Letters to the editor 1/22

January 22, 2003

Morgan Co. loses a great educator

To the editor:

Many people are saddened at the relocation of Steve Paine from the post of Morgan County Superintendent of Schools. Under his leadership for 4 1/2 years, the whole educational process has excelled in the county. Under Paine, our schools saw test scores rise, along with morale and and leadership. Paine has a list of accomplishments in his short tenure here which outshine those of other superintendents.

We will miss Paine, but the interim superintendent brings with him a resume of achievements on which we can build as he finishes the year here in Morgan County.

I recall the days when Boards of Education members were at their wits' end. Faculty and staff were both under undue stress and in disarray. However, when Paine arrived he brought a new sense of accomplishment to the school system and has successfully overseen two building projects at Warm Springs Middle School and renovations at Berkeley Springs High School. Paine has already secured funding for a new elementary school through the help and leadership of Connie Perry, School Building Authority board member.


Under Paine's leadership BSHS expanded its Technology Department and has produced many young men and women who are able to work on computers and repair them much as a mechanic does with you car.

So as Paine leaves Morgan County he leaves a legacy behind of proven leadership in many areas. He takes with him to Charleston, W.Va., skills that will not just improve Morgan Schools but the schools of all 55 of the state's counties.

Morgan County has had many superintendents in the past, but none have moved Morgan County Schools as far and as fast as Paine did in just 41/2 years.

He has surrounded himself with a team of leaders who have made his leadership at the helm enjoyable, in his own words. He has had a capable team on the BOE that has been productive in moving programs forward in our county.

Each of them deserves a hand for their labor for our students, faculty, staff, parents and community as a whole.

Ron Payne

Hedgesville, W.Va.

Local kids have dreams of field

To the editor:

Over the summer, myself and about 15 of my closest friends began something of a tradition. If the night was warm we would all gather at the parking lot in front of Circuit City, or as we called it the "Terrordome" around midnight or so and stay till about 2 or 3 a.m., depending on everyone's mood.

We weren't there to burn crosses. We weren't there to deal drugs or set animals on fire. We weren't there to break into stores and steal merchandise either. Nope, none of that.

We were there to play football. You may not believe this, but for kids between 16-20 years of age, there's very little to do in the City of Hagerstown, what with the drinking age being 21 and everything.

So, apparently much to the dismay of the local authorities, I and my friends created our own activities. We played football.

Over the last month or so of summer, before high school or college began again, we must have played well over a dozen times, at least once a week, sometimes more. We weren't disturbing anyone.

Circuit City was closed at that time, so we didn't bother any customers. In fact, the exact opposite - on more than one occasion, complete strangers (sometimes with their children) would come and watch. We must have entertained the employees of Wendy's on countless nights.

Since the summer we've only played a handful of times, and none since about three weeks ago. About three weeks ago the cops came and broke up our game. It was the second time the cops have broken it up.

No problem. I'm not writing this to vilify the police. They're just doing their job and I understand that. And I'm not writing this to vilify the local government, because let's face it, if that were the case, the Opinion Page would be at least 30 pages long today.

I'm writing this in the hopes that someone reading this knows of a decent place in Hagerstown, where about 15 kids could come around midnight or so every once in a while and play football. Preferably a lighted parking lot.

So, if anyone has any ideas as to where we can build the next "Terrordome" please e-mail me, at and you'd be doing a service to the community. Thanks, Hagerstown.

One more thing before I go. To Robin Poffenberger: For what it's worth, I really enjoyed your letter from about a week ago. Very articulate and most importantly, correct!

Mark Labozzetta


Some suggestions for the new year

To the editor:

First, I would like to see Hagerstown get rid of the parking meters downtown. The last thing a shopper needs to worry about is getting a ticket while they are shopping.

The revenue that the city gets in taxes from the businesses downtown will offset the revenue they are getting from issuing parking tickets. That will increase growth and encourage more businesses downtown. The city could save even more by eliminating the meter cops.

Secondly, I would like to see some new direction at NBC-25. The lighting is poor, the audio is always a minute behind the video and sometimes you can only hear the audio and no video.

The evening news starts at 5 p.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m. and starts again at 6 p.m. Why not start at 5:30 p.m. and do the news all the way till 6:30 p.m.? You expect your viewers to order a video tape copy of your broadcast; I would not order one even if it were free.

As for the merchandise advertised on your station that has your logo, I would be ashamed to wear one in public. Finally, to the staff at Antietam Cable, I would like to see less local interruptions from national broadcasters; your cable rates are already high enough.

A. Phillips


The Herald-Mail Articles