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Lertters to the Editor

April 26, 2008

Listen to Park Service's ideas



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-foot ft. communications tower at the corner of Keep Tryst Road and Rt. 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- foot 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, Harper's 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

President

Citizens For Protection of Washington County




Veterans trip was appreciated



To the editor:

A special thanks to the City of Hagerstown, especially Mayor Robert Bruchey, Karen Giffin and in particular Abigail Elliot for sponsoring the trip to Washington and the WW II Memorial for the veterans from the area.

My father-in-law, a Navy veteran of the war, said it was a trip he will never forget. All the efforts of the city were truly appreciated by all those who made the trip. It was so well-coordinated that the entire experience for them was flawless. We need more of these kinds of events. Thanks again.

Jim Colombo

Hagerstown




Will county get this decision right?



To the editor:

Site. Height. Sight. Might. What can we do to make this tower right?

Site - Washington County requires that the site be on its property. Why? The National Park Service is offering alternative locations on federal property that could be accessible to the county 24/7 and year round. Any site that makes the tower less intrusive should be considered.

Height - Do you realize this tower will be higher than the tallest building in Hagerstown? Higher than the hospital. Almost double the height of most trees in Washington County. More than twice as high as the tower at Bloody Lane - 19 stories high! Think about that, and visualize it.

Sight - "Ugly" is a good four-letter word to describe this thing. It will despoil one of the loveliest places in the county. Why do you think it's called "Pleasant Valley?" For those residents whose picture window views will be marred, this tower will lower property values in an area where property values are among the highest in the county. When vales decrease due to the tower, will the county decrease assessments?

Might - Who owns this tower? We do! Our tax dollars are paying for it. Thus, it belongs to us, not the county. Citizens from South County have the right to be heard. That right, incidentally, was not granted at the recent public meeting, where the citizens were told in the first 60 seconds that their concerns would not be "heard" that evening. Write me, but don't talk to me. That was the message.

Site. Height. Sight. Might.

County officials - will you get this tower right?

Dennis E. Frye

Sharpsburg




Joint center is an asset



To the editor:

Three weeks ago I had my second joint surgery at Washington County Hospital.

For the second time, I came away with a sense of gratitude for the care and concern shown me on the sixth floor Joint Surgery Center. The entire staff, from the nurses to the aides to the physical therapy team, is not only highly trained in caring for post-surgery patients but is also aware of the importance that kindness plays in the process of healing.

We in Washington County are fortunate to have a Joint Surgery Center which is highly recognized in the country for its excellent program. Thank you to everyone in the Joint Surgery Center and to Dr. Ralph Salvagno and his team.

Marty Talton

Hagerstown

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