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Letters to the editor

May 21, 1997

Cut my pension to send the lazy off to college?

To the editor:

Democratic Sen. John Kerry wants all retired Americans to accept less earned retirement income so today's young people can get loans to go to college. Why?

Family - My farmer maternal grandparents came from Germany in the 1880s and raised seven children. Only my mother ever saw the inside of a college. She went two years to local teachers' college.

My paternal family is known only from our presumably Irish patriarch who fought in the Battle of King's Mountain during the American revolution. Each generation's had at least one doctor or minister, apparently via college education. My grandparents raised four children to maturity. All graduated from college - but on their own hook! A BS/MD, BA in forestry, BS/MS in chemistry (my father), and a BS in English resulted. Both dad and his sister were career public school teachers.

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Student - I took a part-time job during high school and have worked one to three jobs ever since. I graduated (BA) from our local state college. My record gained employment at Stanford University for two years grad work (MA).

I taught a year and entered Ohio State University, then naval service. Later I attended the University of Southern California part-time for a year and Rollins College for two years, (MBA). Finally, after some 23 years, OSU granted me a PhD in 1976. My only financial aid ever was in my last few part-time, off-campus years (I'd become eligible for the GI Bill in 1968.)

Parent - I raised five daughters and three stepchildren. I helped all who truly wanted to go to college. Three bachelor's degrees, two AA's, and one master's degree resulted. Most took out and repaid college loans. I'm still paying on one until about 2007, and daughters owe me more than $10,000 for loans made in addition to my gifts. I've taught more than 25 years in college myself, mostly part-time for 20 percent what full-time staff is paid.

Grandparent - I have five grandchildren so far. None can afford more than local community college for two years, unless I help.

Summary - Perhaps my family situation is unique, but most college graduates I know worked their way through college. There were few scholarships and even fewer loans in our day. Working never seemed to hurt any of us academically. Quite frankly, I learned a lot more during my work experience than I ever did in 15 years college study.

Now I must accept reduced retirement income, so the offspring of others unwilling to work can get loans to attend college. Why?

Senator Kerry, go back to Taxachusetts!

David L. Woods

Middleway, W.Va.

Fuzzy and Tiger: Enough already

To the editor:

I wanted to comment on the letter that appeared today, April 29, as far as the Tiger Woods/Fuzzy Zoeller situation.

In my opinion I don't think that it was right for the media to blow this story out of proportion. I happened to watch Eyewitness Evening News (Channel 7) about it and I feel that it was blown way out of proportion.

I do not feel that individuals should act ignorant and discriminating against one another whether it is physical challenge, sex, weight, age, religion, nationality, race, etc. by using old-time slang terms to describe someone else's appearance or background.

I happen to be part Italian and if someone who knew me mentioned I was going to eat pasta and pizza for dinner, I would not be offended, but if they called me a slang term to describe someone of Italian heritage, then yes, it wouldn't be right. It would be discriminating and yes I would be offended.

One thing I like about Tiger Woods is that he seems to come off as an intelligent young man who ,when he was on the Oprah show, said he was an ethnic mixture: Cablinasian: Caucasian, African, American Indian and Asian. Also he did not appear to be so upset and forgave Fuzzy.

When Tiger's dad was interviewed, he said that Tiger is of the human race, which to me is important and it's not fair for us to be critical of this happening. By the way did anyone of us wonder how and why Fuzzy is named Fuzzy?

Helen Willis

Hagerstown

Tourism transition: Who gave board complete authority?

To the editor:

I have been following with interest the manner in which "the group of interested citizens" known as the interim board of directors of the Convention and Visitors Bureau are managing the transition of the board from county administration to private control.

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