letters 11/2

November 02, 2000

Letters to the Editor 11/2

Roscoe Bartlett's fairyland Congress

To the editor:

Tim Rowland's Sunday (Oct. 29) article about Roscoe Bartlett's excuses earned my applause.

Bartlett's newsletters have always fascinated me. They have been three or four pages filled with a blizzard of words that say absolutely nothing, so skillfully and exquisitely produced that they deserve to be in a museum.

Things that happened in the past were blended with things that may happen in the future, a symphony that ends with you scratching your head, thinking "What did he say?" Challenge him on something, and you get back a skillful response that may be opposite of the original stance.

Unfortunately, Bartlett is only one of many in Congress living in a "dream city" created by the myth that they can out-fox the president, and fueled by a spending orgy presumably to get rid of the "surplus" before someone reveals that your Social Security deductions, and the road tax money are being spent and I.O.U.'s are being stuffed into those "trust funds" as promised by the government to pay itself back. You try that, Mr. Banker, and see how quickly you are prosecuted.


Bartlett was wise in keeping Beverly Byron's staff in place in Hagerstown. They were excellent and have done a great job for him, so that he can probably truthfully claim to have provided good constituent services, and that is important.

The other theory regarding Roscoe Bartlett is that with re-election he will have a lot of seniority. Well, okay, that's great, if you do something with it, So far, he hasn't demonstrated that he knows how to get things done.

Flash. . . Bartlett's office released the news that a bill is now in Congress to add prescription drugs to Medicare, and they are going to get "right on it....just after the election."

What did Yogi Berra say? "Sounds like deja vu all over again"?

Don Brown


Please help promote literacy

To the editor:

As a person involved with literacy training I found your paper very interesting today, particularly since September is Literacy Month. On Page A4 there was an editorial by Leonard Pitts in which he spoke about literacy. In his final paragraph he said "27 million American adults could not read this sentence." Isn't that a scary thought?

Then on Page A1 you ran an article outlining the low rate of return of census forms. Do you think maybe this has something to do with the problem that Mr. Pitts was talking about? Surely Washington and Franklin counties have our share of those 27 million. If you got a form in the mail and you could not read, what would you do with it? I suspect you would throw it out. How many times did that happen here in the four-state area?

As a person working with the Franklin County Literacy Council (FCLC) I can tell you there are many people locally who may have thrown out the census forms for that reason. That is not the only impact not reading has on their lives though. They cannot interpret contracts, sales agreements, telephone bills, nor can they help their children with school work.

The Literacy Council here in Franklin County (as well as comparable groups in other counties) is working hard to attack these issues. Won't you help us? There are three easy ways to do so. 1) If you know a person who needs help, refer them to your local literacy group. 2) If you have some spare time, join us as a volunteer tutor - you don't have to be a teacher as we will train you and give you a strong support system. 3) Make a donation to help defray the cost of books and other materials.

Richard A. Roane

Chair, Advisory Committee, FCLC

Chambersburg, Pa.

More hacking, less yakking

To the editor:

One really good thing about the Sunday paper and something I looked forward to on a weekly basis was the James Coates column on computers, because he gave answers in a very simplified form which even new computer users could understand. And what happens?

You discontinue printing it in favor of lots of local opinions that are not worth a hill of beans. There are people in this town with interest in learning, and this column was just great. If others out there feel the same way won't you please let the editors know?

N. J. Wallech


Ineffective Bartlett will only bring the district more failures

In suggesting that voters give Roscoe Bartlett two more years to add to the eight years he's already spent in office, The Herald-Mail does not name a single accomplishment from the congressman's tenure.

In fact, the Herald-Mail points out unfinished business vital to economic development in Washington County.

The Herald-Mail says Bartlett needs to break the "log jam" and get Fort Ritchie transferred to Pen Mar Development. Apparently, the five years since Fort Ritchie closed has not been enough time for our congressman, a member of the Armed Services Committee, to get the job done.

Now we should grant him seven years and hope he finally delivers?

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