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Letters to the Editor

August 28, 2010

Thorough investigation of prison escapes is needed



To the editor:

I have been following the story of the recent escape by an inmate from Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown, a medium-security prison. This was the second escape in less than two years.

I understand the public is concerned and they should be concerned. One escape from a medium-security prison is very serious; two escapes from the same prison are unacceptable. This is a red flag that something is seriously wrong.

The mission of the Maryland Division of Correction is to protect the public from the convicted felons in its custody. They have obviously failed at this mission, not once, but twice.

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As a former warden and now a private citizen, I understand why so many in our community are upset. I believe this situation needs to be honestly reviewed and actions taken before someone gets hurt. Is that asking too much of an agency that has a mission to protect the public?

The firing of two probationary officers and a few reprimands does not assure the community that necessary actions have been taken to ensure there are no more escapes in the future.

There are appropriate policies and procedures already in place. While it is good that these regulations are being reviewed, a thorough investigation is needed to determine why these issues continue to occur.

Nancy L. Rouse
Hagerstown




Motorists need to drive safely as another school year begins



To the editor:

With another school year having begun in Maryland, now is the time to remind ourselves that we all play a role in protecting the safety of our children.

Roadways will again be crowded with youngsters and teens going to school - some by car or bus, others on foot or bicycle, and others driving themselves for the first time.

Each year, more than 300 Maryland children are injured in crashes during school arrival and dismissal times. Those of us behind the wheel can help prevent these crashes by reviewing the rules of the road and practicing courtesy and common sense when driving.

Build more time into your commute, especially during morning and afternoon travel. Stay alert, give driving your full attention and control your speed, especially in and around school zones, where the posted speed might be lowered.

It is against Maryland law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its stop arm is extended. Motorists approaching from either direction must wait until the red lights stop flashing before proceeding. Remember to be patient when following a bus. The lives of dozens of young passengers are at stake.

Finally, be on the lookout for children walking along the road and for those waiting for school buses. Children can be unpredictable, so be prepared for the unexpected. Remind children to only cross the street at a crosswalk and that, before crossing any street, they must look left, then look right and then look left again to make sure their path is clear before taking that first step. Motorists should remember that state law requires all vehicles to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.

Beverley Swaim-Staley
secretary
Maryland Department of Transportation




Proposed mosque is an in-our-face act of arrogance



To the editor:

Let me ask you a question: Is there a war going on? Who is our enemy?

I think Islam has to own the extreme activities, suicide bombings, etc. that are going on throughout the free world. The Islamic leaders should not only denounce terrorism, they should say they will stop supporting terrorists financially, stop teaching hate to their children and come to the peace table to negotiate about the problems they have with the free world.

The mosque they are building at ground zero is an in-our-face act of arrogance, which I think is unacceptable.

It's time for the United States to start fighting this war in a different way. The Islamic extremists are in pockets, active throughout the world, doing their terrible acts wherever they decide to do it.

We need to first know who the enemy is, tell them they will never defeat us and decide on a more effective way to defend ourselves from these Islamic soldiers.

I know not all Islamic people are terrorists, but we must remember that all of the terrorists on Sept. 11 were Islamic extremists.

It is my opinion that the free civilized world must convince Islam to stop financing and supporting terrorism. When Islam rids themselves of the bad element within and becomes part of a free society in the world, maybe then we can live in peace accepting each other.

The Islamic leaders should be glad they are accepted throughout the United States and not push their way into building a mosque at ground zero. This is just my opinion. If you differ, it's your right to do so.

I say no to a mosque at ground zero because Islam is our enemy by their own statements and actions.

Jack Myers
Hagerstown




Sin is the worst word in the dictionary



To the editor:

There are good and bad words. I think the worst one in the dictionary is sin. Only three letters, but how fast it can multiply. We try to avoid sin, but it has a sneaky way of attacking, causing heartache and failure.

Mankind was introduced to sin in the Garden of Eden. We have been partakers ever since.

The word of God is our weapon with which to fight sin. We recall these words: "If God be for us, who can be against us," and "nothing can separate us from his love" and "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer."

In repentance and confession, we are cleansed from our sins. If our slate is wiped clean, why do we sometimes hold on to them? This displeases God and looks like a lack of trust. Let go and let God have his wonderful way.

Sin will bug us as long as we are in the flesh, but there is coming a day when they will be remembered no more.

Frances Moats
Hagerstown

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