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Letters to the Editor - May 19

May 17, 2012

Second-graders suggest ways to save rainforests

To the editor:

We are a second-grade class at Boonsboro Elementary School studying the rainforest. We are very concerned about what is happening to this valuable natural resource.

The rainforest gives us many products such as chocolate, willow tree bark for headaches, allspice, black pepper, bamboo, cinnamon, ginger root, rubber, coffee, vanilla, avocado, coconuts, pineapples and many more resources we need and want. The rainforest also gives us the oxygen we need.

Scientists believe that the cure for cancer lies in the rainforest so that is why we should continue to protect them. Many different animals such as the macaw, golden lion tamarin, harpy eagle, lemur, howler monkeys and red-eyed tree frogs make their homes in the tropical rainforests. Eliminating their habitat means they might disappear in our lifetime. They are part of the earth’s ecosystem, which will become unbalanced if the population keeps dropping. The rainforest gives us a lot of oxygen because 6 percent of the earth’s land is the rainforest.  Without these trees, our oxygen level will decrease, which might affect global warming. This will disturb the animals because the increase in temperature will change the animal habitat and they may not be able to survive. So, as you can see, the rainforest is an important part of the world.

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So the question lies, “What can we do to make sure the rainforests remain intact?” Here are some ideas our class suggests. We encourage you to try to do these. Discuss with others the importance of the rainforest. Create a rainforest awareness week at your child’s school. Don’t buy wood from the rainforest.

Put on a puppet show, play or something entertaining to raise money. Create posters and signs to entice people to educate themselves and others about saving the rainforest. Don’t buy meat such as hamburger or steak that came from land that was rainforest before logging. Now you can see that there are many ways you can save the rainforest even though you are so far away from it. 

Room 9, second grade
Boonsboro Elementary School


What was wrong with city’s previous recycling program?

To the editor:
On a recent morning here in Hagerstown, I went out for my daily walk around the pristine neighborhoods surrounding City Park. I had barely stepped off my porch when I spotted something curious and somewhat disturbing. The further I walked, the more I saw.

In a scene somewhat reminiscent of the sci-fi film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” where mysterious pods appeared on doorsteps and porches, everywhere I looked I spotted huge, bright blue plastic “pods” — lining the streets, cluttering lawns, being dragged from curbs by homeowners (some clearly struggling to drag their “pod” to a less conspicuous location).

Could it be that the city had been taken over by an alien invasion and soon our neighbors would be wandering the streets, unable to think and express feelings?

What I was witnessing was not this, but the spoils of the City of Hagerstown’s “new and improved” recycling program. I don’t recall reading why the city decided that our fully functional and discrete recycling bins needed to be destroyed. Or why the city council voted to spend $600,000 on these monstrosities, instead of something that would actually improve the appearance of neglected neighborhoods (not detract from the beauty of others).

I am a strong proponent of recycling, have been doing my part for decades and intend to continue to recycle. The challenge now is how to do so without implying agreement with this needless waste of money or consenting to have a huge bin parked outside my home. I don’t know what baffles me more — that the city spent this money or that we Hagerstown residents sat passively on the sidelines and enabled them to do so. Certainly we could have continued city recycling without incurring more than a half-million dollars of additional debt.

Perhaps we really have been taken over by aliens who have robbed us of our ability to think and feel. Councilman Easton was the only city official who spoke out against this needless expense. If there is anyone else out there that is still capable of making rational decisions, please let your voice be heard when you head to the polls in September to elect our next mayor and city council.
 
Norine Dagliano
Hagerstown

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