Letters to the editor - 12/10/02

December 10, 2002

Rep. Bartlett is of no help

To the editor:

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett won his next-to-last election riding the backs of Maryland veterans. More than two years ago I sought the help of his staff in Hagerstown to assist me with service-connected claims and subsequent appeals I had with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Baltimore. When I went to his Hagerstown office I could not have been treated more nicely by one of his staff members who assured me that she would look into my situation.

For the next several months I was ignored and rebuffed by his Hagerstown staff.

Absolutely nothing was done on my behalf. By this time I was completely disillusioned and disgusted. I contacted his Washington office and a staffer fielded my call and referred me to someone in Frederick.

By this time, I finally determined that Rep. Bartlett was inaccessible to the average veteran and his staff didn't care. I am now in my fifth year of this ordeal and the Baltimore VA has had my last appeal since March 2002.


I am a five-year active duty U.S. Coast Guard veteran of the Korean War and a member of the American Legion.

If this is the norm for the way his office handles older veterans' problems, God help our young service men and women when they have legitimate problems and are treated in a similar manner by indifferent politicians and their staffers in the future.

Robert S. Montague


Issues clouded by sludge

To the editor:

I just wanted to respond to an article in Sunday, Nov. 30's Section C entitled - "Township campaigns against sludge bill."

Municipalities (Pennsylvania Townships) have become a target for anti-corporate agriculture activists such as Tom Linzey, who allegedly represents the interests of the "family farmer." He represents this position through an organization he identifies as the Community Environmental Defense Fund.

In an effort to give agriculturists a legal means to defend themselves somewhat against obstructionist laws offered pro bono by the Community Environmental Defense Fund, and passed by township governments, the Pennsylvania State Senate passed SB 1413 in the spring of 2002. (The only piece of legislation identified in the article.)

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is now considering that same measure, thus giving rise to the "campaign" the article alleges.

The irony of all this rhetoric is that SB 1413 has nothing to do with the distribution of treated human waste on farmland. The intention of the "law" is to give farmers the right to recoup court and attorney costs from a township, should they successfully litigate against existence of anti-corporate ordinances.

And, what the opponents of this proposed legislation fail to mention is this same proposal gives townships the prerogative to collect costs should the court find the suit to be "frivolous" in nature.

The article supports very well the effort of SB 1413 opponents to divert attention from the legislative issue to one that is much more environmentally and community sensitive: "Sludge."

I commend Sen. Punt as sponsor of and Rep. Fleagle for support of this significant piece of legislation.

I thank this periodical for providing this open forum.

Marlin M. Lynch

Government relations director

Fulton County Farm Bureau

Warfordsburg, Pa.

Parties getting too destructive

To the editor:

The trend over the last several years of students on college campuses demonstrating violently after sports victories is alarming. This trend is hitting very close to home.

The University of Maryland and West Virginia University are both guilty of demonstrating. The level of property damage, including to automobiles, speaks to the need for individuals to become more responsible. To the best of my knowledge, no person has been seriously injured but in my opinion it is only a matter of time. Also, law-enforcement officers called upon to stem these demonstrations are deterred from other duties.

I am sure all college administrations are taking steps to attempt to prevent further occurrences. I believe one of the most effective deterrents is peer pressure exerted by fellow students. Students who believe demonstrating is wrong have to tell other students who are inclined to demonstrate that they disapprove.

The premise that a sports victory allows an individual to break the law is just dead wrong. I encourage any student attending a college or university where this is occurring to come up with ways to be a part of the solution.

Meredith Fouche


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