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Letters to the Editor

August 05, 1999

Poor listeners

To the editor:

Having attended the City Council meeting along with Allan Powell and many other neighbors, I can certainly verify the accuracy of his statements about the rezoning and annexation discussion/vote on the Miller Farm. Most of us had the same helpless sinking feeling as Powell did, when slanted speeches and statements were made and we weren't allowed to respond in any manner.

The most ridiculous speech was by Councilman Al Boyer. He began with the I-feel-your-pain approach and ended with the statement that the county could do exactly what the city is doing or even worse, allow $80,000 homes to be built. And with that line of reasoning, he felt comfortable voting for the city to annex and rezone the property for high density housing. That kind of justification is similar to a thief feeling sorry for the gas station owner he is about to rob but rationalizing that it is OK because if he doesn't do it then someone else could.

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Furthermore, the County Commissioners have given a strong signal that they are opposed to zoning the property for high-density housing and it is highly unlikely that a developer will build $80,000 homes when he could build $200,000 homes and make far more profit.

For those who aren't familiar with the Mt. Aetna Road area, the city boundaries already form something like a fish hook extending out into the county and the Miller Farm would be added to the tip of the hook. That is why the property is almost completely surrounded by county residents who cannot vote against those deciding the fate of their communities.

A question for the mayor and council: You feel it is absolutely essential that the University of Maryland campus be located downtown and continually cite the governor's smart growth plan to support your argument. Since flight to the suburbs is contributing to the death of the downtown are and since the governors Smart Growth Plan is an effort to revitalize downtown, then how can you justify the city annexing farm land and encouraging high density housing projects out beyond the existing suburbs? Shouldn't that growth also be directed nearer to the downtown district?

Jim Laird

Hagerstown

Seniors need help with medicine costs

To the editor:

I read, with great interest, the article in this morning's paper about the Washington County Gaming Commission being asked to come up with money to start a program to help retirees pay for medicine.

I hope the Gaming Commission takes this request very seriously and I congratulate Del. Chris Shank for the idea and the Washington County Commission on Aging for being willing to implement it. With Care First pulling out of Washington County, seniors who make a little more than what the state considers poverty are left out in the cold.

There are no other programs left in Washington County except higher priced Medigap insurance.

I am a 62-year-old widow, who is 100 percent disabled and my monthly prescriptions cost between $400 and $500. Without help on prescriptions, I simply will not be able to afford to continue my medications. There are many others out there in the same situation as I am. I plan to stand on the mountaintop yelling until someone listens to our plight.

The federal government got us into this pickle and they don't seem to want to help to get us out. They created this problem and do not seem to care. I hope the members of the Gaming Commission take this to heart and realize how many seniors are having this problem.

Loudie Schuck

Hagerstown

Kept promises

To the editor:

Right On! Promise Keepers! I received an added blessing in church today. Several of our men attended the rally in Philadelphia. They gave testimonies so touching the congregation got caught up in their humility, their joy, and their enthusiasm. Picture this, nearly three thousand men, different ages, different color's, feeling the very hand of God cleansing, healing and renewing their lives with a power that is awesome.

With hands up lifted, they surrendered a new life to Christ. They will make promises to God, the country and their loved ones and they will keep them. This very well may be the beginning of a rebirth of a nation under God. I surely hope so. Thank you, Promise Keepers.

Frances Moats

Hagerstown

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