Letters to the Editor - July 15

July 15, 2012

Riders, communities benefit from trails

To the editor:

A few weeks ago, more than 240 bike riders and a contingent of support staff visited Washington County as part of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s 2012 Greenway Bike Sojourn.

As the people of Brunswick, Williamsport and Harpers Ferry no doubt know, these towns are key stopping points on one of America’s most loved long-distance trail adventures — the 330-plus miles of the C&O Canal and Great Alleghany Passage between Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh, Pa. As someone who has been lucky enough to ride some of the best rail-trails this country has to offer, I can tell you that few are more beautiful, picturesque, both wild and welcoming, as this stretch through Pennsylvania and Maryland.

On behalf of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and the riders from 30 states across America that took part in the Sojourn, thank you for your community’s wonderful welcome. To the restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlors, bike stores and sandwich shops that stayed open extra hours, put on extra staff, and worked so hard to accommodate this sizeable influx of visitors — thank you.

On average, each Sojourn participant spent $64 for meals purchased in the communities we visited, and an average of $34 on snacks and beverages along the way. And though we camped most of the time, about two-thirds of the participants spent at least one night in local accommodations — guest house, B&B or hotel — during the course of the Sojourn. The average expenditure per night for these stays was around $150.

As Rails-to-Trails Conservancy continues to make the case that trail networks such as the C&O Canal and Great Alleghany Passage represent more than just good, healthy fun for joggers and bikers, but also sustainable streams of revenue for the communities along them.

We hope your business received a welcome bump during these tough economic times. It was great to see scores of bikes parked outside main street stores, lines out the door where there was somewhere cool to get a drink and a bite to eat and bike store operators doing a roaring trade on repairs and supplies.

Entrepreneurs and business owners who would like to know more about how your business or community can make the most of trail tourism will be glad to know there are experts ready and willing to help. In Pennsylvania, visit In Maryland, visit

Again, thank you for your generous welcome. We hope to see you out on the trail one day soon.

Tom Sexton
Director, Northeast Regional Office
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Camp Hill, Pa.

Has proofreading become a lost art?

To the editor:

Several weeks ago the headline for a column on your Opinion Page about the Civil War had the word Civil spelled “Cival.” 

In your July 4 edition, on the Food Page, the headline for the home cooking article stated that, “Rice with eggplant dish is a Cape Code favorite.”  

I had to read the article to verify that you meant Cape COD.  What has happened to the basic standards of spelling, editing and proofreading? 

In addition, numerous obituaries and thank you or memorial notices make errors with your/you’re and everyday/every day.   I am embarrassed to see these errors in your newspaper (and others), and would hope that in future, more effort is made to edit and proofread copy before the paper is printed.

Marsha Green
Falling Waters, W.Va. 

Obama’s tires should have been kicked as well

To the editor:

Allan Powell wrote a twisted assessment of Mitt Romney in his July 5 “Kick The Tires” column.

He cites Romney’s serious flaws, especially his banking in the Cayman Islands. Romney didn’t cheat on paying his fair share of taxes nor steal any dollars from anyone! His money was placed in a blind trust in 2003, which invested in funds which are taxed in the same way as those established in the United States. When has this become a disqualification for elective office?

Powell secondly attacks Romney’s creation of a managed health care system in Massachusetts. His state program has some similarities, but is a far cry from the 2,000 page “Obamacare” law being foisted on America. Many of the 10 million uninsured in this country could have benefited along with the rest of the people on Medicare or Medicaid with private insurance, without the gargantuan impact of over 13,000 new regulations.

What’s wrong with enacting tough tort reforms, which would limit huge insurance awards that drive doctors to require patients to have many costly and often unnecessary tests and procedures, or allowing folks to shop across state lines for their health insurance coverage to buy the most cost-effective package for their needs? That’s more reasonable than having a jury of Humpty Dumpty government officials deciding what care, if any, you’ll be allowed!

Powell also questions Romney’s statement on withholding General Motor’s financial support. The G.M. recovery, with the saving of jobs, should have been done legally through bankruptcy court, without giving away the bulk of the stockholder and trust fund equity and basically awarding company control to its unions — these same unions who give millions away to support Obama’s re-election.

Powell states “A president needs a cluster of good qualities and skills that are verifiable before being considered for public office.” I agree to this completely. My question to Powell is where was all this fervent demand for a “more complete and reliable account” when an unvetted Barack Hussein Obama was swept into office in 2008? Only now do we see what Obama basically stands for and it will get worse if he gets another four years! Sorry Allan, but  “Caveat emptor” (let the buyer beware) fits your diatribe to the tee.

John L. Griffith Jr.

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