Bobby Fouche was a friend and mentor to many
To the editor:
It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Bobby Fouche. The Herald-Mail article about his Sept. 20, 2011, death referred to him as a labor advocate. He was that, indeed, and much more. Bobby was a friend and mentor to many working people in our community.
I have been a member of the Communications Workers of America since 1975. I met Bobby through the Central Maryland AFL-CIO Council. Bobby put a lot of time and effort in helping us stay informed about what was going on with the labor movement in our area over the years. His help and knowledge were invaluable.
Bobby was very supportive of all of the local unions. He walked with CWA on the picket line many times as we bargained contracts. He came with us to ALS walks, and he attended our retired members meetings. Bobby was a person who was genuinely interested in the lives and welfare of working people and their families. His dedication meant a lot to all of the labor locals as he helped to make our entire community aware of the importance of fair and safe working conditions.
I always appreciated his interest and his words of encouragement during my own journey as a union member and officer. He often sent me articles from newspapers or magazines that he thought would interest me. Never underestimate the power of a kind word or a smile of encouragement — Bobby was always free with both.
Young people who are just starting their careers need people to advise and encourage them, and I hope, that as a tribute to Bobby Fouche, that other people in our local labor world can continue to carry on his work with the same enthusiasm and dedication.
New operations should not be compared to older ones
To the editor:
I read the nice story about the Weddle family winning the "Farm of the Year" award in The Herald-Mail on Aug. 28, 2011.
Then I read the runner-up was Big Cork Vineyards in Rohersville, owned by a local businessman. This made me stop and think. This operation might be using good conservation and technology, but how can you compare a new operation (less than 1 1/2 years old) managed by a paid farm manager from Virginia to a family-run operation (of 31-plus years)?
I do not know who is on the committee giving out the awards, but I hope they don't let new operations overshadow older ones. If the new operations are still in operation 30 years from now, then consider them for awards.
Let's not forget own culture while understanding others
To the editor:
I wonder if the two color photos on the front page of the Sept. 17 Herald-Mail were intentionally placed next to one another to highlight two philosophical counterpoints. The two photos showed actor Richard Dreyfuss speaking to West Virginia high school students about the importance of the subject of civics and Old Forge Elementary School students displaying flags of various Hispanic countries.
Certainly, learning about various cultures is a commendable and necessary educational undertaking, but I wonder if the students that made those various flags know about their country's flag and its history. Do they know of the flag with seven red and six white stripes with a rattlesnake diagonally across eight of those 13 stripes and the words "Don't Tread on Me?" Or our first national flag, with its red and white stripes and 13 white stars arranged in a circle on a blue field? Is there an appreciation for the symbolism with respect to the number of stripes and stars or, for that matter, the evolution to our current flag?
I think Dreyfuss is correct in identifying the knowledge void in the area of civics. While recognizing that, in our dynamically changing world, understanding various cultures is of utmost importance, at the same time let's not forget our own.
John F. Hamburg
We need to let the free market fix the economy
To the editor:
I think a letter to the editor in the Sept. 30 Herald-Mail deserves comment.
It's content is supportive of President Obama's record on the economy of throwing more taxpayer dollars at the problem. It states, "It should be clear to any intelligent observer that when private demand fails it is time for the government to create demand."
Oh, forget that we already have a $14.7 trillion debt and our bond rating has been downgraded because of that debt.
What the writer has failed to do is consider what has caused the "private demand" failure. Maybe it has to do with employers' concern about our government's approach to the problem. Recent discussions have revealed that trillions of dollars are available to create jobs and investment, but there is a lack of confidence in the future of the economy; therefore, the money is being hoarded. Employers who plan for the future see additional costs due to numerous government regulations, the cost of the health care bill and no end in sight to the out-of-control spending, much of which is wasteful and unnecessary (like $16 muffins).
What should we do?
We need to limit spending, eliminate unnecessary debt-causing regulations, reduce the size of government and let the free market fix the economy as it has in the past.
Ronald F. Moats