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Letters to the editor 10/9

October 09, 2002

Why the low voter turnout? Paper should ask thyself



To the editor:


What kept me away from the polls? I'll tell what kept me away from the polls - the fact that a comprehensive voting guide never appeared in your paper.

I'm really getting sick and tired of various persons associated with your newspaper going on and on about the woeful voter turnout in Washington County. Once, OK It's probably warranted. Twice, getting repetitive, but the issue is important and everyone could use a little reminding. But a third time, a fourth time, ad nauseum - enough is enough already.

I called your paper a week or so ago, just after another of your whiny "why doesn't anyone vote" statements appeared in your paper. I spoke to your city editor, Liz Thompson, and mentioned a comprehensive voting guide. All she would say was that your paper printed an article a day on the commissioner candidates and she felt that was enough (this was the same person who never answered an e-mail I sent her about an article for which I was interviewed).

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I realize your paper printed a small article on each of the two dozen or so County Commissioner candidates, but only one article appeared per paper, which means someone would have had to read your paper for almost a full month, without missing an edition to have heard from each candidate. In addition, that same someone would have had to have saved all of those papers to remember what each candidate had said.

And let's face reality, most people have neither the time nor the desire to attend the various "candidates' nights" which make the rounds, much less read each and every edition of your newspaper.

I still don't understand why you couldn't print a comprehensive voting guide and publish it seven to 10 days before the election. That's what the Frederick Post does, and if the Frederick Post is capable of printing one, your paper certainly could.

In case you aren't familiar with this concept, let me clue you in. Some entity (your paper, the League of Women Voters, etc.) sends each candidate a list of several questions that are germane to a particular political race. The candidate then responds, in writing. Word limits can be set with the voting guide containing only the first however-many words allowed.

This way each voter will have a copy of this comprehensive guide which he can study prior to the election and take to the polling place. This would be infinitely more helpful than the sample ballot you publish. All that does is list the candidates.

Heck, the ballot does that, so you're just duplicating what the government is already doing.

So stop whining about what the voters aren't doing, get off your butt and help do something about it. If, after publishing a voters' guide before the next election, the turnout is just as dismal as it was last month, then you can start whining again. Why, I'll even let you tell me "I told you so." I promise to listen just as much as Thompson did when I phoned her.

J.S. Bricker Jr.

Smithsburg

Editor's note: The candidate summaries were also posted on the Web at www.herald-mail.com.




Support Horst's cycle shop



To the editor:


Recent deaths and injuries resulting from ATV and motorcycle accidents have made people realize that there is need for legislation and training to help prevent these tragic accidents.

With this in mind, I wanted to inform the citizens of the surrounding area about the state grant that was given to Lester Horst of Horst's Cycle Repair in Coseytown, Pa., to put an ATV riding park on his property. The park would provide safety training and riding experience along with special programs for underprivileged youth.

This program has great potential, but the Coseytown community is in an uproar. Naturally they have concerns about increased traffic, dust and noise. The grant that was received addresses most of these issues, but no one wants to listen. A group of citizens have even hired a lawyer and are now demanding the cycle repair shop be closed down. I am ashamed to admit that I know some of these people. Worse yet, I am related to them. Horst has had this business for almost 20 years. This is how he supports his family. Shutting him down is going way too far. It is wrong!

Horst was only trying to provide a good program. This good program is drowning in a sea of township politics, misconceptions and closed-minded people. My son rides a motorcross bike. I know first-hand the risks and the need for safety and practice on a motorcycle or ATV. My family will be at the Antrim Township hearing on Oct. 15, to show our support for Lester Horst. Any interested citizens are welcome to join us in offering support for the Horst family and the proposed ATV park.

Lori Houser

Greencastle, Pa.




Ehrlich has poor record



To the editor:


Kathleen Kennedy Townsend tried to be kind in her debate with Bob Ehrlich on Thursday, Sept. 26. "Your record," she said, "doesn't make you a bad person. It just makes you a bad governor of Maryland."

Perhaps she was too kind.

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