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Letters to the Editor

April 08, 2008

Tower will trash natural beauty



To the editor:

After reading Herald-Mail articles and hearing reports from those who attended the County's neighborhood meeting, we question the plan for erecting a 190 ft. communications tower at the corner of Keep Tryst Road and U.S. 340.

Our first concern is that citizens weren't allowed to speak at the meeting. When public officials hold or attend meetings in an official capacity, citizens should be allowed to be heard and strict attention given to their concerns.

Obviously, a tower of that type, in that location, would trash some of the most scenic views in Washington County and West Virginia. The natural beauty of this area is a draw for tourism- a valuable segment of our economy. We should not be so cheap or short sighted as to fritter away this irreplaceable asset.

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We do agree that emergency communications are needed in all parts of the county but many people, including CPWC, doubt that the 190 ft. tower is absolutely necessary in that location.

We know that cell phone companies have been able to use alternative methods when tower construction has been denied at certain locations. Is the County taking the easiest and cheapest route simply because no one has the authority to stop them?

In a letter to Washington County Director of Public Works and Commissioner John Barr, dated March 24, 2008, Harpers Ferry National Park Superintendent Don Campbell states, "The NPS believes viable alternatives exist to height and location-including utilization of NPS adjacent lands- that will provide and possibly improve the coverage for southern Washington County. We hope to work with you on these issues".

It appears that the NPS is making an offer that is being ignored by the County. Do county officials have the mindset that "if it wasn't invented here, we aren't interested"?

Jim Laird
PresidentÂÂșCitizens For Protection of Washington County




It's the drivers, not the highway



To the editor:

I would like to respond to the story on "Death Curve" in the Thursday, March 27 edition of The Herald-Mail.

Being a lifelong resident of Washington County and patrolling the roads of Washington County for 21 of my 26 year career as a Maryland State trooper as well as living within a half mile of Death Curve for the past 16 years, I feel I am qualified to express my opinion on the problems (or lack thereof) with the area.

During my career, I patrolled the area of U.S. 40-Alternate from Funkstown to Boonsboro at all hours of the day and night and investigated or assisted on numerous serious and fatal accidents in the area of Death Curve.

In addition, my wife Sandy and I have seen or heard accidents occur in the area from our residence.

The majority of these accidents were the result of speed, alcohol or driver error (or a combination of all three). When the driver of a motor vehicle makes the decision to forego common sense, or decides to blatantly disregard the traffic laws of the State of Maryland, no number of signs, lights, grooves in the road, or reflectors will make a difference. Tragedy is going to happen.

The SHA has done a commendable job of warning motorists about the curve. Signs have recently been posted one mile east and west of the curve warning of a deer crossing in the area.

With all due respect to Geary Hoover, additional signs would only serve to provide another crash site. Hundreds of vehicles travel U.S. 40-Alternate between Funkstown and Boonsboro each day without incident. It is that occasional driver who decides to drink and drive or drives at an excessive speed who has the accident.

In conclusion, "Death Curve" is no more dangerous than any other section of the road in Washington County when common sense and obedience to the existing warning signs, as well as the traffic laws, are observed.

Terry R. Hovermale
MSP Retired
Hagerstown




Voters need answers about Rich Alloway's bid for state senate



To the editor:

Rich Alloway, states that he is for change. He does not list the details of what he considers change. Is he for term limits? If so, will he abide by those limits?

Is he for reduced perks? Would he decline the use of a state car for transportation to and from work? Would he stay overnight in Harrisburg, Pa., and charge the taxpayers for food and lodging, or will he travel to and from work without compensation, the same as other taxpayers in the private sector?

Some competitors for state senate have vowed to take no perks, I think it is time that we the voters, know something about Alloway, beyond his wanting to be a state senator.

He describes himself in the media as the front runner. How did he come to that conclusion?

This voter is waiting for more information about Alloway; what is he all about?

Wallace Nelson
Fayetteville, Pa.

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