Letters to the Editor - July 12

July 12, 2012

What must it be like to be pro-hunger?

To the editor:

I know many people who, in different ways, fight childhood hunger. I never dreamed I’d ever encounter someone who was for it. Then I read Tom Wilhelm’s letter on Friday, July 6.

Wilhelm wants to know why we, the taxpayers, should feed school-age children during summer and winter months. (He’s referring to a June 10 article announcing the expansion of the county’s free meal program.) Wilhelm doesn’t dispute the fact that many local families are struggling to put food on the table. He just dispenses this solution: “If you cannot afford to feed them, do not bring them into the world for others to support.”

That really solves everything. Now, until we get our time machine working, let’s line these children up, look them in the eyes and tell them they deserve to be hungry to teach their parents a lesson. I’m sure they’ll understand.

Because, Mr. Wilhelm, there’s no possible way some of these parents are feeling the strain of a historic recession, right? No way some may have lost jobs suddenly or possibly suffered some disability that affected their earning power? You, in all your wisdom, know for a fact they are all just lazy remoras feasting off the government.     

All sarcasm aside, I have a serious proposal for you, Mr. Wilhelm. Figure out exactly how much more in taxes you will pay for this “giveaway program,” and I will personally reimburse you. In fact, I will double the amount if you spend one day helping a cafeteria serve lunches to these children who  shouldn’t be here, as you say, because their parents can’t afford them.

Yes, I know wasteful government spending exists. There are many programs supported by our tax dollars that deserve elimination. If you want to call me a socialist, Mr. Wilhelm, because I support using government funds to stop childhood hunger, then go right ahead.

Steve Herndon

In this county, one mistake leads to another

To the editor:

Many years ago,  some city officials were consumed with getting rid of the municipal golf course. Lo and behold, the city decided to sell off parcels of land that were deemed surplus. The sale was held. Tucked in that group of parcels was none other than nine holes of the municipal golf course.

The city claimed that it didn’t know that the golf course property was involved. No one was reprimanded or fired, just on to the next mistake.

The University System of Maryland wanted to locate a campus in Hagerstown. Nice idea. Then the governor decided to get involved and forced the project into the downtown area. The revitalization of downtown areas is needed, but this project was not one of them. I have three daughters and I personally do not want them to potentially attend evening courses in the downtown area.

The school should have been located near Hagerstown Community College, thus complementing the existing college and facilitating the connection between the two. But it wasn’t. So on to the next mistake.

Washington County Hospital wanted to build a new building, but where? Let’s begin with a controversy between the city and county, with the hospital officials laughing, knowing all along that it would really be built beside their existing Robinwood complex. Lack of infrastructure, that was the problem.

Here was the perfect and correct time to apply the revitalization of the downtown initiative as proposed by the former governor. Keep the hospital downtown and place it between Franklin and Washington streets where there are vacant lots now. They already own a parking deck, just go north instead of south to reach to new hospital. The city and county began to undercut each other and the taxpayers took the beating in the end.

On to the next mistake.

The Washington County Public Schools System needs a new office building, but where? Let’s bring that up later.

We need a new ball stadium, or we will lose the Suns. First, where is all of the money that was collected from the hotel/motel tax that was earmarked for the building of a new stadium? Secondly, the concept of a dual-use single field has been proven to not be functional. A two-field complex sharing parking would be the most sensible. Baltimore and Arlington, Texas, complexes stand out as examples. Placement close to the interstates is a plus. Thirdly, don’t let the Sun’s threat of leaving dominate the decision.

Lastly,  why does it have to be built in that location? Who owns the properties involved? The newspaper has a building in one corner of the block and really just needs office space, not the current building which was built to house printing presses.

The powers at work here are going to force a project in there (and I for one) would feel a little better (at least) spending taxpayers money on new school offices in there than a baseball field.

Ron Poffenberger  

Rail trail no recipe for health

To the editor:

In response to Aimee Grahe’s letter to the editor on the rail trail, let’s get real. We already have hundreds of miles of trails, paths and routes and hundreds of acres of parkland in and around this county. 

Folks who are truly interested in being healthy will take advantage of these existing areas. Adding yet another bike path, at an extraordinary cost I might add, isn’t going to be the magic pill.

Leslie Cruz

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