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Letters to the Editor

April 16, 1999

A building unpictured

To the editor:

The paper is to be commended for the excellent feature article on historic Washington County buildings which have been leveled by the wrecking ball.

While you were at it, you should have included a picture of the beautiful old railroad station that stood on the site currently occupied by The Herald Mail building.

Carl R. Pedersen

Williamsport

(Editor's note: When The Herald-Mail moved to its present site, the train station had already been replaced by a service station/car wash.)

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A museum for Baldwin House

To the editor:

Locating a Civil War museum in the old Baldwin House hotel would be a positive boost for downtown Hagerstown. While there would be some expense involved, the county and city have been asked to fund everything from movie scripts to baseball stadiums - why not a museum?

It would attract people downtown and highlight the history of the area that has not yet met the wrecking ball, and keep the development pressure away from the critical resources like Antietam Battlefield. I am sure that if done properly, this museum would not be a drain on our economy, but instead an asset that would help ensure Washington County remains a good place to visit as well as a good place to live.

Tom Clemens

Keedysville

Of Suns, trucks and memorials

To the editor:

After reading so many negative comments about using our taxes to support a stadium, here are some facts most people do not know.

In 1998, Cal Ripken Jr. went before the Maryland General assembly to ask for money to build a stadium in Aberdeen, Md., honoring his father. With his salary he could have had the stadium built and given it to the city to honor his father.

The General Assembly (Senate bill 234) and the governor gives an amount, not to exceed $200,000, with matching grants from the Aberdeen Mayor, and City Council, for the planning and design of a baseball stadium in Aberdeen.

Senate bill 234 also creates a state debt, not to exceed $3.2 million, the proceeds to be used as a grant to the Mayor and City Council of Aberdeen, with matching funds from Aberdeen, to build the Ripken Stadium. I guess if the Suns have to leave here they will be playing in Aberdeen.

Remember when semi-pro football was in Hagerstown? I do; we had season tickets and loved it. When football left here it seems as though nothing more was ever heard of it.

Regarding trucks - write to your congressman and your senator about truck emission testing. Trucks are exempt from emission testing because of all the interstate traffic. It will have to be a federal law to have the emissions of trucks tested.

And please somebody, set up a fund at one of the banks for the World War II veterans memorial. There are a few thousand veterans of World War II in this county and I'm sure they would be glad to contribute. If all contributed, the memorial would be paid for. We contributed to the Vietnam memorial.

T. Brewer

Hagerstown

Positive step on juries

To the editor:

Once again I write on behalf of Western Maryland Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse to applaud the efforts on Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, to address issues of concern with the justice system in Maryland. His recently announced formation of the Council on Jury Use and Management is to be commended.

The fact that the council will be headed by Allegany County Circuit Court Judge J. Frederick Sharer gives Western Maryland a greater stake in the outcome.

We have often stated that jury duty is service to our country. It supports the checks and balances framed by our three branches of government. Enhancing the system to make jury service more participatory and user friendly may well also solve a long-standing problem with voter registration.

Linda C. Irvin-Craig

Executive Director

Growth and preservation can coexist

To the editor:

The Herald-Mail has done a great service to Washington County by bringing to everyone's eyes what history we are now without in "Paradise Lost" and related articles in the Sunday, April 4 edition.

We cannot bring these places back. Foolish mistakes can be corrected so as not to happen again. Disaster is possibly avoided by better understanding and awareness. But development? This is our wake-up call. Washington County now has the opportunity to learn a great deal from these losses, lessons which will benefit everyone in the future.

One needs only to look over the mountain to the East to see mismatched growth. It's even worse into Montgomery County. Growth and development of the same magnitude is here and we cannot stop it, nor do we want to. By careful planning and collective reasoning we can have this growth and invite the desired industry without adversely affecting our landscape or our history.

People on both sides of this issue must understand that just because you are a preservationist does not make you a nail- and-board saving radical - nor does a developer always want to rape the land. There is always a compromise which gives both sides what they want.

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