Letters to the Editor - Dec. 19

December 19, 2010

GOP Central Committee chairman weighs in on robocall

To the editor:

Much has been written by The Herald-Mail, various letter writers and in online comments regarding the now-infamous 11th-hour robocall incident. A question being raised concerns why the Washington County Republican Central Committee has not come forward with definitive details as to the circumstances and persons involved.

Our committee is not a prosecutorial agency and has no authority to force people to reveal their role in anything. We did not create this robocall, pay for it or know anything whatsoever about it, and to therefore pass along information of matters where we were not witnesses would be to relate hearsay with no assurance of certainty.

The WCRCC has previously stated our willingness to participate with any investigation, and we also willingly join the call to welcome such from the state prosecutor should he deem it necessary and prudent.

Speaking personally, I continue to believe, based upon what I have been able to ascertain, that the robocall error arose from incorrect assumptions about authorization and a communication company affirmation process rather than criminal mischief.

Seeing the dearth of local candidates the Democrats put forward this year, it did not appear their central committee was very active. If only they would apply their current prosecutorial-seeking energies toward candidate recruitment, we could have more robust election seasons around here.

But a good result arising from this incident (that all sides might agree upon) is a likely more judicious use of these calls by all candidates, recognizing the general public has a strong distaste for them.

And finally, I applaud the excellence of the remarks Kristin B. Aleshire has publicly given, and several of us on our committee have spoken of our deep regret for any embarrassment this has thrown upon him. I do not really know him, but am acquainted with many of his extended family and appreciate their multiple contributions to our community. Kristin seems like a very fine man, and as conservatives, we appreciate the many fiscal restraint positions he has advanced. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Randy Buchman
2011 chairman
Washington County Republican Central Committee

Children’s Village provides the priceless gift of safety

To the editor:

Safety is a topic of concern every holiday season. How fortunate it was that Washington County created Children’s Village to address child safety throughout the entire year.

A nonprofit organization, Children’s Village has provided free safety education and skills training to all county second-grade students since 1990. More than 40,000 children from public, private and home schools have attended Children’s Village. Students leave the injury-prevention campus with safety knowledge and hands-on skills training. They learn that making proper safety choices can save lives.
After the Children’s Village experience, students become safety ambassadors in homes throughout the community. Interactive homework assignments, completed with adult family members, check for working smoke detectors; develop fire escape plans; and share information on stranger danger, seat belt, bicycle, railroad and water safety.

Parents confirm home and personal safety concerns translate into family projects long after students return from Children’s Village. Further, a Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health Injury Prevention Center study verified positive lifestyle changes in more than 50 percent of homes after a child attended Children’s Village.

Success stories of students using skills learned and practiced at Children’s Village to prevent tragedies or properly assist during emergencies confirm the value of our program to the well-being of our children. Such stories are significant given that injury is the leading cause of death and disability for children younger than 14. Children’s Village is honored that its program is a benchmark for proactive child safety initiatives.

Yet Children’s Village would not be possible without the foresight and commitment of many partners. Early visionaries included a cross-section of community supporters (fire and police organizations, elected officials, area governments, school board representatives, businesses and civic organizations). Similar support sustains Children’s Village 20 years later, as Washington County remains committed to the safety of its children and to the success of the Children’s Village mission.

Children’s Village thanks its many partners for helping to provide the priceless gift of safety to youngsters in our community, not only during the holidays, but throughout the year as well.
Rochelle Morrell
executive director
Children’s Village of Washington County Inc.

Craft show promoter gives thanks for successful event

To the editor:

As the promoter of the Kris Kringle Craft Show that was held Nov. 20 and 21, I have some people, organizations and businesses that I would like to thank.

I would like to thank the more than 10,000 shoppers who attended the show. Thank you for coming, the vendors thank you for purchasing their crafts and the Parent-Child Center of Hagerstown thanks you for your $1 door donation that goes to their organization.

This show requires a huge amount of volunteers to work the event. I wish I could personally name each of you.

The student volunteers earning their SSL hours are invaluable. I also want to thank the staff of Hagerstown Community College, all of the advertisers and all of the businesses that had a part in the show. Most of all, I want to thank all of the wonderful, dedicated and loyal family, friends and volunteers who gave countless hours of time and hard work to help me put on this show. Without them, it would not be possible. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I am a truly blessed person.

And last, to my kids, Jimmy and John, for their help throughout the year, and to my husband, Larry, for putting up with me and working with me all year to make this happen for charity and for Washington County each year.

God has blessed me with some wonderful people and I look forward to working with you next year at the 28th annual Kris Kringle Craft Show on Nov. 19 and 20, 2011 at Hagerstown Community College. Proceeds from the show will be given to Children’s Village in 2011. Hope to see you there.

Linda Williams
Clear Spring
Kris Kringle Craft Show promoter

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