November 4, 2012
Support our long-term care residents
To the editor:
October celebrated National Long-Term Care Residents’ Rights Month, a time to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices many long-term care (LTC) residents have made to better our community and to call attention to the rights of residents in long-term care facilities. This year’s theme, My Voice, My Vote, My Right, was selected to call attention to the fact that residents of LTC facilities still have the right to vote and participate politically. Residents of LTC facilities have experienced many important historic and political events. It is important that they are given the opportunity to continue to participate in the political process and that voting is made accessible to them.
During Residents’ Rights Month, we also recognize the Washington County Commission on Aging’s local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program staff and volunteers, who work daily to promote residents’ rights, assist residents with complaints and provide information to those who need to find LTC facility.
In Washington County, the ombudsman program serves residents in 10 nursing homes and 24 assisted-living facilities. As Washington County Commission on Aging Inc., celebrates residents’ rights, we encourage community members to visit family and friends who live in an LTC facility, volunteer in a facility or inquire about becoming a volunteer long-term care ombudsman.
Your assistance and attention help to ensure that the voices of long-term care residents do not go unheard and demonstrate to residents that they have not been forgotten.
Lynn Smith and Margie Lowery, Ombudsmen
Washington County Commission on Aging Inc.
Volunteering for a more informed voting public
To the editor:
Volunteer Washington County takes seriously its goal to encourage, promote and support civic engagement and volunteerism in Washington County. That is why VWC was so pleased that Goals 32-38 of the Strategic Community Impact Plan (SCIP) specifically emphasize the community’s intention to support efforts to increase volunteerism and civic engagement.
Goal 36 of the SCIP states: “Increase the number of ballots cast by encouraging and promoting voter education and registration.” During this election cycle, Volunteer Washington County has posted blogs about Vote411.org, a new tool for voter education sponsored by the League of Women Voters, has directed citizens seeking information to the Washington Co. Election Board and the League of Women Voters and hosted Dr. Patricia Heck from the League of Women Voters on Reach Out, the new HMTV 6 talk show that highlights the important work being done by local nonprofits.
Additionally, VWC, which seeks to engage individuals of all ages, has provided volunteer teen blogger Laura Winalski with the opportunity to share her views on the importance of voting. To read Laura’s blog is to be inspired. She writes with conviction as she encourages other teens to get involved in the electoral process. Plato said, “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Although Laura is not quite as well known as Plato, I’m proud they share similar views on the importance of voting.
Visit volunteerwashingtoncountymd.org to read Laura’s blog and see if you, too, aren’t moved by her passionate appeal. She may be encouraging teens but she is also exhorting all of us to live up to the ideals of our democracy, that each and every citizen who is eligible to vote has both a right and a responsibility to do so!
Bernadette Wagner, co-director
Volunteer Washington County
Don’t take freedoms for granted
To the editor:
As Americans we have our freedom that so many countries don’t have. We should always be grateful to God for this privilege and never to take it for granted. So many brave American soldiers paid for our freedom with their lives and blood, and it was because of them that we enjoy this today.
The same with our religious freedom. The Lord Jesus Christ paid for this with his death and resurrection on the cross for us to be free from sin and guilt so as to have access to God our Father. We could never repay such a gift as this but only with our love and gratitude to him.
Our prayers must always be humbly to God to allow us to maintain our precious freedoms and keep in mind that freedom is not free. It was paid for by the splendid son of God and generous loving American soldiers.
Clearing up ballot language
To the editor:
Be careful with Question 5 on the ballot. The question appearing on this year’s ballot reads “Establishes the boundaries for the State’s eight United States Congressional Districts based on recent census figures, as required by the United States Constitution.”
While the ballot language might be confusing, the question is really asking whether or not we want to keep the Congressional districting map that was approved this past fall. This is the map that changes Maryland’s 6th Congressional District from representing mainly rural parts of the state from Garrett County to the northern part of Baltimore County to representing Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Brunswick, the City of Frederick, and then Montgomery County areas, including Potomac.
You may or may not like Maryland’s Congressional Districting Map, but when you vote on Maryland’s Question 5 please remember that you are voting on an actual map, not a process. To see a copy of the map that we are voting on, please visit http://planning.maryland.gov/redistricting/2010/congDist.shtml on the Web.
Delegate, Subdistrict 2B
Editor’s note: Some voters have been confused by the phrasing of ballot Question 5. A vote for the referred law supports how the boundaries were recently redrawn for Maryland’s eight U.S. congressional districts. A vote against the referred law opposes how the boundaries were redrawn.
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