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Letters to the Editor

November 18, 1997

Letters to the Editor

Recreation board drops the ball for youth

To the editor:

I was concerned to see in the Nov. 8 edition of The Herald-Mail that the Washington County Parks and Recreation Commission is duplicating the efforts of the Hagerstown YMCA by organizing the Indoor Soccer Program at the same time. I would have to ask you, "What good does duplicating effort provide to the community?"

First, I am appalled that tax dollars would be wasted upon staff and an organization that offers programs that are already offered by other local organizations. Second, the YMCA and other organizations (The Hagerstown Soccer Club, HAYSL, and Junior League Basketball) have expressed a great need for space in Washington County for existing indoor and outdoor soccer programs and youth basketball Leagues.

How can creating new basketball and indoor soccer programs help to alleviate an already critical space problem? Third, a member of the recreation board, as approved by the County Commissioners, has pushed to keep indoor soccer off of basketball courts or out of gyms that could otherwise be used for "in-season sports," like basketball. How can the commission, in all of its hypocrisy, then organize a program that has just been labeled a "fall sport, in-season?"

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It is my opinion that the county government has been far too ignorant of the needs of the youth of our community. The reproduction of existing programs of established quality can only signify the weak imagination of the recreation commission's staff, poor planning by the staff and another "wasted expense" in the budget that is approved by the Washington County Commissioners. The recreation commission's lack of respect for existing programs and insensitivity to the struggles of existing programs shall certainly be viewed as unacceptable during the next election campaign, especially since your office oversees the recreation commission.

I would greatly appreciate your investigation into the reasoning of the recreation commissions duplication of activities. I cannot possibly see how all of the youth-interested organizations in Washington County can continue to dilute the number of available program participants and keep their doors open. It seems to me like the recreation commission and its staff would like to see the YMCA out of business. Is that an expense that all tax payers can afford? I hope that they will decide before the next election!

James W. Klein

Youth Director

Hagerstown YMCA

Parents must take responsibility for their kids

To the editor:

I'd like to state my opinion about the responses to Mr. Cabbiloros letter. He wrote a letter about his unpleasant experience of children disrupting his meal in a restaurant.

The responses place him as being wrong because he was upset at having the evening ruined. He was judged as being anti-child and even told to eat at home. Those responses are unreasonable.

I'm certainly not anti-child. I've raised four children and have 5 grandchildren.

I also have five step-children and nine step-grandchildren. I would not tolerate anyone abusing them - but neither would I tolerate their abusing someone else's right to have a peaceful evening in a restaurant.

Cabbiloros did get carried away in his statements about the disruptive children. His frustration should have been directed at the parents.

Linda Coffman stated in her letter that children must have the same rights as adults - such as access to any public dining establishment. Well, Ms. Coffman, if an adult acts disorderly and disrupts the peace of others, they'll be asked to leave.

Adults should behave with respect to others' rights and should teach their children how to behave. It's not abuse to teach children proper behavior, Ms. Coffman.

Take them to the park or playground and let them know it's ok to run and make noise, but also teach them that there are places such as restaurants, whether fast food or formal, when we are expected to sit reasonably quietly. It's a parents duty to show their children how to behave anywhere they take them.

If a parent assumes the attitude that it's ok for their child to behave as he or she wishes anywhere they wish, and offer no guidelines for proper behavior, I'd say that's neglect and abuse.

Think how much more pleasant life could be if everyone was taught plain old good manners and respect for others feelings.

Barbara McThenia

Hagerstown

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