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Letters to the editor

January 27, 1997

White House Clinton's home only for a while

Apparently the current flap over whether the White House was being used as a tool to raise funds for the Democrat National Committee has gotten our President in an uproar.

To quote, in regards to renting out the Lincoln bedroom to his friends, "The people I had going to the Lincoln Bedroom were the people I wanted to go the bedroom...It's my house, and I can have over to my house anybody I want. I live there and I love having people there. I have all kinds of people staying there."

Apparently, Mr. Clinton has forgotten that this only a temporary residence for him, that he is a public servant and that "his house" as he calls it belongs to the people, the taxpayers of the U.S.A.

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Maybe Mr. Clinton would rather have a title change at the inauguration. Instead of inaugurating a President, maybe he'd prefer the coronation of a king.

Mary S. Burkholder

Chambersburg, Pa.

I-70 standoff was a disgrace

In regard to the standoff on I-70 West Monday night, my daughter and I were right in the middle of this situation. I am a kidney patient coming home from my dialysis treatment; wishing only to get home to my bed. I also have gangrene in one foot, so it is imperative that I not get that foot too cold. We were stranded for three hours in 17 degree temperatures and my daughter was running out of fuel. She took matters into her own hands and took the risk of crossing the median strip over ice and snow so she could get me to safety. Without her courage this could have turned out to be a much more serious situation.

I do believe out of all the hundreds of people stranded there, some consideration should have been given to these people. I do hope some of them will pick up pens and write their ordeals to the officials. I have no problem with the police and officials in charge of trying to save the life of this young man, but I don't think anyone thought of the hundreds of people out there in the cold, running out of fuel and putting our lives in jeopardy.

No thought was given to young children in that parade of cars, ill people or anyone else that was out there. Although I know there were no exits where people could get off, there was no reason why they could not turn that traffic back from where it came.

People could have gotten something to eat and a warm place instead of what the officials decided they would do - sit in traffic for eight hours. I think this is a disgrace to the police department and others that were involved in managing this matter.

I do hope that if a situation like this ever arises again that someone in an official capacity will have some common sense and look at the whole matter and use better judgment. Shame, shame on you for the lack of consideration for all the people out there.

I feel the need to speak out about my daughter's and my terrible experience on that night. What are we in Hancock to Washington County when we need help? No one forgets where we live when the tax man comes around but they seem to have amnesia when we need help.

Dorothy C. Austin

Hancock

Never again, please

On behalf of all the motorists that were stuck for over eight hours on Interstate 70 east of Hancock on Monday, Jan. 13, we would like to express our disappointment in the manner this situation has been handled by the Maryland State Police and all agencies involved.

A major Interstate to points west and east, where there is no reasonable alternate route in this area, has been shut down for nearly nine hours due to a stand-off by one single felon on parole, without regard to the many law-a-biding motorists stranded in their vehicles, many of which were women with children and taxpayers on their way home from a long day at work, who's families were worried as to their whereabouts.

Not to mention the many truckers that had scheduled loads to deliver or pick up, that have lost income because of the inability to get to their destination within a reasonable time, and the money lost in fuel that was needed to keep the vehicles running to stay warm, since it was a rather cold night.

How about the lost sleep of people living in the area due to the noise of the circling helicopter, people who had to get up to get to work the next day.

But most of all the wasted tax dollars spent to pay for the manpower and equipment used to keep a criminal from taking his own life, because he didn't want to face the charges against him? Where was the rational thinking of the law enforcement to give this person that much time to threaten to take his life and drink beer for hours to get the courage to do so.

Had tear gas been used after the first attempt of negotiating had failed the man may have given up before and a life could have been spared, if not the end result would have been the same without the lengthy tie up of so many people, since it just wasn't worth the effort.

We hope that this matter receives a real close look at the bad way this situation was handled, and will never be repeated.

E. Jenkins, Big Pool

Karen Keefer, Needmore, Pa.

Sam Williams, Breezewood, Pa.

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