Letters to the editor

June 02, 1997

City needs drug forum

To the editor:

Many have said that it is time to hold a local summit conference here in Washington County on the problem of drugs coming into our community from the interstate. The best forces against drugs in the long run are education, strength of the family and strength of the churches and synagogues so that our children "just say no."

But in the short run there is a need to bring together in the setting of an open community forum (perhaps at a high school auditorium) a panel discussion of laypeople, clergy, law officers, judges and medical community representatives to address the problem early-on rather than waiting until it reaches the proportions that it has in Frederick.

At that open panel forum (which could be televised to reach the entire community) microphones would be placed in the aisles of the audience for citizen input and a bank of telephone operators could write down suggestions called in to a toll-free number on the TV screen for follow-up review. No reasonable idea would be immediately rejected. We are looking for the best ideas that have worked in other communities our size throughout the nation and we are looking for new ideas that could lead the way for the nation.


It is relatively easy at this point in time to spot the new faces in town dealing drugs. The community needs to respond. Law enforcement personnel and the courts cannot do it all. They need our help.

U.S. Sen. John Kerry, recently visiting the school districts in his state and asking for a show of hands of students, was surprised to learn how many return home to an empty house before 6 p.m. Sen. Kerry commented that studies have shown that the vast majority of problems that young people get into occur between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. He is suggesting the need for community recreation centers that young people, especially teen-agers, could be encouraged to go to after school.

Innovative thinking is needed because the scourge of drugs is a problem that has puzzled and plagued the best minds in the nation.

R. Martin Palmer


Many gave special help

To the editor:

It took me 10 years to get my AA Degree, thanks to Hagerstown Junior College. Without this college working with me, I don't know whether I would have made it. This is a community college that works with the students. If I needed something special, they saw that I had it.

I want to thank all of my professors over the years who went above and beyond their jobs. I thought that this day would never come, but with the help of the professors, I made it through. Thank you all very, very much for your help.

Also I would like to thank Rachel Martin for getting me up early in the morning, getting me ready and getting me down to Food Lion to catch the bus.

I thank you! Thanks also to Hazel Parson for walking early mornings to my apartment and getting me ready for college; thank you!

Thanks also to Food Lion in Smithsburg, for letting me come there to catch my bus to go to Hagerstown Junior College. And also, to Marion Holmes for going to the library and getting the books I needed for classes and thanks to the library for getting the books ready for me.

Thank you all for everything.

James H. Twyman Jr.


Rule changing

To the editor:

The Board of Education works long and hard with the Washington County Educational Classified Employees Association to hammer out an agreement which will be fair to the BOE and its workers.

Why then would a unit within the board change rules and job requirements? My guess is that they have been doing things their way for years and no one has said a word. Today is the day! The custodians were the object of their latest doings. They are trying to transfer a person out of their category into another in which he is not qualified. They are trying to transfer him into Maugansville Elementary School as the head custodian. How can a person who has not been a lead custodian train any new people?

The person's old job title is not covered under our agreement, so he is not eligible for a transfer. I have been personally told that even if he is not included in our agreement they will consider him as in the agreement.

The custodian in the system has worked hard for many years to advance to be the boss of a school. When this comes through it makes the custodians feel that they are not treated as the professionals they are.

Why should they try to achieve to become a boss of a school when the board can change the rules and put anyone they want in the job? This is only one reason that the employee distrusts the board of education.

Larry Bolyard


The Herald-Mail Articles