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Letters to the editor

June 26, 2004

A fox coat?


To the editor:

Re: Miss Maryland 2004 crowned (June 20)

I was shocked to read that in this day and age the Miss Maryland pageant awarded the winner a coat and hat made of dead foxes. What could be more ugly?

Trapping and anally electrocuting animals should never be celebrated. Whether the garment is as large as a full-length coat or as small as a hat, individual animals are killed to produce those products.

Put simply, fur and fur trim are cruel and unnecessary. To support the suffering of animals for a vanity product is unconscionable. I sincerely hope the pageant decision-makers will now see how unbecoming the fur trade is and dissociate future competitions from such cruelty by offering fur-free prizes.

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Jennifer Allen
Program Coordinator
The Fund for Animals
Silver Spring, Md.




Nix Wal-Mart bid for second store


To the editor:

In reference to the proposed building of another Wal-Mart: Despite Wal-Mart's attempts to portray itself as an "all-American" company through numerous ad campaigns, they're anything but. My wife and I have seen firsthand how/where this company strategically places their new facilities; they virtually eliminate the small businesses (the town's character) by undercutting the competition's best price.

This will go on for several years until all the "mom and pop" businesses are gone. Then Wal-Mart closes every other store so all that's left is empty Wal-Mart shells scattered amidst vacant, once- thriving local shops.

People may at first enjoy the extra shopping choice, but soon realize that Wal-Mart is all they have left. Further down the line, they discover the once-nearby Wal-Mart down the street has been shut and they have to travel 10 extra miles to the nearest...you got it, Wal-Mart. I challenge the board to look around. You won't have to look far to find an empty Wal-Mart shell; please don't be so nave as to think this a coincidence..

When we picked Hagerstown to buy a home, we chose it for its small town character and semi-country charm.

We respectfully ask that you reject Wal-Mart's proposal to build another store. One Super Wal-Mart, in my opinion, is already too many. The board should promote small business growth and continue to revitalize the City of Hagerstown.

Robert F. Mandaglio
Hagerstown




Thanks, Skip, for stepping up


To the editor:

Thank you, Skip Kauffman. You (as Boonsboro's mayor) have stepped forward into the fray, as I had believed you would, on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and the families who they serve.

I was doubly pleased that you had tried to find an eleventh-hour solution with a trade of land of equal value. This is just what I would have expected from a public servant who I have long respected.

I also understand why HFH could not accept the offer that late in the process. Funds had already been expended on a number of issues directly related to the original site that the not-for-profit could not afford to waste.

Perhaps the new parcel might afford them and one or two other families a chance to build and own their own homes in Boonsboro.

It's a beautiful little town, with great schools and other amenities that make it a right place for families to grow. Working families usually make positive contributions to the communities in which they live.

The great part about the families who come to a community or improve their life within a community through home ownership as a part of the programs of organizations like HFH and the one I work for, Interfaith Housing Alliance, is that they receive counseling and encouragement to do just that.

Again, thank you, Skip, and even to the council members who got backed into a corner by NIMBY neighbors, for weathering the storm. Now, see if you can find a way to heal the wounds and help these neighbors, on both sides of the issue, to become good neighbors.

Linda Irvin-Craig
Hagerstown




Spilled water sparks dad's ire


To the editor:

The other day my adult son and I were having lunch in a restaurant on Hagerstown's Maryland Avenue. There was a family there at a table - a father, mother and three small children.

One of the children spilled his water and the father acted like a crazy man. I guess he never spilled anything. Then the child, who looked to be about 3 years old, started calling "mom, mom" and calling for help from the waitress. His father took his hand across the little boy's mouth and shook his head.

I walked by the table. The man was looking at the children as if he could kill them. They looked as if they were afraid to move. If he treats them like that in public, what kind of life do those children have? My son said he'd like to pour of bucket of water over his head. I won't say what I'd like to do to him.

B. Craig
Hagerstown

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