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Letters to the editor 4/18

April 18, 2003

When did MLB become an arm of the GOP?

To the editor:

I was quite saddened to see Dale Petroskey, president of the Baseball Hall of Fame, cancel the 15th anniversary celebration of the film "Bull Durham." I was saddened not because I was planning on attending the event, but because of the explanation for the cancellation.

Petroskey canceled the event because of anti-war criticism by co-stars Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. Petroskey stated that the criticism of President Bush and the criticism of the Iraq invasion somehow undermines the United States and puts the American troops in danger.

He went on to say that The Baseball Hall of Fame stands behind the President and American troops in this conflict. Robbins had made plans to attend the event and because of that, the event was canceled.

I should point out that just because you are against the Iraq invasion and occupation, you are not against the American troops. To correlate the two is ridiculous and very misleading. I for one do not agree with our president concerning Iraq, but I pray for our troops each and every day. I react with considerable sorrow for each and every American life lost in this conflict. I myself was in the military for close to 10 years and feel somewhat of a personal connection to the proud men and woman serving our country.


It pains me to see Petroskey so blatantly politicize baseball. I always thought it was the American pasttime, not the conservative Republican pastime. At least now I know. Now I know that I too am not welcome at the Baseball Hall of Fame. I made a trip there in 1994 and enjoyed my visit immensely. Too bad I will not be able to return.

I do not want to go where I am not welcome. The same is true for the Hagerstown Suns. I, like many area residents, was looking forward to attending some Suns games. That was before I knew that my criticism of President Bush has made me unwelcome to the world of baseball.

Because of this, I will refrain from attending games until my opinion of President Bush changes or until the current official political position of baseball changes.

Rick Rottman

Labor council will dedicate flag pole Saturday, April 19

To the editor:

Mrs. Mary ("Mother") Jones, 89-year-old organizer of railroad worker and miners, in the 1800's, once said, "Mourn for the dead. Fight like hell for the living."

Her most famous quotation has been at the heart of Workers Memorial Day each year when America's workers and their unions honor the thousands of men and women killed on the job and the hundreds of thousands more hurt or made ill by workplace hazards.

Since 1989, each year on April 28, the AFL-CIO membership observes Workers Memorial Day as the day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job. We will also celebrate the more than a quarter of a million workingmen and women alive today because of the far-reaching and successful workplace safety battles workers and their unions have won.

Workers' action has resulted in passage of the 1969 Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, the enacting of the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act as well as hundreds of job safety and health initiatives, from cotton dust laws to needle-stick regulations. As a result, since 1970 the nation's workplace fatality rate has dropped more than 70 percent.. from 18 deaths per 100,000 workers to 4.3 deaths per 100,000 in 2001, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Safety Council. About 13,800 workers died on the job in 1970, compared with 5,900 in 2001, not including the 2,886 workers who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

In salute to the deceased and injured workers in Washington and Frederick Counties, the Central Maryland AFL-CIO Council has defrayed the cost of replacing the West End Little League's flag pole at Hellane Park, and presentations will be made at the league's opening day on Saturday, April 19 at the park, commencing at noon. The public is encouraged to attend the ceremonies.

C.W. "Woody" McNemar
Central Maryland Labor Council AFL-CIO

Can anyone help?

To the editor:

I am searching for information (exact date of birth, etc.) on Clellie Ann Sophia Line who was the daughter of Martin and Sophia Thomas Line. She married Elmer C. Thomas in 1882, died in September 1940, and is buried in Boonsboro Cemetery. Any material would be greatly appreciated.

Richard E. Clem
18421 Wagaman Road
Hagerstown, MD 21740-1324

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