Gender ControlEditor: You ran a story about the flight...


February 16, 1991

Gender Control

Editor: You ran a story about the flight controller involved in the recent plane crash in Los Angeles, with the headline, ''Female flight controller's worst nightmare came true in L.A. plane collision.''

It's interesting that you felt the need to indicate her gender. Funny, but I don't recall ever reading headlines such as ''Male pilot error causes plane crash'' or ''Male air controller error causes death of 300.''

Carol Calvert.


Growth Bill

Editor: As if there wasn't enough misinformation for the public to weed through, The Sun chose to publish John W. Taylor's letter Feb. 6 on the growth management bill pending in the

General Assembly.

First of all, Mr. Taylor clearly hasn't read the current version of the growth bill offered by the governor. While it was in some preliminary recommendations from the Barnes commission on growth, the language relating to the permanent growth management program's dwelling unit densities has, in fact, been removed from the bill before the General Assembly.

Under the bill, the Barnes commission will be sent back to get another round of public comments on that very topic.

Second, Mr. Taylor explains that the ''quality'' of the Chesapeake Bay and the Patuxent River actually improved ''during one of the most intense periods of sprawl development in history (1985-1990).''

If he means that water quality didn't deteriorate as quickly, he's right. However, not coincidentally, the Critical Areas law, the phosphate ban and other major bay-related legislation went into effect during that same time period.

Mr. Taylor goes so far as to say ''low-density sprawl development can actually be beneficial'' which is, of course, absurd. Low-density sprawl is the most damaging to the environment, the most wasteful use of the land and the biggest drain on the taxpayer.

Besides, it is no secret that every major environmental organization in the state is supporting the governor's growth bill.

In the last five years, Maryland's population has grown by about 8 percent, but the land used for development has increased more than 18 percent. Forests, wetlands and agricultural lands are getting chewed up while blotches of development are then )) spit out all across the landscape.

This wasteful and inefficient pattern of runaway growth simply must stop, and the governor's growth management bill, while

not perfect, is an appropriate place to start.

Terry J. Harris.



The writer chairs the Greater Baltimore group of the Sierra Club.

Money and Schools

Editor: I'm tired of The Sun constantly dreaming that money is the answer to all of the city's education ills, as the Feb. 9 editorial states.

Does anyone really believe that Baltimore City schools would be as successful as Baltimore County schools even if city schools spent twice as much per pupil? Exhaustive studies have shown spending per pupil accounts for very little difference in school performance.

Parochial schools, for example, spend much less per pupil than city schools, yet gain much better results. Why? Parental concern, discipline, students who desire to learn, enthusiastic teachers and access to books.

These things don't necessarily cost much, and they cannot simply be purchased.

Wesley L. Michael.


No Nukes

Editor: I was appalled by Cal Thomas' Feb. 6 commentary advocating the use of tactical nuclear weapons in the gulf war to ''speed up the achievement of the objective.''

The use of nuclear weapons would set a precedent the end result of which could be their routine use.

Since the line between combatants and civilians is often vague, one could imagine the eventual use of nuclear weapons against cities to destroy the morale and war-making capacity of the enemy.

Furthermore, popular Arab support for the U.S.-led coalition against Iraq is tenuous at best.

The use of tactical nuclear weapons against Iraq would provoke a wave of anti-American hatred which would topple the governments of many of our allies in the coalition.

At worst, the U.S. could find itself battling not only Iraq but Jordan, Syria and Iran, if not the entire Arab world.

I am not an avid fan of George Bush, but I'm glad that he, and not Cal Thomas, is our commander in chief.

Bruce E. Wilson.


Good News

Editor: Gov. William Donald Schaefer often complains about the unfair treatment he receives in the press; how it concentrates on his problems and ignores his accomplishments. Normally, I don't give these complaints much credence. I do think, however, that The Sun has been guilty of this bias in regard to recent cabinet changes in the Schaefer administration.

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