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Letters to the Editor 4/6

April 06, 2000

Planners listen only to the developers

To the editor:

Does the City Planning Commission actually listen to anyone other than land developers and city officials?

In the March 30 Herald-Mail article titled "Comments barred at Mt. Aetna meeting," Planning Commission Chairman Douglas S. Wright Jr. tells a Herald-Mail reporter that he feels housing is the appropriate use for the land, as though we are a bunch of day-dreaming idiots who fantasize about keeping the land undisturbed forever. This statement was made immediately after a planning commission meeting where none of the 50 residents present were allowed to speak.

Mr. Wright, if you had been listening at all for the past year, you would have heard the area residents stating loud and clear that we are not opposed to traditional single-family home development. However, we are opposed to the type of high density wall-to-wall building that you, the developer, and Mayor Bruchey are so determined to give us.

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According to The Herald-Mail, Wright had earlier stated that he appreciates receiving opinions and feedback by mail but asked that people not telephone to share their opinions. I suppose the only voice he wants to hear is his own and any mail with an opposing viewpoint can be conveniently trashed.

Mr. Mayor and City Council, is your planning commission supposed to be an unbiased group that gives equal consideration to both residents and developers? If so, then why do you have two developers sitting on the panel with one of them also being a partner in the Churchey Group? Wouldn't that be equivalent to the state PUC allowing owners of electric utilities to sit on their panel? I don't believe the newspapers would allow the state to get away with something like that but I suppose in a good-ol-boy community like Hagerstown the newspapers will ignore it.

Hey neighbors, are you tired of being steam rolled by a Banana Republic style of government that you can't even vote against?

Maybe the only tool we have left is to boycott all the downtown businesses. Money is the only thing they seem to value so perhaps that would work.

Jim Laird

Hagerstown

Home schooling advice available

To the editor:

I want to invite anyone who is interested in homeschooling to come to a conference on Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Tri-State Fellowship on Cearfoss Pike. It's being put on by the Appalachian Regional Co-op, a group of area homeschooling families.

Twenty different workshops will be available on subjects including What about Socialization, The Homeschool Law, Homeschooling Multi-Ages, Curriculum Resources, and Homeschooling Without a Curriculum.

Experienced homeschooling parents will lead most of the sessions.

This will be our third annual conference. People who attended in previous years included parents who were thinking about homeschooling, beginners and experienced homeschoolers. Those who attended told us the sessions were very helpful, as was the opportunity to talk informally with experienced homeschoolers. One mother even told us it changed her life!

For more information, call Barbara Martin at 301-739-6502.

Judy Warner

Rohrersville

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