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Letters to the editor

February 14, 2005

Leaders must step forward


To the editor:

Hopefully, your recent article about the assisted-living programs at Holly Place and North Holly Place will serve as a wake-up call for the community. This is a perfect example of the fight senior-citizen programs face every day in our community and throughout the country.

This is not a state or federal issue. As a community, we should not rely on the government to watch over our senior citizens. Yes, we can accept whatever funding is available, but we need our own safety net in place when the government funding comes up short. We have a moral obligation, as a community, to protect and watch over the senior members of our community.

This is one of those common sense issues. These assisted-living programs must stay open. Can you imagine the fear? Can you imagine the anxiety levels at Holly Place and North Holly Place? This is their home. Tomorrow, next year, in five years, this could be you, your family member or a friend.

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A quick review of recent articles brings up some thoughts. This is not meant to attack any group or organization, but rather to challenge and encourage someone to step forward and lead this effort. If you have already started, I applaud your efforts.

1. Local council members - it's election time. Show the voters you have value. Can you get the job done or just provide empty promises?

2. Washington County Gaming Commission - Did you think the request for $100,000 for Holly Place was a joke? The proceeds of gambling are meant for these kinds of programs. Why wasn't the request approved as submitted? Can you review your decision?

3. Washington County Commissioners - You authorized the spending of $1.78 million for portable classrooms. "One extra portable will be available when needed."

Each portable classroom costs approximately $100,000. Consider canceling the extra portable and redirect the funding. Please don't use "separate budgets" as an excuse. It all comes from the taxpayers.

4. Doctors - The community rallied for you. The average HMO-insured person is facing a $200-a- year increase from the recent legislation to lower your insurance bills and save you money. We were there for you. Will you be there for others? You have some contacts. Make a call.

Jeffrey Martin
Williamsport




A sweetheart story for Valentine's Day


To the editor:

Fourteen years ago, I wrote a poem dedicated to my husband and it was chosen as a winner in a Valentine contest sponsored by The Herald-Mail. Now, 14 years later, I would like to share "our sweetheart story."

In May of 1992, I married my soulmate and love of my life. It took us almost 30 years to get to that point and many an unusual and unexpected turn of events led us to each other.

I dated my husband-to-be off-and on throughout most of my high school years. In my senior year, we broke up and went our separate ways. He remained here in Hagerstown; I, however, got married, had children, moved away and went on with my life.

In 1991, my mother became ill and needed help. It so happened around the same time, I lost my job "down the road" during a cutback at a major corporation. It just seemed the best thing for me was to move back home to Hagerstown and mother and I would help each other.

About a year after I moved back, my former boyfriend's name came up in a casual conversation while my uncle was visiting my mother.

I asked if he knew if Allen was still in town. I found out yes, he was still in town, and still living and working at the Municipal Golf Course as he had been back in the '60s.

I don't know what made me do it; I guess it was fate, but shortly after that, I wrote a note to Allen. I didn't call or show up at his door because I was so afraid he would either hang up on me or slam the door in my face. (Rejection would have been a lot easier if I never heard anything from him.) I told him I had moved back to Hagerstown. I asked if he would like to get together for lunch or go out for ice-cream sometime.

The rest of the story is like a fairy tale and my life has been like that ever since.

Allen did call, we did have lunch together and in a very short time it became obvious that all those years between seemed to melt away, and here we were in love.

This time, however, I wasn't the silly teenager I had been so many years ago.

Six months later, we were married, and as they say in fairy tales ... and they lived happily ever after.

Cheryl A. Seacrist
Hagerstown

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