Letters to the editor - 3/12/03

March 12, 2003

Support appreciated

To the editor:

I wanted to thank all of the folks who came out to vote on a blustery cold day in Williamsport. I am personally humbled by the overwhelming support you showed me in the Town Council election.

I realize that to some this may seem to be a small town with small issues. But I realize this town is where we live and raise our children. Some who live here have raised their children and are now sharing the town with their grandchildren.

Given that thought, I take this position as town councilman very seriously.

And I pray that I will fulfill the expectation of all as a reasonable servant. It is my heart-felt hope to continue to make Williamsport a wholesome place to raise children or to sit back and watch them play in our retirement years.

I want to also take time to thank former Councilmen Tim Ammons and James Kalbfleich. They are both men who stepped up to serve our community and that is what it takes. Thank you both.


We all have a responsibility to give something back to our community. In some season in our time here on earth we must serve others. For some it may be safety watch on your street, for some it may be baking pies for harvest hoedown, for some it may be teaching Sunday school or leading a Boy Scout troop. For others it may be serving as an elected servant.

But it is imperative that we serve at some level at some season in our time here. Again, thank you Williamsport, for the opportunity to fulfill my responsibility to our community. May God bless you.

Monty R. Jones

Can't wait for the 'Stunnel'

To the editor:

Although The Herald-Mail covered the Maugans Avenue meeting Wednesday night, something was lost in the coverage.

It was just to tell people what was going to happen. It was then made clear the project had nothing to do with the residents' difficulty with traffic. But this is the planned artery for the North End to access I-81, and shoppers to access the North End businesses.

With the airport plans, and the Industrial use of Top Flight (the old Fairchild facility) and the development going on north of Maugansville and the development along U.S. 11, which has already been widened, why wasn't Showalter Road the choice?

If you count the homes and citizens impacted along the two paths it is clear that this is just another county mistake with no recourse for citizens

Driving one mile further north to an expandable intersection can't be that difficult in your SUV. Please take a look at what's happening and if nothing can be done since the money's already here as we were told, at least try to find some humorous material in the situation.

In the future we could research the tunnel under the Runway. The Brits have the Chunnel, I guess we could have a "Stunnel," as in State Line tunnel.

James Pendergast

Water project unwanted at Pen Mar

To the editor:

Why are the residents of Pen Mar having an unwanted water system forced on them, at public expense, by Washington County, against the will of the majority who live there?

The village of Pen Mar sits on the mountain facing the Mason-Dixon Line and Pennsylvania. Each year thousands of hikers travel through the area as they walk from Maine to Georgia on the Appalachian Trail. Eighty-five houses are clustered against the mountain, just to the west of the former Fort Ritchie military post.

Many of the residents have lived here for generations and have stayed in the area even though the former summer colony was abandoned by the thousands of city dwellers, who came to spend their summers in the mountain air, following the closure of the amusement park during the wartime travel restrictions of 1943.

Today's residents tend to be proud and independent blue-collar families who are generally opposed to accepting government largess, especially when they see it as being forced on them against the will of the majority of those who live in the community.

It has been proposed by Washington County, that within the next few years $2.5 million dollars will be spent to build a combined public water system for the community, with the money coming from various federal and state sources. The residents now draw their water from wells and cisterns.

When the residents became convinced that Washington County was determined to move ahead with the project, even over the protests of many of the residents, they began to collect signatures on a petition to stop the project.

The first attempt yielded 32 signatures, which was not deemed sufficient by the county to bring the project to a halt. More recently the residents have mounted a new petition drive, which has been endorsed by well over half of the property owners in the community.

However, this still does not seem to have dampened the county's enthusiasm for the project or to have derailed the county's intent to build the water system, contrary to the will of the majority who live there.

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