Spare the Trees
Editor: For many years several old oak trees lined up th south property line of the Baltimore City public school system's Bragg Nature Study Center, located at 6601 Baltimore National Pike. Their thick trunks covered with high-climbing vines were the first stop for the center's teacher-naturalist where he was introducing the visiting city students to nature and the importance of how one living thing interacts with other living things in nature.
These border trees, unless saved by a miracle, may not be here much longer.
On my recent visit to the center I learned that bulldozers are leveling off the adjoining undeveloped tract of land, and nothing, not even a narrow wooded buffer zone where these trees stand, may be left intact.
It was a sad visit for me. For 14 years our city youngsters and their teachers have been coming to the Bragg Nature Center to learn about the beauty and orderliness of nature's community of life. One important segment of that community's life is now endangered.
I hope that the developer of the adjoining property will recognize what an undisturbed wooded buffer zone left here means to the Bragg experience of our city school students and will spare it from destruction.
Wolodymyr C. Sushko.
Editor: I find it interesting that Congress and your paper fee that the inclusion of mammogram screening in the Medicare program is a measure that will benefit the health and welfare of women.
In reality, most women who are eligible for Medicare are elderly and are not at risk for breast cancer. What Congress has really done is open the door for the providers of these services to perform unnecessary and costly procedures at the taxpayers' expense. It appears that the real beneficiaries of the recent legislation will be the laboratories, technicians, and physicians who perform and bill for these services.
If Congress really wanted to reduce the risks of breast cancer and help women, why not increase the income eligibility standards for the Medicaid program?
The working poor are the ''at risk'' group that can most benefit from early detection of disease, yet under current standards a family of four can have no more than $509 per month of countable income to qualify for benefits.
Many of the working poor are single female parents in the high-risk age group for breast cancer. These women are often in low-paying jobs with no health insurance, struggling to stay off welfare, yet making a little too much money to obtain Medicaid. These women, unable to afford the diagnostic testing and uneducated about the early warning signs, frequently go undiagnosed until it is too late.
Editor: While reading your article on the ''pork -- bare bones' budget on Nov. 4, I felt not only my blood pressure rising, but my temper as well.
Maybe I'm naive, but I just couldn't believe the things that I was reading. I believe in paying taxes for all the essentials things like police, fire, education, etc. Why do I have to pay for remodeling beauty salons, building parliament buildings in independent nations, buying new trash cans, studying lighting for T.V. cameras, etc., etc., etc.?
While people are homeless and starving, crime is rampant, and the federal government almost shuts down, why and how are these things being allowed? Where does it stop and who, in heaven's name, can stop it? I'm at a loss, and that's a very, very sad statement for an American citizen to have to admit.
Beverly Hochstedt Westendorf.
Editor: A recent Sun article concerned a suggestion made t Baltimore's Architectural Review Board that Pier 5, site of the proposed Columbus Research Center, be linked with the Rusty Scupper restaurant by a footbridge. The suggestion was made by Michael Davies, an architect with the Richard Rodgers Partnership in London.
Mr. Davies said, ''closing the loop'' would irrigate the south side of the harbor. He added that it would be a great gesture to everything there, tying it all together in an urban walk.
It is evident that Mr. Davies has little knowledge of year-round activities in the Inner Harbor. Let's hope members of the Architectural Review Board are more knowledgeable. Mr. Davies obviously is unaware of the number of large vessels that visit the harbor, most of which moor along the Light Street bulkhead and finger piers. There are ''spot'' events such as the Parade of Lighted Boats, and the recent sail-yacht races including boats from the United States and other nations. All of these events and vessels arouse enormous interest and create a lot of business for Inner Harbor stores, hotels and restaurants. To ''close the loop'', as Mr. Davies suggests, would destroy the vibrant life of the Inner Harbor. We don't need a pond, which is what ''closing the loop'' would create.
Earle A. Newman.
Battle of North Point