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Letters to the editor

December 21, 2003

Support our land rights


To the editor:

Three cheers for Joseph Michael for standing up to Washington County against its zoning permit argument. I am a staunch supporter of firearms and hunting rights, and a believer that government at all levels has become much too overbearing in the lives and rights of its free citizens and property owners.

The attitude of too many government officials, both elected and appointed, is that they are in charge of us citizens, whom they seem to feel need to be constantly directed and controlled by them. In their minds they are infinitely more wise and capable of making decisions than the taxpayers, and seem to feel property owners only are paying caretakers of their property.

Property taxes seem to be viewed more as rent that citizens pay for the government allowing them to use property within the confines and wishes of the almighty government's eminent domain. In the recent article, I especially noticed the quote from County Attorney Richard Douglas, in reference to the opinion of Director of Permits and Inspections, Paul Prodonovich. He stated, "Paul's position is the county's position. His position is really the one that counts."

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Oh really? What about the position of the taxpaying citizen?

I guess his position must be the one that doesn't count! Why? Because the government knows that it has virtually unlimited financial resources (from the taxpayers) to launch a steady legal campaign to force its desires on any taxpayer/property owner, most of whom have limited resources and must acquiesce. Of course, in cases such as this, the government will always side with the developers and new immigrants to this county, whom they view as new sources of tax dollars, and the existing citizens and their traditions be damned. Catering to those who increase the tax base means an ever-expanding government and more power for those in government, which is what government is all about these days. Good luck to you, Mr. Michael, in your struggle.

A. B. Smith
Hagerstown




Hunt in pairs


To the editor:

As I was looking through the newspaper, my attention was caught by this one particular article about a hunter who died hunting. He was hunting and then he just died because of a heart attack.

The family couldn't really press charges because it was a natural cause. What happened to this man was really very sad. I really think they should make some kind of a law, saying that they can't hunt by themselves.

This is not the first time this has happened. Although this might distract the hunters, they should have more security in the area, so that they can at least try to save their lives. They could also hunt in groups instead of just hunting by themselves. It could make things a lot better. I really hope they do something about this, because it might go from bad to worse.

Sammy Singh
Hagerstown




Drug numbers encouraging


To the editor:

I read an article entitled "Drugs and students" in the Dec. 3 newspaper. I'm also a teen-ager, but it was a good thing to read there are fewer drugs and alcohol for the teenager.

It is a very good thing that the percentage went down a lot. Did Washington County have any countermeasure for it? And what is a recommendation for the future?

Joon Kim
Hagerstown




The last race


To the editor:

In 1980 I entered my first JFK Ultramarathon at the age of 46. On Nov. 22, 2003, I completed my final one. During those years I was able to raise money for numerous people and many worthwhile causes and learn to know countless people from all over the country.

I want to thank Buzz Sawyer (1963-1992) and Mike Spinnler (1993-present) the two outstanding race directors for starting and continuing what is now "America's Oldest Ultramarathon." It is indeed a world-class act and a prize pursued by athletes across the United States and many foreign countries.

I also wish to thank all of those who make this event special. There are literally hundreds of volunteers who give unselfishly of their time and ability to make the JFK a success. There are also "handlers" and family members who return year after year to assist a friend or relative.

Finally, there are the "cheerleaders," who are there each year, regardless of weather conditions, which have ranged from ice and snow, to wind chill factors below zero, to days in the 70s and 80s with mud and rain.

Finally, to my wife and family, thank you for your patience. You have allowed me and helped me fulfill a dream. Although I will never again be a contestant in this event, I will always be there in some capacity. A special thanks to my son, Keith, and his friend, Ron, for getting me across the finish line once again.

Joe Robeson
Hagerstown

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