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Letters to the editor - 9/24/05 - A5

September 24, 2005

Handicapped parking spaces are being abused



To the editor:

I'd like to call your attention to an ongoing problem which, in my opinion, is shameful and totally unacceptable. On behalf of all who are affected by this practice, I hope that something can be done.

The issue is illegal parking in handicapped spaces. At first glance, this may seem like a trivial matter, but put yourself in the shoes of a handicapped, elderly person and try to imagine what it would be like.

Let's say that you have an appointment with your doctor. You drive all over the parking lot, but no handicapped space is available. Consequently, you have to park at some distance from your doctor's office.

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Then, the painful struggle begins. Think about what is involved for the handicapped. In addition to the physical suffering, there is emotional stress, frustration or even anger. Their much-needed parking spaces are often occupied by able-bodied people. This is a crying shame.

On more than one occasion, I have personally approached some of these parking space "thieves" and tried to reason with them. Their response was abusive language and obscene gestures, some of which was really vulgar.

Let me describe to you what happened to me just yesterday evening when I went to the Food Lion Store on Wilson Boulevard in Hagerstown.

I am handicapped, but could not find a vacant handicapped space. Since I was going to be in the store for a very short time, I parked in the fire lane. When I came out of the store about 10 minutes later, there was a traffic ticket on my windshield in the amount of $15.

In the past when I've contacted the sheriff's office, I was told that there was nothing they could do about illegal parking in handicapped spaces unless an officer personally saw the violation.

Now I ask you, does it make sense to ticket me while ignoring those who are violating the law by parking in handicapped spaces?

Why not arrest some of these scofflaws and collect $100 from each of them? It would make more sense economically and more importantly and it would be fairer to the handicapped.

I'm sure there must be other physically impaired people who have had similar experiences.

I suggest they write to the editor and/or to Mail Call. Hopefully, something constructive will be done.

Aline Schuck

Hagerstown




A legacy for the public



To the editor:

It was my privilege to serve as executive director of the Maryland Theatre from 1979-83 and as a member of the board of directors in the 1980s. I recall how many, many people, from all walks of life, donated their time and talent and money to help preserve and maintain this historic performing arts center.

The theater is the legacy of hundreds of individual citizens to generations yet to come. It will constantly require volunteer work and loads of fund-raising and grant applications to keep its current beautiful appearance. In addition, the stage mechanical and electrical systems will require upgrading and modernization over the years.

I congratulate the current director and board for their stewardship in the past years, and I sincerely hope their thoughtful deliberations on the potential sale of the theater to private developers will end with a resounding vote to keep the theater in the public, nonprofit domain so that hundreds and thousands of volunteers and donors may be able to continue to help this grand theater shine brightly.

In a real sense, the Maryland Theatre belongs to all of us and needs to remain in the hands of our stewardship.

Mike Harsh

Drama, Speech, English, Humanities and Leadership Development

Hagerstown Community College




Don't sell the theater



To the editor:

It would be a profound mistake to sell The Maryland Theatre!

The Maryland Theater is a cornerstone in bringing back the downtown. A new parking deck under construction and dining facilities within walking distance will be a cooperative support of attendance at the theater.

Thirty years ago, after this historic theater was almost destroyed by fire, Jack Garrott formed citizens organization to save the Maryland Theatre. Once more, Hagerstown needs the organization formed by Mr. Garrott.

As Jack stated, "There are certainly better ways to save the theater than disposing of it and I urge anyone interested to contact me at 301-733-4976 to discuss them."

I, as one, join with Jack Garrott.

Bill Ryder

Hagerstown




Roberts not that impressive



To the editor:

John Roberts likened being on the Supreme Court to being an umpire. A more appropriate comment would have been, "Let's play dodgeball!" John Roberts has been artfully dodging question after question at his confirmation hearings.

Unforunately for him, the record of past hearings shows he is willing to do anything to get on the bench ... others have responded to the hard questions. Since he won't directly answer anything, we are forced to look at his writings.

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