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Letters to the editor

August 15, 2004

City needs a sprucing up


To the editor:

After digesting Gerald Sherman's letter (Aug. 9), I felt compelled to endorse his position. After taking a trip around Hagerstown and looking at the overall appearance, I am taken back. The City Council sends notices to homeowners to ensure they maintain their yards, or else subject them to fines.

To the council's credit, it wants the homeowners to insure the values of their own homes. Yet when one looks around the city, we see commercial businesses, the railroad and county and city governments not maintaining their own front and back yards.

Look along the easement of U.S. 11 where the railroad goes - weeds, overgrown trees and fences in need of repair. I suppose they are being fined monthly, and are just not cleaning up because they can afford the fines. Continue along U.S. 11, and look in front of the city police department, and across from it you will see weeds growing through cracks and litter along the streets.

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Continue out to the intersection of Interstates 81 and 70 and look at the litter along either side, along with the tall grass. August is moving right along and there are activities throughout the city, which means out-of-town guests will be coming to our city either to participate in those events or to vacation. We all want to present a good impression of our city.

I, like Sherman, would like our City Council and Public Works Department to take some civic pride and enforce the laws on the books for commercial and local government properties so they do their jobs of maintaining their front and back yards. Homeowners who are trying to maintain their jobs, homes, families and yards would be grateful if the City Council and Public Works Department would set the example.

Ronald R. Colunga
Hagerstown




Bush policies are strong, but unwise


To the editor:

At the Democratic Convention, former President Clinton said it well: "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values."

President Bush's policies can seem strong, but they are terribly unwise. We simply can't afford four more years of mistakes under the guise of strength.

We need a president who will use both strength and wisdom as guiding principles.

John Kerry will be that president.

Jane Denchy
Shepherdstown, W.Va.




Accountability needed at every age


To the editor:

It has been nearly three years since I first received my driver's license. Every year, more attention is given to the damage and stress caused by young drivers. Even though my record is clean and I use my blinkers, headlights, mirrors and senses devoutly, the myth that all young drivers are bad drivers follows me. However, I suggest that perhaps more stringent monitoring should be directed toward the other end of the driving age spectrum.

Increasingly, my -and others' - experiences with older drivers (approximately 65 and above) has been harrowing. Too often I encounter the driver who violates traffic patterns, directional signs and the precious space surrounding their car and mine. I am tired of close calls and whiplash accidents caused by drivers who excuse their waning driving capacity by referring to failing eyesight, a stiff neck or limited reaction times.

I respect my elders, but I also value my life and the lives of my passengers. That is why I believe Hagerstown authorities need to start keeping all drivers accountable. It should be a lot harder to obtain and keep a driver's license. Voluntary, and then mandatory, license retests after a certain age seem like a possible solution to the aging driving population as well. I think that it is important for all of us to remember that a Lincoln Town Car can kill as well as any Honda Civic.

Jenna Lynn Shenk
Hagerstown




Hagerstown should grow up


To the editor:

Usually I keep to myself and give few opinions but this time I have to say something. Hagerstown - how small are you? It seems to me like this town (not everybody) can be very childish.

I remember as a child worried about monsters in my bedroom that if I pulled the covers over my head the monsters couldn't get me. Hagerstown seems to have that same concept when it comes to gay marriage. If we don't let them get married there won't be any gay couples.

No wait, if we don't talk about or read about gay couples, they don't exist. I am a very straight man with no want to be gay, but by reading about it I'm not gonna look at my fellow man and be like "nice pecs." How moronic are you? Being gay isn't like catching a cold. You can't give it to your friends by sneezing.

So let's all grow up a little and realize that as a child when we pulled up the covers, our monsters still could get us and even if we don't want or allow gay marriages, gay couples will continue to be gay and couples.

S. Tyler
Hagerstown




Gay marriage is about love


To the editor:

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