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Letters to the editor - 6/7/03

June 07, 2003

That's not how it's spelled



To the editor:


I was reading your newspaper for Thursday, May 22, 2003 on page A3 when I discovered an article with an error. The article is called, 'Person of interest' discovers FBI has no sense of humor.

I noticed that "America" has been spelled "Amerika," at least twice. I have highlighted the two that I found. I thought that you may want to inform the writer of this column (Tim Rowland), how to spell our country's name.

Kelly M. Akehurst

Greencastle, Pa.




Great article on Oscar



To the editor:


I would like to thank Kate Coleman for the article on pampered pets. It was a great article. I really want to thank Joe Crocetta for the wonderful picture of Oscar. I hope that I will be able to get a copy of the picture from the paper to have framed.

Oscar would not have looked so handsome without the wonderful grooming skills of Brocroft Kennels in Smithsburg. Mary and Rhianna always have my boy looking his best and they take great care of him. He really enjoys going to see them. They are helping to keep him on his diet. You can tell 112 pounds is way too much for a standard poodle.

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Thank you again for the picture and article about my boy. As a side note, I got Oscar from Poodle Rescue.

Stephanie Bock

Hagerstown




Lifers have much to offer



To the editor:


I am serving a life sentence and have been incarcerated over 21 years. In all that time I was housed in the Baltimore-Jessup region. In these prisons, primarily administered by African-Americans, I was encouraged to engage in all available education programs. In time, I became a highly skilled literacy tutor certified by the Maryland State Department of Education. In fact, I became a trainer of literacy tutors and was instrumental in training 235 prisoners who became certified.

Lifers bring vitality to any prison where they are sent. We create programs, strengthen self-help groups and constantly encourage younger offenders to change their negative attitudes into positive pursuits.

Unfortunately, since my unwarranted April 22 transfer to MCTC, my positive progress, my talents and skills as an educator have been stymied. I am greeted with a 90-day draconian policy of not being allowed to work in the school. My positive pursuits are wasted while I am forced to remain idle in my cell.

I question why a white administration refuses to utilize its most respected prison resources - lifers, and continually subjects men with decades of experience, many with higher education than some staff, to a wasteland of cleaning toilets! Yet the administration constantly asks why younger prisoners are overly aggressive towards officers. (I've witnessed two assaults on officers since my arrival).

It's because younger prisoners see the treatment and disrespect of the old timers and they fear it will happen to them. Thus they pursue violence, while the white staff continually asks "Why?" The administration needs to understand human nature and to work with the available resources at hand - lifers!

Larry Bratt (Sai Ram)

#168687 MCTC

Hagerstown




Tannery jobs to Mexico?



To the editor:


I'm writing this in response to the latest statement from our company about our union representatives. They have informed us as well as they possibly can. It's actually a network of friends and co-workers who let each other know the latest developments. After all, that's what a union is; it's a total body count of members, not just the president.

My wife and I are both 15-year employees, which obviously means that job is our total income. We also have four children to clothe and feed, so we wouldn't be doing this on a whim. This is just simply the right thing to do.

Our yearly income has been cut practically in half due to a simple change in procedure and job titles, but the real issue is health care. We do not want an HMO, but are practically being forced to take one. After 30 combined years of service, is that to much too ask for?

Finally several years ago we (the union employees ) were informed that our company had built a plant in Mexico, obviously to take advantage of cheaper labor. We have been repeatedly reminded (some would say threatened) with this. I will just speak for myself on this, but I'm am tired of having this held over my head. Let the threats end now and send my job to Mexico now!

John Blake

Waynesboro, Pa.

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