Letters to the Editor

September 14, 1998

Powerball worth a shot

To the editor:

This missive is in response to Larry D. Kump of Falling Waters, W.Va., and his statement of "P.T. Barnum would have loved the 'powerball hysteria.'"

Tell it to the "Lucky 13" machine shop workers from Ohio! Undoubtedly, your chances of winning are astronomical at best. However, if you don't play, you have no chance of winning. Who wouldn't risk a $295 million return on a $1 investment? Not worth the $1 risk? Then precisely who was Mr. P.T. Barnum actually referring to?

Randy Murff


Inspections well-intended, but misguided

To the editor:

I am responding to the article that appeared in the September 9 Herald-Mail regarding the City of Hagerstown and the possibility of registration and mandatory inspections of rental properties.


I am an owner of a few rental properties within the City of Hagerstown and can certainly understand and empathize with the desire of the city to ensure that properties are adequately maintained.

What I do not understand is the city's desire to charge all rental property owners an inspection fee when it is clear that the neglected maintenance is an issue only with a limited number of property owners.

I commend Susan Saum-Wicklein on her position of holding the deficient owners responsible rather than placing the burden on all property owners within a specific area.

One of the examples used (a bug-infested refrigerator) clearly is disgusting, by anyones standards. But I have to wonder who would be responsible for this condition. This would seem to me to be a housekeeping issue as opposed to a neglected maintenence issue. And it wouldn't be fair for the city to hold a property owner liable for that when the owner does not have the option of seeking an eviction for a tenant simply because their living standards are not to a level the owner may approve of.

I would further have to seriously question the city's motives on this issue when I drive through downtown and look at several properties owned by the City. The Baldwin House, the Delta building, and the Tri-State building are all eyesores to the passer-by, with significant deferred maintenance.

Although I understand that these are not residential rental units, which is the greater detraction from the downtown corridor?

And who will be responsible for the other city-owned property inspections at Westview, Noland Village and the other low-income housing projects? No one believes that these conditions don't exist there, do they? The city will inspect their own properties?

Code violation enforcement is a legitimate city function, one which I appreciate and support. But the mandatory registration, inspections and associated fees targeted only at apartment units seems to me to be unfair.

Ken Sterner


Top-notch band

To the editor:

We cast our ballots early this year. We voted the Hagerstown Municipal Band as top musical organization. It is the best. The talented musicians played a wide variety of music from classical to jazz and along with their families sacrificed a lot of time to make the concerts possible.

The large audiences at the Hagerstown City Park showed their appreciation. The Municipal Band gets better each year.

We are fortunate to have Lynn Lerew as music director. Lynn has good rapport with the musicans and audiences. Next summer Lynn will be celebrating 25 years as Music Director. Lynn, we hope you stay another 25 years. The band which will be celebrating its 85th Anniversary in 1999 has brought wholesome top entertainment to generations of people.

We hope the mayor and council of Hagerstown will continue to support the Hagerstown Municipal Band. The summer wouldn't be the same without the talented musicians performing in the park. Three big cheers for director Lynn Lerew and the Hagerstown Municipal Band.

Gerald C. Hicks


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