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Letters to the Editor 4/25

April 26, 2001

Letters to the Editor 4/25



County sells itself for poor-quality growth



To the editor:

Our business community and local government officials always remember to use the "natural beauty of Western Maryland" as a major selling point when they are attempting to attract new businesses to our area. And certainly Western Maryland is a beautiful place to live, work, and play. But the natural beauty of Washington County and more specifically the Hagerstown area, are about to be lost forever as a result of laziness, greed, and poor planning by these same business and government leaders.

Both city and county planning commissions are so obsessed with growth that they will rubber stamp almost any tacky tasteless development scheme that is put before them, with very little thought of long term consequences.

Our Hagerstown Planning Commission and the entire City Hall administration resemble a Third World government. When any developer throws a plan in front of them, they salivate like hungry dogs, willing to roll over, play dead, or whatever is necessary in order to get the "food."

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I believe they could easily be talked into paving over Jonathan Hager's grave if there were quick and easy money to be made.

This administration is ready, willing and able to trash Funkstown and surrounding communities with their Wal-Mart Supercenter, and against overwhelming opposition, they have already forced the Greenwich Park development into the Mt. Aetna Road neighborhood. More recently, the Mayor and Council went against a City Planning Commission recommendation and strong community opposition to approved a rezoning allowing the expansion of the Corner Pub into a residential area - they will even trash their own constituents if money is involved.

Furthermore, this city government has never yet enforced the state reforestation law which is intended to preserve a small part of Maryland 's natural beauty by requiring developers to preserve 15 percent of the forests on their properties or to plant seedlings if no forest exists. Of course, developers prefer to bulldoze all trees and historic buildings in one clean sweep and cover every square foot with their architectural masterpieces.

So, for their convenience and profit, the city has twisted the interpretation of the law so that developers always have the option of paying a nominal fee rather than preserving or planting any forest land. However, a very experienced real estate and zoning attorney recently informed me that the state law never intended for the buyout clause to be used unless the property will not support the growth of trees. And there is hardly any land in Washington County that will not grow trees if given the chance.

The city election is drawing near. Do you want to keep the people whose short-sighted hodge podge plan for growth would turn your city into an unhabitable brick and asphalt jungle? Nowis the time for you to make a difference and have some control over your future. Listen! Think! Vote!

Jim Laird

Hagerstown

The trouble with kids



To the editor:

I would like to voice my thoughts about the ongoing school shootings, and the push for legislation to fight this problem.

With only 40 years of Christian service and Bible study every day 365 days a year, I'll try to make a stab at a good probable opinion.

First of all' America's problem is an underlying spiritual problem. I know many will refute this and try to say it's an academical thing, and it's this and that but I honestly believe you all know the truth.

Pilate once said to Jesus Christ at his judgment praetorium, "What is truth?" I believe Pilate knows now. Many today do not want the truth but look to other places and things and try to convince ourselves of the truth. But we cannot deny the truth because truth always is the conqueror, believe it or not!

We the American people have let institutions like the ACLU dictate political correctness and what we can or cannot believe, until our kids are confused and repulsed by a nobody-cares, dumbed-down program!

Kids are mad when they go to school today after leaving a dysfunctional family lifestyle at home. With the problems of a one-parent family, drugs at home and fighting and arguments and frustrations fed by killing machine games at the arcades where they learn to kill an opponent or imaginary enemy.

Some older kids who slip through the cracks cannot balance a checkbook or write very well, but they can tell you about sports, Dungeons and Dragons, witchcraft and how to kill yourself or someone else by signing on to the Internet!

A lot of kids are mad and mean today - not all, not all, but a lot go to school and make fun of others' misfortunes and looks, even handicapped kids. Your parents saw it in their day. Well guess what, it's a 100 times today. The truth is, it takes more than legislation, people!

A.E. Snyder

Williamsport

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