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Letters to the editor for 9/20

September 20, 2002

Western Md. owes much to Cas Taylor



To the editor:

I am responding to the letter printed in The Herald-Mail in early September by James and Patricia Twentey of Little Orleans, Md., in which they chastised Cas Taylor Jr., for advertising "Speaker of the House" on his campaign signs.

Most assuredly, he is running for re-election to the House of Delegates, and, most assuredly, the state legislature is not in session at this time. However, he is allowed to carry the title of "speaker" until a new one is chosen. Consequently, Speaker Taylor is neither misrepresenting his position nor making an attempt to confuse the voters.

If you have been residents of Little Orleans for any length of time, you know that it is largely due to Speaker Taylor's efforts that the Little Orleans Post Office was not eliminated years ago, thus allowing the citizens of Little Orleans access to all available postal services within a convenient distance of their homes. Speaker Taylor was also helpful to the parents of the Little Orleans and Flintstone school students in their unsuccessful fight to prevent the closure of the middle-high school in that district.

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The closure occurred anyway, but he has been supportive to the Little Orleans parents in their quest to keep their children in the closest geographic middle-high school, which is located in Hancock.

He is a friend to the sportsman and supported legislation to expand hunting in Maryland in a responsible manner. If you have a question or concern, you may call him and you will receive a timely response in person.

If you have been residents of Western Maryland for any length of time, he has proven that he represents his constituency in the entire district with enthusiasm and forthrightness - which is no easy task considering that prior to the redistricting he represented both a rural and a city population.

In addition, he has proven that he is able to look at a multitude of opinions on a variety of concerns and be more than a one-issue legislator. He is an advocate for educational quality and health care access on a regional basis for all of Western Maryland. Can we truly afford not to re-elect a man who was chosen by his fellow legislators across the state as the most respected and trusted person in the House of Delegates? Can we truly turn our faces away from the fact that his peers hold this kind of confidence in his leadership ability? Can we as Western Marylanders take the risk of losing that kind of influence?

No, I don't always agree with everything that he has done in the past nor will I agree with everything that he might do in the future. But I do believe that we can count on him to fight for economic growth and excellence in education in Western Maryland. So please, Mr. and Mrs. Twentey, if you have a real issue with him, don't hide behind the signs.

Donna B. Wallizer

Little Orleans/Hancock




Re-enactment smacked of wrestling



To the editor:

I read with amused surprise your newspaper's glowing and upbeat accounts of the re-creation of the battle of Sharpsburg. Apparently your staff attended a different event.

While blessed with a site that lends itself very well to a re-creation of the Sharpsburg fighting, the re-enactor community failed to re-create any part of the battle. This was just another silly re-enactor shoot-em-up, with history altered so that the overabundance of Confederate troops in attendance could get enough "trigger time."

Since the purpose of the event was to depict history, and we failed miserably, disappointment is running second only to outrage among those of us who take our historical interpretation even moderately seriously.

The depictions were dictated not by historical fact, but by the whims and interests of the historically impaired. The fault lies within the community of re-enactors, not with the event organizers. What the paying public saw was not how any Civil War battle was ever fought, let alone the battle of Sharpsburg.

Had this event been a washing machine or a television set, there would be a product recall and the manufacturers would be sued for fraud. Some very upset re-enactors are suggesting that what we perpetrated was the World Wrestling Federation version of the Civil War.

Thanks are due the Antietam Commemoration Committee, the Artz family and the other families who made their land available, to Allegheny Energy and to the community for being willing to host what had to have been an enormous imposition on your roads and your patience.

People who are willing to give heritage tourism a chance are few and deserve to be treasured. What the re-enactor community did for heritage tourism at this event, however, was just about what the British soccer hooligans did for European soccer a few years back. No amount of spin control by Dennis Frye in the gentle hands of your naive reporter is going to alter that truth.

William J. Watson

Stroudsburg, Pa.

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