Letters to the Editor

September 29, 2009

Habitat for Humanity also can help homeless

To the editor:

Here at Habitat for Humanity, we eagerly read Erin Julius' six-part homelessness series each day. The stories were excellent and highlighted the need in our community very well, as well as some of the help that is available.

We truly appreciate your efforts to bring this serious problem to light, including the problem with lack of affordable housing in our area. Many people do not realize we have such a problem, or they believe the problem is solved by the cost of for-sale houses dropping and foreclosures.

While Habitat for Humanity does not directly work with the homeless, we want to let you know that we are a part of the solution and would like to have been listed in your chart of agencies. Habitat works with low-income families to provide affordable housing and self-sufficiency in order to prevent homelessness and other serious consequences of unsafe or unaffordable housing. We partner with single mothers and families like the one you highlighted to help them help themselves.


Habitat for Humanity is not a quick fix to homelessness nor can it solve all of the reasons for homelessness, but it is a long-term solution for those who are working and still cannot afford a safe, decent place to live. Habitat does not offer a handout, but a hand-up. Partner families put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity helping to build their own homes and, once they are in their home, make affordable monthly payments on a no-interest, no-profit home loan.

If you would like additional information about Habitat for Humanity, feel free to contact us.

Thank you again for your excellent and informative series. Awareness of the problem is half the battle, and you have done an admirable job of informing the public.

Kathy Powderly
director of development
Habitat for Humanity of Washington County

Symbols must not be removed from memorials

To the editor:

"All crosses serving as headstones in Arlington Cemetery must be removed immediately." Shocking, yes. Possible, yes.

Why? The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments beginning Oct. 7 that could ban all religious symbols on federally owned property. The court's decision, in effect, could outlaw public display of a Christian symbol - the cross, long held sacred by millions of Christian Americans.

The court case, Salazer vs. Buono from California's 9th District Court, has been a longtime legal fight between ACLU lawyers and local veterans groups. Located on an isolated stretch of a two-lane highway through the Mojave Desert, the cross was erected in 1934 to honor World War I Americans who died in battle. Now shielded from motorists' view by a plywood box in compliance with a lower court order, the cross presently stands covered, thus hidden to the infrequent traveler.

Removal from public viewing of crosses, angels, Stars of David, engraved written or recited references to God and other manifestations must not become the law of the land via a Supreme Court decision. If this court decides in October that this lonely cross on a desolate highway is a violation of "separation of church and state," the domino effect could unleash a full-throttle attack, with ACLU lawyers leading the charge.

Americans of all faiths must not let this California cross or any religious symbol be removed from our military memorials/cemeteries. Removing these symbols is an anathema to all rational-thinking Americans and must be off limits to ACLU lawyers or other anti-American organizations.

Please let your voice be heard via the Supreme Court's e-mail ( or court clerk's phone (201-479-3011). Our brave warriors who were killed defending our country deserve your support now. Please don't let them down.

Blanton Croft

Maryland can lead way on income tax reform

To the editor:

There has not been much mentioned about tax reform lately. Let Maryland lead the way.

With modern technology today, it should be easy to formulate a procedure to simplify our income tax structure. With records on sales of consumer goods at our disposal over many years of recordkeeping, it would be possible to have a sales tax on consumer products. With this system, everybody pays their fair share.

There are situations where people are using our system to their advantage who we provide with our tax money, for example, Welfare contributions and Social Services, who avoid the tax, but continue to bleed it. With a consumer sales tax, we all pay our fair share.

Come on Maryland, let's lead the way on income tax reform.

Tom Wilhelm

Health care solution: Extend Medicare coverage

To the editor:

We all know that the present health care delivery system is broken. Even the Senate Republicans, fighting tooth and nail to block the Democrats' 1,100-page reform bill, know that. But we don't need an 1,100-page bill, which will inevitably open new paths to graft and corruption.

There is a simple way to fix this, one that has already been proven and is working in America today: Extend Medicare to everybody.

We already know Medicare works. It's ponderous, and not everybody is happy with it all the time, but most of us seniors are reasonably happy with it most of the time.

We can extend Medicare to everybody as a viable public option and solve the major problems right now.

Burr Loomis
Chambersburg, Pa.

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