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Letters to the editor

July 14, 2003

These walls are not alike


To the editor:

I take offense to Mr. Palmer's letter in a recent morning's newspaper. His interpretation that the ghetto walls of Warsaw are related to the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution to include "the separation of church and state" is utterly ridiculous.

How can one take a crime against humanity, the murder of millions of men, women, and children, and compare it to a political disagreement.

In defense of my Muslim brothers (I am a Jew), Allah is the name by which G-d is referred. Muslims, like Christians and Jews, all believe in Monotheism, there is but only one G-d. So while our money reads "In G-d We Trust" it could just the same read "In Allah We Trust."

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Muslims are not our enemy, terrorists are our enemy. They could be of any religion or race - just ask the British in Ireland.

Martin Radinsky
Eldersburg, Md.




Show more concern for homeless


To the editor:

I was motivated to write this letter after reading a letter to the editor, which was printed in the Monday evening paper. The article was titled "Homeless should pull their own weight," and was written by Louise Dawson of Hagerstown.

In her letter, Dawson makes several statements that show a lack of caring or concern for those less fortunate citizens of our city. She voices her opposition to having a homeless shelter in downtown Hagerstown, yet she fails to offer a suitable location for a facility.

The writer goes on to point out five guidelines that she would impose in an effort to "assist" the homeless. Upon closer examination of the article, I noticed that she refers to the homeless as "these people" and "they." This in itself is insulting and condescending. So let us examine her guidelines.

1. Since REACH is a religious effort, these people should be forced to go to church. Have you ever heard of this thing called the Constitution? Maybe Dawson can volunteer her time to contact REACH and offer each homeless person a ride to the religious institution that reflects his beliefs. Maybe she could even take a homeless person to her church.

2. Any person with a substance abuse problem should attend mandatory meetings. This is a great idea, but will she help to pay for the meetings and the cost to transport these individuals to them?

3. If capable, they should be forced to find work. What would make Dawson think that the homeless don't want to work?

I have a suggestion. Before assuming that these people, as you call them, don't want to work, why not try talking to them. How about trying to determine the circumstances that led to the present situation?

4. In the interim of finding employment, they should do volunteer work for a nonprofit agency. This was the smartest thing she said in the entire article.

5. If they cause a disturbance, they should be evicted. I partially agree with this statement, but then we are back to having homeless people on the streets. I am sickened by Dawson's statements and can only pray that she never has the misfortune of being homeless.

The circumstances that lead to a person becoming homeless are so diverse, that none of us has the right to set back and judge. What about the kid that runs away from abusive parents or the women that had to escape an abusive husband? I don't think that homeless people enjoy having to sleep in the streets or to beg for food. Nor do they enjoy having to deal with the negative attitudes that society has of them. Nobody wants a homeless shelter in downtown Hagerstown. OK, so let us put it on the Terrace or in Fountain Head.

I live every day like I am a paycheck away from being homeless. When I see a person holding a sign and asking for money, I give them whatever I can. I do it because it may help them and I hope that someone would do the same for me if I ever fell on bad times. Think about that, Ms. Dawson, the next time you see one of "those people."

Joseph Jefferson
Hagerstown




Give the homeless a town


To the editor:

I read Sunday's newspaper article on the "homeless," and all I can say to Councilman Lewis Metzner is, let the church do its job, because where are you going to put them - out in Smithsburg or Boonsboro, so the city can pay transportation fees everytime they need to come to town?

If you do not want the homeless hanging around downtown or at the library, then give them some volunteer work to do or city painting jobs.

I also wanted to suggest something: About six years ago I read an article in the Hagerstown newspaper. A man died and he had no heirs to leave his fortune to, so he left a ghost town out in Arizona to the Salvation Army. Whatever did the Salvation Army do with that town?

Why not open a homeless town, let them operate just like a town - whatever grows in Arizona plant it, eat it, sell it. Raise cattle, chickens, etc., etc. Get the picture yet?

This is why there are so many diseases out there we cannot get rid of - because homeless people cannot get the medical attention they need, so airborne diseases are continuously passed around.

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