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Letters to the editor

April 15, 2005

Our taxes serve a purpose


To the editor:

A society is something that we all build together. In this season of taxes, we must look toward a vision of a strong social welfare policy that involves everyone, not only people with low incomes. Everyone should have a share in both rights and obligations. Everyone should be included on equal terms. Everyone should have the right to not only work but also to develop within their own jobs.

Everyone should have the right to knowledge, cultural experiences, a safe and secure environment, dignity in old age and making one's own life choices with out prejudices and discrimination. Everyone should be able to take advantage of the opportunities that society offers without finding themselves in a socially disadvantaged position.

A strong social welfare policy works to create strong families by supporting paid parental leave, accessible education opportunities and affordable health care. Those who have small children are entitled to safe and secure child care, which allows parents the chance to combine parenthood and professional work.

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The ability to access safe, secure and affordable child care, along with the ability to access educational possibilities and affordable health care is not a privilege, but a right that everyone in society should have access to. When some have access to these things and others do not, the result is unequal chances for personal development in our society.

A society founded on equality, liberty and solidarity requires tax financing. Some would criticize tax financing as holding back "economic growth." Arguments regarding high taxes have not changed over the years and economic research shows that there is no connection between economic growth and the level of taxation. In fact it is quite possible to have high economic growth and high taxation.

The fact remains that lower taxes do not mean that services such as hospital care, education and culture disappear - it means they have to be paid by another way. If you support strong families, clean air, world-class schools for everyone, cultural opportunities, reductions in crime and racism and a world of equality and opportunity, then you support social welfare. Please let your elected officials know that we need a change in tax financing so that we can have a society that provides for all levels.

Keith and Kelly Scott
Frederick, Md.




Ice rink turns its back on the public


To the editor:

The Washington County Sports Foundation's maverick decision to take the Hagerstown ice rink in a new direction, as they put it, seems to show little regard for the very people they should be looking out for, the children who skate there. Should it not be the heartbeat of the Ice & Sports Complex to provide recreation, training, fun and competition for our youth?

Why then would the foundation make this nonsensical decision to let good employees go and disrupt the skating program which serves many of our kids? This decision has hurt our daughter and dozens of other children unnecessarily. Losing good coaches, who the children have worked with for years, is a serious matter to these kids. You don't just flippantly change from one coach to another.

Our daughter has been involved in skating programs at the rink for more than three years. Like any sport, skating involves expenses which add up over a period of time, so our daughter works part-time to help pay the more than $1,000 a year for lessons and ice time. That doesn't include equipment and competition expenses. These kids work hard at the sport, spending hour after hour, week after week and year after year perfecting their skills with their coach. They literally spend their money, blood, sweat and tears on ice skating.

Don't our children and these good employees at the ice rink deserve better from the foundation?

Larry Walck
Waynesboro, Pa.




Charley Reese makes good points


To the editor:

Charley Reese's columns in our local newspaper make for good reading.

He surely makes some very good, "to the point" remarks that should be of value to those who have a "need to know." It seems as if he wants to reach out to those who are so steadfast in their thoughts and opinions that they entertain ignorance.

He has never written a column with which I disagreed. For those who can't or won't side with his wisdom, I consider them underachievers.

Arthur P. Keifer
Boonsboro

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