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Letters to the editor for 8/3

August 03, 2002

Arm our airline pilots

To the editor:

Kathleen Parker's column of July 16 took the position that airline pilots should be allowed to carry guns and that no further discussion of the matter is called for.

I respectfully agree with Parker.

It was "gun control" that made the events of Sept. 11 possible. "Gun control" gave the terrorists the guarantee that they would have a probable monopoly on knives and would not have to face anyone armed with a gun. It was a security system based on "gun control" that took away the crime deterrent that makes Americans safe almost anywhere else - the armed citizen.

Killings continue to occur in so-called "gun-free zones" but anti-gunners and our nation's top security officials pay no heed to reality.


It is hard to believe this is the country of Daniel Boone when you see officials get weak and queasy at the thought of armed pilots.

The gun haters have caused enough disaster. Let's fire them and arm the pilots.

Doug Delmont

Waynesboro, Pa.

We like bridge just as it is now

To the editor:

In the name of "improvement," Washington County plans to replace a single-lane bridge on Marble Quarry Road with a two-lane bridge, plus shoulders. This is planned despite the fact that the wooden planks and guard rails on the historic bridge were just replaced within the last year. Reportedly, the extra width will make some amount of state funds available for the project.

The problem is that the planned "upgrade" is totally out of character with the rest of the single-lane road, and, in fact, with the rural character of the entire area.

Marble Quarry Road is a beautiful, winding, mile-and-a-half-long, single-lane road that is used regularly by bicyclists, joggers, walkers, and people on horseback. It has numerous historic features, including a stone house that was used as a hospital during the Civil War.

The Little Antietam Creek also winds along and across the road. It features several quiet fishing holes on its way to join the Antietam Creek on the Antietam Battlefield.

Increasing the width of the bridge will tend to increase the average speed of drivers, as well as detract from the surroundings. This is a significant safety issue, as well as an aesthetic concern; many children live and play along this road.

The natural beauty on Marble Quarry Road includes a fern- and flower-strewn cliff, with a multitude of wildflowers and berry bushes that remain from the days when this area was an important fruit-producing region of Maryland.

The flowers and fruits still thrive, thanks to the attention paid by Ron Clark, who works for the Washington County Roads Department, who carefully mows the vegetation.

There is also a strong natural science concern; a rare fish lives in the Little Antietam Creek along Marble Quarry Road, and spawns beneath the bridge in question.

Single-lane bridges and roads are part of the unique beauty, historic charm, and rural character of Washington County, which is acknowledged in recent updates to the County's Master Plan as an important feature to be preserved.

Accordingly, the county should not be acting to degrade such features. We need to protect the historic and aesthetic aspects of our county, rather than allow it to become one large string of suburbs, connected by unnecessarily-wide bridges and roads that invite high-speed driving.

Alice White

Washington County

As for the hospital, what's wrong with the one we have?

To the editor:

I just heard on the news and read more in the newspaper about the Hagerstown City Council's vote to forcibly take land for the hospital's use. My big question is: What is wrong with the existing hospital we have now? Nothing is wrong with it. They can't afford the trauma center let alone build another hospital.

What about all 59 properties down there? Will "fair-market value" pay for all the improvements residents have made to their homes? Is the council going to help the rental residents find new homes? Are they going to help the homeowners in locating new properties to buy that are affordable to them? Who is going to pay for all the purchasing of the properties?

The mayor assumes the hospital will. Well, what if the hospital tells the city that it will stay here if the city acquires the properties and sells them to the hospital at a much lower cost than the actual value of the property? A lot of the residents in that area have been there for a long time. Some have been there since I was a child growing up in that neighborhood.

Why move the hospital out of the city when it is easily accessed by residents of the city who don't own vehicles and must use public transportation? There is nothing wrong with the existing site that the hospital sits on now. Leave it as it is. The hospital should use the money to improve the quality of service they give to their patients instead of thinking bigger. You don't have to be bigger to be better.

Tammy Sexton


We like bridge just as it is now

To the editor:

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