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Letters to the Editor - Sept. 1

September 01, 2013

Parents must teach children to eat right, stay active

To the editor:

Families across West Virginia are checking bus and carpool schedules, and equipping students with new supplies for another school year. And parents and school cooks are carefully planning meals because they know kids are best able to learn in school with a healthy packed lunch from home or a wholesome lunch from the school cafeteria.

Unfortunately, the amount of sugar-packed drinks and unhealthy snacks made available in our school vending machines undermines the efforts of parents, teachers and school cooks to encourage healthy eating for our children. Even as students learn about nutrition and the food groups, they are given mixed messages at the snack machine, where they have access to the junk food that they are taught to avoid.

Fortunately, the Department of Agriculture announced in June that it plans to ban the sale of unhealthy snacks in our schools. By the fall of 2014, vending machines in schools must offer granola bars, dried fruit and other healthy snacks instead of cookies and candy.

This is a step in the right direction and will help encourage our kids to make decisions that are good for their health. But there is still much more we can do to make sure our kids grow into healthy adults.

It is important to promote health in the home by giving youngsters access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and encouraging them to play outside with friends or participate in physical activity. Instilling these habits at an early age leads to healthy, productive adults.

Promoting nutrition is our best tool in the ongoing fight against childhood obesity and diabetes in our state. I will continue supporting nutrition and wellness programs because we know the long-term benefits of a healthy lifestyle. This school year, I applaud the parents across the state who are teaching their kids to eat right and stay active.

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.


Civic center, not stadium, is needed downtown

To the editor:

In a recent article in The Herald-Mail (Aug. 21), a majority of city council members now support a downtown stadium. Sounds to me like there might be some shady dealings going on about the location of a new stadium.

Don Munson’s irresponsible flip-flop to support a downtown stadium is totally out of the question. If this mayor and council thinks the Baltimore Street/Summit Avenue location is the best place for a new stadium, that is the wrong answer. The city is a dollar short and 30 years too late.

This is not in any way, shape or form how to revitalize the downtown. Hagerstown is not in the ’50s, ’60s or ’70s, when the downtown had three movie theaters, Routzahn’s, Newberry’s, McCrory and Woolworth.

The best way to jumpstart the downtown is to build a multiuse, 20,000-seat civic center for concerts, big names from Hollywood, TNA and WWG wrestling to name a few. The fairgrounds can be used to sponsor a group of car shows during the year like they have in Carlisle, Pa. — spring and fall car shows, as well as a Ford, Chevy, Corvette and Chrysler show in between. This would bring a lot of revenue to the city.

In closing, forget the Suns and the stadium. The council and previous administrations waited too long to do anything to solve the problem. Remember what I said a few months ago: The Suns are good as gone.

Gary Bloom
Hagerstown

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