Letters to the Editor - June 12

June 12, 2011

Harpers Ferry Town Council has enjoyed success

To the editor:

As a resident of Harpers Ferry, I strongly support the incumbent town council in the upcoming election. I believe the following list of accomplishments shows that the council has worked together exceptionally well over the past two years.

The council has:

• remedied unpaid water bills.

• revised and reorganized the employees of Town Hall.

• produced a new, revised employee handbook that went into effect Jan. 1 and instituted a system for employee cross-training and employee reviews.

• instituted a review system for all invoices before payment and a system to ensure proper controls on approved check signers.

• produced the town newsletter electronically as well as in print form, saving paper, trees and postage costs.

• sought and delivered grant money for the water department, the merchants association, updating Town Hall, police office spaces, a consulting room for Town Court, exterior lighting for Town Hall, snow-removal expenses and a children’s park

• supported Harpers Ferry Police Department (HFPD), which made unparalleled strides in drug enforcement, and deliberated and reached successful negotiations with Bolivar to increase required funding for the HFPD.

• managed the unprecedented Hilltop Hotel Review Process, which included evaluating nine proposals and selecting an affordable facilitator to conduct visioning workshops for the future of the town.

• due to exceptionally heavy workload, regularly held two to three meetings per month versus a single meeting, which had been the norm.

Facts always speak louder than unsubstantiated opinions. Information that is published in any public venue should be carefully examined. I hope by supplying the above factual information that both voters and readers alike are better informed.

Beth Haney
Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

Religion and science can find common ground

To the editor:

I found G.F. Miller’s letter to the editor (June 3) bashing evolution disturbing. Miller gave no argument, only his belief that evolution is false and a reference to old Charlie Brown cartoons that amounted to taunting.

Taunting, of course, can be used to bash any topic — science, flag, country, patriotism, religious belief, political views and more. Taunting is unworthy.

Miller claims that evolution is not a fact, just “a problematic hypothesis desperately in search of enough evidence to become a theory.” I suspect that Miller’s real beef is the alleged conflict between religion and science, which I am likely not capable of resolving to his satisfaction.

But there are those in the religious community who have presented compelling arguments. For example, the Catholic Church has recognized that evolution is compatible with church teachings. In 1996, Pope John Paul II proclaimed that the theory is more than just a hypothesis and that evolution is compatible with Christian faith.

Additionally, the Clergy Letter Project has collected 12,740 signatures from Christian clergy of many denominations.

The signers agree that “evolution is a foundational scientific truth,” and that “to reject this truth or to treat it as ‘one theory among others’ is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.”

Finally, there are at least 10 books ( that promote “the compatibility between biological evolution and an Evangelical expression of the Christian faith.”

I hope that Christians will consider these sources.

Larry Zaleski

Why send kids to school so far from home?

To the editor:

I live in the West End of Hagerstown and my son should be attending Salem Avenue Elementary Schol, but the Board of Education has decided to redistrict my area across town to the new Ruth Ann Monroe Primary School.

This makes no sense to me because my child is right around the corner from the school and you can see the school from my house. Now, my 5-year-old will be put on a bus at 8 a.m. for 55 minutes in the morning and at 3:30 p.m. for 55 minutes in the evening to go 6.25 miles away from my house.

I attended a meeting with the Board of Education and fellow parents who are just as upset as I am. We asked why our kids were being moved so far around if the schools don’t have any money. This is going to be a costly move for the board to make. They will have to pay more bus drivers, more fuel costs and more maintenance costs of the buses. For many of these children, their parents can walk them to school. And they enjoy spending time with their children doing so.

We also know that our school district got federal funding for improving test scores. Many of these children have worked hard and are part of the reason the board got this money. Now, they will be moved to a new school.

I could live anywhere I want, but one of the reasons I choose the West End is that I grew up there and want my child to attend the school I did. Most of the teachers who taught there are still there, and they really do care about the children and not just making a paycheck.

Cheree Ragland

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