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Letters to the editor 11/22

November 22, 2002

A gentleman's game



To the editor:


Your annual report on the tip jar business in Washington County is almost too thorough. The tip jar is less commonly used elsewhere, and some people in other Maryland counties and in neighboring states may get the impression that our Washington County schools don't teach mathematics.

The tip jar is a put and take gambling medium like the old-fashioned punchboards. Residents here are not reaching into their pockets and spending $85 million. They are playing a game where most of the transactions involve no money exchanged at all.

And most of the players are well-educated in math and know that you cannot win. It is a social way of supporting a better bingo game, a fire hall or a club. Sometimes a group plays as a team; sometimes they play like in competition, a oneupsmanship game. Loners are often the rarity.

Gambling is part of human nature. Lacking the glitter of flashing lights, or the big payoff possibilities of the lotteries, tip jars offer a way to do light gambling with little risk of becoming a compulsive gambler. One of the reasons this gambling tool has remained popular is that, although it is a vice, it has not been a very destructive one.

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Surely, copies of our local papers get left at airports and bus stations. Reading your report, and imagining myself to be someone from out of town, scares me. I might find myself reluctant to do business here, start a business here or even visit here. On the other hand, the report might attract pickpockets, who would be very disappointed.

Charles M. Webster

Williamsport




Time well spent



To the editor:


On Election Day, Nov. 5, 2002, my 11th grade civics students participated in an activity designed to increase their understanding of local and state government and school district administration. The students interviewed more than a dozen state and local government and local school district officials to learn first hand about the responsibilities and challenges of the offices they hold.

I would like to thank the following people for volunteering to participate in this project: Pennsylvania state Rep. Patrick Fleagle (R-90th), who spent the entire day in my classroom answering students' questions; Greencastle Mayor Red Pensinger; Greencastle Borough Council members Barbara Bock and Jean Oliver; Greencastle Borough Manager Ken Myers; Antrim Township Supervisors Scott Diffenderfer, Robert Whitmore and James Byers; and Antrim Township Administrator Teresa Schnoor; Greencastle-Antrim School District Superintendent Dr. P. Duff Rearick; Greencastle-Antrim School District Directors Harold Ritchey and Pamela Ott, and Greencastle-Antrim High School Principal Bonnie Cornelious.

My students and I are grateful to these officials for donating their time and sharing their experiences. We are fortunate to live in a community where so many officials are willing to support an educational project such as this. It is my hope that through this community-linked activity, more young people will become interested and involved in the political process and public service.

Ellen Kirkner

Social Studies teacher

Greencastle-Antrim High School

Greencastle, Pa.




Baldwin better as elder housing



To the editor:


Well I see where the city made another mess-up with the Baldwin House.

I for one think it should be made into apartments for the poor and elderly. Since CVS has made a little grocery store in its place, it would be ideal and with the promise we have of bringing more shopping downtown, it would be just right for people like me who don't drive.

And with Bob's Market just around the corner on East Franklin Street where you can get good meats and produce, it would be just right for the elderly.

Kay Schindel

Hagerstown

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