Hagerstown welcomes its new electronic overlords, red light cameras

Hagerstown began issuing $75 tickets yesterday based on the findings from its shiny new red-light cameras. The cameras are installed on Potomac Street and Wilson Boulevard and Virginia Avenue and Burhans Boulevard.

I’m actually happy about this. People in Hagerstown are terrible drivers. I only hope city officials can handle the huge influx of money.

I would go even further. Instead of having two stationary cameras at intersections known for people running red lights, I would empower the people to enforce basic traffic laws.

Transcend DrivePro 220 3.0 MP Dashboard Camera – 1080p

With quality dashcams being cheaper than ever before, I would initiate a program where normal citizens could upload video clips of drivers breaking the law. The city or the county could then split the fine collected with the person who uploaded the video.

A person could make a small fortune driving around Hagerstown with a dashcam, snitching on their fellow citizens, if a program like this was ever instituted.

Top photo courtesy of the Herald-Mail, Hagerstown’s premier newspaper.  

Shoplifting cuffufle takes place at Hagerstown Target

Someone tried to shoplift from Target last night located behind the Valley Mall on Cole Road. The shopping center is actually in Halfway, not Hagerstown.

When a Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputy tried to stop the shoplifter, the suspected wrongdoer tried to ram their vehicle into the deputy’s vehicle.

Over something shoplifted from Target.

The deputy reacted appropriately to the attempted ramming by firing a shot at the suspect. I don’t think they were hit, but there is a lot that’s not public quite yet.

I hate to say this, but I may have to subscribe to the Herald-Mail, the area’s newspaper of record.

I don’t understand shoplifting. Although there are lots of nice things at Target, most of the high-value things come with anti-theft devices. Buy a pack of Magic The Gathering cards for $4.19 and there’s a sticker. What are people shoplifting? Do they not care about the anti-theft devices? So they just allow the security gate to sound the alarm and they’re happy with the notion of ramming a law enforcement vehicle if it gets in their way? That sounds very JV to me.

I don’t get it.

Update – The suspect is Melson S. Perry

Melson S. Perry

Here’s a photo of last night’s shoplifting suspect. Something tells me he wasn’t trying to steal Magic The Gathering booster packs. Maybe he thought since he had the word “BOSS” tattooed on his neck, the Target employees would just let him walk out with his ill-gotten goods.

Plus, he has a dollar sign tattooed at the center of his unibrow. It makes you think he has money.

Evidently, he was trying to return an iPad box without an iPad inside. From the Herald-Mail:

Troopers said the suspect, later identified as Perry, was known to enter Target stores, where he would return a previously purchased iPad for a refund or gift card. Instead of returning an iPad, however, he would return an iPad box with materials inside to simulate the weight of merchandise inside.

Maybe it’s just me, but this caper doesn’t sound very boss to me, especially when your backup plan is to just ram any law enforcement vehicles that get in your way. Did he know that Washington County deputies carry guns?

 

If your truck has fake bull testicles, stay out of Maryland

In Maryland, it may soon be illegal to hang fake bull genitalia from the back of your vehicle. That’s if my my state delegate gets his anti-genitals bill passed.  This from the local newspaper of record, the Herald-Mail:

Washington County Sheriff’s deputy Matthew Bragunier figures that he sees, at least once a day, fake bull genitals flopping from the hitches of pickup trucks.

They’re only a toy, but they’re also unpleasant to look at, said Bragunier, worried what his 2-year-old girl might think someday.

“My daughter’s going to see this,” he said. “She’s going to ask what this is. I don’t want to be put in that spot. I don’t think I ever want to be in that spot.”

Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washington/Allegany, agreed.

This week, he filed a bill for Maryland to ban the toys and others like them.

The bill prohibits any “model, sign, sticker or other item” that shows uncovered human or animal genitals, as well as human buttocks or female breasts, from motor vehicles.

Fake bull genitals is free speech

I too saw a pickup truck with fake bull genitals flopping from a trailer hitch.  Once.

I thought it was stupid.  I didn’t think a special law needed to be passed.  What’s next?  What part of the redneck culture will be regulated with a special Maryland law? Rebel battle flags?  Dale Earnhardt tribute decals? Worn out 2000 Bush/Cheney stickers?

If you take away a redneck’s right to hang fake bull genitals from his trailer hitch, what will be taken from him next?

It’s a slippery slope, a slope comprised solely of slippery, rubber bull testicles.

Buy fake bull testicles on Amazon

My ignorance of Memorial Boulevard

An anonymous person here in Hagerstown responded to my letter to the Herald-Mail about the naming of Memorial Boulevard. The response was published in the Herald-Mail newspaper. This anonymous person, instead of actually writing a real letter and signing it, chose to respond to my letter by phoning it in.

Seriously, they just phoned it in.

The Herald-Mail has something they call “Mail Call.” People can call a telephone number and leave a message. They don’t have to identify themselves. All they have to do it say where they’re from and leave a message. Newspaper staff then sort through these messages and attempt to find ones worthy of publishing.

Here it is:

“This is about Memorial Boulevard. Virginia Magruder, a retired teacher from North Hagerstown High School – many of us had her for English -came in to Council to carefully delineate the history of Memorial Boulevard, and she had researched it. I wouldn’t presume to say what she gave in the way of information that evening, because it obviously is not going to be believed by the writer of the letter about Memorial Boulevard, but to overcome his ignorance on the subject of Memorial Boulevard and what it was to memorialize, and what it means to many of us out here, as the only thing that genuinely honors veterans in this whole community, I would like to suggest that he go to the Washington County library and avail himself of the many materials that are there on the history of Washington County. He gets to believe whatever he wants to believe, but to suggest that Memorial Boulevard doesn’t have any connection with honoring veterans is ridiculous.” – Hagerstown

If I had a chance to speak with this anonymous person from Hagerstown, I would tell them that I did research on the origin of Memorial Stadium. I would tell them that although some in Hagerstown wanted to erect an actual Memorial to World War One veterans, they just never quite got around to doing it.

It’s like calling a road Elm Street and then never quite getting around to planting elm trees on it.

Why would I want to go do research at the Washington County library? I can sit here at home drinking coffee and taking advantage of Internet sites such as Google and Ask Jeeves. I guess I could do the same thing at the Washington County library, but I would have to do it sitting next to a smelly hobo looking for porn.

Hagerstown’s Memorial Boulevard

I wrote a letter into my local newspaper last week, the Herald-Mail. The letter was published in today’s issue. The letter had to do with renaming a portion of a street here in Hagerstown in honor of Willie Mays, one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

He actually played his first professional baseball game here in Hagerstown.

The street that was to be renamed in his honor is where the baseball stadium is located. It actually has true historical baseball significance associated with it.

The street’s name was never changed. Some people were upset because they felt renaming  a portion of Memorial Boulevard to Willie Mays Way would be an insult to military veterans. Nobody is sure why Memorial Boulevard was named Memorial Boulevard in the first place.

It’s my opinion that Memorial Boulevard was not renamed Willie Mays Way simply because he’s black.

It’s not because Hagerstown especially loves military veterans.

If Memorial Boulevard was to honor veterans, where was the actual memorial? The street lacked a true memorial for decades. It took the threat of naming the street after a black man to get people to pay for a real memorial.

My Letter to the Herald-Mail

I’m responding to a letter you published written by Louise Dawson of Hagerstown. In her letter, she states that the reason Memorial Boulevard was not renamed Willie Mays Way was because people complained. The reason they complained she states was not because Willie Mays is black, but because “veterans did not want it changed.”

For the record, I’m a veteran of the U.S. military. I wanted Memorial Boulevard renamed Willie Mays Way. I thought it would be a fitting tribute to one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Not only a tribute to the player, but to the city where he played his first professional baseball game – it’s a fact that those of us who live in Hagerstown can be proud of. The street and the city actually has some historical baseball significance connected to it.

What I am not proud of is the way some of our city’s residents treated Willie Mays. It has been documented that Mays was subjected to racial slurs during the game. He also was not allowed to stay in the same Hagerstown hotel with the rest of his teammates. I, for one, am ashamed of the treatment Willie Mays received here. Renaming of the street in his honor would have been a positive first step in righting a past wrong committed by people of this city. It would have sent the message that the people of Hagerstown today do not agree with the way Mays was treated. Not only is Hagerstown known at the city that treated Willie Mays wrongly during his first professional baseball game because he was black, it’s now known as the city that more recently refused to rename a portion of a street to honor him.

It’s not as though a famous World War I epic battle took place on Memorial Boulevard. From what I can tell, few even know actually what war, battle, or group of warriors Memorial Boulevard is supposed to memorialize. That’s if it was even named Memorial Boulevard to honor anything at all. The fact that few city officials or residents even know why it was named Memorial Boulevard speaks volumes of its significance.

Blame military veterans for not honoring Willie Mays if you must. Just don’t blame this veteran.