Letters to the Editor - 5/29

May 29, 2002

Carter is the voice of reason we need in debate on Cuba

To the editor:

I disagree strongly with Peter A. Brown's characterization of Jimmy Carter (editorial page, May 23), in which he opined that Jimmy's mouth is too large.

My impression of Carter during his visit to Cuba was that he said what perhaps needs to be said and repeated. The prevailing opinion - especially among the countless transplanted Cubans in Florida, from where Brown writes - is that we can get rid of Castro by sanctions. This just ain't (pardon the grammar) so.

Admittedly, Cubans don't have the freedoms we enjoy, and Carter reminded them of that. But he did not tell them that we have a perfect government.


If Castro is put out of power and Cuba again becomes a U.S.-sponsored den of prostitution, gangs, and efforts to make it Las Vegas, as it was before Castro, what have they gained? Castro isn't an unmitigated devil; he has made improvements in lowering the illiteracy rate, for instance.

Only one who is blind in one eye and cannot see through the other would say that the U.S.A. is without fault; Carter told the Cubans what they already know about our country: We could be there to help them - not by foolish sanctions that don't work but by projects that will.

Jimmy, get your hammer and saw. If more of our people see the light, you can use your tools to help build a new Cuba.

Eugene Lincoln


Care providers treated unfairly

To the editor:

I am writing in regard to the article, "Home rules make couple say farewell to family." My mother was a home projects care provider for more than five years until her age and health made it impossible for her to continue working.

All the clients she had in her home were always included with our family on their birthdays, holidays, etc. They became family, not clients. I am highly offended by the remark made by Ms. Benner, who said, "A few, but not many, of the state's 2,000 or so home care providers are gone, but they were the most egregious violators and won't be missed."

For your information Ms. Benner, my mother never received one violation!

Your statements were unfair, not just to my mother, but to a lot of other care providers. They all just became fed up with the new rules, just as the Foltzes are. I know a lot of people aren't as kind and caring as my mother and I am sure some home care providers are egregious but to label all of then was very unfair.

Judy Miller


Who decided to cut down all downtown trees?

To the editor:

I want to thank The Herald-Mail for the thumbs down to the City of Hagerstown for one of the most frustrating things to happen in Hagerstown in years. For two years in a row, property owners in the city have faced major tax hikes.

On Wednesday and Thursday I witnessed the destruction of all of the trees located downtown on West Washington Street.

Keep in mind, these trees were not sick, they were nice and straight, lovely Bradford Pear trees that had just finished another excellent spring display. Why were these destroyed ? To make room for different trees ? Who made this foolish and wasteful decision ?

As a property owner in the City of Hagerstown, I want a full, detailed explanation, including the cost of this useless destruction and the names of the individuals who approved this blatant waste of taxpayer dollars.

I would hope that The Herald-Mail will seek this information out and publish these details for all to see.

New and different trees? Obviously, whoever made this decision does not remember just how much trouble and expense was incurred when they originally planted the Bradford Pears.

Getting new trees started will be a challenging task when many of the "street people" continually break the young trees down. I have witnessed this many times in the past. Look at how many times the tree on the south corner of Washington and Locust was replaced. Why would anyone in their right mind think about something like this ?

May I remind the mayor and council that one of the main reasons that they are elected by the citizens of the city is to be fiscally responsible and to best utilize our valuable tax dollars.

I don't mind tax increases when they apply to police and fire protection and other necessary public safety issues. However, I do take exception to see my taxes go up substantially, two years in a row to witness a blatant waste such as this one.

I would suggest that more property owners and citizens join in contacting the mayor and Council about this wasteful decision. As I have also stated above, I hope that The Herald-Mail will dig into this one.

Steve Hummel


Want to serve on School Board?

To the editor:

I am pleased to announce that the Washington County Board of Education will host a Candidates' Orientation that will be held on Tuesday, June 11, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The meeting will be held in the Board Auditorium at 820 Commonwealth Avenue, Hagerstown. The purpose of this forum is to share information about the roles and responsibilities of school board members and to respond to questions that prospective candidates may have about this important elected office.

This is an open invitation to all interested citizens of Washington County. This program will be conducted by Dr. Carl W. Smith, executive director of The Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) and other staff members of the association.

We hope to attract interested citizens from four Western Maryland counties - Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett - where there are board of education seats open for the 2002 election.

We look forward to welcoming all prospective candidates as well as those interested in more information about board service and public education.

W. Edward Forrest, President

Washington County Board of Education


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