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Letters to the Editor - Feb. 22

February 22, 2013

Editorial unfairly characterized Paul Miller

To the editor:

I was dismayed to read The Herald-Mail’s negative portrayal of Paul Miller, the former director of the Humane Society of Washington County, in a Feb. 14 editorial. I’ve known him professionally and personally for more than seven years and have nothing but respect for the man and what he has contributed to the Humane Society.

It seems The Herald-Mail has deemed his accomplishments there not worthy of mentioning — such as his steering the HSWC as a solidly funded nonprofit organization dependent on public donations, or the overseeing of the largest horse rescue in the state of Maryland.

Instead, The Herald-Mail chose to make accusations with absolutely no backing to support them. It accuses him of an “all business” management style and of managing with a lack of transparency.

He’s accused of being too quick to euthanize (strict guidelines and conditions are spelled out in HSWC policy). Has The Herald-Mail ever done an investigative article on this subject? Not to my knowledge. Then why do they think so? Who has fed them this supposed inside information?

This is a question that absolutely needs an answer.

The Herald-Mail insinuates these accusations are reasons why Paul was let go, which crosses the line beyond disrespect.

Paul Miller is a model Washington County citizen whom we should be proud of having as the former director of the Humane Society. He deserves a dinner and an award for his service, along with the appreciation of all the animal lovers in the county.

James Latonick
Martinsburg, W.Va.


Voters, it seems, care about the wrong things

To the editor:

We must conclude from the results of the election of Nov. 7, 2012, that our country is undoubtedly suffering severe apathy. Three out of 10 eligible voters did not take the time to make their voices heard in the most important election of my lifetime. What is more tragic is that one half of the voters for the presidency chose to continue along the path of giving ever more control of our lives to those in Washington. 

It is incredulous that many voters only care about simple concepts of economic justice like insurance coverage for the prevention of pregnancy instead of trying to save the republic from its economic descent into financial oblivion.

Public dependency on the handouts of the federal government is growing with the continuing poor economy. This current “fiscal cliff” crisis was being used to justify increasing taxes on everyone without any significant reduction in spending. The Leninists in the executive branch have prevented any compromise with the House of Representatives and allowed higher taxes to begin in the new year. Now, another failed “stimulus” will help push the public into the acceptance of the “remaking of America” that has been promised. The unwillingness of Congress to touch the growth of Food Stamps, unemployment benefits and scores of other social programs will cause more borrowing to result.

The transition will hardly be noticed by the unwary public. Government spending will continue to accelerate as a stalled economy produces feeble tax revenue. The erosion of the dollar will be felt by growing price inflation. People will be caught up with the need to change their living standard in order to remain solvent. And the stage will be set for progressively surrendering America to tyranny.

Ned A. Garrett
Hagerstown


Misconceptions about unions need to be clarified

To the editor:

As a union officer in Hagerstown, I’d like to clear up some misconceptions some people have about our unions. A couple of recent letters to the editor are examples of these misleading notions.

Unions are not the reason companies have closed down and sent our good jobs to China and other countries. Corporate greed and pro-corporate trade deals have done that. Look at all the jobs that giant corporations have sent to low-wage countries in Asia. Those corporations have no unions to try to blame.

One recent letter (Feb. 4) used the example of Hostess Brands. The workers at Hostess agreed to give up their pensions and a significant part of their wages in an agreement to preserve the company and protect their jobs. As thanks for these sacrifices made by the workers, corporate executives raided the company, took what they could, then closed it down.

Our union, Teamsters Local 992, represents more than 1,000 truck drivers, public employees, and dairy and beverage workers, among others, in this area. We enjoy good relations with the employers, but also stand up to protect Hagerstown families with a living wage, some measure of health insurance and a pension.

Those are not unreasonable goals in this great and rich country. Those are what all workers should have. We have unions to thank that many American workers are able to enjoy a 40-hour work week, paid holidays and other basic benefits. Left unchecked by unions, corporations will push folks down near to what they pay in China.

Our union is run by our members. Local 992 President Bob Fahnestock and I are the only paid officers. We work hard to negotiate fair contracts, responsibly administer our pension plan, and provide accurate information and help to our members.

Tom Krause, secretary-treasurer
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 992, Hagerstown

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