Letters to the Editor - Feb. 6

February 04, 2011

United Way still needs help to reach its goal

To the editor:

As partner agencies of United Way, we would like to thank the Washington County community for its faithful and generous support over the years for the United Way campaign.

Each year, United Way is presented with an enormous task of raising funds to help support 42 different programs within 26 partner agencies that touch one in three people in our community. These programs are giving hope and changing lives one person at a time. These people — the young, old, abused, homeless, uninsured, poor and disabled — are our neighbors, friends and co-workers. Those individuals touched are just like you and me in that they desire to be successful in their lives. These 42 programs offer them hope and support for achieving success.

As this year's campaign draws to a close, we need your help. Local businesses and individuals have stepped up to the plate and raised 93 percent of the $1.6 million goal. Now, it's your turn. The average gift in Washington County is just $5 per week. Do you have $5 or more per week you can share with your neighbors? If so, then join us in supporting United Way of Washington County by going to its website ( and making a donation of any amount.


When the collective dollars of the community are pulled together, great things can be achieved, such as feeding the hungry, protecting the innocent, safeguarding the young and old, job training and giving youths opportunities for a better tomorrow.

On behalf of United Way partner agencies and the people they serve, we thank you for Living United in Washington County.

Mark Barbernitz

executive director 

Mason Dixon Council of the Boy Scouts of America


Jodie Stock

executive director


Old hospital could be used for new convention center

To the editor:

I read with interest the story in the Sunday, Jan. 16, edition of The Herald Mail ("Old hospital expected to become a vacant lot," page A1) and watched a presentation by the newly formed Hospital Redevelopment Task Force before the Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 18, concerning redevelopment of the old hospital site. The new task force is requesting roughly $75,000 to study options for reuse.

The story indicated that the co-chairman of the Redevelopment Task Force, Andrew Sargent, is a member of the Greater Hagerstown Committee. It should be noted that the Greater Hagerstown Committee has formed a Convention Center Task Force to determine the feasibility of a convention center in the vicinity of Hagerstown Regional Airport and that Sargent is chairman of that group as well.  

Perhaps the two studies could be incorporated into one task force.

If the feasibility of a convention center is to be studied, a more suitable, less remote location, such as the site of the old hospital, should be considered. A convention center centrally located at this site can take advantage of the existing hospital parking deck and offers attendees restaurants and shops within walking distance and motel accommodations within minutes. This means business for Hagerstown.

George Anikis


The slippery slope started before don't ask, don't tell

To the editor:

I was quite interested in Lloyd Waters' column published Sunday, Jan. 2 ("Our evolving government and the collapse of Rome," page A6). However, I believe that the demise of our country goes back much earlier than the repeal of don't ask, don't tell.

In 1862, two days after the Battle of Antietam, President Lincoln issued a proclamation abolishing slavery, a custom embraced by Southern Whites where, as in Rome, plantation owners used their female slaves "for their pleasure." That was the beginning of the slippery slope "toward decadence and destruction." What was the president thinking?

In the 1920s, a white man dared marry a black woman, contrary to the mores of the time. They were hounded in their state of Virginia, though their marriage vows were eventually recognized. Can you imagine letting love win over tradition? The decadence continues.

Then in 1947, the little haberdasher from Independence, Mo., integrated the armed forces. Oh, it was all right for black soldiers to die for their country, but now they were to sleep and eat alongside of white troops. Imagine. The slope was becoming even more slippery.

Even worse, a few years later, women were accepted in the military academies with the goal of commanding men and flying combat helicopters. What was the government considering? What happened to the gentle Melanies and Scarlets of the South?

Now, the slope is flat. Men and women who have the gall of wanting to die for their country can serve next to the integrated troops of the 40s though they do have a different sexual orientation. The destruction marches on.

Isn't it better for a white dysfunctional couple to mistreat and abuse their children than having two men or two women living together for years in a committed relationship adopt youngsters who will be loved and well educated? Of course not, let them suffer.

Look around you, Mr. Waters. If it were not for black soldiers who enlist, there would be no army.

Many of the highly trained speakers of needed languages have been dismissed because they are gay, leaving commanders who cannot interact with our allies because English is their only language.

We read every day of children at the mercy of abusive parents who have no love for them and no interest in their education. Yet in some states, gay couples are forbidden to adopt abandoned youngsters.

The black troops, the gay soldiers, the committed same-sex couples are the ones who will help keep America strong. Rome did not have them. We do.

Jeanne Jacobs


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