Letters to the Editor - August 14

August 13, 2011

When will we say enough is enough regarding debt?

To the editor:

After reading two columns by Kathleen Parker in The Herald-Mail (Aug. 2 and Aug. 4), my emotions vary from pure disgust to anger. One can only reach the conclusion that the greatest American generation has spawned the most entitled and selfish generation. What Parker has stated is that she wants her lifestyle unchanged; let future generations find a way to pay the bills she is handing down to them, along with a lower standard of living and fewer opportunities.

We have a governing class, both Republicans and Democrats, determined it seems to make us a European welfare state. The cozy relationship, where Democrats propose outlandish spending and Republicans "compromise" at half that amount, is now over.

Our debt is now 100 percent of our gross national product. How much debt is enough? When, if not now, do we rise up and say this is enough?

Democrats could have avoided this fight. Instead of passing budgets the last two years, they spent their time forcing an unpopular and, in my opinion, unconstitutional heath care bill down our throats, passed even more job-killing regulations, cut off our energy supplies and even tried to pass an additional trillion dollars of more worthless spending. President Obama could have had a much sweeter deal with U.S. Rep. John Boehner had he not reverted to his old refrain of "more taxes" at the 11th hour.

Obama keeps telling us he inherited a bad situation. That he did, but Democrats controlled both the Senate and the House the last two years of President Bush's term. Some of the mess Obama inherited is of his own making. But he is being paid to solve the problems, not make them worse or keep blaming someone else.

I never expected to take back our government in one election cycle. It will take many, but we will continue to cut and build until we are back to a smaller and healthier government, where future generations can expect to prosper based on their efforts and talents rather than on how they vote.

George S. Sunday
Chambersburg, Pa.

Woman pays good deed forward to library's benefit

To the editor:

The Washington County Free Library is in the midst of a capital campaign for the new downtown branch. Excitement is growing for its scheduled grand opening in October 2012. In my capacity as development coordinator, I have heard dozens of stories of people sharing their experiences with the library and the importance of the library in their lives. However, I just received a letter from a women accompanied by a $20 donation she made to the Building Our Great Good Place capital campaign. I share this story with you not because of a specific library experience in her life, but rather to show how another person's generosity and civility to her served a greater good. The letter speaks for itself.

"This is a gift to the Washington County Free Library. A customer in Martin's helped me out when I ran out of cash paying the balance of my bill. I did not know the lady and she refused any money in return. This is my thanks to her."

On behalf of the library, thank you to the writer and to the anonymous woman at Martin's who helped out a fellow citizen.

David Hanlin, development coordinator
Washington County Free Library

CPWC apologizes for mistaken identity

To the editor:

In an Aug. 1 editorial, The Herald-Mail took CPWC (Citizens for Protection of Washington County) to task for making incorrect statements in a request for an ethics committee decision on whether developer Sassan Shaool should be allowed to serve on the Washington County Planning Commission. In that request, CPWC had also questioned whether Mr. Shaool meets the county residency requirement for serving on the planning commission.

CPWC cited Board of Zoning Appeals testimony as being given by Sassan Shaool when instead those statements were made by his cousin. A CPWC member was present at the meeting but made a mistake in identity. CPWC regrets that error and we offer our apology.

The voter registration information given by CPWC came from an e-mail inquiry to the Montgomery County Election Board and a CD containing Washington County's complete voter registration list provided by the Washington County Election Board. The name searched, in both cases, was Sassan Shaool (the name given in newspaper reports, a county press release and County Commissioners meeting minutes announcing the appointment). The name Sassan Shaool was not found in either search.

The ethics question was never meant to be personal to Mr. Shaool. The goal of CPWC in this matter was to have the ethics commission debate and rule on the question of "conflict of interest" where a developer with numerous projects in the county was placed in a position on the planning commission to judge and rule on other development projects in the county.

Jim Laird, president
Citizens for Protection of Washington County

County must create, enforce strict leash law

To the editor:

As Sybil Schiffman said on Aug. 5, 2011, pets are sensate beings and thus absolutely need adequate food, water, companionship and an otherwise responsible owner. It is unforgivable to neglect or abuse animals. If one is unable to care for a pet for whatever reason, it is incumbent upon them to find a new home or shelter for the animal.

With that said, in Washington County, there is no leash law. A "documented first-time biter," depending on the severity of the injury, can be put on probation for 18 months. If no bite occurs in this time, the dog is free — to be a first-time offender again. It is morally indefensible to let a dog that is known to have bitten go free. Yes, the dog was probably abused or neglected, and it isn't his or her fault, but what about the innocent human who has physical scars for life due to the attack?

In San Francisco, a woman was attacked and killed at her apartment door by out-of-control dogs. The dogs' owners were both lawyers. Aggressive dogs will often target those they perceive as having a weakness, such as a limp. It is wrong to allow dogs to attack humans. It is the moral obligation of our county lawmakers to create a strict leash law and see that it is enforced. Dogs who bite need to be permanently removed from the home. Failure to do this is an irreparable slap in the face — at least — to anyone who has ever been attacked with no provocation.

Anne P. Wright

Strasburg's behavior disappointing to this fan

To the editor:

I was one of the 6,000-plus baseball fans at the Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011, game in which Stephen Strasburg made his rehab start with the Hagerstown Suns. He looked real good and I hope he continues to improve without hurting his arm. We need him to help get the Nationals into the playoffs in the future.

I was, however, very disappointed in the way he treated the fans when he was taken out of the game and came to the dugout. Six-thousand fans gave him a standing ovation and he could not even give them a tip of the cap. He went straight into the dugout and never looked up.

I played minor league baseball, and when I hit a home run and the fans applauded, I was happy to tip my cap.

I guess that is the difference from getting $250,000 a month to play to getting a couple thousand a month.

We still all love the game.

Carl Paylor

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