Letters to the editor

May 27, 1997

Four slots open in Martinsburg's police department

To the editor:

The Martinsburg Police Department has four police vacancies and the Police Civil Service Commission will soon be announcing the date of a competitive exam for these positions. A physical fitness test will be required immediately following, for those who score high enough on the test.

We are seeking dedicated and enthusiastic applicants who have a sincere concern for public safety and service to the community. Since my arrival here in Martinsburg I have been frustrated by the small numbers of minorities that apply to be a Martinsburg Police Officer.

It is my view that the police department should be representative of the community. Remember, you must apply and meet all qualifications in order to be considered for these competitive positions.


The Martinsburg Police Department needs quality applicants so that we can continue to meet our obligation to provide the highest level of public safety to our community.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. June 6. Please consider joining our team by filling out an application to be a Martinsburg Police Officer.

Colonel W. E. Cleveland

Chief of Police

Martinsburg, W.Va.

Such a waste!

To the editor:

Recently I unsuccessfully tried to donate a used couch and chair to several charitable organizations. I learned that the reason, in part, that none of them could accept the furniture was because of the lack of interest from the people they try to help.

For example, sometimes people who had lost everything due to fire had been known to decline used furniture (offered free), because it wasn't like new.

Am I naive to ask why? Is this another example of the greed and un-appreciation of our society?

I admit that given a choice, I'd choose newer, more modern furniture. However, when one is not in a position to choose, how can one be so particular?

I'm not saying that people who need assistance should take junk. I'd just like to know how new something has to be. If the furniture is in good, useable condition, why turn it down?

The furniture I wanted to donate, though old and slightly worn, was very clean and had no broken springs, etc. A pretty furniture cover or decorative sheet was all that was needed to inexpensively modernize them. The only reason I was replacing them was because a friend gave me her (approximately 10-year old) furniture. She knew that I would appreciate it.

Perhaps because I'm one with simple needs, there's something I'm not understanding about these seemingly unappreciative attitudes. What I do know is that I had to throw out items that could have been put to good use.

Such a waste!

Diane M. Smith


Why blame women?

To the editor:

Israel's Golda Meir (1898-1978) said, once in a Cabinet we had to deal with the fact that there had been an outbreak of assaults on women at night. One minister suggested a curfew; women should stay home after dark. I said, "But it's the men who are attacking the women. If there's to be a curfew, let the men stay home, not the women."

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's idea to end mixed-sex basic training is a shining example of the paternalistic non-thinking of Prime Minister Meir's male cabinet minister. The systemic problem with the military is the sexist lack of genuine respect for women as self-reliant persons. When are men going to be expected to behave as mature adult human beings and to be held accountable for acting like sex-obsessed adolescent boys?

In 1954, our Supreme Court wisely ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that separate is not equal. When soldiers are trained separately, they - rightly or wrongly - assume that they are trained differently and that "the others" are not trained as well. The only way for the soldiers to respect each other is to see each other going through the same grueling training.

Rep. Bartlett's offensive legislation will not solve the problem but will impede positive progress.

Kim Johnson

Frederick, Md.

It's your money

To the editor:

Montgomery County and State of Maryland transportation bureaucrats are in the process of spending $3 million studying future construction of the so-called Intercounty Connector (ICC), a six-lane expressway linking I-95 on Montgomery County's east to I-270 on its west. Many people in the county have only a vague picture of the ICC and most folks in other Maryland counties never even heard about it.

Here are two images that will assist both county residents and other Maryland citizens visualize what it all means. Envision, if you will, two things - a football field and an enormous pile of your tax dollars.

A football field is 100 yards (300 feet) long and 60 yards (180 feet) wide. If you laid 513 football fields side by side you would duplicate the most likely right-of-way of the ICC. It would measure 300 feet from side to side and stretch 17.5 miles, make 77 stream crossings, and bulldoze more than 636 acres of forest, wetlands, parkland, and yards where peoples' homes now stand. This is what some state politicians call "smart growth."

The enormous pile of tax dollars you visualize totals the estimated $1 billion this proposed intercounty expressway will cost. That is likely to be most of the state's road construction money for the next few years, so don't expect much in the way of road improvements in your county for some time. ICC backers claim the feds will pick up a big chunk of the cost, but congressional budget cutters surely don't buy that line of talk.

Maybe this is a project you ought to discuss with your state senator and delegate, because the ultimate decision will be made in Annapolis. As they like to say on the evening news, it's your money.

Robert F. Carbone

Silver Spring, Md.

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