Letters to the Editor

January 06, 1999

Fishing pot history

To the editor:

Your Dec. 4 issue published a photo "Bridge over troubled waters" showing what you term a fish weir in the Potomac River below Williamsport.

The word "weir" was unknown to Williamsporters in the early twenties when I was in my youth. Actually we called the V-shaped formation a fish pot. A similar formation was located about a half-mile north of the confluence of the Conococheague Creek and the Potomac River.

It paralleled what was known (and probably still is) as Little Duck Island, a favorite swimming spot for young Williamsporters. The tip of the V was left open, creating a small channel, as you noted, that facilitated the catching of fish. Moreover a small structure, known as a pot, was situated at the opening for an even further advantage.


The demise of this particular fish pot, or weir, occurred when the dam constructed by the Potomac Edison Company raised the water level well over the V's rocks in the early 1920s.

Abner Kaplan


A force for change

To the editor:

On behalf of the board of directors of the AIDS Network of the Tri-State area, I want to thank the coordinators and participants of the 1998 World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil. This year's World AIDS Day theme, "Be a Force for Change," has particular relevance for the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

The AIDS Network is changing rapidly, moving toward being the single source for available funding impacting hundreds of HIV/AIDS clients in our area.

The AIDS Network of the Tri-State Area is a non-profit organization focused on prevention education and HIV/AIDS issues. Through prevention and education we can thwart this deadly disease. We are dedicated to initiating and supporting activities that develop and that ensure access to care for all people infected or affected by HIV. Participation in the Dec. 1, 1998 World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil helped to make our mission more visible in the community, while honoring our many friends, neighbors and loved ones who have lost their lives to AIDS.

The following individuals and organizations are responsible for the success of the World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil. Shepherdstown Town Council, Shepherdstown Police, Shepherd College, April Shimp and President David Dunlop, World AIDS Day Coordinator Ian Gibson-Smith, Thom Martin, Valerie Smith, Cliff Smith, Rob Webber, Jack French, Elaine Renner, Shirley Shears, Raymond Tracy and Peer Educator Leah Stump, etc. We greatly appreciate your assistance and support.

For additional information, speakers, or volunteer activities please visit our new office:

AIDS Network of the Tri-State Area, 304 W. Burke St., Suite 1, Martinsburg, W.Va. 25401, 1-304-263-0738.

Susan Pellish

Acting Director

Towpath worth the cost of repair

To the editor:

I have read recently that taxpayers of this community desire that our local C&O Canal not be renovated after each eroding flood. I am simply appalled at this shortsightedness.

The C&O Canal was, and is, a trademark of this area, with its history dating back to George Washington. On July 4, 1828, President John Quincy Adams dug the first shovelful of the now 185-mile towpath. The canal was the most ambitious industrial national experiment of that time, costing amounts equivalent to putting man on the moon. Should we now just forget the money invested, time spent and lives lost so that a few extra tax dollars will go toward other things?

Yes, it is expensive to repeatedly repair the eroding canal; however, can you put a monetary value on the resources it offers the community? The canal is a haven to joggers, winter skaters, hikers, bikers, backpackers, rock climbers, anglers, artists, philosophers, poets, nature lovers and everyday people needing a break from the mundane routine.

As a runner and biker I appreciate the beauty and convenience of exercising on the canal. I ask everyone, especially those in favor of allowing the canal to return to nature, to spend at least one afternoon on the canal. I promise that even if you do not enjoy yourself, you will see others who do. Perhaps then you will reconsider your desire to allow this memorial to return to rock, rubble and undergrowth.

Rachel Thorpe

Williamsport High School

To the editor:

Before 1776, my fifth-great grandfather, Ludwig Kemmerer, with his own hands, built a home for his family in the wilds of his new country - in Maryland. I've not had the opportunity to visit this site, but hope I might in the future.

It is my understanding that, at this date, Citicorp has pushed for a permit to tear down the historically, architecturally and culurally significant homestead.

I understand further that Citicorp and/or CHIEF has not responded to pleas and requests to compromise, and finally, plans are to lay concrete and park cars over the site which holds an unmarked family cemetery.

It is my belief that Ludwig's wife lies here.

I strenuously object to the demolition of this property and the desecration of gravesites.

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