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Letters to the Editor

May 27, 2008

Thanks, Herald-Mail, for the good coverage of South High baseball



To the editor:

As a fan and supporter of the South Hagerstown High School Varsity Baseball Team, I would like to thank The Herald-Mail for its consistent and complete coverage of the team's season.

Your staff was always there to report the game's full events and is appreciated by the team, the coaches, the parents and the students. As a father of one of the players, I always looked forward to reading about the games the next morning.

In counterpoint to your excellent coverage of Hagerstown area school sports, NBC25 has really dropped the ball. They prefer to go to Pennsylvania, West Virginia or Frederick County and ignore the local teams too often.

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During the last three play-off games, NBC25 did not cover the game South High had against Century held at Clear Spring, but showed up for the game against Liberty.

But they left after the top of the first inning, showing nothing but Liberty's offense and again were no-shows at the semi-final game against Mariotts Ridge at Arundel .

Unfortunately, the team will not be going to the state finals. The team's members should hold their heads high and be proud of what they accomplished this year. They are still champions in the eyes of the school, the parents and the students.

Timothy E. Hoover
Hagerstown




What we're doing for Maryland farmers



To the editor:

It was a real pleasure to visit with members of the farm community at J.D. Rinehart's orchard as part of Gov. Martin O'Malley's Capital for a Day earlier this month. Deputy Secretary Buddy Hance and I thank Mr. Rinehart for giving us the opportunity to see his outstanding operation, to respond to questions from a number of producers, and to share information about the O'Malley-Brown accomplishments for Maryland family farms and businesses. Some of those accomplishments are:

· Protecting Maryland forests and neighborhood trees by funding the gypsy moth spray program, which is nearly complete for this spring;

· Preserving farmland forever by fully funding the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation;

· Advocating for Maryland's interests in the Farm Bill, which just passed with conservation, dairy and specialty-crop programs, among others that will benefit our growers; and

· Signing into law more than a dozen bills that were passed during the most recent legislative session and that directly support agricultural interests.

These laws include the Chesapeake 2010 Trust Fund, which will provide about $12 million for cover crops and on-farm best management practices to help the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, and the farm-to-school bill which may offer additional markets to our producers while bringing locally-grown products to school children.

Even in these tough budget times, Gov. O'Malley is proving that profitable agriculture is a priority and is critical to the health of our environment and our citizens, the strength of our rural economies, and for the supply of local food. I look forward to future visits to Washington County and ask everyone to support agriculture in your community.

Roger Richardson
Secretary
Maryland Department of Agriculture




Maryland GOP needs to govern more and play politics less



To the editor:

I had to chuckle a little as I read Del. Tony O'Donnell's self-serving op-ed on Friday, May 23. Once again he's trying to pull a few fast ones on the voters of Maryland.

First, while he was detailing Republican spending options, the House Republican Leader forgot to mention that it was his "alternative budget" proposed in the final month of the 2008 Legislative Session that endorsed and validated 85 percent of the revenues raised during the previous Special Session. In other words, he and his fellow Republicans built a state budget around spending the penny sales tax increase and more.

Second, Del. O'Donnell decries the "millionaire's surcharge" with a fraudulent cautionary tale from California. He paraphrases a study that says "5,000 of the state's (CA) 25,000 highest-income earners left the state" because a similar tax was imposed. He obviously didn't read the study.

The study - by a noted free-market economist - was done between 2000 and 2006 and the California "millionaire's surcharge" wasn't imposed until 2006.

Obviously, those wealthy folks "left" California for other reasons, if they left at all. A vacation home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, makes for a nice primary residence while you earn your millions where the economy can generate them.

Republicans need to understand that they need more than false claims, over-heated partisanship and sleight-of-hand rhetoric to do their jobs effectively.

They can start by telling the truth and proceed to making governance their priority, not politics.

David Paulson
Communications Director
Maryland Democratic Party

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