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Letters to the Editor

August 08, 2010

What's wrong with a little compromise now and then?



To the editor:

I have been reading The Herald-Mail for about eight years and have to say that this Sunday's (July 25) was the best Opinion page that I have read during that time. Covering a range of topics, the writings of Lloyd Waters, Tim Rowland and letters by Rodney Pearson Sr. and Renee River-Shafer were great reading.

Having grown up in the "projects" of Brooklyn N.Y., it was not uncommon to go to school, play with, and live next door to blacks. So when I joined the Air Force in 1963 it did not seem strange to team with someone from Philadelphia who was black during boot camp. From there we shipped to tech school in Biloxi, Miss., where we were not restricted to base. I was totally surprised when I could not go out and have a beer him because in 1963 one of us, or both, might not be able to make it back to base. This was my first awakening to racism.

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I will own up to not having voted for President Obama. Nor did I vote for Mr. McCain - I wrote in a name. My vote was based on what I wanted in a president. I can honestly claim that race played no part in my vote. I was watching CSPAN and saw that 95 percent of black voters voted for President Obama. I can only wonder if race played a part in these votes.

Because we have become so polarized politically it seems that President Obama can't do anything without being chastised by some group. Only our elected officials in both houses of Congress have a lower approval rating.

The letters by Rodney Pearson and Renee River-Shafer explain this low approval rating. Those in Congress have become lifelong politicians, not citizen representatives. They have been there so long that their collective egos prevent them from showing any respect to each other or those they represent. These people have no concept of compromise.

One only needs to go on to read Mail Call on a daily basis to see how divided we as people really are. One caller blames President Bush, the Republicans and the Supreme Court for all our ills. The next caller blames President Clinton, President Obama, the Democrats and the Supreme Court. The problem is us! We collectively put everyone that is in office there. We don't take the time to find out the facts about those we elect. We vote red or blue because it is easy.

I don't need or want someone who is going to vote party lines. We need people who will look at each issue and its impact both near- and long-term and make a reasoned call.

A resent issue is the extension of unemployment. The Republicans wanted to have the cost of the extension paid for with stimulus funds that have not yet been spent. The Democrats wanted the total cost to be added to the deficit. Why couldn't then meet half way? Has compromise become a sign of weakness?

Our future and that of this country rides in the hands of each of us. As Pearson stated, learn the issues and study the candidates.

Clifford Lane
Hagerstown




The wrong lesson for baseball and for life



To the editor:

Kudos to Joel Huffer for his piece in The Herald-Mail. I couldn't have put it better myself. But I actually did a year or so ago at the Little League where I manage a team.

And for a year or so we gave the kids what we (the 40-somethings) got after our Little League season; a Little League pin. And not one kid complained. But as fate would have it, we are again giving out those precious "participation trophies" because the parents complained so much about little Johnny not getting one at the end of the season last year.

This is a good example of what today's society is teaching our children. Don't work hard or earn what you want, just whine and complain, and someone will eventually give it to you. Aren't these Little Leagues simply doing what the state and the federal government do day in and day out with citizens who really don't want to work? Who really don't want to get off of welfare?

A friend of mine, who lost his job a year ago after working for more than 40 years, tells me stories of people he encounters while trying to get a job so he can get off unemployment. My friend tells me how he struggles to get extensions of his benefits all the time, while teenagers and twenty-something's get "99 weeks of benefits" without having to show that they are trying to get a job - because they know how to "work the system."

This holds true with families who have "generations" of welfare assistance, and are never forced out of government assistance. Is that what the welfare program was intended to do? Like the Little Leaguer, why go out and find a job, or get of government assistance, if they are not mandated to? So for the ball players, why try and get any better, because you're going to be an all-star anyway.

Bob Leatherman
Hagerstown




Let more people swim at Memorial Rec pool



To the editor:

I have lived in the Hagerstown area for almost 20 years. The last few years I have lived in the Jonathan Street area.

My question is, why is the Memorial Recreation Center Pool on North Street not open to the paying public in the area?

It is open for the children who go to the camps and for this I thank them.

My concern is why "staff" can swim and some people can have "private parties," but if I want to pay for my grandchildren to swim, they aren't open - but I see "staff" and "friends" in the pool.

They were even told on one occasion by the lifeguard to "go to Potterfield." Why, if people are willing to pay to get in this pool in their area, are they told to travel way out of their area?

While I may not know what it entails to run a place like this, I think if people are willing to pay to get in, where is the problem, especially when others are enjoying the pool.

Lorraine Piggues
Hagerstown

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