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Letters to the Editor

March 04, 1999

Help kids read

To the editor:

I enjoyed reading the article about volunteering in Washington County schools on Tuesday, Feb. 17. One of the people interviewed mentioned that he'd like to see the volunteering program expanded to other schools in the county.

I would like to report that right now, many elementary schools have begun volunteer programs in coordination with the exciting new reading initiative.

To volunteer to work with a child, you only need to commit to as little as 30 minutes a week. You don't need any special skills, only the desire to help children to love reading. The school will provide training, and it's really very easy to do. Current volunteers include parents, teen-agers, senior citizens, and people on lunch breaks, or anyone interested in helping a child.

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If you are interested in volunteering at Smithsburg Elementary School, please call me at (301) 766-8329, or call the reading teacher at your local elementary school for information on their programs.

Beth Burke

Reading Improvement Teacher

Smithsburg Elementary School

Angels at Sam's

To the editor:

The Bible tells us that the Lord gives his angels charge over us, and my daughter and I recently experienced that to be true, while at Sam's Club.

I had a medical problem which was very frightening for both of us. My daughter was helping me to walk while looking for a place to sit down. First, a young Mennonite lady came over and asked if she could help, and she said she would pray for me. At the same time an off-duty ambulance driver asked if I wanted him to call an ambulance since I was shaking so much.

Before I could answer my daughter said yes. After he made the call, he came back with a woman who appeared to be a manager with a bunch of keys and a wheel chair, which I was grateful for after sitting on some boxes. They said the ambulance will be coming in the back way soon, so I told my daughter to hurry and call her father. We had to go all the way to the front of the store to the restroom before I left there, then went all the way to the back for the ambulance.

All of a sudden a woman came by and said she was a nurse and asked if she could help. She stayed with me while my daughter made her call and got me a cold glass of water. What timing. The lady from Sam's said we didn't have to go to the front of the store for a rest room, that there was a private one right next to the door the ambulance drivers would be coming in.

We were overwhelmed with all this attention and thank God for each one, and to give them special blessing. Most of all I thank the Lord my daughter was with me, and that I came out of my problem okay because angels ministered to us. What a blessing.

Dorothy M. Kraus

Hagerstown

A world of troubles

To the editor:

The mutterings of the Administration and the Fed are reminicient of Prime Minister Chamberlain's "Peace in Our Time." The leaders today seek atonement for spending the Social Security money and Greenspan allows as how IRS' depreciation schedules for the new electronic equipment may need revision.

Shades of the dinosaurs! Tomorrow, today will be yesterday.

Robots will replace man in 40 years or less! Twenty-four hour per-day continuous production, without costs of vacation, hospitalization, labor unrest, pension, and more: Efficiency will exceed the wildest prediction.

It is the worst problem facing the world population and global continuity since "The Apple."

The problem is what happens to the billions of surplus people!

Joseph H. Walker

Hagerstown

To the editor:

I am a proponent for safe highways, however, I am against the state passing a law lowering the D.W.I. presumption from .1 to a .08 percent blood alcohol (B.A.C.) level. Do we truly need even more laws?

Perhaps the problem is not the B.A.C. level, but that the punishment resulting from D.W.I. in Maryland is not severe enough to make people think twice about driving while intoxicated. Maybe we should enforce or strengthen the punishments already in place.

According to the Maryland State Police, a large increase of arrests is not expected with the passage of this legislation. Noting other states' results, the Maryland State Police determined that lowering the level is merely a deterrent. California passed a similar statute which brought only a small percentage drop in alcohol-related fatalities. Officials credit the fact that 80 percent of Californians had heard about the new change. Public awareness, therefore, is the key to making progress - as it always has been.

Let's not submit Marylander's to new laws that are relatively unproven. Let's not waste our state senators' and delegates' time by passing and implementing laws that basically lower the legal B.A.C. limit by one drink. Let's not target social drinkers, but focus our attention on those who have serious drinking tendencies. We have laws in place - let's give them more teeth and tell Marylanders about it. Education has always been the key to reducing drunk driving.

The problem with this law is that it makes anyone who does not support it seem like an unconcerned fool. If .08 is better than .1, so goes the argument that .06 is better than .08. Where does it end? If in the name of safety we lower the B.A.C. level, but keep the same punishments, have we really done anything progressive and truly helpful? We don't need a new law - we just need to enforce our current laws and increase public awareness.

Georgia Lizas

Frederick

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