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Teens: Tell parents what to say, in your own words

June 27, 2008|By BOB MAGINNIS

Odds and ends from a columnist's notebook:

· At the beginning of May, we asked teens in the area to tell us what they wanted to hear from their parents regarding sex.

We asked the question because Washington County has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the state and -- believe it or not -- parents have a lot of influence over teens' behavior.

Babies born to teen mothers have a greater chance of living a life of poverty, of being abused or neglected and of being involved in the criminal justice system.

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We didn't get any responses the first time, but it's so important that we're asking again.

If teens who respond would rather not be identified, we can withhold names. I'm not sure that as a teen I would have been willing to tell my parents in a daily newspaper what was wrong with their technique.

But there is something wrong with the approach parents are taking now. A 2005 survey showed that, in many cases, when parents think they're having a conversation about this subject, they're really just telling their teens not to have sex.

That's not the wrong thing to say, but the message isn't getting through. That's why we need teens' help.

Send your comments in by Monday, July 7, to Teen Advice, c/o Editorial Page, The Herald-Mail, 100 Summit Ave., Hagerstown, MD 21740. Or e-mail them to opinion@herald-mail.com and put "Teen Advice" in the subject line.

· The news that Corsi's Pizza will close at the end of the month brought back memories of the days when my wife and I lived on South Prospect Street in Hagerstown.

In the 1970s, there were no large franchise pizza companies here and Corsi's delivered, so on Friday we'd order a pizza and stay up late watching old horror movies.

Corsi's also sold unbaked lasagna in those days, an easy meal that tasted homemade.

Now, of course, the Maginnises are older and not supposed to eat pizza any longer. Thanks, Corsi's, for all of the memories.

· The data is two years old, but I don't doubt the U.S. Census report that warehousing is Washington County's fastest growing industry.

In March, Troy Briggs of Liberty Property Trust announced that a Fortune 500 company would lease 215,640 square feet of the 554,000 square foot distribution center Liberty is developing in the Hunter's Green business park.

The company would probably create 35 to 50 jobs, said Briggs. It was later revealed that the company was the snack division Kellogg's, best known for its corn flakes.

Before that, the most notable local warehouse project was Stamper Properties LLC's conversion of the Tusing warehouse in downtown Hagerstown into a multicultural center where groups such as the Potomac Playmakers can perform.

· After a Martinsburg, W.Va., man was arrested for growing marijuana in plain sight in his backyard, I recalled a conversation I had years ago with a drug counselor.

So many arrests for marijuana possession seem to involve routine traffic stops, during which an officer observes the illegal substance sitting on the seat, or in the glove compartment, right on top of the car's registration.

Why don't users make a better effort to hide their pot, I asked.

"Because they don't think they're going to get caught," he said.

· In Thursday's edition of Kelly's Cuts, we reprinted a Mail Call item about a City of Hagerstown truck that seemed to be riding all over town with two employees in it.

Rick Needy is the driver of that truck and a 20-year employee of the water department. The man riding with him is a backhoe operator, he said. Needy said they go to construction sites, the operator fills the truck and they transport the material to where it is needed.

"If it wasn't the two of us in the truck, we'd have to have another vehicle" to get the operator to the job sites, Needy said.

The truck is seen running empty sometimes because unlike over-the-road trucks, which can arrange loads for the return trip, once you've dumped the stone or dirt or whatever, the truck stays empty until it's filled up again.

Bob Maginnis is editorial page editor of The Herald-Mail.

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