December 11, 2012
Column about Romney’s defeat was full of excuses
To the editor:
In response to George Michael’s column about why Mitt Romney lost the election (Nov. 16): Boo hoo! Michael listed everything he could think of as to why; any excuse will do. Even he knows Republicans know when to stop beating a dead horse.
Michael tried to make Romney out as the poor picked-on candidate. Never mind he first shot himself in the foot when he chose Paul Ryan as a running mate. Selfish and self-absorbed, trying to force his agenda on the nation. Then, there was the evasion of taxes information. Dumb. And how about the flip-flopping over every issue when he found nobody was buying what he was selling? Then, there was the smear campaign he ran against our president (who, by the way, reached across the aisle many times and had his hand refused in compromise).
There are many issues in Michael’s column to address, but the only one left for me to mention is the voter turnout. Please. There are a lot of Republicans who have good common sense. They know that horse is dead.
Don’t give up on stadium if donation falls through
To the editor:
There is a misconception developing in our political discourse that the downtown sports and events center cannot be built without the much anticipated $15 million anonymous donation. What we need to remember is that the downtown sports and events center was a viable project long before we became aware of a possible single, large private donation.
On Feb. 21, 2012, the City of Hagerstown and the Board of County Commissioners committed funds to study the feasibility of constructing a new facility that would retain professional baseball. On April 13, 2012, the consultant report was released with a very positive outlook for the project, both in its return for investment and its ability to rejuvenate the surrounding area. On May 1, 2012, the Board of County Commissioners made available $400,000 annually contingent on a downtown revitalization project, and on May 8, 2012, the city voted to match it. On Aug. 3, 2012, the city committed funds for environmental and other preliminary work to study the site for the project.
At this point, the business terms of a lease were under negotiation that included more private funds for the project through lease payments and naming rights. In addition, the governor and comptroller had visited our town and endorsed the project promising their support. The prospect alone of the new facility created excitement and speculation about private/spinoff downtown redevelopment as evidenced by increased visits and phone calls to the city’s economic development department. The numbers add up, the return on investment was more than imagined, prospective investors were calling and the whole thing seemed ready for action. It is only at that point that the first notion of a donor emerged.
I admire the confidence this donor had in this project and our downtown to even consider such a significant donation. I share their enthusiasm. However, should that donation not materialize, the project should still move forward. In this event, the naming rights, which are a valuable asset, become available again, providing some revenue to the already positive financial outlook of the project. While some rescaling might be necessary, all is not lost.
Quitting on the project because the donation did not materialize sends a bad message to the watchful world beyond Hagerstown and to the small businesses and entrepreneurs who have staked a claim in our downtown core. It says that we do not have confidence in our downtown and only want to advance it as long as we don’t have to try hard or overcome any setbacks. I prefer that we reacquaint ourselves with the supporting data, take charge and bring to fruition this worthwhile endeavor. We can show everyone that we are willing to invest in ourselves and, in doing so, give others the confidence to invest in us, too. Let’s overcome the fear and misinformation and see this valuable project through. All we have to lose is the decay and declining reputation of our downtown and this fine community.
Don’t count on others to report lost pets
To the editor:
Recently, our family had the unfortunate experience of having our very timid dog, Zoe, run away from the dogsitter while we were on vacation. After returning home early, we had no idea where to start looking. We posted signs in adjacent neighborhoods as well as our own, ran ads in the newspaper, contacted radio stations and alerted the Humane Society.
While going door to door in our neighborhood one week into our search, two different people told us that they had spotted our dog a few days earlier. They had seen the posted signs and the ad in the newspaper and heard it on the radio, but neither person was inclined to give us a call. Had we been contacted when she was seen, we would have known where to focus our search.
Thankfully, two other people called us the following week to alert us of possible sightings. At this point, we were visiting businesses near our neighborhood. One of the employees at a business said he had the dog in his arms two days after she went missing. Had someone there held onto her and called the Humane Society, we would have been reunited sooner. The employee that I spoke to said he had seen notices in the newspaper and on a Facebook page a day later, but he did not let us know.
Please understand, just because a lost dog might not have a collar does not mean that there is not a family searching for it. Please don’t assume that someone else will call. A 30-second phone call could make all the difference. Please call with any possible sightings so that the owner of a missing animal knows where to begin looking.
Thank you to those who helped look and those who called when they glimpsed our dog and eventually allowed Zoe to be found and returned home, a little thinner but safe and sound.
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