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letters to the editor - 1/20/02 - f6

January 22, 2002

Letters to the editor 1/20



Harold Male shouldn't cast spelling stones


To the editor:

As was recently pointed out by Tim Rowland in his "Year in Review" I was associated with the cardinal error of misspelling the word millennium on a poster called "Hagerstown at the Turn of the Millennium" that I had spearheaded while on the Hagerstown city council. How little did I know that the magnitude of that error would eclipse the concept and keepsake that it was intended to be. Heaven forbid, one of the letters (n) had been left out. Let me give a little background about what actually occurred.

I had worked for quite a while with Karen Giffin in city hall to develop the concept and get appropriate updated photos taken of Hagerstown. She in turn got assistance in the graphic set-up from Icon Graphics, a local business that has done quite a bit of excellent work to help the city out, many times without charge. When the "final draft" was ready, Karen and I set up a time for the unveiling, so to speak, in city hall. Interestingly enough, the Herald Mail had run an article about the poster that very morning in which they printed a picture of the poster, with the word millennium misspelled. It was only when their readers called in to let them know about it that their reporter, Dan Kulin, called me to inform me that the word was misspelled. I told him it wasn't a problem and that it would be corrected expeditiously, but that we were going to proceed with the poster presentation anyway, as scheduled. Yes, somewhere along the line, one of us or even all of us had misspelled the word, including the always (???????) correct Herald Mail.

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That brings me two my analysis of the hole senaireo. You sea, I've writin meny leters, with perfect speling, too the editor of the Harold Male and you woodn't beleave how many of them, wen pfinaly published, were loaded with mispeled words. I kould certainlee understand the Harold Male and there staf pudding mea down for mispeling words if en fackt they were alweighs corect but that is far, far frum the trooth. Ask eny won who has ever writen a leter two them and sea what they seigh. Just as the homeless shelter assists in helping those among us who need housing, I have come too the konklushun that the Harold Male serves as a shelter of sortz for thurd graid speling dropouts who kan't git eny werk enywhere else. (Dr. Morgan, could you possibly consider an offsite remedial third grade spelling class there at the Harold Male????). Eye meen, just reeed the leters two the editur regularlee as wel as the klasifyed ads and sea for yoreself. It's al the tyme.

In conclusion, I consider my command of the English language, whether spoken or written, to be second to very few people and, as I jokingly challenged John League (editor and publisher of the Herald Mail), that if given a chance to be on their staff as a proof reader or editor, I believe there would be a substantial improvement to the accuracy of their use of words. As a councilman who strived to maintain a good relationship with the press, I have to wonder why their focus would come down to one misspelled word in the 'n.'

J. Wallace McClure

Hagerstown


County dragging feet on planning


To the editor:

If there's any doubt as to whether the planning process in Washington County is wildly out of control, the new developments announced for Black Rock and Marsh Pike should settle matters.

While our commissioners continue their foot-dragging on the release of the final draft of the county's comprehensive growth plan, local builders line up to obtain new zoning designations. Almost always, it is for the purpose of replacing agricultural land with more sprawl.

I say "sprawl" because, a) there is no evidence any piece of ground is off limits to the voracious appetites of local builders and their proponents in the County Office Building, and, b) the population projections in the draft comprehensive plan show no need for the astounding number of projects underway or in the planning phase. Consider this: The two developments noted above and the ongoing Rosewood site will alone create almost 1,800 new housing units. Why? That is a question we should all be asking at this point.

Nonetheless, county officials consistently side with their developer allies, despite growing citizen unease with these projects-evidenced by letters to this column and the turnout at public hearings. Oh, sure, there's the occasional "compromise" that may slightly alter plans (example: 225 housing units rather than 250), but never any doubt as to who will prevail.

Not surprising, given the elected and appointed officials with development ties or vested interest in seeing projects move forward. That, and most proposals are already well along before the public gets the first whisper of them.

The usual justification for new construction-either it's in the "urban growth area" or "the character of the existing area has changed"-is used so often as to be laughable.

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