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Letters to the editor - 12/22/04

December 22, 2004

Boonsboro wrong to disrespect pastor

To the editor:

I would like to begin by saying I grew up in Boonsboro and attended Boonsboro schools until graduation. My impression of this area, as I saw it through watching my mother's and grandparents' example, was of a loving, caring community where people cared for each other and loved their neighbors and friends. When we went into the local shops, we were greeted by smiles, kind words and friendly faces. I have great childhood memories of growing up in the Boonsboro area.

I attend Boonsboro Family Worship Center and our pastor, Scott Varney, is a very loving, caring man - a man after only one thing - to serve God and his congregation. He and his family have given to this community selflessly. For example, on Boonsborough Days, when everyone wants to make money, he, along with our church members, did not sell anything, but instead gave free lunches to all who came. He gave away free Jesus videos and newsletters, just to name a few of the things he has done. Anytime you call on him, he is there.


Despite that, some have spread vicious lies about this man of God. To my great disappointment, many in this community not only believe these lies, but help spread these stories without ever meeting the man. If you would meet him, talk to him and get to know him, I am certain that you would love him as we do. You would know he is a wonderful pastor.

Not only do these lies hurt him, but they hurt his wife and children also. He has a lovely family that does not deserve this kind of treatment. He and his family can't even shop in the local stores without hearing about something else he supposedly has said or done.

I am so very sad to say that he is resigning, and I'm sure that will probably make those people happy. If I had spoken against a man of God, as these people have, I would truly be ashamed of myself. These people should be.

I can't imagine our church without seeing Pastor Scott smiling and greeting us in the morning while he rushes around getting everything ready for service, Lorraine, smiling and hugging us all on her way to get her children into class - Joshua, who plays the guitar so beautifully, so talented and lovable; Timothy, who likes to stay more in the background, but is also very talented, sweet and loving and sweet, beautiful Kayla. You all will be missed.

I truly can't believe the whole community of Boonsboro is like these people who have spread these lies. It couldn't have changed that much, could it? Think of the memories of Boonsboro that this family takes away with them. It doesn't sound like my good memories of Boonsboro, does it?

Avis Bean


City pollution cannot continue

To the editor:

The Potomac Riverkeeper is a grassroots group committed to protecting the waters that lead to the Chesapeake Bay, including Antietam Creek. Needless to say, we are extremely troubled by the operation of the Hagerstown Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Over the last four years, the plant has repeatedly discharged millions of gallons of partially treated wastewater into the creek. These discharges forced health officials to close off public access to Antietam Creek four times this year alone.

Despite these concerns, the city has made no improvements to solve fundamental problems at the plant, including fixing the inadequate electrical system and providing sufficient storage for sewage overflows.

We recently announced that we would sue the city to force action. We later learned that the Maryland Department of the Environment was already on the job, compelling Mayor William M. Breichner and his staff to sign a consent agreement to correct these egregious violations of the Clean Water Act.

Imagine our surprise to read in last Friday's paper that the mayor blames us for delaying that agreement, already long overdue. Mr. Mayor, we don't care how it gets done or who takes the credit, but you and the plant operators owe a big apology to the people of Hagerstown and the entire state for dragging your feet this long.

Ed Merrifield

Potomac Riverkeeper

Washington, D.C.

Note appreciated

To the editor:

We are fortunate to have someone such as Tim Rowland in our community. He is employed with The Herald-Mail newspaper as a columnist, and a darn good one at that. He has a sense of humor that is classic. He has had many interesting traveling endeavors that I wasn't aware of until I read his book, "Home Detention." I appreciate his broad outlook on life and his unique sense of humor in any situation.

I never realized his colorful character until I got into his "works." Rowland is certainly an accomplished and distinguished writer.

I bought his book, "Home Detention," and that is really some pleasurable and humorous reading, I must say. Inside the book "Home Detention" was a note addressed to me on Herald-Mail stationary. He complimented me on my letters to the editor. What was the compliment? He said he always enjoyed my letters. He stated that mine were some of the few that made good sense.

I have to keep in mind, however, that he is a guy who possesses that rare sense of humor. Well anyway, and whatever, this 81-year-old reader of his humor would like to accept that as a genuine compliment and for that, I would like to shake his hand.

Arthur P. Keifer


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