At the time Dr. Kitchens arrived as the new superintendent of schools, there was a separate board for the college, but the final settlement of property had not been made.
The position of the Board of Education as presented to the new administrator was that the Vocational Technical Center located on the campus was to be turned over to the college, since, by that time, the new one had been built and was in operation at another location.
Upon entering the Robinwood campus, the first building on the right was the Early Childhood Center and the tract of undeveloped land on the left was the planned for site of an elementary school. These were to remain under BOE jurisdiction.
After learning of the board's plans, I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Kitchens. It was our first meeting; he received me cordially and we had a friendly discussion. As a part of this, I remember saying, "There is a possibility that 25 years from now both of us will be gone and our names forgotten. But someone will ask what stupid planner crammed the development of a college campus by putting buildings of other educational levels on either side of the entrance roadway.
After appropriate discussion Dr. Kitchens said, "I couldn't agree with you more. Let's plan a meeting of our two boards and resolve the matter without further delay."
His willingness to review what appeared to be the prevailing policy and taking the necessary steps to alter it played an important role in the future development of the Hagerstown Community College campus. We owe him a debt of gratitude and a fond remembrance of his impact on Washington County.
Atlee C. Kepler
Hagerstown Community College
Don't we share any blame for U.S. economic collapse?
To the editor:
Americans seem to be pretty busy blaming others for our current economic situation - particularly the housing crisis and the automotive dilemma.
Yet none of these frequent comments seem to consider the two major culprits for our nation's (and now evidently the world's) major economic flaws - namely, you and me!
Now I don't mean "us" personally. Instead, I condemn the collective you and me - all of us living within the United States.
Perhaps we should stop condemning faceless bureaucrats, lax legislators, slippery developers, stealthy loan sharks, unscrupulous investors, inaccurate analysts, unethical sales personnel, and greedy CEOs and managers. Could they be the only ones at fault?
Did our automakers suddenly wake up and cry: "Eureka, what the U.S. needs is a lot of Hummers and huge SUV lookalikes!"
Doubtful. While they built these monster autos, we -you and I - bought them and lived lavishly like a bunch of pigs ... (since this is a family newspaper) in mud!
No once forced us to buy megasized cars, complete with bells, whistles, stereos, satellite radios, live Internet geography and even television sets!
Auto dealers did not use waterboard torture to persuade the American public to buy these monstrosities - leading to enormous costs in retooling, as well as a huge backlog of large cars and trucks that no one can now afford! Surely, we share some blame!
Moreover, even before these American auto behemoths - there was at least a decade run of housing McMansions.
Where did this need stem from? We agree it is a wonderful idea for any and all American citizens and immigrants alike to own their own homes.
But who says every child must have a bedroom or that every home needs a breakfast nook, a mud room, laundry room, powder room, family room, game room, entertainment room and sewing room?
Plus, many all feel they need a home office, den and bar as well as multi-car garages, carports, and large decks to boot - not to mention living and dining rooms, designer kitchens and perhaps three or more elaborate bathrooms.
While there's nothing wrong with every American owning a home, shouldn't it be one he or she can afford?
Massive houses began some decades back with Levittown - or outside Washington, D.C., with Dimmit Hills, near Tysons Corner (at that time a fruit stand.)
There were more than 1,000 homes there - the smallest three-bedroom, one-bath home ever built.
But they sold for less than $12,000, and with a mortgage payment under $100 a month. There was no need for sub-prime loans nor adjustable rates.
Are our economic troubles all the fault of automakers and homebuilders, or might we share some of the blame ourselves?
David L. Woods