Letters to the Editor

February 14, 2008

A chance to help children overseas

To the editor:

Children, farmers and others living in poor, war-torn nations such as Tajikistan, Somalia, Laos and Vietnam die or are maimed every day by land mines and unexploded ordnance.

That's the bad news. Here's the good: There is something you can do to help.

The young people at Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church in Gerrardstown, W.Va., are raising money to buy specialized equipment to find and remove these dangerous remnants of war.

We hope many of you can come to our Chick-Fil-A "Spirit Night" on Monday, March 3. For everyone who takes part from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., we'll get 20 percent of the restaurant's proceeds to use for our project.


It's our prayer that we will raise $1,015 to buy a magnetic detector from Schonstedt Instrument Co., a small company based in Kearneysville, W.Va., that has a wonderful program in which such donations are matched unit for unit. So for just $1,015, we will be able to send two magnetic locators straight to where they're needed most in the world.

There are no overhead costs involved in the program, which uses the slogan, "Buy a Schonstedt, Save a Life." The United Nations works with Schonstedt to determine where to send the detectors.

The equipment goes to countries where there is no money available for such work. And the detectors can be the difference between life and death.

The U.N. estimates unexploded ordnance and land mines are responsible for 10,000 casualties every year.

Please join us March 3 and help spread the word about this project - If you'd like to know more, go online to Schonstedt's Web site at

You can also contact me at (304) 229-1127 or by e-mail at

Christine Miller Ford
Gerrardstown, W.Va.

Immigration problem ignored

To the editor:

I listened to the Democratic debate, Jan. 21, and I considered it a fiasco perpetuated on the American public. Apparently by acquiescence of all parties involved in the debate, they all agreed not to bring up, or discuss, the illegal alien problem. I believe this problem is just as important as the economy one, and is directly related and a part of this problem. A perfect example is the new housing construction and its decline throughout our country.

First the contracting firms and related companies laid off the American employees and hired the illegal aliens. The Americans took jobs paying less money, or received unemployment checks. These are the very persons who had been purchasing the new TVs, cars and homes, etc. and as a result our economy has been dropping considerably. Some people, including me, believe we already are in a recession.

To compound this problem further, these million plus illegal aliens send a portion of their wages home to support their families. These billions of exported dollars are not circulated or spent here in America and thus increases the degree of our recession. In the short term these contract firms and others made greater profit for their firms. But in the long run committed Hara-Kiri, or in the English language self-destruction.

A simple solution to this problem is for the various states to decide who is more important, the American citizen or the illegal alien.

Arthur H. Franklin

Chorus will be missed

To the editor:

All good things seem to come to an end. That is the sad case with St. Patrick's Chorale and Children's Chorus. This wonderful group of musical voices made its last presentation on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 3 p.m. at Christ's Reformed Church, Franklin Street, Hagerstown. Fortunately, everyone was invited to attend and hear the delightful voices of this nondenominational human instrument of music.

St. Patrick's has been in existence for a number of years, under the excellent direction of Sandra R. Shirey.

The Hagerstown area will suffer a severe loss of artistic presentation when St. Patrick's ceases to exist. While this musical group consists of volunteer voices, many of whom are not professionally trained, under "Sandy" Shirey's guidance and tutelage, these voices are superior to many we have paid to hear. The members of St. Patrick's sing for the pure joy of singing and the pleasure of giving their gifts of lovely voices is a gift we all can receive and enjoy. More significantly, it is a gift which will no longer be ours after this last concert.

Burt McKenney

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