Letters to the editor - 5/28

May 28, 2004

Don't waste ourmoney on Star Wars

To the editor:

Any businessperson who wants to stay in business would not begin producing a product before fully testing it. This common-sense approach makes sense for government, too.

Yet, our government is moving ahead with deployment of Star Wars without fully testing it first.

Congress is about to approve $10 billion for Star Wars, including funds for premature deployment. These tax dollars should be spent elsewhere.

Susan Smith

Frederick, Md.

Prison guards need to carry guns

To the editor:

Why is it that police officers and retired police officers can get a permit to carry a concealed weapon so easily, but my fellow correctional officers and I can not get one. There is not a police officer out there who wants to go into a prison unarmed, but we do every day.


As a retired correctional officer captain, I am approached by ex-cons every couple of months. Luckily there has not been a problem, but that is not to say there won't be in the future. Retired police officers can get a permit, but for a correctional officer to get one, he has to be threatened with serious harm or attacked.

Why the double standard in this state? I have a perfect record, not even a traffic ticket and still I am treated as a risk. I had a permit years ago, without any problems. When I went to renew, a trooper said "What do you need one for - you never used it." I thought he was joking, until it came back denied. If this is a fair way to judge the right to carry, then we have lost something in this state.

I believe that years of faithful service should count for something to the elected officals of this state. Start treating the correctional officers with the same dignity and trust as the Maryland State Police officers.

Paul E. Foltz


Library needs policy change

To the editor:

This letter is in reference to the policies and/or new system the Washington County Free Library has adopted. We had borrowed several books about dogs in Dec. 2003 for a project our daughter was assigned. Those books were returned on time in December.

On March 18, we received a bill and notice informing us our borrowing privileges have been blocked due to overdue books and charging us the cost of the book. In other words, to continue to be a patron we would need to pay the total cost for the book. A phone call to the library turned up the book very quickly on the shelves. We were told many others have received a notice as we did due, to a new system that does not always pick up books that have been borrowed and returned.

This is poor customer service; persons do not like to receive bills and later learn that it is a system problem. With computer technology available, this should not happen. A bill should never be generated until a thorough search is made for the item.

We will be very reluctant to borrow books in the future, relying on the school libraries and the Internet for needed research. Our library needs to investigate how to become more customer-friendly and assist patrons instead of accusing them.

Robert and Diane Mitchell


Rumsfeld 'survived;' many have not

To the editor:

In the midst of the prison abuse scandal in Iraq that put Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the hot seat, he flew to Iraq recently and presided over a pep rally with the troops where he announced that he was a "survivor."

He then got back on his plane and flew back to the safety of his office in the United States. It's too bad he didn't mention anything about those troops he left behind in harm's way and the some 700 troops who have not survived this war.

Hettie Ballweber


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