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Letters to the editor - 5/27

May 27, 2004

Hospital still must answer questions



To the editor:

The Washington County Zoning Appeals Board rejected the original hospital application of 1991 more than 10 years ago. According to the county, no corrected or revised application has been received. Since the rejection is understood to have required relocation of the project, the builders have attempted to verbally revise their application.

The builders are fully aware of their position and seek political pressure to gain total control and independence. Their next step entails state approval for the project. Then, pending the zoning approval by the county, negotiations between the city and the builders will be useful and productive.

From a practical viewpoint, the engagement of outside personnel by the city saved a disaster to Washington County health care and hospitalization.

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However, for any elected representative, including the County Commissioners, to give all of the donated money and time and taxpayer money and real estate and the responsibilities of providing hospitalization to a disinterested outsider is very disturbing.

There are those among us who would enjoy the opportunity to question our several layers of government, seeking the reasons necessitating the project and how it will benefit us us.

Joseph H. Walker

Hagerstown




Prisoners have enough programs



To the editor:

Over the past month or so I have read numerous articles about the Project Restart program created by the Maryland Secretary of Public Safety. After a study was conducted by some "outside experts," the secretary claims that the Hagerstown is overstaffed. The secretary plans to phase out the correctional officers and eventually replace them with drug counselors, and other training counselors.

Inmates have the opportunity to attain skills and experience in preparation for their return to society. Programs already exist for the inmates which include self-help groups. i.e., AA, NA, lifestyle programs and more. There are educational departments with vocational training. Inmates are provided with medical, dental, physiological, library, religious and many other services. Many programs exist in prison that the average person on the street never realizes are there.

Today's correctional officers are concerned for public safety when the inmates are released from prison, and know they make the difference in the inmates' attitude upon their release. After all, correctional officers live in the communities where they will have to live and work with the inmates who are released.

I have seen overstaffing at some of the Department of Correction Offices, where special privileges have been given to some people for their services. Some of their duties have no real significant purposes, and there are too many people assigned. These people are afforded a personal state vehicle to travel from Hagerstown to Baltimore and back. A study of these kinds of operations should be conducted by these experts on overstaffing, and not on the correctional officers who fulfill their public duties.

Arlie Schetrompf

Warfordsburg, Pa.




Divorce is tearing us apart



To the editor:

Divorce has affected the way each generation has perceived the world around it. Divorce just does not happen between a man and a woman. It happens to our children and has been happening for generations. Children today believe what they want to believe. They make up their own rules along the way.

Parents have lost some of their parental rights, giving children the last word and the upper hand. Children expect to be rewarded or paid for every little thing that they do that is good! They have lost feelings of empathy towards their fellow members of society and are now having children of their own. Divorce has affected our children in many ways. Parents can divorce their own children by writing them off to the care of someone else, by neglect and by ignoring their need for love.

A parent can refuse to care for his/her child, placing the burden solely on the other parent. Single parents are still growing in our society. A child can divorce a parent or both parents if they wish! Children have learned this behavior by parents, society and the laws that make up our society. They act this out by divorcing parents, refusing to listen or respect authority, and by divorcing what ever it is that they feel is wrong for them.

Everyone is for himself or herself. This includes our children. Families just do not stay together anymore. Grandparents are moved out of their homes and often divorced from the family. Parents often do not get married, and are often in and out of relationships. We cannot keep ignoring this situation!

Divorce is no longer a written document. It is seen in every aspect of our lives and the way we play out our roles in society. Our laws should reflect responsibility, and our children should be brought up to understand this responsibility. We all need help in dealing with the effects of divorce, and now it has affected our society as a whole. Divorce has become a plague that has affected every home in America in one way or another.

S. Reiter

Hagerstown

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