Letters to the Editor - Feb. 19

February 19, 2012

County’s fine arts museum is a real treasure

To the editor:

Hagerstown’s Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is a rare gem, set in City Park, and as a newcomer to the city, I continue to be enthralled by the artistic quality and diversity offered in this perfect place.

More than 50,000 people — including thousands of students in Washington County schools — visit annually to experience the museum’s treasures.

Exhibits include artifacts both from the museum’s collections and shows on loan from other museums. Works as diverse as Mercersburg, Pa., native Frank Mish’s superb wood carvings, the work of the celebrated Wyeth family, the installation of the museum’s extraordinary collection of American Art, and the beloved gallery of Italian and Northern Renaissance and Baroque paintings. A yearly highlight is the show of work by students from schools in Washington County.

Currently on display is work by students from the many years of art classes the museum has offered. The 80-year tradition is still very current, with classes for children and adults. The 79th Annual Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon photography competition, with 76 works by amateur and professional photographers from 396 entries selected by juror Bruce Katsiff is on view. They are visually stimulating and an inspiration to amateur photographers.

The performing arts further add to the museum’s mix, with concerts by highly skilled professional musicians. Voice accompanied by guitar, period instruments, piano, chamber music, and jazz and blues can be heard on Sunday afternoons, followed by receptions. What a nice way to spend an afternoon.

At the request of its founders, the museum remains free to the public. A portion of its funding comes from the county, and the rest is raised by fundraisers, grants, memberships, special events, endowment earnings and donations.

If you haven’t experienced this beautiful place, you’re missing something very special. Stop in. It’s just your size, and it’s free.

Dianne Wiebe

Don’t let political elite, media determine election

To the editor:

I’m writing in regard to recent stories about candidate endorsements. I am fed up with career politicans scratching each other’s backs to ensure they stay in office. I am fed up with the media influencing public opinion by catering to career politicians, providing coverage to candidates with little or no hope of being elected and ignoring candidates they believe threaten a career politician’s ability to remain in office. It’s time for voters to wake up and smell the coffee. Just because the politcal elite want to maintain the status quo by endorsing each other and the media panders to incumbents, we should not roll over, play dead and be herded into voting their way. 

It’s time to throw the lot of career politicians out. Enough is enough. A prime example is Roscoe Bartlett, the candidate the media and the political elite want us to believe is the best candidate in the 6th Congressional District. The majority of voters I’ve met are backing Joseph Krysztoforski, who won the support of Western Maryland Caucus members, who voted to support his candidacy over the incumbent and other candidates.

Voters in the 6th District are waking up and reality is taking hold. We will no longer stand still and drink the Kool-Aid being served up by the ruling elite and the media. Review the candidates’ positions; ignore the cliches and rhetoric. Look at incumbents’ records in detail and not just the PR released by their press offices. Don’t vote the way the media, the party elite and career politicians, who pander to each other with endorsements, want you to vote. Stand up for yourself and the future of America. It is in our hands in 2012, and we alone are responsible for the America we hand off to our children and grandchildren. Early voting starts in late March; the primary is April 3. Don’t let the political elite and the media make this critical decision for us.

Susan Winters
Cumberland, Md.

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