Letters to the editor

May 24, 2006

Time might be right for museum

To the editor:

Some buildings in downtown Hagerstown have been empty for a long time. Years have passed and there are so many empty buildings that used to hold stores. The mall came and businesses left.

The rent for some of those downtown storefronts is $1,500 a month. I am a good friend of one business owner who gave it a go. First, he rented property in the first block of North Potomac Street. His business wasn't working because of the high rent, so he moved his store to down the street across from the library.

He changed the name of the store because of the people in the downtown area who are on fixed incomes. He named it "Poor Folks Gift Shop." People have to realize that in Alexander House, Elizabeth Court, Potomac Towers and Walnut Street, the people basically live month-to-month on their income.


Where do they shop? Most of them go to Wal-Mart. They can get everything they need right there - groceries, clothing and basic needs.

A few years ago, historian Dennis Frye suggested a Civil War Museum. At the time, I didn't want to see those businesses have to close down at that location.

However, now I do think this is a good idea. In downtown Gettysburg, Pa., they had a real nice wax museum and other Civil War attractions. I was very young then, but it's something that I enjoyed and remember. It could work in downtown Hagerstown.

People travel, sometimes a long way, to come see Antietam National Battlefield. This would give them a break from driving, and it could refresh them to stop here in Hagerstown to see the portion of Civil War history that took place locally.

Also, they would probably want to eat after traveling and it could a boost for the restaurants.

You would charge a reasonable fee to view the museum, plus maybe have a tour guide to lead them through the different places - make it historical downtown Hagerstown.

A lot could be done with a project such as this, since Hagerstown is close to the battlefield (where I grew up). I don't recall a place to eat and refresh oneself after driving a distance. A brochure of downtown Hagerstown and what it offers could put our small town on the map.

It's just a suggestion, but people who know Hagerstown history could put it together well.

Would it work? If it were put on West Washington Street across from the university in those empty buildings, it could, because parking decks are close to this area.

I urge Dennis Frye to revive this idea.

Belinda Whittington


Reese is only speaking the truth

To the editor:

This letter is in response to J. D. Latimer's letter, published on May 8. It is my sincere hope that the editor will not remotely consider sacking Charley Reese's column.

He is the only syndicated writer who truly "tells it like it is." If people such as Latimer find his commentary unsettling, then Charley's done his job. He's caused you/others to think.

But as to the specifics of Latimer's letter, he is reminiscent of these, "swallow whole the party-line," Republicans who simply cannot/will not admit to themselves, let alone others, that they've been duped.

Reese merely confronts them with the facts. Remember Big Daddy, from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof?" He called it "mendacity." No matter what noun is used, it is still lying, by any one of the definitions.

Bush's repeated baloney is misinformation to control the masses, so as to achieve his political-ends/goals. Charley Reese is absolutely correct in challenging these people.

As to respect, respect is an earned honor. It is not granted arbitrarily nor gratuitously. The office that Bush occupies deserves respect. The actions and policies of Bush are subject to critical analysis. Bush the man, based upon his actions/policies, deserves nothing but contempt, disdain and ridicule.

Latimer should be happy that all Charley Reese can do is call Bush a liar. I'm quite certain if Charley could "sack" him, he would. Come to think of it, so would I.

J. W. Kugler

Waynesboro, Pa.

One plan won't fit all

To the editor:

Constitutionality - equal treatment under the law - is regularly a prime concern in all public issues in this country. Is this at issue in the matter of allocating public funds for prevention of teenage pregnancy?

I understand that the county government is being pressured for such funds to be granted for "abstinence only" teaching. History is clear that such a procedure would not benefit all youth equally. Those not reaching such an ideal would be left with no help.

In effect, an abstinence-only program tells the world, "Do it our way or else." At what age are citizens of a democracy covered by the Constitution? Does that depend upon their personal moral path? So it would seem in the current melding of the political and the religious.

Carroll L. Boyer


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