Letters to the editor 4/6

April 07, 2003

Celebrate Salem's 50th

To the editor:

Come celebrate Salem Avenue Elementary School's 50th birthday! Salem's staff will host an open house on April 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. Walk through the school one last time before major renovations begin this summer.

Enjoy looking at old class photographs and the contents of the previous time capsule. Meet and greet former school personnel and classmates. Throughout the evening there will be raffles for great prizes including tickets to the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Maryland theater productions and porcelain dolls.

You'll have a chance to buy some school memorabilia including a wooden replica of the school. This will be a great opportunity for you to visit your childhood school and share your memories with others.

There will even be some light refreshments. If you plan to come or want to know more, please call the school at 301-766-8313 so we can have a slice of birthday cake ready for you. We hope you'll join us to celebrate Salem Avenue's 50th birthday on April 10. See you there!


Kitty Harbaugh

Unions aren't compulsory

To the editor:

Mary Burkholder's letter ("Pennsylvania needs right-to-work law") creates a straw man with her allegations of "compulsory unionism," then smugly knocks him down.

Compulsory unionism does not exist, period. Federal law already protects workers who don't want to join a union to get or keep their jobs. It also protects non-members from paying for union activities that violate their religious or political beliefs.

Unions are democratic institutions chosen by the workers to represent their interests. It takes the vote of a majority of workers to have a union. If they vote to have a union security clause in their agreement, majority rule - the cornerstone of American democracy - means they all should follow the decision.

The true purpose of "right-to-work-for-less" laws is to deprive workers of the resources and protections they need to freely exercise a voice in their workplace - to protect their wages, benefits, working conditions and job security. It means that workers who don't join can get all of the benefits of membership, while sticking their fellow workers with the bill. That's undemocratic.

In this regard alone, I agree with Burkholder. This, in essence, is indeed a freedom issue.

Tom W. Krause
General Teamsters and Allied Workers
Local 992

How soon they forget

To the editor:

How quickly the peace demonstrators have forgotten the events of the Sept. 11, 2001. How quickly they have forgotten the sight of innocent American civilians and citizens of 80 other countries jumping from the World Trade Center to their certain death that fateful morning. Americans must carry the war on terrorism to any country that supports terrorists.

This is a calculated effort to undermine United States security and foreign policy, and exploit the naivet and idealism of whatever influential or mainstream Americans can be persuaded to join their cause.

Insight Magazine has a superb story documenting the money trail in its March 4-17 2003 issue. National Review (NR), Feb. 24, 2003 issue, documents other supporting organizations. Insight Magazine looked at two groups, the International Action Center (IAC) and the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, known as International ANSWER. These are front groups for the Workers World Party (WWP). NR looked at Not in Our Name, and its underlying organizations. These are not organizations dedicated to the best interests of America, but to its demise. NR found some of the organizations are tax exempt, meaning contributions to them are tax deductible.

Running demonstrations takes organization and money. Crowds must be generated, buses chartered, permits sought, signs made and portable toilets put in place. There are never spontaneous demonstrations. I believe one of these organizations is paying for all the necessary activities to support the demonstrations. So - follow the money.

E.J. Hamilton
Gapland, Md.

Library funds are needed

To the editor:

The article on March 14, 2003, concerning the county's capital improvement budget said that the commissioners tentatively voted to postpone by one year a $100,000 contribution toward a new Smithsburg library.

The funds for this year would be given to the Board of Education and Hagerstown Community College. It is understandable that in these difficult economic times hard choices must be made. However, the article went on to quote a commissioner who voted to keep the Smithsburg library funds in the budget to the effect that the people of Smithsburg have worked very hard raising the money and are eagerly looking forward to a new library.

The response to this statement was "Is that more important than the college?"

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