Letters to the Editor published July 5

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It's OK to use paper
It's OK to print! I often receive emails that caution me to "Consider the environment before printing this email" or "Save trees: Print only when necessary."
As a generational forest landowner and logger, I probably love trees more than the average American. The fact is that forest landowners can't keep growing trees without markets for their natural, organic, renewable and sustainable products. Too many forest landowners are forced to convert their forests to other (less desirable) uses because they can no longer realize a return on their long-term investments.
Paper is good. It's a "sustainable, renewable, recyclable plant-based product that connects us in so many ways to the important things in life — great ideas are started on paper, the world is educated on paper, businesses are founded on paper, love is professed on paper, important news is spread on paper." (www.paperbecause.com)
In fact, more forests are lost due to insect infestation, wildfire and disease, due to poor management strategies than from printing emails. I dare say, it's not the private forest landowner who can afford to lose trees from those afflictions. Just driving through a national forest will break your heart.
Chuck Leavell, a musician, tree farmer, environmentalist and author, has suggested that we add the following tag line to our emails:
"It's OK to print this email. Paper is a biodegradable, renewable, sustainable product made from trees. Growing and harvesting trees provides jobs for millions of Americans. Working forests are good for the environment and provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage. Thanks to improved forest management, we have more trees today in America than we had 100 years ago."
I've added it to my email messages. I encourage you to do the same.
May the FOREST be with you,
Lynetta Usher Griner

Pay attention people
Now do you think people will pay attention to the impending water shortage?
If Cedar Key isn't an excellent example, what would be, before it's too late?
Where is the trucked in bottled water coming from? Will that supply dry up too?
It's the beginning of summer, temperatures are soaring, the need for more water will increase, but what if there isn't any?
Build those desalination plants now. We're surrounded by oceans. Use them!
Cedar Key is leading the way!
Margaret Keith

Praise for Hiers-Baxley
On Mother's Day I had the wonderful opportunity to be a part of a very nice and heart filling day in your town. The Hiers-Baxley Funeral Home sent out flyers to have people come and join them at "Hope Rising," a Mother's Day balloon release.
Free to the community, so at 4:00 I went in early (expecting maybe 100 people) so I could get a place to park. To my surprise only around 11 people showed. I felt very badly for the people who had taken the time to put this together. Inside there were beautiful big balloons filled and tied nicely together. They were a very pretty pearl pink and they had even printed up a program for a remembrance. There was a pastor and a short verse or two and they played some music fit for the occasion. We were given markers to write on the balloons and then we went out back and everyone released them together. It was really wonderful, they all went straight up staying together and disappeared in a cloud!
It was a very rewarding thing to do for anyone who lost a mother or a mother who may have lost a child. My mom must have got my message because when I was driving home my son from St. Petersburg called me to tell me he loved me.
I told him I knew that and he said "No! I mean I just woke up from a nap and Grandma (my mom) was in a dream and told me to call you and tell you that "I love you." To which I replied, "I guess she got my my balloon."
The Hiers-Baxley Funeral Home will be doing this again and I hope everyone takes a few minutes and come to honor their parent. I myself used four balloons: one for my mother, sister, grandmother and my husband's mom.
Thanks for listening.
Beverly J. Stiles
Old Town