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Letters to the editor 10/18

October 18, 2002

Farmers and Indians



To the editor:


To help the people of Washington County understand the new Comprehensive plan, I thought it would be easier to give new terminology and examples of what the commissioners are hoping will curb development in our county.

The agriculture preservation areas should be renamed as agricultural reservations. Also think of the farmers to be renamed as Indians. That way, the average person can identify with what the commissioners new plan will propose for the land owners in these restricted areas.

Washington County should be renamed Central Park. Since development will be much more welcome in our neighboring counties, this would be the perfect name. Franklin County could be then called "The Upper North Side", and Jefferson County could be called "The Lower South Side." And, like its namesake, there could be a dairy barn somewhere in the middle of the park. Unfortunately, there are no cows in Central Park. Rumor has it that these cows single-handedly polluted the East River. We have the Potomac; so again, there will be no cows for obvious reasons.

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While these examples are sarcastic, it is alarming that they are based upon fact.

Any development that falls inside the Smart Growth area is encouraged. Anything outside is annexed. All else is prohibited. The exceptions are one house per landowner. Lots of 10, 20 and 30 acres per house are allowed simply because it can be used as a tool by the county to limit development while providing no compensation from down zoning to the landowner.

I am sure every citizen in this county is in favor of a comprehensive plan that will provide a benefit to both the county and its people. Cutting the county into a jigsaw puzzle and filling the spaces to fit their program is not an option.

At last count, the state of Maryland has lost one farmer and 144 acres every 33 hours since 1981. The reason is not because of development. Perhaps the state should invest in a study to research why the ag community is dwindling at such an astounding rate. Rectify this situation and possibly the farmers will be much more reluctant to sell their assets or their "retirement accounts."

The lifestyle we have enjoyed in the past will change at a much faster rate than in previous years. Without the growth, we will lose the tax base we desperately need to repair and replace the decaying municipal facilities in the county, not to mention a few luxuries we may enjoy.

I suppose it would be a rather enjoyable ride through the Meadowlands on the way to the ball game. The Charles Town Suns.

E. Andrew Stone

Stone Farms

Boonsboro




Insightful column



To the editor:


I am writing to thank The Herald-Mail for running the excellent and insightful National View column by Rita Lasar. Her reasoned response to the terrible events of last September provides us with an important perspective which has been lacking in much of our recent public dialog.

We should all take courage from Lasar's ability to respond to her own her own personal loss with great insight as she invites America to "join the world, which is already a troubled place." The events of Sept. 11 did not change the world. By responding to those events with additional death, destruction and suffering, we only add to the world's troubles. Is this the outcome that we as Americans really desire?

Martha L. Cornwell

Hagerstown




Someone cares



To the editor:


While reading The Morning Herald on Friday, Sept. 13, I came across an article entitled, "Corn, soybean, harvests expected to be way down." I want to thank the journalist who wrote this article because it is comforting to know that people around this area care about the growth and care of these types of products.

I never knew studies were taking place about the production of cornfields in Maryland. I am also pleased that Gov. Parris Glendening is trying to help farmers get the crops in good condition. Even though the article did not have good news about the harvest this year, it is nice to know that your newspaper took the time to find information and print this article. Thank you.

Natalie Monkou

Hagerstown

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