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Letters to the Editor

May 31, 2008

If you want to save gas, try driving a little slower



To the editor:

I have seen Hagerstown residents drive by my home and I've got say that with gas prices reaching $4 a gallon, one would think that slowing down would save money. Well, that was just a thought. Washington County residents drive like they don't care about gas prices.

It's you folks who drive way over the posted speed limit who have caused the prices to go out of control.

Should I feel sorry for those who have big SUVs and spend $100 or more to fill up? No. I want to see what happens when gas reaches $5 a gallon. I'll bet driving habits won't change either. I have assumed that the folks who drive as if they are going to a fire are rich and don't care what it costs to fill up their cars.

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I would like to see the national speed limit changed back to 55 mph and stricter traffic speed enforcement in Washington County. And have those folks getting caught speeding lose their licenses for 30 days and pay a fine.

You folks need a serious wakeup call. Oh, and don't leave out the truckers, who also complain about fuel prices. Slow down! It's a simple concept.

Driving slower saves fuel and will, in the long run, save you money. Now if you just don't care, then keep driving like a nut. And maybe shop around for a horse, because sooner or later it's going to go back to that. And the last thing I have to say is, car pool, car pool, car pool.

Steve Graven
Hagerstown




Bartlett, libraries didn't deserve 'Thumbs Down'



To the editor:

The Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down section is usually on target; however, the Saturday, May 24, column gave me pause.

A "Thumbs Down" was given to U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett because he changed his mind about drilling for oil in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge. There is an old saying, "A wise man changes his mind, a fool never does."

I believe that Rep. Bartlett was sincere when objecting to drilling in that area those years ago, based on what he knew of the environmental and economic conditions at that time. In light of the present oil crisis, I believe that he has reconsidered that position and is trying to be a good public servant in making a responsible decision using current information. The country certainly cannot afford to be without oil.

The next "Thumbs Down" was for the Martinsburg-Berkeley County (W.Va.) Public Libraries for offering to assist the Berkeley County Commissioners with a budget crunch by suggesting the libraries cut back on hours.

Frankly, I think it is commendable that they are willing to help reduce spending. Concerning your suggestion that their county's local health department could cut back on vaccinations and local food banks could stop giving out as much food, that really has nothing to do with the library offer to cut expenses.

Health and food resources are necessary; however, personal schedules can be adjusted to use library services during reduced hours.

It is time that we begin living within our means nationally, as communities and as individuals. There are wants and there are needs. It is prudent to take care of real needs, but wants should be carefully evaluated for cost and benefit before being funded.

Responsible families reduce spending and make adjustments when faced with less income.

Irresponsible people expect everything to be provided just like always, regardless of the lack of funds. I applaud the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Libraries for their willingness to work with the commissioners.

I wish more organizations and agencies would be so responsible in using taxpayer funds.

I do not believe those "Thumbs Down" labels were deserved.

Vesta Myers
Hagerstown




Coach Stottlemyer did not deserve the criticism



To the editor:

After reading Dan Kauffman's article, "South's coaches deserve the blame," I felt compelled to respond. I do agree that these kids should be held to a pitch count and that they should hold their heads up high.

That is where my agreement with him ends and I now will take off my gloves. Who are you, Mr. Kauffman, to bash Coach Stottlemyer as you did? What have you done to better the lives of countless young people over the years?

Coach Stottlemyer has done more for his school, his community, and the kids he has helped directly over the last 40 years than you could ever dream of.

He makes one unfortunate mistake and you crucify him! I assure you no one feels more sick about it than Coach Stottlemyer. He loves the kids who play for him and gives his heart and soul to them, year in and year out.

You make it seem that he could care less about them and that could not be further from the truth. I can only hope that my young son can someday be influenced by this man. I am sure that I am not the only one who felt this way after reading your absurd article. Perhaps you should take into account a person's overall history before passing such harsh judgment on them.

I am convinced if this had not have happened and South High won the state championship, which most likely would have occurred, you would have been one of the first in line to praise him. So you have written a couple of articles in the sports section. Congratulations.

You will never match what Coach Stottlemyer has done for this community.

You should be ashamed of yourself for putting this good man down.

Christopher Shoop
Hagerstown

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