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Letters to the editor

September 27, 2006

Jim Kercheval turned the tide



To the editor:

I would like to publicly express my thanks and gratitude to Washington County Commissioner Jim Kercheval.

For years, every time it rained, residents along Md. 64 (Cavetown area) experienced flooded yards, etc.

Following the heavy rain a few weeks ago, the flooding was back. In the past, we would have called the county expressing our concern and trying to get help to remedy the situation.

This time, I called Kercheval. He listened and promised to investigate our complaints. He proved to be a man of his word. Within 24 hours county workers were fixing the problem.

J. and L. Lewis
Hagerstown




Candidates should take a stand on child abuse



To the editor:

Washington County ranks fourth highest in the state of Maryland for indicated child-abuse reports. Safe Place, Child Advocacy Center, has provided services to children in Washington County for nearly six years.

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Each year the center serves more than 700 children from birth through age 18, who have been abused. Safe Place, Child Advocacy Center is mandated to investigate child abuse in Washington County through collaborative efforts between the state's attorney's office, law enforcement agencies, the Department of Social Services and medical and mental health professionals.

We are interested in hearing from candidates on the issue of child abuse in the county. Many of the candidates running for office would assume a position whose responsibility it would be to work collaboratively with the Child Advocacy Center to end child abuse and protect children from abuse and neglect.

We would appreciate responses from candidates regarding views on child abuse and the commitment to continue the collaborative approach among agencies to protect our children.

Stephanie Stone, Dave A. Engle, Jeanne Singer, Steve Robison, Bill Abeles Sr., Alice Growden, Shulamit Finkelstein, Jodi Blair
Safe Place Board of Directors




Humans, not cats, are the real problem



To the editor:

This is in response to a recent letter written by Mr. Graven regarding feral cats. I want to say that we need to "call a spade, a spade." Feral cat populations exist because of an irresponsible segment of our human population. Yes, some of these cats may have been lost or strayed away from their homes. But most of those that ended up in City Park got there because someone didn't truly care about them to begin with.

Cats are infinitely safer when kept indoors instead of being allowed to roam outside. When we view animals, in general, as undeserving of proper care, the results are often sad and sometimes, tragic.

All of our own cats are "rescues," two from as far away as Minnesota and four from New York. Others have simply wandered onto our property. Each and every one of these animals has been spayed or neutered and given appropriate shots. We have "star" standing with our vets and consider ourselves blessed that we can afford the cost.

Our family often visits City Park and have never had a flea problem; we've never seen so much as one. If you want to worry about fleas, consider the number of dogs brought to the park each year. Perhaps we need to ban dogs in the park? Please, let's not look for a problem where we don't have one.

Ms. Miller is absolutely right - trap, spay, neuter and treat - then return the cats to the park to live out the rest of their natural lives. This should be the least we humans can do to right the wrong that has been done to these animals. It isn't the perfect solution, which would have been to prevent its happening to begin with, but it is the responsible and humane thing to do.

One note regarding the smell of cat urine. We have never noticed it in the park, so I don't know where Graven had occasion to walk - obviously, somewhere we didn't. It may be of interest to him to learn that that odor is quite common around boxwoods; a reason we removed one from our property when we purchased it, and why we will never plant another.

Cathy Snesrud
Hagerstown

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