Letters to the editor 9/10

September 10, 2002

Improvements for Hagerstown

To the editor:

For the past several years there have been issues concerning Hagerstown/Washington County that I frequently find myself discussing with others. I will address each individually.

First: The issue of rental inspections in Hagerstown. As you have commented repeatedly, I agree that inspections along the lines of those in most other municipalities are badly needed and long overdue. My only difficulty with the City Council's proposed ordinance is their decision to charge landlords, and ultimately tenants, for these inspections. In many units I have seen in Hagerstown the issues involved have been more health and welfare related as opposed to structural (i.e. bug, bird and rodent infestations). I wonder if it wouldn't be possible to obtain grant monies to cover the added expense of additional inspectors.

Second: Much ado has been made over the decision to locate the University System of Maryland campus downtown. I believe that having the campus in town would do many beneficial things for the salvation of the inner city. Assuming - and of course as with anything government-related it is only that - that the campus is properly done as has been proposed with the added green space, etc. it would do much to alleviate peoples' fear of "treading" on downtown streets. The added influx of people would require additional services, and entertainment venues for those associated with the university, which would ultimately benefit the residents of Hagerstown as well.


Third: I have heard quite a bit of talk about urban renewal - the Civil War Museum, and the Arts & Entertainment District. Both are good ideas. I have one idea of my own which has proven itself in two other cities of comparable size to Hagerstown. These cities are Troy, N.Y. and Staunton, Va. In both instances, through prodding by local business people and help from government agencies, these cities were able to turn vacant, derelict buildings into major centers of commerce for their respective regions. This in turn reduced unemployment and virtually eliminated the multitude of vacant storefronts in town. In both cities, the standard of living of the residents was improved, and crime rates declined.

T. Hoard


Towers are a nuisance

To the editor:

Bravo to Paul Rosa of the Harper's Ferry Conservancy! (FCC: Plan for tower is on hold, Sept. 4) Director of communications for the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems' Thomas Miller's statement that, "the state is receiving the most resistance to the towers in Washington County," sure made my day.

The citizens of this county need to look at the environmental and aesthetic impact of these obtrusive towers that are beginning to litter the landscape everywhere we look. Miller misses the point when he says, "doesn't know a thing about communications, we're the experts."

What's to know? Communication towers are ugly and they're responsible for the deaths of millions of migratory birds every year! Mr. Miller, I'm sure that you are an expert in your field but it doesn't take an expert in communications to figure out that a 330-foot tower looming over an otherwise rural landscape is not very attractive. Cell towers are at issue throughout the country as cities and towns are looking to "stealth" technologies like church steeples, silos, water towers, flag poles and the like for camoflage.

I appreciate the need for emergency communications but alternatives should be explored before we mar the landscape further with this vertical real estate.

Peggy Chestnutt


Ag board says thanks

To the editor:

The Washington County Ag Expo Board of Directors would like to thank the staff of The Herald-Mail for their superb coverage of the 2002 Ag Expo.

The coverage from the news, photography and advertising departments was excellent. We greatly appreciated the extra effort in helping us promote the last minute changes to our Monday evening program that was very successful.

We also thank NBC-25, WJEJ, WLTF, WKMZ, WARK, WARX, WIKZ, WCHA, WHIR,WAYZ, WSTR, WWMD, WQCM and WHAG for their coverage before and during the fair and for also helping publicize our changes on Monday evening.

To all the volunteers, sponsors, market sale and cake auction buyers, thank you for continued support and helping to make the 2002 Ag Expo successful. See you next year, August 1-9, 2003.

Joanna Calimer

Publicity and Advertising

Washington County Ag Expo

Waynesboro, Pa.

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