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Letters to the editor

October 18, 2003

City issues


To the editor:

As a resident of this city I would like to express my concerns regarding the issue of pit bulls and the ordinance which is about to be introduced. First, I do support the language as it is being proposed. I feel, however, that the truth of the matter needs to be identified.

While there are those who have pit bulls that are well-mannered, the majority in this community have an aggressive, vicious temper. Many are running the streets without leashes which is a violation of the leash law and unfortunately some are being mentally tortured by being fed drugs and other chemicals to make them a problem. It's public knowledge that many drug dealers are using this breed as a "security device" to protect their "business."

Furthermore, the main question which must be asked is, "How will those individuals who become injured by a pit bull attack be compensated?" We all know the high cost of medical expenses and we all have heard of the statistics regarding 30-40 million people without medical insurance. All because of one's lack of thought or sheer stupidity a citizen could be severely injured and in some cases killed.

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Recently at a mayor and council work session, the issue of building another parking deck/garage was presented. The price of this venture was more than $2 million and would be paid by bonds.

First, the question is do we really need another deck and if yes, do we need it at this time? Second, has anyone considered the long term deficits for the city? When the current budget was proposed the city administrator noted that we could see deficits in the $2 to $4 million range in the coming years. If this is true, then why would we want to add another liability to the general fund that we may not be able to afford?

Consider this: When you patronize a mall or shopping center you park at one location and walk all over the complex. Why can't people park in the spaces that have been provided? If the issue is safety and/or crime then perhaps we need to address the police department by providing additional dollars and not putting more into bricks and mortar.

The issue of the homeless has been a topic recently and one that has divided the thoughts of many. While being down and distraught is one issue, consideration must be given to who these individuals are.

One, are they or were they citizens of Washington County? Two, how did they arrive in Hagerstown?

What will these people do after they leave the shelter for good, go freeload off of another community? How many people are really in need of shelter?

Simply stated, if we continue to open the gates for all to come ,when will we ever be able to close the gates? Who will replenish the resources used up by these individuals?

Tom Lowman
Hagerstown




Dumb on sports, not on race


To the editor:

Perhaps the Herald Mail should give itself a "thumbs down" for giving a "thumbs down" to Rush Limbaugh for making "insensitive comments." Please allow me to state for the record that while I am conservative I'm no fan of Rush and never have been. I think he's a blowhard and arrogant beyond words.

Having said that, what exactly was so insensitive about stating that Donovan McNabb was given some slack because he's black? I don't see anything insensitive there. It was an unbelievably stupid and uninformed comment for a couple of reasons: McNabb is an excellent quarterback, and even so-so football fans know this. Also, the whole idea of there being anything remotely unique about a black quarterback was put to rest more than a decade ago. Again, sports fans should be upset with Rush simply for not doing his homework and looking silly.

The PC police cannot have it both ways. If it is acceptable to fine a general manager (Matt Millen) for not interviewing minorities for a vacant head coaching position (even though the offer was extended but turned down by minority prospects) and instead hiring a hot property like Steve Mariucci, it should then be acceptable to point out that there are instances when not only the media, but entire organizations have a vested interest in seeing a minority hire succeed.

There is nothing wrong and nothing racist in pointing this out. And speaking as a fan, there is nothing wrong in wanting to see historical disparities resolved. I would love to see Tony Dungy or Herman Edwards win a Super Bowl, simply because they are class acts.

Years ago, Charles Barkley, who still makes a cottage industry out of making outrageous statements, said that Larry Bird was, essentially, only special because he was white. Inflammatory? Sure, but so what? It was his opinion. What Rush said wasn't insensitive or even inflammatory. It was simply inane because it showed his ignorance of football history.

Doug Walker
Hagerstown

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