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Letters to the Editor 3/31

March 30, 2000

Retail madness

To the editor:

Everyone owes G.S. Brown of Williamsport a great deal of credit for not overlooking the obvious in the letter of March 14 asking how many Wal-marts Hagerstown needs or can afford to discard. Allow me to provide some answers that may even please Wal-mart since it should not be singled out for doing what most chain stores and strip malls have been doing with impunity for some time.

For instance, while eating lunch one day I observed another large chain (which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) which like Wal-mart was clearly the anchor in a recently abandoned shopping center. When I asked where the anchor chain store relocated, my cohorts pointed to a shiny new shopping center hard by. Then I was informed that there was a third previously abandoned store before the first one I noticed languishing in the burdock and mullein weeds no more than several miles away. Although I'm no agricultural expert it appeared to me as if all three stores were built on prime agricultural land on the outskirts of Hagerstown.

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Optimum profit from a development comes from deconstructing the ownership into "financial tear parts." One group buys the land. Another group buys the buildings and pays rent to the landowners. Another group buys a management contract to run the mall/shopping center. And then the individual store owners lease space from the second group under the supervision of the third group. Meanwhile the megacorporation that sold the land in the first place goes somewhere else to do the same thing and make another megaprofit.

This process requires a profligate use of disposable land, not to mention our tax dollars. Therefore it should trigger a meaningful civic discussion rather than giving the chain stores a blank check. I point this out because you have a pretty good mayor, a pretty good newspaper and some subscribers that notice such things.

Paul R. Schlitz Jr.

Baltimore

Paper babbles, Munson waffles

To the editor:

After stating I would not write another letter to the editor I must state my views.

Today's edition, March 28, stating that a jury awarded a $20 million verdict to a smoker tells me how stupid the American people serving as jurors are.

Nobody forces anyone to smoke and this person had smoked many years and ignored the warnings on the pack of cigarettes. Today's society is completely out of any reasoning whatsoever.

A quick fix is sue, sue. Please don't take any responsibility for your actions because there is always an excuse even Jesus loves.

I grow so sick of sob sisters that that's their only answer.

God expects everyone to be accountable for their actions so can the excuses.

We have no leaders in Washington County or Hagerstown. William Wivell and Wally McClure are in the minority.

Years ago my husband and I trusted Don Munson, but no more. Another waffler just as Clinton and Gore are.

Such a sad state of affairs - of course, we all know our illustrious paper is all for liberalism. All we read about are robberies and murders. And of course, tough gun laws. People pull the trigger, the gun doesn't fire itself. But please don't discipline children because they grow into such irresponsible adults. But our society today believes this all right.

And we also have too many liberal ministers and so-called Christians.

Rosa Lee Meyers

Hagerstown

Bruchey's attack on me drew response

To the editor:

As a result of recent unwarranted verbal assaults on me by Mayor Bob Bruchey of Hagerstown, I received hundreds of telephone calls, e-mails and letters supporting my efforts to provide first-rate educational opportunities for the citizens of Washington County. Published letters-to-the-editor and Mail Call opinions also were wonderfully supportive of me personally, as well as of my position.

It took time, thought and effort for people to come to my defense. I want to give all of you who wrote or called, or whose thoughts were with me, a big thank you and tell you that you are the kind of people who make life worth living. You are truly why Washington County is such a great place to live.

Don Munson

Maryland State Senator

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