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Letters to the editor - 1/4/03

January 06, 2003

Martinsburg isn't fair



To the editor:


The purpose of this letter and is to make you aware of the discrimination actions and illegal practices of the Martinsburg, W.Va.'s city government.

We received a letter from the code enforcement official that we had a certain amount of time to paint our home outside, or face a fine between $50 to $300, plus jail time for 30 days. I am the first to admit this house needs some work, but how is an 80-year-old woman who has hip problems and her son who is disabled and going blind and limited to Social Security able to do this?

There are quite a few houses that need work, but we are the only ones who received this type of letter. I wonder why?

The city allows teens to run this neighborhood. When they are on our property and do damage to the house, we are told by the officials that it is our fault! When kids break curfew, it is only my children that are told to vacate and go home. When my oldest daughter was in a fight, she was the only girl who got in trouble (the non-white one). Please don't get me wrong, my children shouldn't break curfew or fight!

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There are several ethnic groups on this street and many good people and teens and children and thank God for them.

On my father's side we are "white" (Dunn-Irish, Snodgrass and Faulkner-English, Boyd-Scottish and Onderdonk-Dutch); on my mother's side we are Hebrew (Weiss and Bratt) plus we have Middle Eastern and Ethiopian and Jewish ancestors.

When we started displaying the Star of David plus the Jewish flag, that's when all this began! I think too many people use the discrimination claim to benefit themselves, but doesn't this speak to discrimination from our city officials?

We also requested two handicap-parking places in front of our home. Many citizens who are approved by the state to park in handicap parking places have them at their homes in Martinsburg. Out-of-state people park in front of our home, causing hardship for us. Would you be the next to be affected by the practices of the Martinsburg officials?

I call on Charleston, our state capital, to investigate this local government!

Also, thanks to everyone who helped during my continued illness and during my father's death. God bless you)

James D. Weiss-Dunn

Martinsburg, W.Va.




Buckle up and get ready for eternity



To the editor:


Another fatal automobile accident has prompted me to write this letter. In this accident, the driver of a truck, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown out and killed. My heart goes out to his loved ones in their time of grief. A woman and two children in a car were wearing their seat belts and escaped serious injury.

I believe many of the numerous traffic deaths this past year could have been avoided with the use of seat belts. There would have been fewer families grieving. While it is true that there are a few occurrences of a belted driver being worse off in an accident, this is a rare situation.

I encourage all drivers and passengers to learn from these tragedies and act responsibly, not only for their own sakes, but also for their loved ones, who want to have them around longer.

As a Christian, I am also concerned that some victims may not have been prepared for eternity. Eternity often knocks on a person' door sooner than expected.

I wish all readers a happy new years and please buckle up!

Steve Hluchy

Hagerstown




REACH out as a volunteer



To the editor:


There are a number of ways REACH provides care for people in this community. This organization has recruited hundreds of volunteers and matches resources to the many needs of our citizens.

I have had the privilege of serving some of the needs by transporting individuals to doctor appointments, a pharmacy, to their banks or a shopping errand. There have been times I've done little tasks within the home of the folks I've transported.

Sometimes I'm the only person the client sees all day - maybe all week. Others have a connection to neighbors and family, but cannot get around on their own.

There are folks who do not own a vehicle, while others have had surgery and are unable to drive for a period of time. They are involved with physical rehabilitation programs and have no other way to get the treatment, other than transportation by a volunteer. REACH does an outstanding job with a very small staff in the office.

I am one volunteer who has spoken with some others. We are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our neighbors and grateful to REACH for providing a way for us to do that.

Nancy C. Myers

Hagerstown

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