Letters to the Editor - Nov. 14

November 14, 2012

Thanks to sponsors, participants in Donut Alley event

To the editor:

The second annual Krumpe’s Donut Alley Rally 5K on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, surpassed all of our expectations with 584 participants, raising $9,012.94 for the Wounded Warrior Project. We were excited to have so many individuals attend our charitable event in Donut Alley, especially with all the rain that evening.

The Krumpe’s Donut Alley Rally team would like to thank all of our runners, volunteers and employees — we couldn’t have done it without you — as well as Racine MultiSports for coordinating the event, the City of Hagerstown, the Hagerstown Police Department, Community Rescue Service, Hagerstown Fire Police, Rose Hill Cemetery, Northern Avenue and Funkstown American Legions, race announcer Joe Jefferson, The Tonehounds for their wonderful music, The Herald-Mail newspaper, WJEJ radio station, WHAG TV station, our generous community business sponsors and, of course, all of our dedicated Krumpe’s Donut fans.

We are looking forward to another successful Donut Alley Rally 5K next year on Aug. 9. We hope to see you there.

The Krumpes and the Donut Alley Rally team

Alpha-1 genetic disorder underdiagnosed, affects many

To the editor:

My oldest son was diagnosed with a genetic disorder, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1), in 2006 when he was 18 months old. Since then, we have had to make changes in our lives to help keep him healthy. He has had many trips to Johns Hopkins and undergoes lab tests, pulmonary function tests and liver biopsies. He has both lung and liver involvement; at this time, both are well controlled. My 8-month old son has been diagnosed with Alpha-1 as well; however, he is healthy and has no problems at this time.

I am writing this letter to generate awareness about Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, a serious genetic condition that is widely underdiagnosed and affects an estimated 100,000 Americans. Most patients and many physicians have never heard of Alpha-1. All too often, Alpha-1 causes permanent — and even deadly — organ damage because of delayed diagnosis.

I urge all those who have shortness of breath, non-responsive asthma, recurring respiratory infections, rapid deterioration of lung function or unexplained liver problems to learn more.

For more information about Alpha-1, visit or

Melanie L. Snyder

Democracy can be tasty like a hot dog

To the editor:

Democracy is like a wonderfully delicious, juicy hot dog.  Authentic American and favored by consumers on all points of the political spectrum. Your preference may be an Oscar Meyer, or a kosher dog, or a vegetarian, or even a miniature cocktail wiener, but we all want “one of those” on our plate.  Hooray for democracy!

The process of making democracy, like manufacturing hot dogs, is bloody and difficult to witness. In 2012, we all saw too much. It frightened everyone and enraged some. Finally, “the people” spoke. Now that it’s over, we settle in to dine on the delicious finished product.

We Americans survived the “political storm” without casualties. A few losers, maybe, like the billionaire PAC donors, who bought very little influence, “The Donald,” and those living in the Fox News “bubble.” But winners and losers alike get to assemble together at the table and lunch on little “d” democracy to the envy of America’s friends and foes around the world. Our bruises and hurt feelings should heal even before we join to start work on the tough tasks of building a stronger, more prosperous and whole United States of America.

Come on everybody. Take your seat at the table. Enjoy.

M. Douglas Becker

Thursday set aside for those trying to quit smoking

To the editor:

Thursday, Nov. 15, is the Great American Smokeout.

Many Washington County residents will take the challenge to try quitting smoking for one day in the hopes of quitting for good. The Tobacco Free for Life Program of the Washington County Health Department in collaboration with the Tobacco Free Washington County Coalition joins in encouraging smokers to go smoke free that day. 

Most tobacco users have been trying to quit for some time, even years. A crucial component to an individual’s success is support. Support is available in Washington County through the health department, which offers free tobacco cessation classes monthly and free nicotine patches while supplies last.

In addition, the Maryland Quit Line (1-800-QUITNOW or 1-800-784-8669) offers 24/7 free phone support and free nicotine patches or gum. Free text support is also available (Text QUIT to 47848) and the Tobacco Free for Life Program sponsors a Facebook page ( with additional support.

Why not join other tobacco users across the country and try quitting for one day for the Great American Smokeout? Prepare to quit by getting the support you need.  Remember, quitting happens one craving at a time, one decision at a time, one day at a time.

If you have questions or would like assistance in quitting, you may call the Tobacco Free for Life Program at 240-313-3360; TTY 240-313-3391.

Paula Ernst, community health educator
Washington County Health Department

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