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Letters to the editor

January 18, 2004

AARP not our friend


To the editor:

Are you a member of AARP? Why? If you question this organization you might find they are not as retiree-friendly as you think.

AARP supported one of the worse pieces of legislation ever to come out of the United States Congress, i.e., Medicare Prescription Bill.

AARP sells Medicare supplement plans. They have certain plans they will issue only to hand-picked members. Is this fair?

Charles Smith
Boonsboro




Not a sport


To the editor:

The proposed shooting area ("Proposed preserve raises safety concerns" by Tara Reilly, Dec. 4,) in Washington County is not only a human safety risk, but also a source of animal cruelty.

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Animals that become victims at such facilities, better known as "canned hunts," are often too tame to fear humans. The odds are so skewed in favor of the hunter that it clearly violates any concept of "fair chase."

In fact, many hunters oppose canned hunts. A Field & Stream magazine survey found that 65 percent of the respondents opposed hunting in fenced enclosures, while only 12 percent supported it.

The animal cruelty of shooting preserves coupled with human safety risks and property devaluation should have been enough to prompt the Washington County Planning Commission to not approve a site permit for this canned hunt.

Andi Bernat
Silver Spring, Md.




More news from abroad


To the editor:

I'm a sophomore student at Highland View Academy. Last week in English class we were learning about newspapers and all the different types of information they process and the work involved in making one. After that class, I started reading The Herald Mail more analytically.

One of the things that I have noticed is the small amount of information regarding other countries.

For example, currently Iraq is in most of the news of other countries. That is understandable, due to the U.S. military activity there, and the constant struggles that our soldiers are going through.

I think that it would be a good idea to have a column at least once a week that provides readers with at least a summary of information about the facts and culture of other countries. Because I believe that some of the responsibilities of a newspaper are to educate and inform the public.

Martin Nestares
Smithsburg




Just a slap


To the editor:

First of all, I would like to thank whoever thought the "Man sentenced in dog deaths" article should be written, because I have been quite curious concerning the proceedings of this case.

But mostly I am appalled at the proverbial "slap on the wrist" which this 18-year-old Keedysville man recieved as punishment for his outrageously inhumane actions! What on earth posessed him to do such a dreadful thing?

I do believe (from my miniscule amount of knowledge on the matter), that his punishment should have been more severe. Yet, I cannot bring myself to understand how the American society of today will not condone the mutilation of a dog and 10 innocent puppies, but willingly allows the daily homicide of helpless human beings! Ultimately, killing a living thing is definitely wrong, no matter the stage or form of life.

Ashley Byrd
Hagerstown




Sentence was too light


To the editor:

I recently read an article about an 18-year-old who killed a bunch of puppies and shot two older dogs. I was disgusted that anyone could be cruel enough to deliberately murder those dogs.

What surprised me even more was that his punishment was to live with his grandmother.

He should be thrown in jail, not sent to his nana's house to drink milk and eat cookies.

I don't understand why this guy can't be treated like an adult - he's 18 years old, hardly a juvenile. He is old enough to take responsibility for his own actions.

Andrew Julian Correces
Hagerstown




No skimping


To the editor:

Let's not reverse the gains we've made in Maryland higher education. Since its inception in 1988, the Higher Education Reform Act has done what it set out to do: Improve the quality of higher education in the State of Maryland. In fact, the state's flagship, the University of Maryland-College Park, is now ranked 17th among public research universities. In 1988, it was ranked 30th. Do not let an economic downturn reverse the progress we've made.

The state needs to pay its fair share of the higher education bill. State support for the University of Maryland is now at an all-time low of just 26 percent of its total budget, while costs for energy, benefits, and health care continue to increase, forcing the university to scale back on services, lay off personnel and raise tuition. A tuition cap alone won't solve the problem, and in fact, may make things worse.

Cuts to higher education now will have a serious impact on our state's future. The Higher Education Reform Act of 1988 has improved the level of education of Marylanders. In fact, the quality of the state's work force is now acknowledged to be Maryland's chief competitive asset and an advantage in today's global economy.

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