk Stroup. He can be reached at 301-733-6676. I can be reached at 301-790-5054. Thank you.

 
Yvonne M. Perret
Hagerstown




Anything beyond evidence is speculation


To the editor:

Please allow me to comment on Charlie Gower’s letter (March 31), which was respectful and well done. I do not expect to convince anyone that they are wrong concerning creation, but I would like to offer a different view.

Regarding creation, the scientific question is not whether “God did it” because that cannot be determined from the evidence. Instead, science searches for the processes and mechanisms of creation. To learn this, scientists examine the physical evidence because that is all that scientists do.

And while Gower’s argument — that we access knowledge through our senses — is correct, science and engineering have extended our senses immensely. Today, we can do more than just feel the earth and read the Bible for answers. We can look into the past, study the present in detail, observe at the molecular and subatomic levels, see objects billions of light years away, identify patterns and make probabilistic predictions about the future.

Our senses tell us there is a universe, but to see how it arose we have to look below the surface. The evidence from fossils, DNA, biogeographical patterns, comparisons between living species, geology, astronomy and physics all point to an evolving universe. We may not yet know how it all started, but we do know that things have radically changed, we know how it happened and that it took more than seven days.

Anything beyond the evidence is speculation. In science, speculation is called a hypothesis; in religion it is called faith. The difference is that science does not consider speculation to be the final answer.

 
Larry Zaleski
Hagerstown

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