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Letters to the Editor

January 06, 1999

Bartlett's extremist colors show

To the editor:

Maryland's congressional delegation is split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, but only three of those eight members of Congress voted to impeach the president. Of those that voted to impeach the president, only one voted for all four articles of impeachment.

That one was extreme right-winger Roscoe Bartlett. Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of his constituents oppose impeachment, Bartlett chose to follow his own holier-than-thou judgment of the president. Roscoe Bartlett just doesn't believe that the president is morally fit to lead our nation.

The people of Western Maryland know better. No one condones what the president did, but neither would we condemn our nation to a trial in the Senate of a man who cheated on his wife and then lied about it. Bill Clinton's acts were personal in nature. Even Henry Hyde admits that the government has no business investigating personal acts of adultery.

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But that is precisely what Ken Starr did, and precisely the basis for Roscoe Bartlett's impeachment votes.

Extremists have no place in responsible positions of government. Their judgments are clouded by their zeal, and they do damage to our country while they pursue their own agendas. Roscoe Bartlett is just such an extremist. Firmly believing in his own righteousness, Roscoe Bartlett rushed forward to cast the first stone. And the second, and the third, and the fourth. But the people of Western Maryland will cast the last stone. The time has come to cast out Roscoe Bartlett.

Michael G. Day

Hagerstown

Rich people are destroying our history

To the editor:

It has come to my attention that the home of my fifth great grandfather, Johan Ludwig Kammerer, an immigrant from Germany in the 18th century, has been condemned to be destroyed in the near future.

CHIEF, the development company that owns the property where Ludwig's house stands, has applied for a permit to demolish it. There is an unmarked grave on the property, as well as the house. How far has civilization fallen that the final resting places of our loved ones can be trashed like so much rubbish? Is there no respect for the dead?

The Kammerer family and many others like them are part of the reason we live in this country. I firmly believe that no one, no matter how big or rich or powerful, should be allowed to destroy things that represent history and have cultural value.

Please, to that person or those persons who have the power, stop this desecration!

Don't let CHIEF or CITICORP or any other entity knock down my ancestors house!

Patricia J. (Kearney) Castro

Las Vegas

CHIEF turns its back on preservation

To the editor:

It has come to my attention that CHIEF, the developers of the property upon which the Kammerer House and graveyard sits, has applied for a demolition permit. In the interest of the historical significance as well as the tremendous public interest in this home, I urge the county to deny this demolition permit.

Apparently Citicorp and CHIEF are refusing to consider the good-faith offer from historical organizations and individuals who are committed to save our ancestor's home and Hagerstown history from the wrecking ball. We have the ability and the resources to restore and conserve this property.

Commercial development and historic preservation can co-exist and mutual cooperation can result in something better than either can produce individually.

It is the responsibility of the government to give a voice and lend an ear to those who do not have the power, the money, or the political influence of Big Business like Citicorp. After the Kammerer House, what is next?

Caryl Simpson

Pekin, Ill.

To the editor:

I am responding to the Veterans Administration clinic story (Dec. 30). It was a true representation of my experiences.

I am a 20-year military retiree who also has several VA-compensated disabilities. The closest military medical facility is at Ft. Detrick, where appointments are made 30 days in advance and emergencies are sent "downtown."

I have since been treated at the VA Center-Martinsburg and have received excellent care for my long-term medical problems and disabilities. Minor emergencies are a different story (I can provide details if necessary) .

I have never experienced pain that was as severe as I was having when I tried to obtain emergency treatment at the VA, but was scolded by the receptionist for showing up without an appointment in spite of the fact that I'd reported to the emergency room first. After several days of waiting for a follow-up appointment, I sought treatment at a local walk-in clinic with subsequent referral to an orthopedic surgeon.

It is my opinion that the VA does a good job with long-term treatment, but it is just terrible in dealing with minor emergencies. The VA needs to publicize the fact that the doctors are booked weeks in advance and it appears that there is no doctor on call in the ER for non-life threatening emergencies.

Recipients of VA care should seek care from a private provider for such minor emergencies.

My comrades-in-arms should also realize that even the main VA hospital is not a walk-in clinic and regardless whether we "earned" this right or not, the VA is limited by congressional funding as to how much they can provide.

I close with a reminder to my fellow veterans that several of our local elected officials in Washington voted to rob VA funds to build/repair roads! Did you write or call to express your disapproval of this disservice?

Zack T. Fleming

Kearneysville, W.Va.

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