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Letters to the editor

January 17, 2004

Let's can this 'canned hunt'


To the editor:

I am writing to express my opposition to allowing a "canned hunt" to operate at Whistling Hill near Boonsboro.

I feel this county has a long way to go toward improving its attitude toward nature and animals and allowing this canned hunt to proceed would be a huge step backward.

I am against hunting except for survival reasons as a general rule but I understand that there is supposed to be some sort of contest going on between hunter and prey and that a respect for life is not totally removed from the process.

But there is no such respect or contest with a canned hunt. There is only the fostering of a violent and bloody mindset and the making light of another being's agony only for the purpose of some sort of bloodthirst. It seems our society could do well without this attitude.

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There would seem to be a great disparity between the level of culture that exists in some parts of the county, what with a state orchestra and a literary magazine, a fine arts museum and so forth, and the idea of a lazy man's hunt and shooting of farm-raised animals in cold blood. And there is also the matter of safety to consider for residents of the surrounding areas.

My personal dream for my native state of Maryland is for "America in Miniature" to represent what is greatest about this country and canned hunts are simply not in that picture. In fact, it is a disgrace anywhere it exists in our country, regardless of the political status of those who partake in it.

Patricia Henningsen
Hagerstown




Turkey is next on terrorists' list


To the editor:

I recently received a note from a Muslim Turkish friend and he thought that I would be interested in his interpretation of events happening in the Middle East. We go back to our days when we both served in Pakistan - he as a member of the staff of the Turkish Embassy and I on the staff of the American Embassy.

He noted in his letter that "today, there is no Arab nation fond of Turkey. On the contrary, there is accelerating hatred toward Turkey in the Arab world because Turkey has proven that a Muslim country can be secular, democratic and work for peaceful purposes. Therefore Turkey is becoming their target." He noted in his letter that the Saudis, Kuwaitis and Egypt have not experienced terror caused by Osama Bin Laden and the like.

"Al-Qaeda actually has said in public statements that it did not do Morocco or Saudi Arabia, both Muslim countries, only Turkey. Their first target is Israel, second is the U.S. and the third is Turkey."

He concluded his remarks, noting that "Israel, the United States and Turkey are fighting these twisted radical so-called Muslims" and that the European nations are of little or no help. Hopefully Turkey, Israel and the United States must work together for peace and progress in the Middle East and not get sidetracked by the EU, radical Islam or the like. Otherwise we will never see any progress in that part of the world.

Laurence Sharpe
U.S. Foreign Service retired
Smithsburg




No toll on I-81


To the editor:

I received my Sunday morning Herald-Mail yesterday and I almost fell out of my chair when I read the headline. The Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis is considering placing toll gates on I-81? Are you people kidding?

It is not State Road No. 81 - it's a federal highway - Interstate 81. This is the worst idea I have ever heard from Annapolis. If we need to add a lane each way (which is needed) and other improvements, that should be handled at the federal level, not the state level.

Also, once the state puts tool booths on a road, they almost never get removed because they become a new source of revenue (i.e., Harbor Tunnel, Fort McHenry Tunnel, Key Bridge and Chesapeake Bay Bridge).

And finally, Commissioner Doris Nipps is absolutely correct when she said "The side roads would be constantly full of cars and trucks trying to avoid paying the toll." Toll booths on I-81 is a terrible and lousy idea, period.

James Becker
Hagerstown

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