MTA's Romare BeardenEditor: I enjoyed Garland Thompson's...


December 31, 1990

MTA's Romare Bearden

Editor: I enjoyed Garland Thompson's Opinion * Commentary page review of "Romare Bearden: His Life and Art." Mr. Bearden was truly one of America's great artists who touched many people.

Bearden left his mark on Baltimore in many ways, but perhaps one of the finest, albeit lesser-known, is his magnificent mosaic mural on the mezzanine of the Upton Metro station. Its jazz theme pays tribute to the people and the vibrant music that 50 years ago was a tradition of Pennsylvania Avenue.

If you haven't seen this work, I urge you to do so. Next time you're riding the Metro, get off the train at Upton and take the time until the next train comes to view this masterpiece on the mezzanine. You can even see it without paying another fare.

Ronald J. Hartman.


The writer is general manager of the Metro. Editor: I've noticed a curious governmental custom. The city closes school only one day for national heroes George Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, but school is closed for more than a week for Santa Claus.

Is the government teaching children that Santa deserves more honor than George Washington, the veterans, or others honored just one day? Christmas is one day. Why close school for a whole week? What a waste of taxpayers money.

Marian S. Tutt


Life Choices

Editor: To paraphrase Jean-Paul Sartre, the late, great French existentialist, it is an inescapable truth that we, as thinking beings, are condemned to choose, whether we will it or not.

Since abstaining from choosing is always a choice in itself, are not we better off taking a stand for something we believe in, unpopular it may be? This is every human being's anguish and dilemma in the face of a seemingly unyielding and complex world in which a multitude of decisions must be made daily.

The article by Robert Lee entitled "Choices" in Opinion * Commentary of The Sun Dec. 5, fully and dramatically illustrated this anguish and dilemma. The Lees were confronted with the agonizing decision of whether or not to abort their unborn child whom, a genetic test predicted, had a 90 percent chance of developing the always fatal Huntington's disease by his or her 40 birthday.

The article so moved and disturbed me that I informally polled a few of my colleagues at work as to what they would have done had they been the ones involved. Many applauded the Lees' choice (not to abort) while almost as many were unsure.

A few did opt for abortion because, as in one woman's rhetorical question, ''Who are we to choose (a life of misery) for this poor child?'' While I think that sometimes there are good reasons for choosing abortion, I do not think that the one implied in the preceding rhetorical question is one of them.

Whether we choose for or against abortion, we are making a choice for the unborn infants. In life, we always choose . . . one way or the other. C'est la condition humaine.

Dikoma C. Shungu.


No Robots

Editor: Regarding your editorial cartoon Dec. 14: I am a volunteer in the Presidential Inquires Office in the White House, and I spend my time answering the phone for the White House comments line! The people who perform this very important service for the president, are all live human beings, and we do not use an automated answering service. I've received calls from Australia, Alaska, Canada and all the states. Each caller is treated courteously, and we listen! A daily tally sheet is made of all calls pro and con -- about any issue the public calls in on. This is information the president sees -- and uses.

All our people are trained volunteers operating under some very competent staff people. Each call is handled on a very personal level, because this president wants to know what the people think. No robots allowed in this very important office.

Hugh M. Roper.



Editor: It is sad to read that because of an estimated $200 million budget deficit, Gov. William Donald Schaefer initially proposed and then reversed cuts in programs for the poor including paying for prescription drugs, home health services for the disabled and others.

This continues a pattern of short-changing the needy. An example is the Women Infants and Children Supplemental Feeding Program (WIC) in which each prenatal dollar spent by WIC saves three dollars in health care costs during the first year of life. Because of a lack of state commitment, Maryland was unable to use $40,000 in federal WIC food dollars in fiscal 1989.

Meanwhile the governor is spending $444,000 in salaries for a 10-person press staff, the second largest press office in the country with the second highest payroll. He is outstripped only by Gov. Mario Cuomo of New York who has a 12-person staff for a much larger state. Would the governor please consider saving money with a three-person press office?




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