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Letters to the Editor - Sept. 30

September 30, 2012

We need to widen our interstate highways


To the editor:

Congratulations Annapolis on receiving another $130 million from the U.S. taxpayers to set up a health care exchange.

But when are we going to focus on our Western Maryland infrastructure and widen Interstates 70 and 81 in Washington County? When are we going to widen I-270 in Frederick County? Why not at least humor the taxpayers in Frederick and Washington counties and spend the money to plan it? Make it, oh I don’t know, let’s call it shovel ready. That is a real catchy term that I have not heard in a while.

No wait, let’s focus on a health care exchange that was not even a concept three years ago, or maybe the intercounty connector in Montgomery County and spend $2.45 billion. What is the payback? Too bad we don’t analyze where that $2.45 billion would have been better spent in order to achieve real economic growth.

How do we quantify the lost commuting time of individuals stuck on I-270; how do we determine the cost of a life lost, the safety record and the constant traffic tie-ups on I-70 and I-81 in Washington County? How many accidents, deaths and traffic issues will we endure for the next couple of decades before we wake up in Maryland? 

Maybe there is a reason that Berkeley County in West Virginia is widening I-81 to six lanes and gaining employers like Macy’s and others to relocate operations.

No, let’s focus on an insurance exchange, yeah, that will drive the economic engine of Maryland. Let’s spend money on a road that is underutilized. Why focus on the obvious? What was I thinking? Let’s make Maryland productive and competitive, let’s bring jobs so people can earn much-needed paychecks. 

To be fair, the State Highway Administration did fund a study in 2001 that was recently completed per their website to widen I-81 to six lanes utilizing the median. 

However, there is a long way between a study to the engineering phase and then what the public sees, the construction phase.  Action beats conversation. Let’s widen I-70, I-81 and I-270.

 
John Louderback
Hagerstown

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Don’t believe the presidential polls


To the editor: 

Please do not believe all the presidential polls nationwide and in the swing states. Why, might you ask? Most polls are being overcooked, that is trying to make Obama look good nationally and in the swing states. 

Most polls are overpolling, that is asking many more Democrats and minority voters. Democrats usually are polled anywhere from 6 percent to 11 percent more than the Republican voters and the minority voters usually between 3 percent to 7 percent over the national average for an election. 

Most people realize that the Democrats are not as motivated or excited to vote this time around as opposed to the 2008 election, and the Republicans are more motivated to vote in this election. But most polls are trying to make it look as though Obama is leading or that it is a pretty close election at this time.

If you look inside the poll numbers itself by whatever company is doing the poll, you can see where the overpolling is taking place. Sure, Obama will win all of the liberal states and maybe a swing state or two, but Romney probably will win quite a few of the swing states and most of, or all the traditional Republican states. In other words, he will win back most of the red states that Obama won in the last election.


Larry Martin
Chambersburg, Pa.

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