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Letters to the editor 6/16

June 16, 2003

City should be ashamed


To the editor:

I read the article by Scott Butki entitled: "Metzner: Downtown homeless shelter 'unacceptable.'" This article is a disgrace to the city of Hagerstown and the county of Washington. It shows that the City of Hagerstown is more interested in beautifying the city rather than caring for the problems that exist in the city, especially the plight of the homeless.

I would hope that the Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith and Hagerstown City Councilman Lewis C. Metzner see the need to re-examine their own self-interests. I would think that the police would welcome a place where the homeless are not on the streets. I would have hoped that the City Council would have some compassion for those who are down and remember that some of these people are veterans who served this country. Now the City of Hagerstown says you are a problem to us.

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I see that the revitalization of downtown Hagerstown is more important than the current needs of its residents. And I understand that this building that REACH wants to have for the permanent housing is on the church property of Christ's Reformed Church. Doesn't this make what the city council is doing a breach of the separation of church and state? Sure sounds like it to me.

Councilman Metzner is lacking information that all the temporary church sites in the city are supporting the REACH program as well as those in the county.

A question for Councilman N. Linn Hendershot: Is the city going to pay for the new site? This is a volunteer organization with a very tight budget.

Remember none of us know what is down the road for any of us. You may be homeless in your lifetime.

The City Council is tearing up my desire to shop downtown, no matter what is there.

Thank you, Scott Butki, for a well-written article on the dropped ball by the City Council and its lack of all the facts before even considering a decision. It makes the City of Hagerstown and Washington County look bad.

Harry Paterson

Hagerstown




Young's comment was disappointing


To the editor:

In the Morning edition of The Herald-Mail on June 9, there was an article about the newest addition to the Washington County School Board, Princeton Young. I am really disturbed at one of the statements he made concerning misguided youth.

He stated that "he saw misguided youth as potential inmates." How much more degrading can he be to our children in Washington County or any misguided youth anywhere? If he counsels children based upon the fact that the misguided youth may become inmates, how effective will the counseling be?

Furthermore, since many youth may read this article, how will Young's reputation amongst the youth be affected now? Will the youth who are being counseled by him believe that Young has no faith in them becoming productive citizens?

This is yet another negative impact that our officials have on the citizens of Washington County. Maybe the governor made a mistake by appointing Young to the School Board. If I were the governor of Maryland, I would have a strong chat with Young and have him publicly apologize to the youth in Washington County and the State of Maryland.

Mr. Young, if you can't tell the difference between your inmates at the Maryland Correctional Training Center and the youth of our future, maybe you should go ahead and resign your position now. However, don't forget to apologize. Misguided youth may have more of a chance than others of getting in trouble, but to label them already just sets them back even more.

I hope the Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down editor does his evaluation of the situation with Young.

Greg Walters

Hagerstown

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