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letters to the editor - 1/23/02

January 24, 2002

Letters to the Editor 1/23



Let's join forces
with West Virginia
for regional airport


To the editor:

In the short haul, the low-cost state-subsidized flights from Hagerstown to BWI are wonderful. In the long haul, however, one has to wonder whether we're applying patchwork thinking when a broader, more strategic approach could yield far more satisfying results.

Concurrent with Hagerstown Regional's announcement of the new shuttle and its plan to extend the runway to accommodate mid-size jets, the Eastern Panhandle Regional Airport in Martinsburg, which already has runways accommodating the biggest jets, has announced plans to open their facility to commercial traffic.

Let's recap. Hagerstown plans to spend $11.5 million in taxpayer money to hopefully lure mid-size jets. Big jets can land at Martinsburg today. These airports are about 25 miles apart. Does anyone else see a problem? Does anyone else see an opportunity?

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Is this region large enough to support competing airports, essentially side-by-side? It might be entertaining to hear the arguments, but it doesn't seem practical.

But if, instead, we think in terms of one large truly "regional" airport, the valley's 500,000-plus residents between Shippensburg, Pa. and Strasburg, Va. constitute a market more than large enough for an airport the likes of Harrisburg, with lots of flights to lots of places. No, not another Dulles or BWI, but a "big" airport.

A bi-state airport authority could bring experts together from both sides of the Potomac to explore such an idea. It's not a novel notion. D.C.'s airport, Reagan National, is in Virginia. Cincinnati's airport is in Kentucky. If these folks can work together, maybe we can too.

Whether we like it or not, we're not really rural anymore. A half-million people live here already, and more are on their way. Let's start thinking like a larger market, and build the kind of airport that will serve the needs of our region for decades to come, regardless of whether the planes land south of the Potomac or north of it.

Mike McGough

Hagerstown




Thanks so much to
those who helped me
in 'Race for the Cure'


To the editor:

Washington County is fortunate to have so many generous people and businesses. Even with our recent national tragedy so many of my friends and business associates were still able and willing to dip into their pockets to help find a cure for the on-going tragedy that is breast cancer. As a breast cancer survivor, I recently participated in two events to celebrate my survival and to do my part to raise awareness of the need for more research and educational outreach.

On Oct. 13 I participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Baltimore. Approximately 20,000 participants raised $1.1 million with proceeds allowing the Maryland affiliate to provide grant funds for breast cancer and educational outreach programs across Maryland and support for national breast cancer research. On Oct. 27, I participated in the Y-Me of Cumberland Valley Breast Cancer walk at Hagerstown Community College. Volunteers helped raise a total of $35,000 in pledges for Y-Me. Y-Me spends its money on local efforts: educational programs; a breast cancer hotline; a wig, prosthesis and bra bank; and a program to provide mammograms for women with low incomes or those without insurance.

I want to thank my family, friends, co-workers, members of the Cumberland Valley Cycling Club and Antietam Velo Club as well as corporate sponsors, Hagerstown Trust Company, A.R. Burdette Inc., Antietam Cable/Ad Channel 55, Advanced Computers and Electronics Inc., d'Vinci Interactive, DH Web, DocuTrac Inc. and Leecom Inc.

The support and generosity of these people and businesses is truly inspiring and as a result, I was able to raise more than $2,300 in pledges to benefit breast cancer research, support and outreach.

Janet Lung

Breast Cancer Survivor

Hagerstown

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