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Letters to the Editor

January 08, 1999

Taylor should rethink support

To the editor:

I was stunned to learn that House Speaker Casper Taylor is supporting Governor Glendening's latest effort to force all state employees to pay AFSME to represent them.

State employees have always been able to choose whether or not to belong to a union. The governor's proposed collective bargaining bill would take that away from them and create a monopoly for AFSME.

I belong to MCEA and Delegate Taylor has attended our functions and appeared concerned about state employees, but he obviously does not realize the impact Glendening's bill may have on us. It is expected that this bill will force mandatory service fees, which would make it even more difficult for us to support our families.

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Money deducted from our pay checks for our pension, health insurance, other benefits and taxes have already eaten much of the pay raise we received this year. A bi-weekly service fee for collective bargaining which I am told could amount to about $200 a year is too costly for many state employees.

Delegate Taylor has demonstrated a commitment to our community on many issues that I take to heart, but he should rethink supporting this bill if it includes service fees. It can only harm State employees.

Ruth Ann Ogle

Smithsburg

Applause for Allegheny

To the editor:

I'd appreciate your placing a note in your editorial or letters section in appreciation for the extraordinary job the Hagerstown workers for Allegheny Power did in helping restore power during our recent ice storm-related outage.

After 5 days without power, you can imagine our delight at seeing a convoy of Allegheny Power-Hagerstown trucks working down the road from us to restore the electricity.

Their efforts, which I am sure are well beyond their normal call of duty, helped salvage an otherwise pretty trying holiday season for us and our neighbors. And I'm sure these men gave up a lot of their own Christmas enjoyment to lend a hand.

Applause, applause!

Bob Milner

Petersburg, Va.

CHIEF ignores public, heritage

To the editor:

I am a person who believes that it is possible to move forward and treasure our past at the same time. I know that productive compromises can be and are struck between those with seemingly competing interests. It appears, though, that the Ludwig Kammerer house - one of the oldest homes in Washington County - may fall victim to development interests that have not even done citizens the decency of engaging in a full and open conversation about this historic property.

CHIEF, the development foundation which owns the property, has applied for a demolition permit with virtually no explanation to those of us who have been in touch with them.Citicorp and its parent company Citigroup, the likely buyers of the property, have also been a wall of silence.

What respect does this show for the vocal concerns of the community they operate in? What concern for local heritage and an absolutely irreplaceable piece of early American history?

Those of us who have championed the Kammerer House don't know what response CHIEF or Citigroup had to our many letters. We have no idea if they considered alternatives. We wonder, what will happen to the graveyard along side the old smokehouse? Will anything be saved or preserved, if corporate plans proceed?

What does a small preserved half-acre mean to a billion-dollar financial corporation that it can't show its benevolence? And I personally wonder if corporate America is disdainful of open conversation with its citizens, or is simply afraid that broader interests might logically lead CHIEF and Citicorp to care just a little more than they seem to at this moment.

To say that the money could not be raised for this project is simply incorrect. We never had a definite offer on the table that would allow us to pursue foundation funding. You cannot build concrete solutions under a what-if scenario and ask foundations to commit their charitable dollars to an undefined possibility.

This amazing little house with its 2-foot thick stone walls has traveled through nearly every era of our country's growth. There is still time and place for a hero. I look for one to step forward soon.

Lara Lutz

Edgewater, Md.

To the editor:

The Herald-Mail recently printed a number of essays from writers who harshly criticized Republican House members for voting to impeach President Clinton.

Michael Day of Hagerstown decries the Republicans as "extremists" whose "judgments are clouded by their zeal." Sidney Zion, a columnist for the New York Daily News, claims their decision was "not business it's personal."

Tom Guillermo of Cambridge, Massachusetts envisions the Republicans as "driven by hatred and revenge."

The fundamental point of these essays is that, so far as the writers can see, there is no reason for President Clinton to be impeached. They can only imagine that the decision to do so was fueled by hatred, personal animosity towards the president, and extremism.

I submit there is reason for the decision. Consider these three propositions:

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