Letters to the editor

April 18, 2005

Same old story

To the editor:

I truly applaud Mayor William Breichner's efforts to name a city street after one of the greatest sports legends ever. However, I am somewhat surprised that he didn't think that race would be an issue of contention prior to making these efforts.

There has been a lot of progress as it relates to race relations in this city. But we shouldn't think for one minute that there aren't large groups of people who wouldn't mind going back to what they would consider to be the good old days.

We are a city that is full of private organizations and clubs with no minority members. I see no one of color holding an office of political significance. Our educational systems appear to segregate students of color and/or lower socio-economic status. Race relations in this city/region are of the worse type, in that there is often an unspoken belief or opinion. It is what happens behind closed doors that should scare any person of color.


With respect to Mr. Mays, why not name a street in the predominantly African-American community after him? It would only be fitting. This was the only group of people who accepted him in the 1950s. It appears that this is the only group that is willing to accept him now. Fifty-five years later, some things are still the same.

Joseph L. Jefferson

Lew Metzner a man of character

To the editor:

I have been a resident of Washington County for the last 13 years and have worked in the City of Hagerstown since 1981. During those years I have had the honor and privilege to work for Lewis C. Metzner. I have been intimately involved with his law practice and with his various elections throughout those years.

I felt compelled to pen this letter after reading certain articles that have been recently published. During the 24 years that I have worked for this man, I have seen many things occur, not only within his law practice, but during his service on various committees and on city government. The attributes that come to mind are many. I have seen him help those who desperately needed help, not for monetary gain, but because it was the right thing to do.

I have witnessed him turn down cases where he could not morally represent someone because of his beliefs. He has always helped the weak, defended the poor and fought for justice. As he serves his law firm and the people that he represents, that is how he serves the citizens of Hagerstown - with integrity and honesty.

One of the best compliments that is repeated over and over is when the other party in a lawsuit walks up to him at the finish and states emphatically, "I wish that I would have had you as my attorney," shakes his hand and walks away.

Lew Metzner is a devoted family man, a man who believes the truth always comes first and a man who serves all who he encounters with respect. The attributes listed above are the many hats worn by Lew Metzner. They are not for political gain and they are not for seeking fame and fortune. They are what make up the character of this man.

Fran Graves

Retirees due consideration

To the editor:

Washington County government retirees are due a cost of living increase. The County Commissioners need to take a look at the last time we got an increase. The price/cost of everything is going up, but the retirees' pay stays the same.

Some people will say, "get a job." Companies don't hire people over 65 unless you want to work for less than minimum wage.

I've been retired eight years and the amount of my increases is pitiful. When I turned 65, they dropped the health insurance that I was paying for through their coverage. I am now paying nearly $4,000 a year, and this does not include dental, vision or prescriptions.

I read in the paper where a county department got huge raises because the salaries weren't up to par. The raises came after July and the wasbudget approved.

I would like all retired county government employees to voice their opinions on this matter. Maybe we should attend one of their public meetings and cry or boo-hoo in front of the commissioners for an increase. I hear it works for some, even men. I gave them 26 years.

Mary L. Kline
Clear Spring

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