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Letters to the Editor - April 19

April 18, 2011

Legion posts asks veterans to support veterans


To the editor:

Thanks to The Herald-Mail and its editorial page, I am able to express my appreciation to all those, who are "still serving" by providing a post home and a beautiful place to congregate and reminisce with comrades and supporters. Morris Frock Post 42 of the American Legion is going through a tough time of economic survival, as are many other veterans organizations and their posts.

As a member of our post, I am deeply impressed by the help of those individual volunteers who firmly believe in still serving those who fought, suffered and died for us. They are also the members of the SAL (Sons of the American Legion) and its Post Auxiliary. Their support through frequent fund drives, special contributions and the helping volunteers among the post members are instrumental in the survival of our memorial home, which was once planned to be sold, because of financial shortcomings.

Fortunately, our truly devoted members elected a dedicated commander and an energetic staff three years ago who still believe in our motto of duty, honor, country and the obligation to preserve our home for future generations. Our remaining membership of past wars from World War II, Korea and Vietnam is rapidly shrinking, making it even more difficult to maintain the post and preserve it for those who are presently deployed overseas. Our post honor guard is proudly serving frequently at many military funerals in honor of those departed comrades.

One of the few and unique groups meeting at the post frequently is the World War II Roundtable, consisting of WWII members and its younger members, who have formed a special buddy system that includes individuals volunteering their services to help those veterans in need and limited in their movements through wounds or other age-related conditions.

As a proud member of the "military family," I appeal to those members who rarely visit the post on Northern Avenue to show your support for your fellow veterans by participating in our post activities, which are under a new management. Nonmembers are welcome to visit the post as guests, especially for certain celebrations and group functions to show their support for our troops.

Dieter Protsch
Hagerstown


Arts school foundation thanks 'Phantom' attendees

To the editor:

The arts are alive and well in Washington County.

On April 8, 9 and 10, there were approximately 4,800 seats filled in The Maryland Theatre to see the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts students perform "Phantom of the Opera," a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The sets and staging were designed and made by students, the acting, singing and dancing was performed by students, and the music from the orchestra was performed by students. It was an incredible display of talent from Washington County students who enjoy the opportunity to develop and explore their talents in a focused school setting. These teens graced the stage and orchestra pit with such poise and presence.

It was the commitment of the students and their families, the dedicated staff and administration of the school, the support of the Parent Guild, the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation and the patronage of those who came to witness the fruits of such labor that made this a wonderful event. We also recognize The Maryland Theatre for its commitment making this a world-class event.  

Thanks to all there. We strive to continue to celebrate and develop the talent within our great county and to keep the arts alive and well. The arts are such an important component of the vibrancy of any community as they support the educational community, the cultural community and the business community.  

The Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation, Take Flight II, was unveiled last week with 27 hot air balloon sculptures designed and painted by local artists on display in Hagerstown. Walking maps are available at retailers, the arts council and the visitors bureau. Please visit downtown to enjoy these balloons and to patronize some of our downtown merchants and restaurants.  

Cynthia Perini
President, Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation



What makes a puppy mill? The answers are simple

To the editor:

What is a puppy mill?

It's a place that mass produces puppies, isn't it? There is no "official" or legal definition of puppy mills. The two most-common views of what constitutes a puppy mill are 1.) any dog breeding operation that produces large numbers of puppies and 2.) those breeding operations in which dogs are kept in deplorable conditions with little or no medical care.

What evidence would prove that a breeding facility is a puppy mill? The evidence is based on very simple questions: Is the house clean? Is the dog deprived of human companionship, which has been shown to be a powerful source of distress for dogs and will cause the dog to bark and howl when they see human beings because they are starving for human contact? Are the dogs cooped up in tiny spaces, with no toys or enrichment, no play time, inadequate stimulation and no freedom to "be a dog?"

A puppy mill could be clean, but the dogs' suffering is not relieved because the prison is disinfected and glistening. Are the needs of the dogs properly met — the physical needs, the security needs, the social needs and the psychological needs? In all animals, including humans, distress and suffering occurs when needs are not met.

A puppy mill is any dog-breeding facility that keeps so many dogs that the needs of the breeding dogs and puppies are not met sufficiently to provide a decent quality of life for all of the animals. Simple. And with no wiggle room.

Linda L. Hull
Clear Spring

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