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Letters to the editor

August 27, 2003

Get rid of bicycle race


To the editor:

Concerning the annual bike race that took place along Md. 67 between Alternate U.S. 40 and U.S. 340 on Aug. 17:

As a resident of Boonsboro who uses the Park and Ride at the intersection of Md. 67 and Alternate U.S. 40, I found it impossible to use that lot Sunday, Aug. 17, due to its total use by the bicycle clubs running the race along Md. 67 and through downtown Boonsboro and some of the back roads. The people running the race were rude when consulted about their entire use of the Park and Ride site.

Secondly, Md. 67 traffic is much too heavy for that number of bicycles to be riding up and down it. They ride with their heads down, riding the white line to the right of the travel lane and the shoulder instead of riding on the shoulder itself. Since they are looking down they need this line to let them know they are traveling in a straight line.

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High speed traffic uses the shoulder all the time to pass vehicles making left hand turns off Md. 67. Yes, I believe that is against the law, but that's another subject.

This annual race provides no benefit to the city of Boonsboro or the citizens of Washington County, so why permit it? The race causes traffic problems in the streets of Boonsboro and is unsafe for the bikers and drivers on Md. 67.

Let's stop this race from taking place again before someone gets hurt or heaven forbid, killed.

I know the biker organizers will say they have safety vehicles running in front and behind the bikers but there is a lot of room in between for the worst to happen. The safety vehicles traveling at less than 20 miles per hour are in themselves a traffic hazard.

Let them take their race to Fairground race track, not the public roads of Washington County.

W.J. Robinson
Boonsboro




Watch the MDA telethon


To the editor:

This has been an incredible year for my 13-year-old son, Mattie Stepanek, and I want to thank everyone who has sent us prayers and support.

Mattie, known to many for his "Heartsongs" books of poetry and for being the National Goodwill Ambassador of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, has a rare form of muscular dystrophy. He spent four months in intensive care this year, but thanks to dedicated and creative medical help, he's now home again.

One thing that kept Mattie going during those hard days was his wish to attend MDA summer camp - a feat he was able to accomplish thanks to the incredible support of our local MDA staff and volunteers. He was also determined to meet his obligations as MDA's ambassador.

People across the country have written us asking, "What can I do to help?" The best thing you can do is watch the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon on Aug. 31- Sept. 1. This broadcast raises funds critical to MDA's research and human services missions - including clinics, summer camps, medical equipment and much more for people in your own community. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Jeni Stepanek
Rockville, Md.

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