Letters to the Editor - May 25

May 25, 2012

Today’s GOP leaders offer no future at all

To the editor:

I’m sick of hearing Pennsylvania’s Republican legislators brag that they haven’t raised taxes and rant about cutting spending.

Because of them, property taxes have risen significantly; parents are being assessed fees for the “privilege” of students representing their school in sports, band, etc.; ticket prices rise; school support groups contribute more; and school boards cut teachers and educational programs, and infrastructure deteriorates.

Pennsylvania is 49th in state share of public education and 44th in higher education funding.

Per-pupil spending in our 500 districts ranges from $8,200 to $21,000 — a $322,000 differential in a 25-student classroom. Students in poorer districts aren’t getting an equal opportunity.

Sure, we should eliminate waste, corruption and incompetence.

But food, energy, clothing and construction costs keep rising. School districts incur these same costs.

If we can’t afford — or are no longer willing — to educate our children, then our nation has no future and can adopt Michele Bachman’s infamous line: “I think everyone should be allowed to keep every dollar they earn.” At the time, she was a presidential candidate — and some Republicans supported her.

Republicans once had better sense. In 1980, a man named Alvin Jacobson was released from a mental facility, declared competent and promptly decided to run for president. Turning up one night at the Fulton County Republican Dinner, he asked emcee Merrill Kerlin for speaking time.

Merrill obliged. “We have an unusual honor for Fulton County tonight. A candidate for president of the United States is here and has asked for a few minutes to speak. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Jacobson.”

They humored him, but they didn’t vote for him.

But to imply any comparison is an insult to Mr. Jacobson, who had some grand, albeit impractical, ideas for our nation. Today’s Republican leaders offer no future at all.

Paul Politis
Greencastle, Pa.

Why not field a semi-pro baseball team?

To the editor:

We need to address the problem of baseball in our city with our elected officials. Out with the elected officials and in with a new concept for baseball locally. We do not need a new stadium; we need fresh ideas.

Why not organize a semi-pro league? I am sure we have enough talent locally to provide some excellent and exciting games. This concept could evolve with the invitation of other local areas to participate in a league, i.e., Martinsburg, Waynesboro, Frederick, Clear Spring, etc. Who knows? We could see some of the locals end up in the pros.

I remember as a young man, we had a local team, the Owls. The games were just as exciting as any other level of play. The existing stadium would suffice and the cost of maintaining this concept would be much less of expense. I am sure local businesses would be eager to sponsor teams.

For the city and county to pay a total of $800,000 for 20 years is a total waste of taxpayers’ money. Our country is in dire straits economically, due to the lack of good common sense of our elected officials. We need to consider what is needed and not what we would like to have.

We, as a society, have been spoiled since the end of World War II, spending monies we do not have. We cannot continue on this path of borrowing money to pay for things, other than what is sensibly necessary.

We have people talented enough to offer their time and expertise to coach and manage a local team. Please give this concept some consideration. Last but not least, the site chosen for a new stadium is totally asinine.

Tom Wilhelm

Thanks to volunteers, Day of Hope was a success

To the editor:

On behalf of Volunteer Washington County, I would like to thank Andy Smith of Brothers United Who Dare to Care for organizing  the Neighborhood 1st Day of Hope that was held May 19 in the parking lot between the Memorial Recreation and Martin Luther King Jr. centers. It was an absolutely beautiful day filled with sunshine and hope.

Volunteer Washington County (VWC) was privileged to participate in the event along with 18 other community groups and agencies. VWC, which believes every person has something to give, was pleased that approximately three dozen individuals, ranging in age from elementary school students to senior citizens, signed up to volunteer. When people of diverse backgrounds pool their talents, perspectives and experiences, our community’s creative power is unleashed and transformation is made possible.

Volunteer Washington County would also like to thank our newest business partner, Bella Salon and Spa, for encouraging individuals to get involved. People who signed up to volunteer received a chance to win a spa pedicure from the salon. This is only one of the ways in which Bella Salon and Spa, owned by Tammy Shindle and directed by Christy Turner, encourages volunteerism and gives back to Washington County. They are certainly making our community beautiful.

Bernadette Wagner, co-director
Volunteer Washington County

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