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Letters to the Editor

July 22, 1998

Paper is not so bad

To the editor:

I am writing this letter in response to, "Where's the depth?" that was published in The Morning-Herald (July 17).

I found the letter written by M. J. Taranto of Smithsburg quite interesting. Out of the five paragraphs, Taranto refers to the word "political" five times. In fact, the entire letter seemed to me to be geared toward the political arena.

The letter went on to describe the NewsPlus section as "weak, politically slanted," as well as accusing it of being "limited, biased," and without "depth." Taranto then veered from the NewsPlus section altogether, referring to The Herald-Mail as "embarrassingly shallow."

I strongly disagree. In my experience, The Herald-Mail newspapers provide a variety of articles to meet the needs of their readers. It is apparent to me that the editors of each section strive, (and succeed!), to print items that reflect the individual interests of each subscriber.

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I am not suggesting that errors are not made from time to time - nobody is perfect - but when they are, I have always seen these mistakes corrected. I also commend The Herald-Mail newspapers for their outstanding journalistic excellence and for their depth on all news coverage.

If Taranto is incapable of seeing these numerous qualities, that is not the fault of The Herald-Mail newspapers. Personally, I feel fortunate that I subscribe to a newspaper whose editors and staff writers obviously work very hard in order to bring the communities they serve unbiased news reporting.

I appreciate this paper and applaud these reporters for their skills and abilities. Finally, I am very satisfied, in every aspect, with how The Herald-Mail is presented. Perhaps, if Taranto can read the Sunday editorial section in "less than five minutes," he or she is not reading carefully enough.

Maybe this person could consider slowing down, thereby really reading it instead of merely skimming over the contents. After all, it is the continuity of the articles, letters, etc., which makes The Herald-Mail a widely subscribed-to newspaper! It is my opinion this shows Taranto's viewpoint to be that of the minority - not the majority.

Kathy Greenough

Hagerstown

Roundhouse is a gem

To the editor:

I read with interest your article titled "Roundhouse effort may be derailed." Even though I live far, far from you, I feel the need to write, as the Roundhouse site that is in your community is significant nation-wide, if not world-wide.

I am quite active in the Portola Railroad Museum. This museum has one of the largest, if not the largest, collections of preserved diesel locomotives and is located in a very rural, remote location in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Even though we are that remote, we pull in around 20,000 visitors a year - a number far greater than the stated "30 people a day" one of your officials thought a museum at the Roundhouse would be "lucky" to get.

Based on the demographics of your area, that would likely be a slow winter day at the museum! The Portola museum, while much smaller in size, is in many ways very similar to your potential facility. The museum here was an abandoned engine house with yard.

The museum started with one locomotive that was donated; we now have at least 45, of which a dozen at least are operational. We give rides, and offer a "Run a Locomotive" program where regular people can run a real engine. This program alone attracts visitors world-wide, and raises over $50,000 a year for the museum - this in a town of around 2,000 people, hours from any large community.

These visitors eat and stay in the community too, benefitting the whole area. You have a gem in the rough there; to lose it would be to deny the community economic gain, the citizens their past, and the world an opportunity.

David Dewey

Oroville, Calif.

No taxes for Martinsburg roundhouse

To the editor:

Congratulations to the five members of the Martinsburg City Council who did not cave in to a special interest group and voted against funding the B&O Roundhouse Project.

They should be commended, not jeered and scorned. As council members Twigg and Parkinson pointed out, the purchase of the land and buildings would have put the city in debt for years to come. The citizens of Martinsburg would have to, over time, "...pay out of their pockets through higher taxes or other means."

As a railroad enthusiast since childhood, I would like to see the Roundhouse project completed, but I believe it should be accomplished by private funding, not at the taxpayers expense. I just wonder how many of those who shouted at council members Twigg, et al, also complain about high taxes and big government.

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