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Letters to the Editor

October 07, 1998

As a candidate for the House of Delegates, Legislative District 2B, I would like the voters to know my stand on issues affecting education. I believe deeply in the value of quality educational opportunities for our citizens and I am convinced that our future in Washington County is directly tied to a strong educational system. I have voted accordingly in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

Much has been done to benefit Washington County's educational system this year and I have listed below some of the highlights:

$4.6 million in new state money will be spent to refurbish Washington County Schools, including projects at South High, Boonsboro and Williams- port.

The Washington County Free Library will get $737,000 this year in state support, an increase of $84,000 over last year.

Washington County schools will continue to get an additional $1.1 million in operating funds per year for four years.

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Hagerstown Community College will get an additional $235,000 in operating funds per year for four years.

For the future, school construction and renovation and improved performance will be essential. As the House Chairman of the Joint Audit Committee, I have pushed to have our state auditors shift from compliance auditing to performance auditing.

It has been a battle but, in the end, this will mean that the school systems will no longer be judged simply by whether or not they spend their state monies in compliance with state law but whether the spending of those dollars is resulting in a greater performance. My goal is for us to know not just that we have spent more money on education but that in fact our students can read and write better, are more computer-literate, more adept at solving mathematical problems and that their skills better equip them for the modern world. At the same time, I have to say that while I hear my opponent's claim that more money is not the answer to our school system's problems, I can assure you that less money will not help us.

I also want to continue to renovate our school buildings. We have needs in each of the school districts that I represent and I want to continue to be a consistent advocate for the maximum amounts of school construction dollars available. You will remember that I helped lead the fight against the state's support of two professional football stadiums; I did so not because I am against professional sports but because then, as now, I believe our best priorities are in investing in our youth.

D. Bruce Poole is a Maryland State Delegate representing District 2B.




Reese's hatred is unwelcome

To the editor:

I would like to express my extreme distaste at the offerings of one of your columnists - Charles Reese. Reese does not offer positive alternatives to his venomous opinions. He does not present both sides of a story. He simply offers a lopsided view of a situation.

That is not responsible journalism. He hates Israel, he hates Jews, and he hates immigrants. He likes shooting animals. I find his articles not only distasteful, but scary. He seems to use negative opinion excessively. It is much easier finding fault with others (and making a living at it) than to contribute positively to society. People like Reese, who are given a voice in a public forum like yours can only breed intolerance and distorted opinion.

In my opinion, Reese's column should not be given space in your paper. He epitomizes the stereotypical Southern racist. I'm especially saddened by his comments on Israel. No country is all-good or all-bad. Politics are not that simple. Countless numbers of people have worked tirelessly and often at the peril of their lives to try to make this area of the world a better place, a place of safety for persecuted peoples from war-torn Europe in the '40s, famine-plagued Africa, Communist-infested Eastern Europe, as well as the Middle East.

How dare you try to tear down all that hard work for a better world with your narrow-minded venomous spewings? You don't have any appreciation for how hard freedom was to come by for that 50-year-old country. Certainly the United States has had its share of difficult political moments. But the ideals that this country was founded on have shown through for 222 years. May they forever shine.

Our country is a far better one for the contributions of immigrants, Mr. Reese. It is only the lazy and those without a complete education who do not succeed and bring this nation shame.

Sandra R. Gagliardi

Hagerstown

Forum cancelled

To the editor:

Back in July during a discussion with friends, the conversation turned to the political scene and in particular to the number of candidates for County Commissioner. It was obvious that much information would be needed to make an informed decision as to which candidates to support. In the ensuing weeks credentials were checked and qualifications noted.

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