Letters to the Editor

May 19, 2010

Thanks to Shank for making memorial possible

To the editor:

We remember a day when phone calls where promptly returned and action swiftly taken. Now, most elected officials won't bother to acknowledge an e-mail as received, yet alone return a phone call. The result is many people today become frustrated when attempting to contact their elected officials and are frustrated with their performance. Their frustrations are becoming crystal clear in the upsets showing up in primary elections across the country.

Much has been written in the local newspaper lately concerning the effectiveness of Del. Christopher B. Shank's style of legislating and helping constituents. The fact is that he achieved results for us ... and we don't even live in his district.

Time after time, requests for erecting a fitting memorial sign in honor of Smithsburg Police Officer Christopher S. Nicholson were rejected within different levels of Maryland state government. But Shank remained vigilant and unwavering along with the family of Nicholson and other Washington County citizens, police, law enforcement and rescue personnel, in seeing this quest through to success.


Without Shank's help, knowledge of proper procedures, and perseverance, along with the help of his office assistant, Liz Jones, the signs didn't seem possible. Shank took ownership of the problem and made things happen.

We sincerely thank Shank and Jones for their help.

Paul and Karen Highbarger

City's treatment of Almshouse is disrespectful

To the editor:

My ancestors settled in Hagerstown in the 1770s after their arrival from Germany and remained until their departure to Centre County, Pa., in 1788.

They returned briefly in 1793 for the marriage of their oldest son in Jonathan Hager's church, thereby showing their closeness to the German community in Hagerstown. I returned 190 years later, in 1978.

My ancestors would turn over in their graves in Gray's Cemetery if they were to experience the disrespectful treatment of the Almshouse by the mayor and members of the Hagerstown City Council. This attitude reflects the lack of historical appreciation for such an edifice. The city is indeed fortunate that this building has withstood the ravages of time and other abuse.

I recommend that the Almshouse be used as a museum to reflect its various uses during its earlier history and not be converted for commercial or residential use. It certainly should not be made into a parking lot.

William L. Gray

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