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Letters to the Editor 5/5

May 04, 2000

Big spender

To the editor:

We have all heard that Jim Humphreys has spent well over $2 million in his smothering campaign to win a seat from the 2nd Congressional District of West Virginia. The salary for that office is $141,300 per year. Something mighty fishy is going on here.

As for me and many of my neighbors, Beth Taylor is our pick. She is intelligent, straight-forward, and plans to live in the Eastern Panhandle when elected. Three cheers for Beth. It takes more than major money to give us solid representation.

Philip F. Stryker

Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

Simple Southerners had no slaves

To the editor:

I am writing in response to the article by Leonard Pitts that you published April 17. He has again cloaked himself in shame with his intolerant opinions and prejudices to the families of the Confederate soldiers that gave their lives in the Civil War.

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As slavery may have been a cause of the conflict, he must try to remember that the slaveholders were a majority of wealthy "aristocratic" plantation owners who were prominent in politics and the Confederate Army. Many became officers simply because of their social standing and wealth, with little or no military exposure and training. It can be assumed that these "aristocrats" were fighting to keep their slaves, which were the foundation of their economic prosperity.

Now let us examine the motives of the rank and file Confederate soldiers. Consider the privates, corporals, etc., who come from the remote areas, backwoods and the mountains. These people were poor. Their lives were hard. Their plows turned up more rocks than soil and communication with the outside world was rare. Their knowledge of slavery was a little nonexistent. When the northern armies invaded the south, there were wholesale of enlistments of these "country boys". They fought to preserve their simplistic life and protect their homes and family. Awareness of the slavery issue was vague or nonexistent. Yet on the battlefield they gave their lives.

Mr. Pitts, you lump every man that served in the Confederate Army in the same category, as a rebellious hate monger and bigot; and deny their families and survivors the memories of respect that their valor and sacrifice so nobly deserve.

Diligent research is the most important tool to the scholar of history. I suggest, Mr. Pitts, that to divorce yourself of the shame of your bigotry to the memory of the Confederate dead; that you initiate or extend your research procedure. Their honor and valor cannot be denied.

Paul C. Helm

Hagerstown

PASS success

To the editor:

Each year I have the pleasure of seeing volunteerism at its best. As the PASS Program coordinator for Jefferson County Schools, I have witnessed first hand the remarkable accomplishments of students who are partnered with a PASS volunteer.

PASS stands for Providing Academic Self-esteem Support. PASS volunteers are partnered with a student and meet with that student on a regular basis. The PASS volunteer may provide tutoring services, may give the student a friendly ear to listen to a problem, and may provide much needed praise for a job well done.

It gives me great pleasure to share with your readers some of the highlights of Jefferson County's PASS program. New PASS manuals were printed for our volunteers by Specialty Binding and Printing Company in Shepherdstown. The manuals are given to PASS volunteers. Rockwell's Office Supplies in Martinsburg provided the paper for the manuals at a reduced rate.

Since September 1999, 32 orientation sessions for new volunteers have been held. Currently, the Jefferson County School's PASS program has more than 150 volunteers serving as mentors for more than 170 students. Before being matched with a student, all volunteers must complete an orientation. PASS volunteers also provide their school coordinator with documentation of TB test results every two years and are approved annually by the Jefferson County Board of Education.

I send my sincere thanks and the sincere appreciation of our students to the many school coordinators and volunteers who make this program so successful. I encourage any adult to join our program. Our volunteers include parents, business officials and Shepherd College students. For information about becoming involved, contact me at the Jefferson County Board of Education at 1-304-728-9235.

Lisa Carper

School Social Worker

PASS Coordinator

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