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Letters to the editor

March 01, 2005

Quarry should respect neighbors


To the editor:

I am the summer camp director for Mount Aetna Camp and Retreat Center on Mount Aetna Rd. I also reside in Crest Valley.

Recently the issue of the quarry has concerned many in our community.

Personally, I am glad that we have an industry that has provided jobs and revenue for our county.

The concerns that I have are the following:

1. The quarry owners 10 years ago promised that if the expansion to the south was granted, they would be appreciative and it would be the end of their expansion.

Now the quarry wants to expand north. What happened to the promise?

The already established community coexisted with quarry until the recent developments.

The relationships between the residents and the businesses in the area need to be positive. I feel the quarry, instead of working with the community, has directed its efforts against it for pure profit.

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2. As a director for our summer camp, I am constantly informed from our clients from the Washington, D.C., area, the Baltimore area and the Interstate-270 corridor, that one of the key reasons they rent our facility is because of what we have to offer - trees, clear skies and a clean environment.

To change this would be disastrous to our retreat center and our summer camp ministry. We also need to co-exist as businesses.

3. In reading the documents for the request to rezone, I find that the mining industry is asking for this new classification based on three incorrect assumptions. These are:

· That the area has changed enough to reclassify the zoning.

· That any mining would not dramatically affect the environment.

· That our existing homes and institutions would not be financially affected.

· That we would not argue the area of influence being so close to our existing properties.

My recommendations to the board and the quarry are the following:

1. Keep the zoning as is, with the 88-plus acres as a buffer zone, including the 100 acres of the Easterday property.

2. To mine to the south, especially since that is what they have been approved for, with the provision to measure the impact to the environment, the fish hatchery and the community in five years.

3. To officially thank the mining industry for their contributions to the community, while hoping that they will withdraw their request in consideration to the community and its established institutions.

Carl Rodriguez
Mount Aetna Camp and Retreat Center Summer Camp Director




Poor choice doesn't excuse the crime


To the editor:

After reading Cynthia Baughman's letter, I feel obligated to respond. Unfortunately, Baughman's viewpoint is simplistic, revealing her limited understanding of the complex realities of rape.

She complains of her wasted tax dollars because the victim "had the nerve" to report the crime, simultaneously and superficially heralding a belief that all women deserve respect.

Baughman's comments appear to characterize rape as only a back-alley occurrence. This smacks of the, "She was wearing a tight skirt; she deserved it" mentality.

Such thinking further degrades rape victims by accusing them of inappropriate behavior, while disregarding the actions of the alleged perpetrators. Baughman suggests the victim in this case is somehow "less" innocent and implies she deserves what she got.

This young woman made a visibly poor choice and will live with the consequences the rest of her life. Reporting the incident to police, she may have prevented another young woman from suffering her humiliation.

She's to be commended for coming forward and doesn't deserve further victimization.

Perhaps in their preaching, Cynthia Baughman's parents failed to teach her compassion and understanding for the suffering of fellow human beings. Isn't that worth more than tax dollars?

Eleanor Iadonisi
Hagerstown




Wedding coverage was unwarranted


To the editor:

Regarding your coverage of people marrying on Valentine's Day at the Washington County Courthouse: Why would your newspaper cater to people having children out of wedlock?

Thirty-four percent of American children are born illegitimately every year. It is a moral issue and one of our "destruction from within" problems facing our country today.

That you would sanction this kind of behavior is disturbing.

Robin Douglas
Hagerstown

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