Letters to the Editor - Oct. 16

October 16, 2011

Interfaith Coalition welcomes all to meetings

To the editor:

This is in response to a letter published in The Herald-Mail on Oct. 1. The writer expressed concern regarding the Interfaith Coalition of Washington County about “blending faiths that have (many) contradictions between them.” He wonders how we can have unity with such contradictions.  

We of the Interfaith Coalition have the same question. How can there be unity when our various faiths have such different doctrines? Such a question became critically important after the events of 9/11, 10 years ago. Can the various religious communities in Washington County find common ground when we have different understandings of ultimate truth? This has been the question that has empowered the Interfaith Coalition to offer opportunities for interreligious dialogue over the past 10 years. Our mission statement is “to bring together people from all faith traditions in order to promote peace, respect and compassion among all God’s people. Through dialogue, and public presence we strive to learn more about each other, build relationships across religious and cultural lines, and affirm our common ground in the Eternal.”

We ask no one to compromise their beliefs. I would be the first one to resign from the Interfaith Coalition if I felt such expectations. Personal integrity is critical for interfaith dialogue to take place. The writer is correct to say “there is no credibility of your faith when one is so willing to ‘sell out.’” No one should have to compromise their faith to participate in getting to know the religious beliefs and practices of their neighbors. In the writer’s words, we come “together as humanity to do good things and promote the well-being of others.”  

We invite all citizens of Washington County to bring their deeply held beliefs and convictions to our “Second Wednesday” program each month at 7 p.m. at the Hagerstown Church of the Brethren at the corner of East Washington and Mulberry streets in Hagerstown. Here we can talk about what both divides and unites us.

Ed Poling, coordinator
Interfaith Coalition of Washington County

No more public funds for senior center  

To the editor:

The administrators of the Senior Center can save $50,000 a year if we give them a $6 millon facility. How dumb do they think we are?

Does this include the cost of capital? Who pays utilities in this new facility? Isn’t this really another government-subsidized program that will require our financial support forever? What about all the underutilized facilities available during the day when the working people are at work and the children are in school?

What’s wrong with using Girls Inc., the YMCA, the ARCC at HCC, The Boys & Girls Club, Elgin Station, Martin Luther King Center or the community center at Noland Village? Wouldn’t the elderly be better served by having local programming in their community instead of transporting everyone where the administrators are? Who would this be convenient for, the seniors or the staff?  

Maybe we should keep the program at Girls Inc. and get new administrators. If this facility moves forward, their budget should be reduced by $50,000 and they should be required to maintain their facility with their projected and promised savings. No additional public funds should be allocated. The lights would be out in a short time.

Sam Tolbert

Warning to Obama: People vote with pocketbooks

To the editor:

In response to a recent letter to the editor supporting President Obama’s “new jobs” bill, I would like to offer the following comments.

First, President Obama is promising this “jobs” bill will put people to work repairing our roads and bridges. I thought that was the goal of the $800 billion “stimulus” bill that would keep the nation’s unemployment rate below 8 percent (currently, the rate stands at 9.1 percent). Remember all those “shovel ready” jobs we were promised?

Second, President Obama attempts to justify increasing taxes on the so-called “rich” by saying it is not fair that the rich pay a lower tax rate than middle-class workers. Well, the IRS released data showing the rich do not pay a lower tax rate than lower-income workers. That facts seems to escape President Obama and the liberal media covering his re-election trips across the nation.

President Obama is using the call from Warren Buffett to raise taxes while Buffett himself has been fighting the IRS over taxes owed by his corporation, Berkshire Hathaway, going back to 2002. It seems to me that Buffett wants others, not himself, to pay more to the government. Of course, if Buffett feels he is undertaxed, he could easily write a check to the IRS and leave other people alone.

Finally, the letter calls for the end of tax breaks for corporations and corporate jets. The corporate jet tax credit was part of the Obama “stimulus” plan, and any tax increases on corporations will be passed on to the consumer. Meanwhile, we have taxpayer money being wasted by this administration’s green energy program. Take Solyndra, for example, which cost the taxpayers more than $500 million.

President Obama has returned to his roots as a community agitator and is counting on winning re-election by pitting the rich against the poor. People vote with their pocketbooks, and 2012 will be a repeat of 1980 when another tax-and-spend liberal was sent packing after driving the U.S. economy into the abyss.

Terry Weddle

Roundabout at HCC entrance is ridiculous idea

To the editor:

Hats off to Tim Rowland and his assessment of the proposed roundabout at the entrance to HCC.

When you combine seniors bound for the future senior center and students trying to enter HCC with those trying to leave HCC, chaos is bound to ensue. Not to mention people going to and from Meritus Medical Center. What could possibly move our county commissioners to approve the construction of a roundabout?

While they’re at it, they should include a sheriff’s department substation, towing company office and a couple of lawyers offices. Accidents are bound to happen and will continue to happen.

If Robinwood Drive is to be widened, there must surely be other options for regulating traffic flow to and from this area.

Bob Powell

WCPS thanks local Rotary clubs for dictionaries

To the editor:

On behalf of Washington County Public Schools, I would like to thank the Hagerstown, Hancock, Sunrise, Longmeadow and Williamsport Rotary clubs for their generous donations of dictionaries to this year’s grade three students.

Through the tireless effort and effective coordination of the five Rotary clubs of Washington County, a dictionary will be presented to each third-grade student over the next several weeks. The excitement and enthusiasm that is generated as a result of this gracious donation will be observed daily as the students proudly use their dictionaries to complete classroom and home assignments. Third-grade students in Washington County will be able to learn the importance of using a dictionary to become effective communicators.

The partnership between Washington County Public Schools and the five Rotary Clubs is greatly appreciated.  

Steven Wernick
Elementary reading, social studies and early learning supervisor
Washington County Public Schools

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