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Letters to the editor

December 12, 2003

Back Martinsburg's police levy tomorrow


To the editor:

The City of Martinsburg will be holding a Special Police Excess Levy Election on Saturday, Dec. 13. On behalf of the City of Martinsburg, I would encourage all registered voters in the city to vote "for" the renewal of the Police Excess Levy. The current levy expires June 30, 2004.

As stated, the Police Excess Levy is a renewal and would be for five fiscal years, beginning July 1, 2004. The levy renewal rates will remain the same as the previous three year levy rates. The Police Levy rate on a $100,000 piece of residential property would be $63 per year or 17 cents per day.

Funds generated, approximately $652,000 per year, from the Police Levy would be for maintaining the current nine officers for salaries, insurance, vehicles, equipment, training and other police related items. Any funds earned in excess of the actual amount shall be used solely for the Police Department operations.

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The City of Martinsburg Police Levy Budget assists in providing our community the following services:

- Nine police officers enforcing laws, conducting investigations and providing preventive patrols. The nine police officers make up 20 percent of the police force.

- K-9 Patrol

-Emergency Response Team (Hostage/Barricade Situations)

- DUI Enforcement

- Bicycle Patrol

- Citizens Police Academy

- Junior Police Academy

- Police Explorer Program

- Citizen Ride-A-Long Program

- BIGS in Blue (Partnership with Big Brothers and Big Sisters)

- Vehicle unlocks

- Funeral escorts

- "Night Eyes" - Business and residential premise checks

- "Emphasis Patrols - Interdiction" in drug areas

- Downtown foot patrol

The City of Martinsburg and the Martinsburg Police Department appreciate your past support of the Police Levy and look forward to your continued support of the levy.

George Karos
Mayor
Martinsburg, W.Va.




Bush's 'service' was self-serving


To the editor:

In response to Edward L. James "Media try to undermine Bush" letter of Dec. 4, here is another "negative" bit to add to his collection.

From The Washington Post, July 28, 1999:

"Two weeks before he was to graduate from Yale, George Walker Bush stepped into the office of the Texas Air National Guard at Ellington Field outside Houston and announced he wanted to sign up for pilot training.

"It was May 27, 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War. Bush was 12 days away from losing his student deferment from the draft at a time when Americans were dying in combat at the rate of 350 a week.

"The unit Bush wanted to join offered him the chance to fulfill his military commitment at a base in Texas. It was seen as an escape route from Vietnam by many men his age, and usually had a long waiting list.

"Bush had scored only 25 percent on a pilot aptitude test, the lowest acceptable grade. But his father was then a congressman from Houston, and the commander of the Texas Guard clearly had an appreciation of politics."

And by the way, my son served his country honorably in Vietnam. Thank God he was not one of those "350 a week" statistics, but lived to come home. He is now one of those veterans our commander-in-chief has done so much to help.

Janie Perry
Hagerstown

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