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Letters to the editor - 6/22/02

June 24, 2002

Maginnis made the wrong call on park update


To the editor:

I feel that Bob Maginnis's comments in his editorial space of The Daily Mail of Wednesday, June 19 about the cannon and using it as an excuse to waste money need to be answered. My late husband was a disabled veteran of World War II with a tax-free stipend for life because of that disability.

Those in the ""know" about such things understand that made it a very real disability. He would in no way be honored by the use of precious funds to stabilize and restore an old piece of war machinery at a time when the city cannot find the funds to adequately pay the Public Works Department personnel doing the work.

It would be even worse to discover that the city has found a way to use this project to bring in, yet again, an outside contractor to erode the morale and even the existence of Public Works.

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It does my husband no honor to erect concrete walls and fancy fences when the city is working hard not to pay a just and fair wage to the firefighters and police officers who protect and defend us with their hours of truly hard work in the heat and the cold, perhaps even with their lives.

I think it is disgusting to cover a truly neighborhood project with the flag and the words "veteran" and "disabled" in order to get past a really tough budget scrutiny that would have tabled the project until priority issues have been taken care of.

And for the record, I have the privilege of associating with the above-mentioned employees of the city, but I call none of them family, or even a particular friend. I am just very tired of having special projects taken care of for some particular people but the general welfare of the city overlooked and ignored.

Mrs. Norman W. Haines Sr.

Hagerstown




No patriots here


To the editor:

In this time in our lives when patriotism is flying high, our newspaper showed its respect by dishonoring a person who has worked hard in his life to show his patriotism by achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.

When my son achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, he wanted to share this achievement with a lot of people. When we took his story to The Herald-Mail, we were pleased that they were going to print his picture and biography, that is until the newspaper released the story June 13 and we read it.

Besides a misspelled name, they decided they would crop his picture and remove the most important feature that an Eagle Scout represents, the American flag, which stands for so much in our lives since Sept. 11. It's a flag a scout salutes just like a military general does, to show his respect and dedication to his country.

Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is a long, hard journey. Few achieve this rank because it takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

When I contacted The Herald-Mail about this and explained what was wrong, their solution was to reprint the misspelled name but not the picture. Correcting the misspelled name was not as important as correcting the picture and putting the American flag back where it belonged, next to the scout who honors it.

After speaking with Tony Mulieri and Terry Headlee at the newspaper, both said no change would be made. To say the least, I am very disappointed with our local newspaper.

They are more concerned about a boy selling snowcones whose picture was printed in five-by-seven inch size than with a boy who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, since the picture they printed of him was only wallet-size.

Candy Schroyer

Hagerstown




Discriminating against renters is not justified


To the editor:

Each proposal to develop residential rental housing lately in our community seems to draw more opposition than any other kind of development. I believe that much of this opposition comes from a bias toward the people who choose to live in them.

My concern about this issue was heightened when I read the article in The Daily Mail on May 30 discussing the City Planning Commission's proposal to limit apartments. Their comments as to why they wanted to limit apartments and how to accomplish this were very troubling to me.

Charges usually leveled against apartment or rental housing developments by their opponents are: Property values of owner-occupied homes nearby will come down, more children from apartments will tax our schools, traffic congestion will increase, and that rental tenants will be low-wage, nonprofessional workers, lazy and living on welfare.

Apartments and rental housing are not the drain on communities that some would have us believe. The facts are that for a period between 1987 and 1997, for single-family homes within 300 feet of an apartment development, values went up 3.9 percent on average versus a 3.6 percent increase for homes beyond that range.

More than 43 percent of renters live alone, every 100 apartment units adds only 26.7 kids to a local school versus 62.4 kids for single-family detached housing units.

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