Letters to the Editor - April 29

April 29, 2013

Battlefield superintendent thanks volunteers

To the editor:

On Saturday, April 6, Antietam National Battlefield participated in both the Civil War Preservation Trust’s Park Day and the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Potomac Watershed Cleanup. These annual events call for volunteers to take part in a variety of conservation and preservation work projects at Civil War sites across the country as well as removing the trash from our waterways, roadsides and trail within the greater Potomac River watershed.

This year, 55 volunteers from far and near came to the battlefield and took part in a variety of projects across the landscape. Volunteers cleared trash from roadsides, streams and woodlands, planted tree seedlings, planted native wildflowers, and removed pests and cleaned up the historic Piper Orchard.

All of these projects share the common thread of restoring both the natural and cultural components of this landscape to its historic appearance, as well as improving the site for all park visitors to enjoy. Volunteers came from six towns in Maryland, as well as 14 towns from the states of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey and New York.

Their cumulative efforts have made a very visible improvement to the battlefield and their enthusiasm and perseverance are to be applauded. To all the volunteers, please come back and admire your work ... often. Thank you for a job well done.

Susan Trail, superintendent
Antietam National Battlefield

More safety protection is needed for workers

To the editor:

Every day in America, 13 workers die on the job from injuries. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if companies identified and promptly fixed job hazards. In my state alone, in 2012, 43 hardworking men and women never went home to their families. Meanwhile, companies continue to shirk responsibility and cut corners to multiply their ever-increasing profits, all at the expense of workers. I want to know: How much money is a life worth?

Forty-two years ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed to ensure that workers have a safe environment. Since then, we have made progress in preventing more deaths — but not enough.

On Sunday, Workers Memorial Day, we paused to remember those who have lost their lives or those who have become ill on the job. We can not afford to be silent any more. Workers and their families should not have to endure agonizing losses because our elected officials and business leaders refuse to take action. Let’s make sure these workers did not die in vain. We need more safety protections for all workers, and we need them now.

Ken Collinson
Martinsburg, W.Va.

Symphony orchestra performance was ‘superb’

To the editor:

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra is the best thing that could have happened to our Western Maryland community. We have had season tickets since the year the symphony held tryouts for a new director. Every year has been exciting, and every year I am disappointed that the season ends.

Sunday’s concert was superb. The Bernstein dances from “West Side Story” were an incredible opener. One would have thought, given the rest of the difficult program, that they would open with some 16th-century dances. But there would have been no room for the harpsichord.

The program was indeed difficult. I especially enjoyed the expression of the brass; moderated crescendos were very exciting. They showed us that brass doesn’t always have to be loud. Well done. And the solo section for the violas was warm, rich and also well done.

After every concert, I plan to go home and write a word of thanks to these very special musicians and Elizabeth Shulze for bringing such musical excitement to Hagerstown. Words are never enough, but please know this: You bring a great deal of happiness to this musician. Bravo to you all!

Barbara Peters

What should be done to keep children safe?

To the editor:

According to the police in Hagerstown, the Crips and the Bloods are busy shooting at each other, which is why we had so much shooting and wounding lately. One of the unconfirmed instances apparently occurred as students were walking to school.

Anybody have any recommendations for what should be done? Perhaps pick up all students on buses and have armed guards on all of the buses? Perhaps one armed guard on each side of a bus? Another possibility would be to arm the crossing guards and have the crossing guards walk to school with the children. Since baseball bats can kill people just as a gun can, and children are allowed to have baseball bats, perhaps children walking to school would be safer if all children were allowed to carry guns with them.

I’m just wondering what suggestions people have, especially those who say that the way to make society safer is to give more people more guns.

Russell Williams

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