Letters to the Editor

March 18, 2009

Spat with Bohanan no cause to rip St. Mary's

To the editor:

After reading Jim Laird's piece on March 15, attacking St. Mary's County and St. Mary's College of Maryland, I must confess that I was highly amused. Laird's rant suggests to me that, in fact, he's clearly never been down here.

In fact, I grew up in Hagerstown, went to college at St. Mary's College of Maryland, and liked it enough that I decided to stay there after graduating. Apparently St. Mary's County does has something to offer, or I would not be there today.

Here are a few things that St. Mary's County has to offer. It is the site of the Patuxent River Naval Air Station and the Naval Air Systems Command, which is the center of acquisition, test, and development of U.S. Navy aviation and has the responsibility to guarantee that the Navy has what it needs to ensure our national security.


It is the site of the Point Lookout State Park, which was a prisoner-of-war camp for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War and a historical destination for presidents looking for a break from Washington, D.C. Additionally, historic St. Mary's City, which is where St. Mary's College of Maryland is located, is the site of Maryland's first capital and the site where the first Maryland colonists landed after their voyage from England. I suppose St. Mary's County was not too "isolated" for them.

I can personally attest that the drive from Hagerstown to St. Mary's County is not bad at all. The drive down those "back roads" reminds me a lot of driving along U.S. 40, which I guess Laird would consider a back road regardless of the fact that it runs through Hagerstown, much like Md. 5 runs through Waldorf and Md. 4 runs through Upper Marlboro and Prince Frederick.

I would point out that even though the county is on a peninsula, there actually is access from the south - and I do not mean U.S. 301 out of Virginia.

This other route just happens to be by water up through the Chesapeake Bay, which makes complete sense since St. Mary's County is, well, on a peninsula. I have actually seen people come to St. Mary's College via water, so it is more than possible.

On a personal note, I sincerely hope that your daughter was not forced to make her college choice based on what roads she might have to drive on to get there and what shopping venues are located nearby, because that would be a serious disservice.

My point to Laird is this: If you have a disagreement with Del. Bohanan, that is fine; it is your right to express it and I encourage you to do so. But your unfortunate choice of rhetoric that insults an entire county and the more than 86,000 people who live here is unnecessary and distracts from an otherwise legitimate civil discourse.

Allan WagamanLexington Park

To President Obama: It's time to stop raid on Social Security

To the editor:

As our new president moves forward to bring his agenda to Capitol Hill, senior citizens must put the heat on the U.S. Senate to oppose cuts to Social Security benefits and to stop the Trust Fund raid.

Seniors must hold Congress accountable for the mismanagement of Social Security. The election is over and the new 111th Congress is getting down to work along with new President Obama responsible for putting Social Security right.

Get rid of pork-barrel programs, pet projects and unnecessary expenses. Congress' spending has given nothing but IOUs to the Trust Fund.

They keep aggravating the problem and ignoring the Social Security Lock Box Law. The Trust Fund will have to pay out more than it takes in. The problem isn't seniors. The real problem is Congress spending our Social Security money instead of putting it in the Trust Fund.

No matter how much we need our Social Security benefits for which we were taxed for years, we have no legal guarantee to future benefits. Members of Congress refuse to act on good legislation that has been introduced. All they are concerned about is the big raises that they give themselves continually.

Anna Lee BurkerSharpsburg

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