To the editor:
Sen. Christopher Shank provides opinion without knowing the facts regarding the proposed Civil War Rail Trail from Hagerstown to Weverton. He believes it will increase development and poses different problems than the Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT), which only borders parkland.
Wrong. Washington County has regulations in place to prevent sprawl in South County unless the Commissioners continue to grant exceptions to developers. While WMRT does border the C&O Canal, it also borders homes and farmland, as does the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) between Cumberland and Pittsburgh.
We know a lot from the completion of WMRT and GAP. They are safe, and private property is respected. Farmers do have access to their land where the trail transects their property. Driveways that cross the trail are protected by gates that require trail users to stop for the homeowners’ right of way. Just two examples of how private property use is preserved and protected.
In addition to job creation and economic development, citizens’ health would benefit. About two-thirds of Washington County adults are overweight or obese, a common finding in rural communities. Obesity contributes to lost wages, reduced productivity, absenteeism and disability. Medicare and private insurance programs redistribute the cost of obesity across all premiums. Therefore, individuals, employers and the county pay more for insurance. We taxpayers carry the burden.
All Washington County citizens could greatly benefit from the trail — jobs, business and health. We would have a safe and easily accessible environment in which people of all ages and abilities can exercise. Until a trail is built, we will continue to see women pushing baby carriages, old men walking dogs and young families riding bikes on the unsafe shoulder of Md. 67. And, the county gets fatter.
Sen. Shank listens to the minority to the detriment of the greater Washington County.
Community must fight to keep Suns in Hagerstown
To the editor:
I was raised in Washington County, for 15 years in Brownsville and 11 years in Boonsboro. I lived in Texas for eight years and kept up on current events in and around Hagerstown.
And for my 26 years of being a Washington County resident, I enjoyed going to baseball games at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown and watching the Suns play ball.
I can remember when they were playing when I was 5 years old and Cal Ripken had just begun his streak for the most consecutive games played.
The Hagerstown Suns have been a part of the Hagerstown community for most of my life. Why should I worry about losing them?
Because they were a huge part of my life growing up, and I don’t want to see them leave the town where I spent most of my life. They were a staple in my life that I could count on every season to go and watch them play.
Don’t let Hagerstown lose a national pastime. The Hagerstown Suns bring revenue into our town. Let’s find a way to rebuild Municipal Stadium, or face losing a staple of our town’s history forever.
Joseph E. Best