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Letters to the Editor - March 24

March 24, 2013

Civil Air Patrol does more than search and rescue

To the editor:

Are you familiar with the local Civil Air Patrol in Washington County? Well, you should be. This program is one of the best youth programs in the area. I know this firsthand, because my son benefited greatly from his participation in this program, which encouraged him to make the military his career. 

The first thing you notice about cadets is their manners. “Yes, ma’m” and “Yes, sir” are a constant. Never has this been more noticeable than when a whole squadron volunteers at events. Recently, the newest cadets volunteered at the Washington County Special Olympics basketball qualifier at Saint James School. Entering the parking lot, we were stopped by a cadet who asked ever so politely if we needed a handicapped spot, which we did. Another cadet flagged us on, and made sure we parked in the appropriate spot. Entering the gym area, we were greeted again by several cadets, warning us about the steps going into the gym, “to be careful.” Once in the gym, more young cadets were scattered among the hundreds of Special Olympic athletes. Some were helping with Skills athletes, some were keeping scores for the 3-on-3 games, and some were keeping times and scores for the full-court games. They never refused a task, being respectful in every part of their job description, doing  whatever was asked of them. These are stellar young men and women who will grow into being responsible, dedicated citizens.

Special Olympics of Washington County would like to personally thank these young people and the administration that supervises the program for their time and dedication. Thanks to cadets Joshua Rafka, Jimmy Lange, Elijah Wilson, Colton Kauffman, Lauren Mann, Ryan Mann, Derek Harper, Conner Caruso, Clay Foreman, Colt Foreman, Will Manning, Taylor Patterson, Randel Golden, Alex Kiss, Braydon Strausser, Josiah Cox, Kyle O’Ney and Steven Hart. Thanks also to Lt. Col. Meredith Phares, Capt. L. Commer, Lt. B. Bennett and 2nd Lt. J. Manning, senior members who supervise these cadets. 

Toni Nelson
Special Olympics of Washington County


Chamber’s impact has been transforming

To the editor:

When the Greater Chambersburg (Pa.) Chamber of Commerce formed in 1911, two goals were attracting factories to supply jobs and helping the community.

The Chamber’s most visible success in attracting jobs is the business parks developed by its affiliate, Chambersburg Area Development Corp. CADC has developed Chambers-5 Business Park, CADCO Business Park and the Fifth Avenue Commercial Center. Those projects have brought almost 3,000 jobs to the community. The Chamber, through CADC and the Cumberland Valley Regional Development Corp., is currently working to develop United Business Park at Exit 24 (Shippensburg). This project has the potential to attract more businesses and many jobs.

Additionally, the Chamber has been extremely active in efforts to keep Letterkenny open. Each time Letterkenny was threatened with closure, the Chamber helped organize efforts to lobby our elected officials on Letterkenny’s behalf.

We are also proud the Chamber played a role in encouraging Winebrenner Theological Seminary to buy the former Scotland School for Veterans Children. Chamber leaders were happy to meet with Winebrenner representatives and share the benefits of doing business in our community. More recently, the Chamber pledged its support for Winebrenner’s effort to build a coalition of educational institutions that will expand educational and vocational training opportunities in our community.

The Chamber has also taken seriously its founders’ directive to help the community. The Chamber was involved in the formation of the Community Chest, now United Way of Franklin County; the formation of the Council for the Arts, which just helped organize the 11th annual IceFest; and in the preservation of Capitol Theatre. We hope our latest effort, the Prosperity Indicators Project, will become one more long-term project that will help make Chambersburg a more prosperous place to live and work.

Suzanne Miller Trinh
Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce


Symphony is one of area’s many treasures

To the editor:

I have been remiss, season after season, performance after performance, for not having shared our thoughts regarding our wonderful symphony. This past Saturday, “Night at the Opera” was just the nudge we needed.

We have held season tickets since our move to Hagerstown from Washington, D.C. almost nine years ago. There is much we do not miss about living in the frenetic environment of our Capitol; however, we did expect to miss much of the history, music, theatre and culture that abounds in the big city. When we discovered the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and the incredibly varied program of performances that it offers each season, plus the Pops and Independence Day celebration, we were delighted that our new home provided such diversity and entertainment.

We don’t have to travel far to enjoy music that is familiar and uplifting. History, of course, is the very foundation of this area, and the art museum is the gemstone of Washington County.  We are very much “at home” and proud to share the area’s highlights with friends and family who visit here. None of this would be possible without the hard work of board members, generosity of donors and sponsors, and dedication of the performers who truly “make things happen.”

Karol Kennedy and Shane Williams
Hagerstown


Fairplay Fire Co. should be given chance to correct issues

To the editor:

I will begin by saying I do not currently have an immediate concern with the Fairplay Fire Co. situation, but that could change if I need emergency assistance and cannot get it in a timely manner. But, as an outsider, here is how I see it based on articles in The Herald-Mail. 

Fairplay is not responding to calls in a timely manner, so they were shut down and other companies were asked to expand the territories they cover to pick up the slack. How is this going to make call responses quicker? Maybe in Fairplay, which I doubt, but it might well slow responses in those companies’ home areas.

It seems to me that there is a personality problem with some county commissioners and the leadership at Fairplay, so the commissioners shut them down to show who is boss. We will need to remember those commissioners who voted to shut down Fairplay come next election.

I feel we should let Fairplay open back up, implement their recommendations to correct the problems and monitor their response times. I will bet they will be within limits because they know what will happen if they do not pass muster. Does anyone really doubt they will not pass the test given a reprieve?

This will alleviate the extra load placed on already-stretched resources at other companies and could correct a bad situation between some commissioners and Fairplay leadership.

Steve Anders
Trego


Social workers are unsung hereos in many ways

To the editor:

The Washington County Department of Social Services would like to remind readers that March has been designated as Social Work Appreciation Month. We know the average person doesn’t wake up in the morning and suddenly say to himself, “I need to talk to a social worker today.” However, when one’s child has been abused or neglected, when a loved one is no longer able to live safely or independently in the community, or is in need of a hospital discharge plan, we want answers, and we want them immediately.

Social workers are unsung heroes who help adults, children and families during some of the most difficult times in their lives. Social workers help us address marital problems, child rearing problems, issues with addictions, mental health issues and countless other human conditions. Social workers help people facing despair find hope for a better tomorrow. They help their clients reach their full potential. Few social workers become independently wealthy as a result of their work. Few become famous. Most social workers, however, experience an extraordinary measure of job satisfaction because they know they make a profound positive difference in the lives of their neighbors.

The Washington County Department of Social Services is fortunate to employ scores of dedicated, conscientious and extremely hardworking social workers. We are proud to take this opportunity to thank them and all of our colleagues who work in the public and private sectors throughout Washington County to make our community safer, healthier and happier.

David A. Engle, director
Washington County Department of Social Services

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