Letters to the editor

March 23, 2004

Family life a good program

To the editor:

I disagree with Angie Harsh's letter about sex education being taught too early. I have three children in elementary school with one currently taking the Family Life course.

I have seen firsthand that kids hear about sex way before the fifth grade. Children don't have the guidance at home that they need to prepare them. Television is one of the primary culprits in this issue of kids having sex before they are mature enough to handle it and the consequences of it.

Another problem with these young girls getting pregnant is that too often girls turn to sex for love. They are missing a bond with a male due to the absence of a father figure. And the mothers need to play their parts to teach their sons to trust and respect women.


I'm not a model parent but I feel that parents need to be open about the subject and teach them all aspects of it, including how to prevent parenthood, starting with waiting until you are married.

I feel that the class taught in Washington County is an excellent tool for parents. It teaches them the facts about their bodies and emotions as they go through the changes of puberty.

Family Life goes into how a child's body is changing as he or she enters this stage of their lives and how life is created. They have even talked about subjects that have been too hard for me to address with my own son.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that society and parents need to work harder to prevent this problem, not blame it on the school system.

I just feel that this Family Life class is touching on the subject and it's up to the parents to teach their children family life values. It's not what you know about sex, it's how you value sex.

Kim Schnurr

Will Wal-Mart try again?

To the editor:

Since Wal-Mart lost its lawsuit against the City of Hagerstown, stories have been circulating about continuing efforts to bring another Superstore to the area. The leading story had them moving into a vacant building in the South End Shopping Center, but maybe that kind of feel-good story about Wal-Mart reclaiming old buildings only happens on TV commercials.

The most recent report is that Richard Harrison, owner of a 94-acre tract of vacant land behind the Four Points Motel and the old IBM Building, is seeking a rezoning that would allow a large shopping center and a big box store on that property.

Although Harrison and Wal-Mart are admitting nothing, it doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to guess where Wal-Mart is now setting its sights.

Who needs this? The residential property owners surrounding this site certainly don't need the noise and bright lights 24 hours a day, nor the greatly increased traffic such a complex would bring. The city and downtown merchants don't need one more large shopping center working against their downtown revitalization efforts.

Wal-Mart has already brought Washington County a large vacant building on Wesel Boulevard and a new store which pays little or no taxes, due to a deal cut with the former city administration.

Sure, people can come from all over the Tri-State area to buy some of their widgets, gidgets, and trinkets at a slightly reduced price, but most of this money leaves the area and we are left with overcrowded streets and more pollution.

About 300 yards west of this newly proposed building site is a failed intersection. And furthermore, the most recent state traffic study has concluded that "Dual Highway won't be able to handle traffic unless it gets an extra lane in each direction and major intersection improvements in the next four years." What are the odds of getting these improvements within the next 10 years?

There may be no easy solution to the budget and road problems but there is an easy way to prevent an even worse situation from occurring; The city council and planning department only need to say "no" to any re-zoning request.

Jim Laird

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