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Letters to the editor -10/7/02

October 07, 2002

What's up with Community Rescue?



To the editor:


As I would expect, Community Rescue Service subscription drive is again asking for membership fees. I have always contributed to the membership drives. My business has also made contributions well above and beyond the membership requirement. I believe the services you render to the community are vital. I also note on the subscription information sheet a threat that in fact if my membership is not in by Oct. 31, 2002 there will be a 30-day waiting period before it takes effect.

Well, I must tell you I am perplexed at this time. In fact until I get some clarification as to what is going on at your establishment I won't feel good about sending you any monies, membership or contributions. The start of my concern goes back several years. I have not been documenting all of the discrepancies and inconsistencies that have been publicized about Community Rescue but I believe it has gotten to the point where you need to clear yourself of quite a few issues to bring things back to reality and make yourselves a credible organization.

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It is time to come clean before the community that you serve. There is more to business then just running out "scooping people up" and rushing them off to the hospital. There are some really good people in your organization. I know quite a few of them. But what the community has been reading about in the papers, let alone what is "on the street" about your issues will continue to affect you're operations in a negative way.

I challenge you to open the books. Take your share of the county's subsidy without crying "no fair." Make sure to do business in a way so that the bank doesn't have to foreclose on your company. And please have somebody "in charge" of your next business meeting for starters. And believe it or not, we are glad you are there when we need you, in spite of all the above!

Jim Martin

Trailer Enterprises, Inc.

Hagerstown




Allegheny Energy must shape up



To the editor:


What happened to that commercial? Better yet what's the deal with Allegheny Energy? It seems as though Allegheny is now just trying to cover its assets. One year ago Allegheny was at its peak. The stock was in the mid 50s and the word around town was look at us. We're a fortune 500 company, our CEO has been named CEO of the year, and we're a major player in the utility industry.

Meanwhile, those of us where the rubber meets the road kept saying "How can they keep spending all this money?" We're buying power plants, we've bought an arm of Merrill Lynch for $500 million to sell our power supply, and we even entered into a contract to sell power to California. Ding, Ding, Ding tell us what we've won Johnny! A fast trip to the poor house!

One year later our stock is at an all- time low (mid teens), our bond rating is sinking like the Titanic, and you guessed it, we're having a hard time making ends meet. We keep hearing that these are exciting times but corporate Allegheny and union Allegheny must have different definitions.

The corporate solution is to redesign Allegheny again, layoff its work force, and keep their fingers crossed and pray. The unions' reply to that is "We knew this was going to happen." The rich get richer and the rest of us get a free trip to the unemployment office.

Here's a thought, maybe Allegheny's top executives should take a pay cut instead of 600 people being forced to take an early out. After all Alan Noia, our CEO, said publicly that he was to blame for the downward turn. But we all know that will never happen. Let's face it if Allegheny goes belly up our top executives still receive their severance and the rest of us have to figure out where to go from here. Allegheny blames Deregulation and Enron as also being contributing factors.

Deregulation? I think not. There are companies out there that stayed with their core business and are doing just fine. And Enron was bound to happen sooner or later. The real problem is trying to get too big too fast! So where do we go from here?

No. 1. If we're going to cut then let's be smart about it. Get rid of all the contractors. Allegheny has a work force that is second to none. We are highly trained individuals and we've done this work for years. Union labor is tough to beat!

No. 2. Quit trying to be what you're not. Get back to the basics of your core business that got us this far. It's proven it works.

No. 3. Listen to your work force. We have good suggestions and if we're included we may just be able to turn this sinking ship around!

You may think I'm bashing Allegheny but in reality I'm not. Sometimes it takes some constructive criticism to get the point across. Each of us at Allegheny, like our predecessors, have had a hand in building this company piece by piece and I'll be darned if I'll let this go unsaid:

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