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Letters to the Editor - June 16

June 16, 2012

We don’t need more bars and restaurants downtown


To the editor:

Back a few years ago, country singers Merle Haggard and George Jones recorded a duet with the line “We must have been drunk when we said we’d stop drinkin’; we must have been out of our minds.”

I would never accuse anyone of being drunk and I certainly don’t want anyone to quit drinking, but to those of you suffering with delusions of revitalizing downtown Hagerstown, I say you’re definitely out of your minds.

I have but one suggestion to offer to the people with this delusional state of mind and hope. Please leave downtown Hagerstown alone.

I don’t see any shortage of places for people to shop outside of what our mayor refers to as the city core. We have a nice mall, great shopping centers everywhere we look and one thing that few other cities have in Premium Outlets. People come from all over the Tri-State area and D.C. to shop these outlet stores. So where is this great need to put more shops in downtown Hagerstown? The shops were downtown 50 years ago and one by one they left — ne’er to return.

And I haven’t seen anyone wandering around in a tizzy because they can’t find a restaurant in which to eat. Restaurants are everywhere, from fast food to the finest eateries. Why do we need more restaurants, downtown or anywhere else?

The last thing we need in our fair city and county is another bar or liquor store. If Merle and George came to Washington County today, they’d think they died and went to Heaven. Let’s keep downtown Hagerstown as dry as possible.

So, let’s appreciate what we already have in all of Hagerstown and forget about spending millions and millions on delusions downtown.

We need to leave the people who are presently living downtown alone. Downtown Hagerstown will take care of itself without our intervention.


George Sylvester Coyle
Hagerstown




Hub Opera Ensemble is a local treasure; so is HCC


To the editor:

Bizet’s opera “Carmen,” now presented at the newly renovated Kepler Theater on the grounds of the Hagerstown Community College, was the first presentation of four, offered these first two weekends of June by the Hub Opera Ensemble. This production is an exciting masterpiece of artists’ vocal capacity and acting maneuverability.

I had the thrilling experience to be in the audience for the first performance and watch this delightful, though tragic, story unfold. Bizet, as it was noted in the program, experienced a devastating blow on May 3, 1875, when his opera was deemed a phenomenal flop. But as time has cured most wounds, the opera has become well-known, sung and beloved by audiences worldwide. The music is as familiar as any love story is compelling. The dramatic nature of this production by the accomplished vocalist Francesca Aguado singing the role of Carmen, and the other nine major vocal artists kept the audience enthralled with their vocal range and intensity of voice, not withstanding their acting dexterity.

It would be unfair not to mention the stage setting as being expertly designed, the costuming richly revealing, and the staging of the bullfight scene dramatically performed behind a lighted scrim.

The Hub Opera Ensemble annually provides our community with quality operatic productions featuring young accomplished professional artists at a fraction of the cost of traveling to major intercity events. Hagerstown Community College is indeed a community resource that has extended its reach and its benefits to the local populations and is unparalleled in its innovative efforts for developing new fronts. The Hub Opera Ensemble is an excellent example of this endeavor when they provide high quality musical experiences for theater lovers in Washington County. This becomes a very real and welcome treat.


Jone Thurmond
Hagerstown

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