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Letters to the Editor

June 20, 2008

Kelly Cromer should step down



To the editor:

When politicians take on a subject on which they haven't gathered all the facts, they can sometimes be at a disadvantage. When a politician is in a personal situation and makes political accusations, while not taking personal responsibility, it's an embarrassment.

Hagerstown Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer was pulled over for speeding recently and then accused the City of Hagerstown's Police Department of having a "vendetta" against her.

This is absurd. What is more absurd is her thinking that the city's drive-home vehicles are a waste of money.

As a taxpayer who lives in the city, I can clearly see the benefits of this program. City police can respond immediately from their homes, especially when the officers are on call. Fire, light, water and sewer personnel can respond to emergencies and arrive at situations much more quickly. I consider all of these to be first-responders.

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Ironically, Cromer doesn't. What is her obsession with take-home vehicles and not anything else in the budget that might be "wasteful?"

Why was she against reducing the tax rate? If she honestly feels that the city police force is gunning for her because she questioned take home vehicles, she might be unfit to be a councilwoman.

Cromer admits that she is sarcastic. According to Councilman Lewis Metzner, she has called people "liars" on several occasions. That apparently includes the officer whorecently pulled her over for speeding.

Is this the representation the citizens of Hagerstown deserve? Does this behavior affect important decisions that govern the city?

Cromer is an embarrassment to herself and to the City of Hagerstown. She certainly is not an asset to the city. She should save face and resign as a council member immediately.

Clifton Deward
Hagerstown




If there's growth, please do it right



To the editor:

As a proponent of Smart Growth, I cannot entirely oppose development. Smaller shops within walking distance, for example, of Boonsboro homes should be an option as gas prices spiral upwards. There seems to be a plethora of retail and office space on the books already.

Development should be avoided until the downtown area is revitalized. When development does occur, it should be done in as green a manner as possible. One shopping center not two, parking garages instead of acres of asphalt. Multi-story to minimize the footprint. Green space included in the design. If the Landis Road area wins the development battle, an extensive buffer should be built along Landis Road.

The area around there is surprisingly pretty and winds into the Beaver Creek area. The watershed needs protecting. At all costs, let us avoid creating an inefficient, environmentally destructive eyesore such as Frederick has on U.S. 40.

All of the comments about the low-wage jobs apply. A real answer there relies as much on people getting an education and choosing different jobs and lifestyles as it does on any planning board.

Amy Schmersal
Hagerstown




McCain: Grit, yes, but a real hero, no



To the editor:

John McCain is being touted as a war hero. He is not. He graduated in the bottom third of his class at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

He was a bomber pilot in the smallest bomber the U.S. ever built. He was shot down over North Vietnam and spent five years in Hotel Hanoi, where he endured routine torture. That doesn't take heroism, it takes grit.

Released from Hanoi as a lieutenant commander, he was posted to the Navy Congressional Liaison Office. He eventually retired as a Navy Captain, but never led troops in combat, or commanded a ship or an aircraft squadron in combat.

Why are you calling him a war hero?

I'm a retired Navy captain, but I don't claim to be a war hero.

Look up the facts yourself.

Burr Loomis
Captain, USN (ret)
Chambersburg, Pa.




Unregulated futures speculation is to blame for oil price increase



To the editor:

The secret is out. The high oil prices have nothing to do with cartels or with an increased demand for crude oil. I learned the truth as I was watching C-Span on Tuesday morning, May 27.

Michael Greenberger, a former director of Commodities Future Trading Commission, stated in no uncertain terms that the high prices of oil are caused by the speculators in the futures market.

Why is it happening? Because P. Gramm, senator from Texas, in 2002 introduced a bill to give speculators a free hand to do that.

It is called "the Enron loophole." Greenberger advised us that if we wish to reduce the oil prices, then we should write to our senators to ask them to repeal the law. He estimated that the price of oil will come down by 30 percent. So, let us do something good for ourselves.

S.V. Yumlu
Hagerstown

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