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Letters to the Editor

May 18, 2010

Too many rude drivers cause problems on roads



To the editor:

I don't know if it is true that Hagerstown is the fattest city in Maryland, but I do think we are vying for the position of rudest drivers in the USA.

I recently was at a traffic light at an intersection. As I waited for my light to change, I could hear sirens coming and sure enough, an ambulance was racing toward the intersection, or at least he was trying to, but the driver in front of him refused to pull over.

This driver is not the only one at fault. In the last several years, I see this more and more often - drivers refusing to pull over to allow emergency personnel the right of way. What if your wife, husband, brother, sister, parent, friend or child was clinging to life in the back of that ambulance? I would venture to say that you would appreciate other vehicles getting out of the way so that your loved one could get medical attention quickly instead of losing their life because a handful of self-absorbed drivers refused to get out of the way.

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Turn signals are another area where Hagerstown has problems. We don't know how to use them. Either that or we are too busy talking on our cell phones to be able to turn them on to indicate to the drivers behind us what our intentions are.

I cannot wait for Maryland to pass a law that allows only hands-free devices to be used in a vehicle and I pray that our local law enforcement catches many of you who constantly do this. It wouldn't be so much of an issue if talking on our phones didn't interfere with our ability to be good drivers.

A vehicle is a weapon when our full attention is not paid to the act of driving and it's time we took our common sense back. Right now, it is sorely lacking and that makes drivers dangerous. Maybe we can start focusing on getting our priorities straight and caring about the people we share the road with.

Kimberly Jones
Hagerstown




Immigration 'reform' will cause more problems



To the editor:

The recent immigration law passed in Arizona has taken a smoldering controversy to a new level, and exposed the liberal god of multiculturalism as a real danger to the survival of our republic.

The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act was intended to be the final amnesty for 2.7 million individuals, with one-fourth of them securing their status by fraud. The enforcement aspects of that law were never put into practice, leading to the greatest invasion in history as millions poured across our border in violation of Title 8 of the U.S. Code.

Enter the insane culture and their claims that it is a human and civil right to illegally enter the United States and demand the rewards of the labor of American citizens. President Obama has taken the side of illegal aliens against American citizens, resorting to outrageous, hypocritical claims. Protecting us from foreign invasion is the constitutional responsibility of the federal government, but they never explain why the law is not being enforced. They only attack those who are trying to cope with the burden caused by our incompetent government.

We can be sure their solution to the immigration problem will be "reform." Their "reform" will include amnesty along with some phony claims of more security and requirements. They are not securing our border now, so why would you believe they will do it after passing yet another law?

We must wake up, stand up and remove the deceptive failures in Congress and the White House in the next two national elections. They are defying wisdom gained by history, failing to uphold the oath of office and completely out of touch with reality and the American people.

Earl H. Conrad
Waynesboro, Pa.




Bikes for the World collection was a success



To the editor:

For the fifth consecutive year, Otterbein United Methodist Church in Hagerstown conducted a successful bicycle and sewing machine collection.

We served as a host collection site in conjunction with Bikes for the World, a nonprofit organization with established partnerships in countries around the world.

Keith Oberg, director of Bikes for the World, handles the politics and logistics of the international effort to provide villagers of third-world countries with the means to attend school, travel to work and become self sufficient. He depends upon local groups to take the initiative necessary to gather the items for shipping.

Our community response is always amazing. Thank you to each person who took the time to retrieve an unused bicycle from a garage, shed or backyard in order to put it back into circulation for a good cause.

We are grateful to everyone who helped us publicize the event - Hagerstown Rotary, Community Foundation of Washington County MD Inc., Lou Scally/WJEJ, M.S. Johnston Co., The Herald-Mail, Phil Ruth and the many churches, businesses and individuals who posted our fliers announcing the details.

On Saturday, April 24, we received a total of 257 bikes, 10 sewing machines, $700 toward shipping expenses and assorted bicycle parts. In less than four hours, a team of 40 volunteers received, compacted, loaded and transported everything to the holding area in Virginia. Your contributions were then loaded onto a container destined for the Village Bicycle Project in Ghana or the Pinelands Project in Barbados.

If you missed us this year, mark April 30, 2011, on your calendar and bring your bicycles to Otterbein that morning.

Cindy Brown, Mike Johnston, Tom Palmer
collection coordinators
Otterbein United Methodist Church
Hagerstown

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