Witnessing Sadness and Warmth
Editor: My dog and I are members of the Pets on Wheels corps, visiting regularly at the Dulaney-Towson Nursing Center.
We see much sadness there but we also see much to warm the heart.
I am constantly surprised at the extent to which the staff will go to provide a ''happy'' atmosphere.
On a recent Saturday afternoon I arrived to find the entrance lamps festooned in white satin bows. Inside there was an air of great excitement because a real, honest-to-goodness wedding was about to take place. A young couple who work there fell in love and decided to be married there.
The staff went all-out to make this a very special occasion.
The dining area was turned into a chapel with fresh flowers everywhere.
There was even a white carpet for the bride to walk on to the improvised altar. It was a lovely, dignified, festive affair.
All patients who could be moved were brought into the area and they were obviously having a wonderful time.
Nursing homes are frequently under fire, but certainly they should be applauded for the efforts they make to help brighten the days of the people in their care.
Lutherville. Editor: The unfair and biased headlines, articles and pictures have clouded the true issues of what occurred recently at the Western Wall.
The tragic incident took place at the holiest site on one of the holiest holidays of the Jewish people, Succoth.
Twenty thousand men, women and children were praying at the Western Wall when 3,000 Arabs savagely attached them with stones and bottles. Stones thrown from the Temple Mount were lethal weapons. Many innocent worshipers were injured.
What happened at the Western Wall is not without precedent. In 1929 while Jews were praying at the Western Wall 2,000 Arabs attacked them, destroyed their prayer books and then continued their wild rampage throughout Palestine attacking and killing. By the time this attack had ended 128 Jewish men, women and children had been slaughtered.
For the United Nations to censure a sovereign nation for protecting its own citizens is an insult to the intelligence and decency of the sane world. Where is the censure of those nations who with blood on their hands are guilty of the worst human rights violations?
Reduce Class Size
Editor: I can't understand why the Maryland Board of Education would spend $53.3 million to extend the school year by 20 days instead of spending it to reduce class size. Reducing class size would improve the school experience for children while also improving test scores. Extending the year would only make the learning experience more miserable.
Perhaps this 20-day extension idea is part of the new Puritan mentality. You must suffer to be a good person. Students and teachers must sweat through 20 hot July days. Smaller, more intimate classes might actually make learning enjoyable. What an idea!
When I was a child in the Baltimore City public school system, all the ills of the school system were blamed on large class size. I am part of the baby boom. Because there were so many of us, we had to go to school in shifts. At that time everyone dreamed of the time when class size would be smaller and the student/teacher ratio would improve.
Imagine my surprise when I grew up and school systems began closing schools that were ''under-populated'' instead of taking advantage of the situation by providing smaller classes.
A teacher can provide much more personal attention to 15 students than 30. It's easier to catch the cheater, the under-achiever, the class-cutter if a class is small. Students in small classes actually get to know their teachers and are more likely to participate.
I suspect that the extension of the school year is a way of disguising state-run day care. I have nothing against state-run day care, but I don't want to be forced to use it. I would like to raise my own children, thank you.
I hope that Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Maryland representatives will vote against an extended school year and vote for smaller classes. I have always been a fierce advocate of the public school system. But if my son has to give up his summer vacation and suffer through large classes I will probably consider private schools.
Marian C. Molinaro.
Editor: Your editorial, ''A Day in Patterson Park,'' was an excellent portrait of what homeownership in Baltimore City was and could be again. However, you neglected to mention a major contributing factor to the decline of restoration of the many unique properties in city neighborhoods.
That factor is the city's exorbitant and destructive property tax rate. As long as the large property tax rate differential between the city and the surrounding counties remains in effect the incentives to invest in and restore these once-great city properties will remain inadequate.