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Letters to the Editor 3/27

March 28, 2002

No NASCAR in Panhandle


To the editor:

Sen. Herb Snyder of Jefferson County, W.Va., is attempting to bring NASCAR to the Eastern Panhandle to an undisclosed location. We are vehemently opposed to any attempt to bring NASCAR racing to Jefferson County or, for that matter, to the Eastern Panhandle. Snyder's rationale for the track is the 1,000 jobs and economic interests (whose, we wonder?) While he may bring 1,000 likely minimum wage jobs, many of which will be part-time, how many others will he displace and what terrible price will be paid by those remaining?

As residents of Jefferson County, and subsequently the Eastern Panhandle, we fear Snyder is severely out of touch with his constituents. After this morning's headlines, six neighboring families converged upon our living room, in shock at Snyder's suggestion.

These families represent generations of Eastern Panhandle farmers, as well as new West Virginia citizens, and they are highly frustrated with his thoughts and actions.

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Additionally, some of these families are part of a larger group that forms the Friends of Summit Point. It's a group that represents the concerns of more than 350 area families who have been attempting to do something about the Summit Point Raceway and its negative impact on the quality of life for Summit Point and surrounding residents.

We have not had any support from Snyder in these efforts. We feel confident in stating these same 350 families will quickly rally to oppose any more infringement on their quality of life by the introduction of NASCAR.

We applaud Sen. John Unger and his efforts on behalf of farmland. The Friends of Summit Point are in a rural, agricultural district, as is much of Jefferson County, yet they are not currently allowed to live that way. Instead they get to attend Sunday church service to the roar of car engines and today, March 3, to the repeated rounds of machine-gun fire from the Summit Point Raceway.

Senator Snyder, where have you been and what are you thinking? We note that you have an assignment in the Senate to the Committee on Natural Resources. What a jewel you have here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Can you imagine the impact of NASCAR on Natural Resources.

Have you driven on Route 340 lately? We cannot handle the traffic we have now and with the recently approved addition of 1,500 new slots at the Charles Town Races, the traffic will only grow worse. Our wells are running dry in this severe drought, Berkeley County is now under mandatory water restrictions.... NASCAR - Natural Resources... what a deadly combination.

Senator Snyder, we are tired of being compromised. Please do not prostitute the Eastern Panhandle in this way. Are we destined to become the "adult playground" for the surrounding states? All of the industries such as gambling, horse racing and auto racing, which are shunned by the states of Virginia and Maryland, as a result of their tight zoning, will spill over to the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, unless we take constructive action now. So much for the state motto of Wild, Wonderful West Virginia... it is frightening to think what our new motto will become.

The Kleffners

Monte View Farm

Summit Point, W.Va.

Step up, BOE and take responsibility


To the editor:

I would like to respond to some comments brought to my attention by the Eastern Elementary School community, that were made by Washington County Board of Education members Roxanne Ober and Bernadette Wagner.

During the recent South High Community Meeting, a parent from Eastern Elementary School upbraided the board members about their redistricting decisions and asked what on earth they planned to do about the overcrowded conditions that still exist at Eastern.

After the formal part of the meeting, Mrs. Ober and Mrs. Wagner approached this parent and another Eastern parent to discuss their concerns.

During this discussion these board members made the statement that they had tried to move more students out of Eastern into Funkstown, but the Funkstown community refused to take the students proposed to be moved - that the Funkstown community only wanted "certain" neighborhoods brought into their school.

This statement is false. It is also a grave insult to the Funkstown School Community. The Funkstown School community did suggest adding a portable classroom and bringing an additional 30 to 35 students into our school to help further alleviate conditions at Eastern Elementary.

Roxanne Ober and Bernadette Wagner did propose moving additional children into Funkstown after receiving our suggestion.

Unfortunately, instead of doing their homework and proposing a neighborhood that is part of the South High feeder district, they proposed moving the Randolph Street area, which is part of the North High feeder system, into Funkstown. When this fact was pointed out, the other five board members refused - correctly - to support this move.

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