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Letters to the editor 2/2

February 02, 2003

Whitetail course was just too hard



To the editor:


Just recently I saw in The Morning Herald on the front page where Whitetail Golf Course is closing. It certainly is no wonder - the course was built for the pro golfers.

We seniors are the ones who keep the golf courses in business, as we play three and four times a week. The pros only play on weekends and holidays.

For the average golfer who plays more than any of the pros, we want a course for pleasure and to be able to play a round of 18 holes in four hours or less. That could never happen at Whitetail.

I played the course only once, as it is the toughest course in this area in a 30 mile radius, and most of us seniors have played them all in the past 10 or 12 years.

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Before this course was built a representative spoke at our Rotary Club and talked about this new course. I asked him then to build the course for seniors. We don't care about the score, we just need the exercise and play just for the fun of it. Believe me, this course is or was no fun.

Again, we are the ones who play a lot of days each week. They are still building golf courses around this area, and again, we need to think of the ones who support the courses - we men and women who like to play. We like to play for the fun of it.

In Florida there are many executive courses and they can handle 300 to 400 people every day and they do it with love.

Dick Fischer

Greencastle, Pa.




Inmates should pay their support



To the editor:


In the State of Maryland the law says that people who are imprisoned don't have to pay child support for the period in which they are behind bars. If I get a jail sentence of five years, for those five years the support is suspended and I never have to repay.

Of course once I am released, my responsibility will resume from that point on, provided I don't end up in jail again and the child is still a minor. Do you feel that this is fair to the parent having to raise the child? Should the child be penalized because I ended up in jail and can't pay the support? I say emphatically, No!

How are the custodial parent and the child penalized? At the minimum order of $25 a week, that adds up to $6,500 over five years. If I am ordered to pay $50 dollars a week, well you do the math. That amount of money could have made life a whole lot easier for both of them. The money should accrue, add up and be recouped somehow, sometime.

One of the arguments against this was that there was a lot involved in keeping track of the money that long. Another was that they might never be able to collect the money. But if my child gets sick I certainly won't say "I'm not taking him to the doctor because he may never get better." Just because we don't know that the outcome will be a positive one doesn't mean that we shouldn't at least try.

What if it was only a 30-day sentence? How hard could it be to keep track of that? I had the opportunity to sit in court and watch some cases involving parents who were up for non-payment of child support and many received 30-day sentences. This not only relieves them of their obligation to pay support for those 30 days, the taxpayers now have to pay for their incarceration and for 30 days the custodial parent gets no support for her child.

I spoke with an official at the local jail and was told that it costs around $40 dollars a day to house an inmate at the local level. On an average that is $1,200 dollars a month. I say quit giving them 30 days and use some of that money to create a program to get them working if they're not working already, and put some in a fund for the custodial parent to draw from until the absent parent goes back to work.

At that time make the absent parent repay to the fund or face jail time - but don't suspend the support while they are in jail. Other states let the support accrue, and Maryland could fall in line also. The list of programs to help people in need is endless, so why not a program designed to see that our children eventually get all the child support they are entitled to?

I'm sure it won't be easy but don't we owe it to the kids to at least try? It is my understanding that Washington County has one of the highest collection rates of child support around. Is this a valid reason not to try and make the system better? If they are short-handed and don't have anyone to lobby for this idea and enforce it, well I am here to step up and take on the challenge. I just feel that we owe it to our children to see that they get all that they're entitled to. Good ideas or not, these are just one father's opinions.

Randy Turner

Hagerstown




Make developers commit to smash empty buildings



To the editor:


For quite some time I have been increasingly disturbed by the rapidly growing number of deserted and abandoned commercial buildings, both warehouse and retail.

It occurs to me that these buildings may become the legacy of our generation. The legacy of poor planning and greed.

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