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Letters to the Editor 4/12

April 12, 2000

Fund the Y

To the editor:

We are writing to you, the County Commissioners, in hopes of persuading you to do the right thing regarding the upcoming vote concerning YMCA funding. For several generations, the YMCA has been a cornerstone of family recreation in Washington County.

Citizens of all ages have relied on this institution to fulfill recreational opportunities not provided by the private sector. One only needs to tour the facility on a week night to realize how many people benefit from the YMCA's multi-faceted programs. In many other communities, recreation centers are funded and run by city or county governments.

In essence, Washington County has been getting a cheap ride for numerous years in the area of community recreation thanks to the YMCA.

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We all want to see Washington County gain industries that provide high-tech and high-paying jobs. Certainly one of the criteria that prospective businesses and employees look for when relocating to an area is a modern recreation center or YMCA. We have read nothing of future county plans that include an indoor recreation facility. Without such plans, a vote to fully fund the YMCA's request is essential to the continued growth and well being of Washington County.

Paul and Elizabeth Brabson

Hagerstown

Keep D.A.R.E.

To the editor:

I am deeply concerned and distressed. We have been advised that due to the denial of an expected pay increase for Washington County Sheriff's deputies, there is a strong possibility that fringe programs may have to be eliminated.

This includes the D.A.R.E. program which is presented yearly by deputies to our students. Several years ago, we requested these services from the sheriff's department and Sheriff Mades graciously agreed. We have been extremely pleased with the program and know that it is most important that the students are made aware of the dangers of drugs, alcohol and peer pressure. This program and the sheriff's department have made this possible - at no cost to us. Alas, without the support from you to ensure the manpower is available, this program could be dropped and, God forbid, students lost.

I think it is only fair to expect that the law enforcement officers at Washington County Sheriff's Department be paid on a par with surrounding police agencies. These men and women are expected and prepared to, at any time, put their lives on the line for us; but when they asked for compensation due them, they are denied. I felt embarrassment when I learned that most other police agencies in the surrounding areas receive much higher salaries.

Gentlemen, please reconsider your decision and pay these women and men what they deserve. Washington County is growing and we can't afford to lose qualified men and women along with such important programs as D.A.R.E.

Sister Maria Goretti Palmisano, SSND

Principal

Let's get rid of the guns

To the editor:

Out Founding Fathers formed the Constitution in 1788, and added the Second Amendment in 1791. At that time, the right to own guns made sense in order to hunt for food, and protect against attacks by the British and Indians.

However, today most Americans purchase their food from supermarkets, and do not fear attacks from the British or Indians.

If the Constitution were written today, I do not believe the Second Amendment would be included - or even considered.

With the possible exception of police officers, and our national defense, why should anyone own a gun that clearly represents a weapon of death?

It seems to me the Second Amendment is out-dated, and maybe cockeyed. Replace it with an updated amendment making it a serious federal crime to own, or possess, any firearms. The penalty for breaking the law? How about life on a deserted island with no chance of parole?

It's possible the N.R.A, A.C.L.U., gun manufacturers, lawyers, and criminals would hate such a law, but I'll bet the majority of American citizens would love it. How about a referendum vote so the public can decide?

In the meantime, ask gun owners if they would agree to an experiment? Request they turn in all their firearms for a period of one year, or six months, or one month? Wouldn't it be interesting to see how our country functions during this period without anyone possessing a gun?

Harold E. Winn

Hagerstown

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