Letters to the Editor - March 8

March 08, 2012

Cartoon on Ash Wednesday was distasteful at best

To the editor:

In talking with our family and friends about the Opinion page cartoon on Feb. 22, reactions ranged from “confusing” to “very distasteful.”

To whoever created this, whoever purchased the right to use it or gave permission to print this cartoon, we would ask this question: What is the most precious thing in your life? Could your life’s precious treasures be your marriage, your family, your faith, your talents, your home, your health? Well, take whatever your most precious life treasure is, smash it to pieces with thoughtless, unconcerned meanness and then post it at the top of your editorial page on a significant date — your anniversary, your child’s birthday, the date you moved into your home, the date you started your dream job, the date your religion holds sacred.

For Catholics, Ash Wednesday is the day for showing repentance to God and marking the beginning of Lent, a 40-day period of prayer and fasting. To those of us whose most precious treasure is our Catholic faith, seeing the cartoon posted on Ash Wednesday created an instinctive response of shock and hurt.

Whatever the intent of the artist was (and those who agreed to print it in their newspapers), the result was definitely wounding. Being persons of faith, we will hope and pray that the following quote might some day reach their consciousness: “What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?”

Linda Field and Nancylee Kain

Callaham was presumptuous about secret meeting

To the editor:

According to Art Callaham (Feb. 12), all county citizens who questioned the secret meeting at Fountain Head Country Club deserve an incredulous “C’mon, man” for their skepticism that some elected officials, businessmen and self-proclaimed “movers and shakers” were meeting for any reason other than the betterment of our county and its citizens.

Really? C’mon, man! How naive do you think we are?

With each questionable action by these groups comes a valuable lesson in trust, honor and resilience. We have learned that some politicians will do anything to win — even send robocalls defaming worthy opponents. Some businessmen will buy up land to sell to the county to improve their own bank accounts. And some “leaders” will skew numbers to make everything from employment to educational test scores appear better than they are. 

For Callaham to question, “… do most of you really care?” shows how easily he dismisses the interest and intelligence of Washington County citizens. It’s not as easy to fool us as it used to be.

Attendees were assured anonymity (or secrecy, according to the thesaurus). Apparently, the secret leaked out when some of those invited saw an issue with the subject matter of the meeting and the “closed” guest list. Pushing aside honesty, civility and openness is no longer a practice that will be acceptable.

Callaham was presumptuous in stating “… nothing was set …” Well, I hope not. How would they have the power to set a policy for the county without citizen involvement? Is there any question that they do not have that power? And to think that not being invited would cause “bruised egos” again shows how presumptuous Callaham is. I know of no one who wishes he or she were invited. Perhaps some who were invited wished they weren’t.

If “no elected official voiced support,” how is it possible that “… each of the people in the meeting seemed to support …” the issues? Callaham would have done better to ignore this issue instead of trying to defend an indefensible event. 

Karen J. Harshman

Not everyone is in favor of Civil War Rail Trail

To the editor:

Marguerite Klein of Rohrersville wrote in her Feb. 5 letter “about two-thirds of Washington County adults are overweight or obese, a common finding in rural communities. All Washington County citizens could greatly benefit from the trail — jobs, business and health.”

Thomas Perry of Williamsport gives kudos to Klein and Tim Rowland for their informed endorsement of the Civil War Rail Trail. Winslow T. Wheeler of Hagerstown counts himself as one of the citizens who helped the originators of the Civil War Rail Trail.

As to aiding health, here’s the dope on what carries weight. The rail trail would be an eyesore to anyone wanting a bed and breakfast in the neighborhood. Fat chance for them wanting to go out on a limb for the business.

Also, I don’t get why it would be called Civil War Rail Trail. Don’t use the waters of that war to embellish. Appreciate the ground you walk on and let well enough alone.

Sylvia M. Bealer

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