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Letters to the editor

February 17, 2005

Bob Bruchey has vision that Hagerstown needs


To the editor:

I'll start this letter by saying that I have known former Hagerstown Mayor Bob Bruchey for seven years. During that time period, I have worked closely with him, both as a finance manager and now as the used car manager at Hagerstown Ford. I also am a property owner in town and have 20 rental units in downtown and the surrounding area.

While he was mayor, we would talk on a regular basis about the status of the city and what was going on in and around the city. I watched as he agonized over the University of Maryland and listened as he told me his vision of what that development would do for the center city.

He diagrammed the open space and surrounding area and spoke of how there would be an increase in downtown businesses when the university was finally decided upon. He told me that instead of spending $1 million of taxpayer money on demolition costs to tear the building down, he could get substantial money from the state to rehab the building and make it a useful structure. That was back in 1999; today we see that his vision was right.

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I recently saw a copy of the new Hagerstown Magazine. In the magazine, the city highlights some of the wonderful assets in the downtown area and the university was highlighted and labeled "vision."

Bruchey has always been an advocate of business, not only in the downtown but in the whole city. He believes that if you can increase your tax base, you can relieve the tax burden on the average homeowner. The Centre at Hagerstown is a perfect example of just that.

Bruchey also knows that in order to be a good leader, you must be a good listener. I can recall many times that he left the dealership to go and meet with citizens to help with a problem that they had.

Bruchey has the leadership qualities that we look for from our elected officials. I know that Bob is his own person and would never let any special-interest group control him or the council that he chairs.

We need Bruchey back as Mayor of Hagerstown. Please vote on March 8 and vote Bob Bruchey for Hagerstown.

Michael W. Griffith
Hagerstown




Cartoons were hurtful to Muslims


To the editor:

Bismillah, ar-rahman ar-rahim. In the name of Allah, the most merciful the most compassionate. May peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah (saws), his family, companions, and all of those who follow the straight path.

On the second and third of this month, I was appalled to find stereotypical, anti-Arab, anti-Muslim cartoons, in this newspaper. The first cartoon had a unkempt, bug-eyed, caricature of an Iraqi resistance fighter. His left forefinger was inserted into his left nostril. His right hand held a sign reading "vote for death, vote for Zarqawi." Beside this man was a smiling female with her face indecently fully exposed holding up her ink-stained finger.

The third cartoon showed another unkempt, bug-eyed Arab male holding a newspaper reading "8 million votes, 44 dead" in one hand and an AK-47 in his other hand, yelling "I demand a recount."

These vile images are just as unacceptable, as the "drunken Irish fireman" is to the Irish, or Amos 'n' Andy are to people of color.

As one who knows the pain of Zionist occupation, I can relate to my Muslim brothers in Iraq. Not all of the resistance are Baathists or non-Iraqi. They are men who tread the straight path and fear Allah. Men who resist any foreign occupation - American, Syrian or Iranian. Men who know that the only true freedom lies in the mercy of Allah which is his Quran.

Men who know that western secular democracy only strengthens the Shaitan (Satan) by teaching man's knowledge is greater than that of his creator, and that anything is permissible including alcohol, gambling, fornication, homosexuality and so forth.

Faisal al-Husseini
Hagerstown




Trivia was an all-over success


To the editor:

Far be it from me to look a gift horse in the mouth. The inaugural Trivia Bingo was well-attended (by 30 teams), well-organized and action-packed. Kudos to Herald-Mail Newspapers In Education Coordinator Brenda Bush, Masters of Ceremonies Dave Elliott and Bob Fleenor and all of those hard-working proctors.

Nor would I ever object to slanting newspaper coverage toward Washington County students. But I must point out that the three young men on our winning team - Mike Lucas, Jim Lucas and Mark Janus - are also the product of Washington County schools, all three being successful graduates of Williamsport High School.

Mike drove in from Baltimore to participate in this event, and Mark drove down from Philadelphia. They in turn were quick to credit their teachers, especially Larry Wadel, Sharon Elkins and trivia buff Charlotte Trout.

Here's to many more successful Trivia Bingo events. (Do we get an exemption from the Board Room for the next one?)

Marilyn Janus
Hagerstown

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