Letters to the editor

March 18, 2005

More answers needed on HIV

To the editor:

Tara Reilly's story in The (March 14) Morning Herald missed some critical facts. The Maryland AIDS Administration reports show that there were 21 new HIV cases in Washington County in 2004, as compared to 29 cases in 2003 - in contrast to the "rise" that was stated in the article's headline.

The HIV incidence rate also dropped from 22 to 16 per 100,000 of population during this period. One must always ask how much the statistics that Reilly quoted reflect an increase in surveillance and testing. Is the reason more cases are found at least partially a result of people looking harder to find them?

Why aren't there any needle-exchange programs in Western Maryland when such programs have proven highly successful in Baltimore and other locations? Let's hope that in the future The Herald-Mail will dig deeper to ask important questions about issues that affect the people who live here.


John Krowka

Council gets poor ratings

To the editor:

I'd like to start by saying that I'm a city resident, and not a Republican. I usually watch ESPN or HBO, but this week I tuned in to the Hagerstown City Council broadcast to try to get up-to-speed before the upcoming elections.

I was undecided as to who I was going to vote for, but watching the council meeting made up my mind for me. The tirade by Linn Hendershot was a reflection of the mindset of the present city government. I'm not politically savvy, but it was obvious to me that it is time to clean house.

These elected officials should be reaching out to encourage businesses, nonprofits and government entities to invest in our community, not insult them and try to run them out of town.

The accusations by Hendershot that the team of Republican candidates was being bought by developers is a sign of narrow-minded, antiquated thinking. That kind of thinking will keep Hagerstown in the dark ages.

That kind of thinking will stunt our growth. I hope my fellow citizens will keep an open mind and realize that Hagerstown is changing, and we need council members who truly care about our city and will steer the potential growth in a direction that will benefit us.

We need council members who will embrace the fact that businesses want to pump money into our community - that's the lifeblood of progress, and we need folks who understand and will steer us into the future. So I say, vote for the team of Republicans headed by Dick Trump. We need new, forward-thinking folks in City Hall.

Derek Rook

Doctor sought

To the editor:

I am searching for a photograph of a Civil War doctor - John Mutius Gaines of the 18th Virginia Infantry.

Gaines tended to the wounded in Washington County following the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg.

He died in Hagerstown at his home on North Potomac Street in 1915.

Please contact me at 18421 Wagaman Road, or phone 301-739-8423.

Richard E. Clem

Under attack

To the editor:

I wish to add my comments in response to "Commandments are for hearts, not lawns" by Rachel Whitaker on March 4.

Personally, like many others, I'm stirred when activist judges seem determined to remove all monuments and engravings on public buildings that depict our acknowledgment of the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible.

But the unrelenting cry is so often, "It's unconstitutional" and "separation of church and state." My response is, how dare these folks remove and destroy the symbols of the Biblical and traditional values that made our nation the greatest and most generous and most productive country in all the history of mankind?

Unfortunately, we're in the midst of a fierce culture war, thanks to pop-culture Hollywood, the liberal elite in education, the clergy and government. These people are passionately orchestrating an insidious campaign to force all their perverted ideas of "tolerance and diversity" into the minds of small children.

They label those who stand for Christian values and principles as homophobes, intolerant, bigoted, etc., and as those who are spreading hate.

Alas, they couldn't be more wrong. As Americans who cherish the liberties that we've enjoyed for so many years, we must accept the challenge to speak out against these individuals and organizations.

The moral fiber in our nation is becoming even more deplorable as time passes, proving that our homes and churches, in so many cases, have fallen into immorality in both the pulpit and the pew - sad but true, apparently.

So, the ones who are living out the moral principles of Christ's gospel are under attack by leftist extremists who are incredibly organized and full of passionate hate.

Edgar M. Foltz Jr.
Greencastle, Pa.

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